Meet the Board
Chris Podolinsky is the President of POAO (2017 – present). He has an Honours Degree in Criminology and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor. Chris has been a Youth Probation Officer in Windsor and Essex County since 2005. In addition to President, Chris served as the Treasurer of the Executive Board 2013-2016. Chris has also worked as a child and youth worker in a secure custody facility for youth.
Gareth Williams has a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a concentration in Sociology, a Graduate Certificate in Victimology, as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Victimology, Victim Assistance and Criminal Justice from the Inter-University Centre of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Gareth has been a Probation and Parole Officer since 2016; starting out at the Ottawa Centre P&P office, moving north to the Red Lake P&P office working in remote fly in Indigenous Communities, and most recently at the Kingston P&P office. Gareth has assisted with opportunities for summer students, volunteers and student placements; as well supervising the ISO caseload and consulting on human trafficking files. Gareth is currently serving his second year in the Vice-President position (2 year term -2021/2022).
Kathy Obszanski has a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Criminal Justice and Public Policy from the University of Guelph. She has been with the Ministry as a PPO since 2012 and has worked in several offices in both Western and Central regions. Kathy is currently working at the Riverdale P&P office in Toronto where she also holds a position as a Wellness Representative. Kathy is currently serving her first year in the Adult Policy Director position.
Karen Tinning is a dedicated POAO member, proudly serving as Youth Policy Director. Previously she has assisted with Symposiums and has served as a Branch Chair.
Karen has enjoyed her membership with POAO since early in her career, which she began in the adult ministry and now as a Youth PO with Youth Justice Services. While membership means different things to different individuals, to Karen it means connection, support, education and that #MembershipMatters.
Sarah Bellhouse has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a concentration in Psychology and a Graduate Certificate in Forensic Practice. Sarah has been employed as an Adult Probation and Parole Officer with the Ministry since 2017; beginning her career at Riverdale P&P in Regent Park and working at other locations such as Halton South P&P, Durham East P&P, and the Toronto Anti-Guns and Gangs P&P Unit. She currently works out of the Jane Street P&P Office. Previous to P&P, Sarah worked as a Youth Worker in addition to volunteering at various shelters. Sarah is currently serving her second year in the Membership Director position (2 year term 2021-2022).
Shonna has been a Probation Officer since 2002, working both as a youth PO and an adult PPO. Shonna currently works at the Hamilton Centre P&P Office.
Mary Ayoub has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and a Master of Arts in Sociology (Concentration Criminology). Mary has been employed as an Adult Probation and Parole Officer with the Ministry since 2017. She currently works at the Windsor P&P office. Mary has extensive experience volunteering for services that aid at-risk population and is driven by the belief that diversity is our strength. Mary is currently serving her second year in the Media Director position (2 year term 2021-2022).
Amy graduated with a major in sociology and a minor in legal studies and criminology. She has been a youth Probation Officer since 2001 and is currently serving a two-year term on the POAO Board of Directors as the Membership Outreach Director. In the past, Amy served as Branch Chair of Midwest branch for 3 terms and she is currently a Union Steward and member of RERC as well as the Court Liaison for Waterloo Region Courthouse. Amy is excited to be back on the board and looks forward to meeting new members and being involved in the many great things POAO has in store for 2022!