SECC Staff and Board Members at the 2021 Business Excellence Awards

L-R: Abby Neufeld Dick (Marketing & Communications Coordinator), Mackenzie VandenBerg (Public Relations Specialist), Tracy VandenBerg (Board Member), Bianca Rubino, Maria Gomer (Board Chair), Carolyn Warkentin (Executive Director)

Meet our Board of Directors Chair, Maria Gomer!


Why did you decide to get involved with South Essex Community Council?

“I was new to the Leamington area, and so I joined SECC’s Board of Directors out of a desire to better understand the needs in my community and to develop relationships outside of my own organization.”

How long have you been on the Board of Directors?

“I have been involved with SECC by being on the Board of Directors for over ten years!”

How does volunteering impact your life?

“To me, volunteering is a great way to stay current, improve my skills, and gain exposure to what’s happening all around me.”

Have there been any surprises to you while on the Board of Directors?

“Unexpectedly, and yet so welcome, is the feeling of personal satisfaction in being a part of something that positively impacts our community while doing wonders for my physical and mental health. By focusing my efforts on “Helping people. Improving lives.” I am able to lift my emotions to a positive space making me a much happier and more engaged individual.”

What is your favourite part about being on the Board?

“There is much joy for me in seeing individuals whose lives are being impacted for the better. These people are the true heroes, and they are the ones who motivate me to keep volunteering.”


South Essex Community Council (SECC) has been serving the community for nearly 50 years.  We are committed to our mission: “Helping people.  Improving lives.” and we do this through our core values of compassion, collaboration, inclusion, and integrity.  SECC is looking for new board members—people who have a passion for serving their community, learning about our community’s challenges, and engaging others to help us accomplish our collective mission.

If you are a resident of Leamington, Kingsville, or Wheatley, enjoy working with others, and are interested in bringing your unique skills and talents to our organization, the SECC Board of Directors invites you to get in touch with us for a conversation.  Please call 519-326-8629 or email

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