About Us

Providence Village will be a neighbourhood of people helping people, inspiring hope, fulfillment and care of the Earth while being mindful to:

  • Uphold a spirit of humility, simplicity and charity;
  • Demonstrate responsible stewardship of resources, create opportunities to connect, innovate and collaborate;
  • Be open, welcoming and supportive;
  • Foster holistic life and wellness

all in keeping within the values of compassion, respect and integrity.

Board of Directors

Brian Hogan, Board Chair

Brian Hogan felt drawn to join the Providence Village Board by the mission of the Sisters of Providence to serve the needs of the vulnerable populations. The vision of the Sisters to build a community that could bring together a range of partnerships and collaborations that would provide support to those populations within our community is what attracted him to accept the invitation to become formally engaged.  
  
He hopes Providence Village becomes a community that not only provides support for the vulnerable, the elderly and those suffering from mental illness, but will also be a safe place where people can feel hope and a sense of belonging. 
  
Brian has been associated with the Sisters of Providence through many years on the Board at Providence Care, which began with an invitation by Sister Sheila Langton.

Brian has a personal connection to the Sisters of Providence. A family member was a member of the order. That relationship made it possible for him and his wife to be married in the Chapel of the Providence Motherhouse. He says he has always been, and forever will be, a strong supporter of upholding the legacy of the Sisters of Providence.
 
Brian served for many years as Vice Chair for the Board for Providence Care. During his tenures he also served on and chaired committees of that board. He is currently a a member of the Campaign Cabinet of University Hospitals Kingston Foundation. He is a past member of the Rotary Club of Kingston and Gananoque. Professionally, Brian is partner with Baker Tilly (formerly Collins Barrow), an international association of Chartered Professional Accountants.

Cathy Dunne

Cathy Dunne remembers being on the lookout for something innovative in health care. Being a career health care Executive, she bore witness to the increasing complexity facing vulnerable people when seeking access to the care and services they needed. When she learned of the Sisters of Providence vision for their Motherhouse and property and was asked by the Sisters to join the Providence Village board, she accepted.

She hopes for a future Providence Village in which vulnerable people will feel welcomed and easily access a variety of services and supports in one place. She has a particular interest and dream for an affordable and supportive housing component of Providence Village.

Cathy is the former, now retired, Providence Care CEO. She is a member of the Providence Village Board of Directors. In that capacity she sits as the Catholic Health Services Organization designate to the Providence Village Board.

Doug Hogeboom

Doug was pleased to be asked to join the Board of Providence Village given his deep belief in the vision that the Sisters have for a neighbourhood of people helping people.

He has a long-standing relationship with the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul beginning with an invitation to join the Board of the Providence Care Foundation by Sister Sheila Langton. He served on that board for nine years with a portion of that time as Board Chair. He also served on the Board of Providence Care hospital for a few years. He says he continues to consider Sister Sheila a friend and mentor. 

Doug has served on numerous community fundraising initiatives including past chair of the United Way campaign, the Healthcare 2000 Campaign, and the recent St. Lawrence College Uncommon Campaign. He has contributed as member of community foundation boards including Kingston General Hospital Foundation Board, University Hospitals Kingston Foundation Board, and the Providence Care Foundation Board. He has been on the governance Boards of Junior Achievement of Kingston & District, Ongwanada Hospital Board, St. Lawrence College Board of Governors, and the Providence Care Hospital Board. Over many years has also served on the Boards of three area churches and been active in their activities. Doug’s working career comprised 35 years at The Empire Life Insurance Company, from which he retired as the Senior Executive of the company.

Larry Norman

Larry Norman believes Providence Village has the potential to make a significant impact in Kingston and surrounding area by helping people in need while at the same time honouring the legacy of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. He feels the Sisters have contributed a great deal to the community over their long history.

He envisions Providence Village as a place of diverse entities of people helping people in need. He sees it as a place to develop a stronger and caring community in a way that benefits all citizens.

Larry has known and worked with the Sisters of Providence since the mid-1970’s and not always in the Kingston area. When his career took him to cities where the Sisters had a presence he would connect with them and be of service wherever he could. His first board appointment in working with the Sisters was as a member of St. Vincent’s Providence Manor and Providence Care.

He chaired the Providence Manor building committee during its last major expansion and renovation. He also chaired the Providence Care Board for four years and was part of finding the funding for the new hospital. He is an engineer by education and worked for a large international company. He has managed large sites, developed training programmes, and run a business segment. His last post was as Director of Operations at DuPont Canada, where he was responsible for all manufacturing, engineering and purchasing, reporting directly to the company’s President.

Sister Frances O’Brien

Sister Frances O’Brien has been a member of the Sisters of Providence for over 50 years and part of the evolution of the Providence Village initiative since the beginning. She has been a part of all the consultations and studies that were carried out by the Sisters of Providence as they began dreaming about 10 years ago for the future use of the Providence Motherhouse property as part of their legacy to serve the vulnerable.

Sister Frances hopes Providence Village will become a vibrant and life-giving neighbourhood where all who come to access services or who have housing on these grounds will find support, respect and opportunity to interact across all boundaries of age, gender, race, and creed. She hopes that people in the surrounding neighbourhoods will also feel welcome to use the beautiful grounds and to access events and activities that will take place. She hopes that the Sisters’ dream will be actualized over the course of the next 10 years.

“We have faced the reality that we are coming to completion and are trying to ensure that our ministries and mission will continue on into the future after we are gone. The Providence Village initiative is the culmination of a dream that is giving us new life and hope for the future,” she says.

She has served in a variety of ministries and positions over the last 50 years. She began as a teacher of both elementary and secondary school. She was a Campus Minister at Queen’s University for five years and then was elected to two terms on the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Providence. In that capacity she served on various Health Care Boards and Social Agency Boards in the community. She has been a Pastoral Counselor for many years working with people struggling with all kinds of issues in their lives such as broken relationships, childhood sexual abuse, grief and loss, personality disorder, anxiety and depression, loss of faith or meaning. With one of the Sisters’ Providence Associates, she developed a practice of Process Facilitation which took her to groups across the country from Vancouver to the Maritimes and into the United States. Since 2011 she has been serving again on the Leadership Team to continue the work of the Long Range Plan for the Sisters’ future.

Michael Ross

Michael has been involved with the Sisters for well over 30 years as their architect on many projects related to their Motherhouse, and to several of their major facilities in Kingston and beyond. More recently, he served on their planning committee looking into potential future uses of the Heathfield property, site of their Motherhouse. The work of that committee and the consultants retained to support that work led to the conceptualization of Providence Village. When the Sisters formed the corporation Providence Village Inc. to oversee the development and on-going management of Providence Village, Michael was invited to join the Board of the corporation which he enthusiastically accepted.

He believes strongly that the Sisters’ legacy deserves to be continued and supported.

His hope is that Providence Village will become a true embodiment of the spirit of the Sisters, a community of people helping people; that it will be a place that provides hope, peace and comfort to many vulnerable people in our community that may not otherwise receive the support and help they need.


Having served as the architect for the Sisters on many of their projects over the years, Michael’s experience with them, and with their physical facilities, in addition to his architectural background will be a useful resource to the Providence Village Board. Michael has business and property management experience having run his own architectural practice in Kingston and Ottawa for many years. He has served on many community Boards including the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, Kingston Downtown Business Association, the City steering committee overseeing the implementation of the Leon’s Arena in downtown Kingston, and two condominium boards. He has also served two terms on the Council of the Ontario Association of Architects, including one term as President.

Sister Sandra Shannon

Sister Sandra is called into the work that is Providence Village because, as a Sister of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul, she sees Providence Village as the legacy of the Sisters. It will be the vehicle by which the Sisters, in their diminishment, can continue to serve the people of Kingston and beyond as they have done for the past 157 years. Whatever she can do to bring the dream of Providence Village into reality is a privilege, she says.
 
She hopes Providence Village will become an oasis in the heart of Kingston where the vulnerable will first and foremost be respected, cared for and encouraged to live life to the fullest. Providence Village will become a place of healing whether of mind, body or soul. Hopefully it will be intercultural, intergenerational and equitable. She envisions the diverse partners of Providence Village as contributing to the whole — a community of people helping people.
 
As a Sister of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul who has been part of the last two leadership teams, Sister Sandra has been involved with Providence Village from the beginning. She has participated in the Master program/Master plan phases forming the original Providence Village concept. Now she is part of the initial Board of Directors whose mandate is to bring the concept into reality and manage the project into the future.

Sister Sandra has served as a Board member of various hospitals across Canada. She has participated in the transfer of the Sisters’ hospitals to other Catholic entities in the past. She has been part of renovation and construction projects at the Providence Motherhouse in the recent past. Working with vulnerable people, in her health care ministry, has schooled her to give empathy to those in need.

Executive Director

Ruth Gruer

With over 25 years of management experience within the public and private sectors, Ruth has learned how to adapt and lead within a changing environment. Following her tenure of several years at the federal agency, HRSDC, Ruth transitioned to the private sector, where she managed Human Resources and other key functions for high profile organizations such as Subaru Canada, ExxonMobil, and Queen’s University. Ruth has also owned and operated a successful consulting company, providing HR consulting and leadership development services. Ruth has an MBA from Queen’s University. She obtained her Human Resources Management training from the University of Toronto, and became a Certified Executive Coach (CEC) through Royal Roads University.  

In 2017, Ruth accepted the call to join the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul as their Administrator and Director of Human Resources. Ruth welcomed the opportunity to work with the Sisters and staff at the Motherhouse and continues to be inspired by the Sisters’ commitment to serve and meet the needs of the vulnerable, as they have done for over 150 years. After several months in her role as Administrator, Ruth was invited to assume the role of Executive Director for Providence Village. In this unique dual role, Ruth is able to oversee current Motherhouse operations, while implementing systems and strategies to support the development of Providence Village. Ruth feels blessed to be working with the Sisters and Motherhouse staff on a daily basis, and is grateful to be working with the entire Providence Village board to help create such a vibrant and compassionate community.