Literacy Ontario Central South

Literacy Ontario Central South (LOCS) is based in Peterborough, Ontario. Our region includes City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, Northumberland, Peterborough and Hastings Counties.  LOCS supports and promotes the work of the adult literacy agencies in these five areas. 

We also:

  • help people connect with programs in their community.
  • promote literacy as an important part of life-long learning.
  • find and create resources for programs.
  • offer training for organizations and the community.

LOCS is part of a larger provincial community. We are one of 16 Regional Networks in Ontario that make up the Learning Networks of Ontario

LOCS also works closely with Employment Services and other community partners to identify needs and gaps so we can develop solutions together in order to support learners.

Vision Statement

To ensure all adult learners have access to the literacy and essential skills training needed to prosper and lead a fulfilling life.

Mission Statement

To support the provision of quality adult education and skills development services that are innovative, collaborative and responsive to identified needs in Haliburton, Northumberland, Peterborough and Hastings counties & the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Core Values

Leadership: LOCS strives to be a champion for adult literacy in our region, providing quality, trusted service and support to Ontario’s Employment and Training Network as well as expanded community partners in all five LOCS counties. LOCS believes in candid dialogue, informed decision making, courageous leadership and continuous improvement. We support, promote and strengthen adult literacy services through communication, research and public education.

Client Orientation: We place the needs of adult literacy learners first in all we do. We believe that all adult learners should have access to relevant opportunities to enhance their lives through lifelong learning

Teamwork: We listen to and collaborate with our literacy partners, ensuring that any service they offer is relevant to a community’s needs and expectations. We believe teamwork leverages our individual strengths.


Carrie Wakeford – Executive Director

Carrie Wakeford has worked as a project manager, counsellor, trainer and researcher in a career spanning over 30 years.  Her experience has included leadership roles where she managed a team of counsellors, facilitators and case managers.  Carrie has managed her own consulting business, as well as non-profit and government funded career and training centres and a private computer training organization.  Carrie was recognized for her work when Career Professionals of Canada awarded her the ‘Outstanding Career Professional Award’ (2019).

Carrie has been a part-time instructor teaching in the online post-graduate Career Development Professional program at Conestoga College.  She has also designed online and in-group training for employers.  Carrie has developed online training courses for clients and facilitators at COSTI Immigrant Services.  She has also completed projects for ONESTEP that included training and workshop development for member agencies and their clients.

Carrie has managed partnerships with businesses, community organizations, unions and government representatives.  She completed research projects for the Workforce Development Board/Local Employment Planning Council, the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation/VCCS and ONESTEP.  As a research project lead, she has written proposals, developed and implemented interviews, surveys and focus groups to gather information that she then analyzed and interpreted in order to write reports and present recommendations.

Carrie is a graduate of both Trent University and Fleming College.  She completed the ‘Profiling Occupational Essential Skills Certification’ with Bow Valley College and she has a certificate in ‘Alternative Dispute and Conflict Resolution’.

As a volunteer, Carrie coordinates a Business Book Club for small business owners.  She is a member of Career Professionals of Canada where she has been an Advisory Committee member.  Carrie has held various roles on boards and committees, including Director of Communications, Project Manager and Business Mentor with the Women’s Business Network.  She was also a member of the award winning Otonabee River Trail Committee.

Board of Directors

Brenda Roxburgh – City of Kawartha Lakes (Chair)
Brenda graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and from Fleming College with a Diploma in Employment Counselling.  She has worked with VCCS Employment Services since 1997, filling a number of roles throughout the years including Youth Counsellor &Job Search Facilitator.  After spending 12 years in a management capacity, she took over the role of Executive Director in January 2019.  She also has experience working with the Federal Government and the New Canadian Centre. Brenda’s passion for employment and helping job seekers fulfill their potential has been a hallmark of her 22+ year career in the field.  Brenda is an active participant on a number of community committees and is a dedicated leader in her faith community as well. 

Stacey McQuoid – Hastings (Secretary)
Stacey has worked in the adult literacy field since 1996 as a volunteer tutor, instructor, board member, and a program administrator.  Since 2011, she has been the Program Coordinator for the Trenton site of Community Learning Alternatives (CLA), a community-based adult education provider in Hastings County. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (major in psychology and sociology) from Queen’s University and literacy, in particular health literacy, has always been an area of interest. Throughout her tenure at CLA, Stacey facilitated a health exploration preparation program for young adult learners and actively engaged others in Health Care Studies essential skills curriculum.  In recent years, Stacey has promoted CLA’s role in the community and the impact of literacy on the health and well-being of adults. Before becoming a member of the Board of Directors for LOCS in 2015, Stacey was a member of the Literacy Link Eastern Ontario (LLEO) Board for a number of years. Stacey is a resident of Northumberland County and calls the multi-generational family farm home.

Lisa Marinzel – Peterborough (Treasurer)
With a background in Human Resources and over fourteen years of Literacy and Basic Skills experience, Lisa shares her expertise within the adult literacy and not for profit field. Lisa is currently the resident instructor, curriculum developer, and targeted employment skills training specialist at Trent Valley Literacy Association. Lisa was recently the project coordinator for an Ontario Trillium Foundation funded curriculum on geocaching, which gave literacy learners the opportunity to develop transferable skills for employment and community engagement.

Robert Gaudette – Kawartha Lakes/Haliburton
Robert has worked both on the front line and in leadership for many years in the Regent Park area of Toronto. A long history of entrepreneurship in the tech sector allowed Robert to contribute to this community through supporting social enterprise, employment and entrepreneurship programming for vulnerable populations. Last year, Robert returned to his hometown of Lindsay to coordinate the John Howard Society’s Skills Development Department. This opportunity has allowed Robert to support the community through literacy, leadership training, and pre-employment programming in the City of Kawartha Lakes & Haliburton County.

Sean Dooley – Peterborough
Sean is a graduate of Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Since 2019, he has been the Labour Market Information Analyst at the Workforce Development Board, specializing in collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information to inform local labour market decision-making and initiatives. He engages with employers in Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton and Northumberland to better understand their workforce needs. This work supports service coordination to ensure job seekers and students acquire relevant in-demand knowledge and skills. Sean also delivers information sessions to students and job seekers on how to use labour market resources and actively participates in numerous committees in the community.

Wendy Somerville – Northumberland

Wendy Somerville is the Southeast Director, Recruitment & Partnerships for Contact North I Contact Nord. Contact North is a non-profit province-wide online distance education organization that partners with 200 literacy and basic skills training providers, 24 public colleges, 23 public universities, 76 district school boards, and 20 skills development training providers.

Wendy has worked in the field of training for more than 25 years. She brings to the LOCS Board her passion for helping adults achieve success through online education by advocating in particular for those living in rural, remote, Indigenous and Francophone communities.

A recent empty-nester, Wendy lives in Cobourg with her husband Mark and big Spaniel Elvis.

Donna Harrison – Quinte West

Donna Harrison is the Employment Services Manager for Career Edge, and oversees offices in Campbellford, Trenton, Napanee, Northbrook and Picton. Donna has been employed with Youth Habilitation Quinte Inc. for 27 years (Career Edge’s umbrella agency) in various capacities; Employment Counsellor, Residential Counsellor, Program Coordinator and the last six years as Manager.

Having returned to education later in life, Donna is an advocate of lifelong learning and shares the belief that nothing is insurmountable, and knowledge is power.

A huge animal lover, Donna shares her life with 2 rescue cats, an adopted dog and a beautiful Quarter Horse gelding.

Past Board Members

Jamie Clysdale – Kawartha Lakes/Haliburton
Jamie is a graduate from Trent University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in the Honours Program.  For more than 21 years, he has worked in the field of Social Services and employment programming. In that time, he has worked in Northumberland County as well as the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton where he has worked as a Caseworker, Intensive Caseworker and in a variety of Management Roles. Since 2017, he has worked as a Program Supervisor for Human Services in the City of Kawartha Lakes where he supports Ontario Works staff in both the Lindsay and Haliburton Offices. One of his key areas of specialty involves working with agency and Employment Ontario partners to develop employment and life stabilization programs that help enhance the employability of the participants in those programs.

Gloria Clark – Kawartha Lakes
Gloria has a background in Human Resource Management with 19 years of experience and has been with Job Quest, a division of Community Living Trent Highlands, for almost 15 years.  Her years of experience within the Employment Coordination field brings a diverse amount of knowledge of the Kawartha Lakes and the individuals supported in the region.  Gloria sits on a variety of committees within the Kawartha’s and will help support LOCS with information on the potential training and supports that learners may need to have for the future.

Marion Willemsen – Kawartha Lakes/Haliburton
Marion is a graduate of Trent University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology, and holds a post-graduate diploma from Seneca College in Corporate Communications.  Marion has worked as a literacy instructor and coordinator for Fleming College for 10 years, and has over 20 years’ experience teaching a variety of subjects to a very wide range of learners. Development of community partnerships and collaboration to serve the needs of the community is something Marion believes deeply in, and hopes to further this effort in her role as a LOCS Board member.

Bernie Marshall – Peterborough Board Member and Board Chair 2014-2021
Bernie was a public servant for over 37 years. He began his career in Canada Pension and Old Age Security and later worked in Employment Insurance. In 1999, he transferred into the delivery of federal employment programs. In this capacity he managed the National Homelessness Initiative and Work-Sharing programs as well as contributing to the Job Creation Partnership, Skills Development, Employment Assistance Services, and Targeted Wage Subsidy programs. In 2007, his job was transferred to the province. Working for Employment Ontario, he established and managed the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program in the Peterborough office. He also worked in other EO programs such as Second Career, Job Creation Partnership, and Adjustment Advisory. During his time with EO, he managed several Literacy and Basic Skills agreements and developed a special interest in LBS programming. 

Jason Gilbert – Peterborough Board Member 2019-2021
We would like to extend our gratitude to Jason Gilbert for his support of Literacy Ontario Central South.  Jason was a member of  the LOCS Board of Directors from 2019-2021.  Jason is the Executive Director of the Peterborough Native Learning Program.  PNLP offers an Indigenous focused learning environment for all clients in Peterborough and in Peterborough County.  Jason continues to be a member of the LOCS regional team and he continues his support for LOCS.  We look forward to our ongoing work together.