Board Chair Honoured For Contributions To Education "And The Public Good"

dan allen award

St. Clair College Board of Governors Chair Dan Allen has been named as this year’s recipient of the Honourable Edward W. Ducharme Award of Distinction by the region’s United Way organization.

This press release comes from the United Way:

United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County, in partnership with Strosberg, Sasso, Sutts LLP and Ducharme Weber Lawyers LLP, is pleased to honour the legacy of the late Justice Edward Ducharme by presenting a deserving local leader with a community service award.

The fourth annual award will be presented to Dan Allen at a luncheon at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts on Friday, October 12.

The Honourable Edward W. Ducharme Award of Distinction is awarded to a member of the Windsor-Essex community who demonstrates outstanding contributions to education or leadership and/or to the public good.

The event will be emceed by Justice Ducharme’s brother, Patrick, and include a keynote presentation by Dr. Paul Cassano, Retired Professor of Linguistics.

“Dan has given his life to public service,” says Lorraine Goddard, CEO of United Way. “He has demonstrated great leadership with respect to increasing workforce diversity of visible minorities, indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities, and has taken on leadership roles in Windsor-Essex municipal affairs. United Way is honoured to recognize his achievements.”

All event proceeds will support United Way’s 2019 Summer Lunch Program. The Summer Lunch Program ensures that children who rely on school nutrition programs don’t go hungry over the summer while school is out.

Thanks to the generous support of donors like those attending this event and the many volunteers, the 2018 Summer Lunch Program was able to provide 12,151 lunches in west Windsor and Leamington at 16 program sites, and support 787 children this past July and August.

Dan Allen began his public service career in 1972, and held a variety of roles with the same organization, now known as Service Canada. While working as the HRDC Director, he forged strong community partnerships between the federal government and city/county administrations. From April, 2002 to March, 2005, he was the Senior Advisor on Equity and Diversity working in Ottawa and Gatineau. He returned to Windsor in April, 2005 and, until his retirement in April, 2006, served as the Director of the Greater Ontario Area for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Of the many assignments he had while employed in the federal public service, one of the most rewarding was his leadership role with the Equity and Diversity portfolio at the regional and national levels. This work gave him the opportunity to influence positive change in the public service with respect to hiring and employment of visible minorities, aboriginals and persons with disabilities. In 2003, the President of the Treasury Board presented him with the Equity Diversity Award in recognition of his work in this area.

Allen has always sought out opportunities to serve his immediate community, through his association as a volunteer or board member with a variety of agencies and municipal organizations. From 1994 to 1997, he served the Windsor community directly as a City Councillor, during which time he was active on a number of municipal committees and boards. From spring, 1998 until his departure for Ottawa in April, 2002, he was a member of the Windsor Police Services Board, serving as the Vice-Chair in 2001 and 2002.

Since retiring, Allen has been involved in a variety of consulting activities, and has continued to be active in volunteer work. He welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the development of education and community programs through his work on the St. Clair College Board of Governors.

He is married to Pamela, has a son, and two grandsons.

Justice Edward Ducharme began his career as an English teacher. Although his Honourary Doctorate celebrates his career as a lawyer and judge, law was his second career. He was known as Dr. Edward Ducharme, Ph.D., Chair of the English Department, Assistant Dean, and Assistant Vice-President at the University of Windsor. He specialized in the teaching of courses in literary criticism and theory.

Despite his success and achievement as a scholar, Justice Ducharme elected to make a pivotal change in mid-life, to pursue a career in law. After being called to the Bar in 1987, he returned to teaching briefly, before joining a Windsor law practice in 1990. He was inspired by his mother who wished for him to help people by practicing law; and encouraged by his brother, Patrick, also an accomplished lawyer; and his good friend and lawyer Harvey Strosberg.  His main areas of practice were employment law, labour relations and class actions.

Justice Ducharme held a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan (1980) and an M.A. and LL.B. from the University of Windsor. He was a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada from 1999 until his appointment to the Superior Court of Justice (Ontario) in 2002. He authored or co-authored legal articles in a variety of areas, including employment law, the law of evidence, and civil trial advocacy. In 2009, he was appointed Regional Senior Judge for the Superior Court of Justice in the Southwest Region. He became a member of the Regional Senior Judges Council. He also served on the Education Committee for the Superior Court Judges. On April 5, 2012, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the highest court in the province. In 2013, Justice Ducharme was scheduled to receive honorary doctorates from both the Law Society of Upper Canada and Assumption University.

Justice Ducharme had a profound respect for the written word and found particular joy in poetry. He loved language as used in both poetry and law, recognizing the great difference between the two uses, and employing them to great effect in his career practicing law.

Justice Ducharme was married to fellow lawyer Carolyn Gray, and has a daughter, Sarah Gill. Prostate cancer claimed his life in 2013 at the age of 69. Justice Ducharme grew up in the west end of Windsor, where United Way’s Summer Lunch Program was piloted in the summer of 2015. His good friend, Harvey Strosberg, said that Justice Ducharme was very concerned about children going hungry, and the program was created to honour his memory.