Board of Directors and Staff

Vicki Whitmell, Chair of the Board for LiRN

Vicki Whitmell

Vicki Whitmell is a librarian with extensive strategic and operational experience in the management and provision of legal and legislative information and the technologies that support its access and preservation.

Her portfolios have included law firm, courthouse and academic libraries. For 18 years she was a member of the senior executive team at the Office of Legislative Assembly of Ontario, with responsibility for the Assembly’s library, information management, research and technology branches.

Vicki is an active volunteer on national, provincial and local projects and boards, associations, and community groups.

Fernando Garcia, Vice-Chair of the Board for LiRN

Fernando Garcia

Fernando Garcia has held the General Counsel role at various companies throughout the last 15 years.  He has an MBA, civil and common law degrees, a Master of Industrial Relations, and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Labour Studies.  

Fernando enjoys speaking and writing about advancing diversity and inclusiveness within the legal profession, as well as speaking about the future of law and how technology is changing and will change the profession.

He was named the Thought Leader of 2018 by the Association of Corporate Counsel and Lexology, one of the100 World’s Leading General Counsel by Legal Era Media Group in 2017, received the Professional Contribution Award from the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and was also named one of the Top 25 Most Influential in the justice system and legal profession in Canada by Canadian Lawyer Magazine.

Sarah McCoubrey, Chair, Governance Committee, for LiRN

Sarah McCoubrey
Chair, Governance Committee

Sarah McCoubrey is the founder of CALIBRATE, a consultancy where she works with small and large organizations to tackle access to justice challenges internationally, nationally and locally. 

She received her law degree from UVic, and her Masters of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.  Sarah practiced at Shibley Righton, LLP, in Toronto, focusing on education law followed by 10 years as the Executive Director of the Ontario Justice Education Network, combining her interests in law, education and social justice. She received the Peter Cory Community Leadership Award for her efforts in Justice Education.

In 2015 Sarah founded CALIBRATE, a consultancy providing A2J strategy to UN agencies and Canadian organizations. Her international work focuses on the rule of law, gender and equality initiatives, technology and systemic changes in the legal sector.

Augustine Krawchenko, Chair, Network Policy Committee for the LiRN Board

Augustine Krawchenko
Chair, Network Policy Committee

Augustine Emily Krawchenko is the owner of Krawchenko Law, a boutique law firm in Hamilton Ontario, with a focus on Estate Administration, Wills and Powers of Attorney as well as Residential Real Estate.  

Augustine provides legal services in these areas with a hospitality- minded approach built on mutual respect, compassion, and clear communication. She graduated with a combined Honours degree from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the Faculty of Law at Leicester University in England in 2015.

A proud and passionate Hamiltonian, she returned to Canada and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2017.

Outside of her legal practice,  Augustine is an active member in the Hamilton legal community- she is a member of the Hamilton Law Association’s New Lawyer’s Subcommittee and sits as a board member of the Lawyer’s Legacy for Children. She is passionate about mentorship and actively engages with new licensees, articling students and NCA candidates. Augustine is also a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces- Royal Canadian Navy, having served as a reservist for 11 years.

Ted Chadderton
Acting Chair, Audit and Finance Committee

Ted is a litigator based in Barrie, Ontario. He handles complex litigation files, ranging from product liability, facility liability, insurance disputes and other multi-party litigation. Ted is known for being a voice of reason on files and strives to consider not just his clients’ legal position but also a broader consideration of their business or personal interests

Ted was elected as President of the Simcoe County Law Association after sitting as Chair of the SCLA Library committee for nine years and was the recipient of the SCLA Outstanding Service Award.

Ted was elected to the Board of Directors of the Association of Ski Defence Attorneys and also elected to the International Association of Defence Counsel, as well as a member of the Canadian Bar Association, The Advocates’ Society and Canadian Defence Lawyers.

Ted has been involved in many different facets of life in Simcoe County and Huronia, from managing a 1000 seat live music venue in Muskoka, to coaching Timbits soccer to leading a troop of dancing dads and the Extreme Dance Connection Prop Crew at his daughters’ studio.

Ted is a part-time professor at Georgian College in the Business School teaching Law Clerks and Business students. He spends his free time skiing, cross training, and relaxing in P.E.I. (when possible) with his wife, daughters and two schnoodles.

Annette Demers, Board Member for LiRN

Annette Demers

Annette Demers earned her BA (Hons. Law) from Carleton University in 1995, her LLB from the University of Windsor in 1998, and her MLIS from Western in 2002. In 1995, she attended the Hague Academy of International Law.  In 2016, Annette participated in the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute as a mentor.

Annette was appointed as head of the Paul Martin Law Library in August of 2011 until June 30 , 2022, and has taught Advanced Legal Research for the past thirteen years.

Annette has thirty five years of library experience. From 2005 – 2011, she worked as a Reference Librarian in the Paul Martin Law Library. Prior to this, she worked as a Reference Librarian for International, Foreign and Comparative Law at the Harvard Law School Library. Annette has also practiced law early in her career.

Annette is a member of the Standards Council of Canada Mirror Committee on Artificial Intelligence, and she Chairs the AI Standards Working Group of CALL/ACBD.

Annette is Past-President of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL).  From 2013 – 2015, she was President of CALL. From 2011-2013, she was Vice-President of CALL. Annette currently co-Chairs the CALL Vendor Liaison Committee.

Neil Guthrie, Board Member for LiRN

Neil Guthrie

Neil is the Director, Professional Development, Research and Knowledge Management, Aird & Berlis LLP.

With a focus on education, innovation and collaboration, Neil is responsible for managing Aird & Berlis LLP’s professional development activities and knowledge management initiatives.

Neil ‘s experience includes continuing legal education, student training, writing and editorial support, and knowledge management. He also has conducted and supervised legal research on a wide range of matters from all areas of practice.

Neil was responsible for developing the curriculum in legal research and writing for the Law Practice Program at Ryerson University, and has taught Advanced Legal Research and Writing at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto.


Brenda Albuquerque-Boutilier, Treasurer for LiRN

Brenda Albuquerque-Boutilier

Brenda Albuquerque-Boutilier is Treasurer and an Officer of LiRN Inc. In the role of Treasurer, she provides leadership and guidance to the Board related to LiRN’s finances as well as oversight of financial administration and stewardship of its capital resources.

Brenda is a Chartered Professional Accountant with extensive experience in the not-for-profit and public sector.  As Executive Director, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of the Law Society of Ontario, she is responsible for the finance and facilities management division. Her career spans more than 30 years of varied experience in financial management, business leadership, and corporate strategy.

When not working, Brenda volunteers her time focused on healthcare and opportunities to improve patient experience.  She is an advisor on a couple Toronto area hospital committees focused on congestive heart failure and palliative care.  In addition to volunteering in this sector, she is a member of the Finance & Risk Management Committee at an independent school in Richmond Hill.

LiRN Staff

Theresa Leitch, Managing Director for LiRN

Theresa Leitch (Managing Director)

Theresa is LIRN Inc.’s inaugural Managing Director.

Early in her career, Theresa practiced municipal law as both a litigator and a solicitor. After leaving the practice of law, she served in positions in law firm and organizational management, knowledge management, continuing professional development and project management of strategic initiatives.

Throughout her career she has developed a superior understanding of the legal information and knowledge needs of the profession. She has demonstrated a collaborative approach to leadership and expertise as a communicator and relationship-builder, bringing vision and creativity to her work.

In the Managing Director role, Theresa is responsible for the strategic leadership and management of LIRN, including administration of funding to county law libraries, creation and implementation of appropriate business and operational protocols to support LIRN, establishing collaborative relationships with stakeholders, and governance, legal and other compliance obligations.

When she’s not working, Theresa can be found traipsing the trails around the GTA with her hiking group, the Viking F’ing Warriors. She also sings in a punk rock choir, and has performed at such storied venues as the Horseshoe Tavern and the Bovine.

Jacquie Fex, Roving Librarian

Jacquie Fex, Roving Librarian

Jacquie Fex brings a wealth of experience to LiRN as their Roving Librarian / Data Analyst and is thrilled to be part of a wonderful network supporting Courthouse library services across Ontario.

One of her first jobs was with the Law Society when she was part of the team that brought the county libraries’ collections into the online catalogue of the Great Library. Since then, she’s been a law librarian for large and small firms and the Ontario Securities Commission, which was a great training ground for being a data analyst and looking at evidence to make good decisions.

Jacquie’s varied experience includes vendor negotiations, website design, and many years as a trainer which allowed her to flex her creative muscles to create training aids and develop training sessions that were dynamic, informative and had as much humour as possible in a legal setting.  

She has played an active role in library communities and has previously served as President of the Toronto Association of Law Libraries, Chair of the Ontario Government Libraries Council, and was a member of several committees of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries. 

She’s passionate about sharing information and has shared her expertise at many conferences such as TALL, OSC, Ontario Libraries Association, OGLC and Showcase Ontario.

When Toronto law librarians could no longer get the funding to attend national or international conferences, Jacquie pitched the idea of a local conference that would provide high quality professional development for her community.  This innovative idea, combined with a lot of hard work, brought together speakers, vendors, and the law librarian community for a highly successful one day conference, TALL eXchange, that continues on a bi-annual basis.

Outside the library, this Northern Ontarian enjoys her camp on the French River, yoga, swimming, biking, #shoplocal, and is known to dance until dawn at late night alt 80s dance parties.  She was able to combine her love of travel and choral singing when she had the opportunity of a lifetime and sang at Carnegie Hall with an international choir under the musical direction of Deke Sharon of Pitch Perfect fame.

Administrative Assistant (Vacant)