More about us

Claudia Lahaie, MSW, RSW, PhD

Community Activist, Program Developer and Author

Claudia Lahaie holds a Master’s Degree from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in NYC as well as a PhD in Social Work from Columbia University. She studied the well-being of children of immigrants and their families. She is an Adjunct Professor at Carleton University School of Social Work in Ottawa. As a trained group worker and community organizer, Claudia is motivated to collaborate with organizations to create genuine connections between people in order to improve their well being and sense of belonging. Together with GénérActions and members of the community, Claudia has bee developing and implementing programs such as peer support groups for youth, cultural humility trainings as well as a variety of intergenerational initiatives in Ottawa and nationwide. Claudia is a published author. Les voies du slam is a story of young people participating in a rap contest while dealing with challenges such as mental illness, racism, police brutality, and gender identity.

She has extensive experience working in community based organizations directing and managing programs with youth and seniors to develop multigenerational programming. She has also spent 7 years in academia as a Researcher, Professor and Field Education Coordinator at McGill University in Montreal and Carleton University in Ottawa. Another area of interest and focus has been her research on immigrant children and their families looking at the impact of family immigrant status on children’s educational, emotional, and academic outcomes.

Michele Buono, LMSW

Project Manager & Consultant

Michele Buono holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.  She has held various leadership roles within not-for-profit organizations overseeing programs for youth and families. She is a champion of the neighborhood and community based models of programming whereby families and youth partner in the development and growth of programs that best meet their needs.  In her current role as a Consultant and Project Manager, Michele co-creates community impact projects, leading strategic and organizational development processes to build organizational capacity with agency leaders.  She has extensive experience linking Social Work Theory & Practice within the field through various roles as Field Supervisors, Faculty Liaison and Field Placement Coordinator.  Her commitment to training continues with mentoring and coaching recently graduated MSW professionals entering the social service field.  Michele aims to grow her partnerships along with her GénérActions colleagues to employ her group work experience across the spectrum of ages with the goal of improving social, emotional well-being that leads to healthier, stronger and more caring communities.

Rhonda Walker, MSW

DEI Manager & Infant Mental Health Trainer

Rhonda Walker holds a Master’s Degree from Greater Rochester Collaborative Social Work Program.  After working in community-based programming for over 17 years, Rhonda has identified the need to address individual, family and generational trauma while holding agencies accountable to embed this trauma focused work in all aspects of their service delivery. In her various leadership positions, Rhonda has supervised and trained clinicians in their clinical and community based work that better serves children and families.  She is trained in several Evidenced Based Practices and has partnered with clinical teams to create organizational strategy for implementation and sustainable learning around Evidence-Based Practices. 

Rhonda’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion includes the belief that healing requires a concerted effort at all levels of society to promote compassion, empathy and a sense of shared humanity. She joins her GénérActions colleagues in her commitment to healing our human disconnect by practicing kindness, fostering social connections, addressing system inequalities, prioritizing trauma and mental health, and promoting dialogue and understanding. 

Born in Guyana, South America, Rhonda remains engaged with Guyana community in the Rochester and NYC areas.  She is a board member of the Guyana United Youth Development Association (GUYDA) of New York, Inc., a not for profit organization contributing to the social, academic, and cultural development of the youth in Guyana, the Caribbean, and the United States. 

Diane Drouin, MAL

Community Engagement & Project Manager

Diane holds a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership, with an Executive Leadership specialization, from Royal Roads University. The focus of her Engaged Leadership Capstone Project was bringing inter-generational stakeholders together to collaborate, promote, and advance intergenerational initiatives locally and across Canada. As a project manager and a community engagement leader, Diane’s natural focus is helping people and organizations plan and execute small- and large-scale community building projects and events. She is passionate about creating experiences and opportunities that enrich lives. She advocates and acts to raise awareness of community social responsibility and promotes intergenerational connections for healthier and more caring communities. Diane aspires to grow her consulting practice with GénérActions and work closely with a network of dedicated collaborators to co-create intergenerational initiatives nationwide.