FERN Board Members


Linda Barbetta

Linda Barbetta was the Executive Director of the Ottawa Chapter of the Learning Disabilities Association Ontario Carleton since 2009- 2015.  She currently stepped aside from the Executive Director position to have some work life balance. She is currently the Community outreach and Program coordinator for the Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa.   Lindas involvement with the LDA began as a parent, as she accessed the agencys services to assist her in better supporting her two children with LDs. She is a regular guest speaker about learning disabilities at the University of Ottawa College Of Teachers, the Ontario Principals Councils -Professional Qualifications Program.  She has provided professional development workshops to OCDSB, OCSB, UCDSB as well as a number of private schools.

Linda joined the FERN Board of Directors in 2012.


Elena Cesaroni

Elena has worked in her family's business for the past 10 years.  In this role, Elena has responsibility in the management of Cesaroni & Son Ltd. and Cesaroni Holdings Limited - companies focused on commercial construction, real estate development and property management.  Elena is a LEED accredited professional and holds a BA and MBA from the University of Toronto. Elena joined the FERN Board of Directors in 2012.

Elena has 2 children, Jean-Paul and Victoria.  They live in Thornhill with their dog, Jake.  When not working, you'll find Elena enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.


Dr. Carla Cesaroni

Dr Carla Cesaroni received her PhD from the Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto. For the past 18 years she has studied the experiences and adjustment of 500 incarcerated adolescents. Dr Cesaroni is currently conducting a cross national study of incarcerated young adults (18 - 24) in Scotland and Canada. She is an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Carla joined the FERN board of directors in 2012.

When Carla is not working she is deep in the forest running miles of trails. She has 2 dogs, Ripley and Newt.

Jean Claude

Jean-Paul Bevilacqua

Jean-Paul’s work centres around the exploration of the intersecting issues pertaining to LGBT and racialized communities, youth, gender equality, mental health and alternative dispute resolution.

He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2015 and subsequently completed his time as a student-at-law with the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. He was called to the Ontario bar in June of 2016. Upon graduation from Osgoode, he was awarded the Dean’s Gold Key, as well as the Legal & Literary Society Student Honour Award, both for outstanding and significant contribution and leadership in the law school community.

He works primarily within the realms of advocacy, public service and alternative dispute resolution. Please see jpbevi.com for more about Jean-Paul.