About Our Team

Get to know your team of labour specialists.

Let us show you how B&S Associates is the most qualified representation for your membership.

Rob Butler President

Rob has been a union activist for more than 25 years and is a Labour College graduate. He became a full time union representative in 1991, specializing in compensation and CPP appeals. He continues to be actively involved in the labour movement and is currently a member of the OHCOW Local Advisory Committee. Rob is a strong believer in education and he continues to be actively involved in the development and delivery of WSIB training for union activists and injured workers. He continues to be an instructor with the Ontario Federation of Labour with Prevention Links (formerly the Ontario Disability Response Team).

Nadia Anton-Collins

Nadia has been in the labour movement for over 30 years as an activist in the auto sector and received her paralegal license in 2008. She has represented union membership as an advocate for injured workers at all levels of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Her area of specialty includes claims management (pre-1990 to present); her experience extends to administrative tribunals for E.I, CPP (D), and LTD. Nadia has an educational/technical background in areas of Workplace Insurance Disability Prevention Leadership, WSIB/OFL Training Specialist, CPP-disability, Accounting and Mechanical Engineering Technology. She continues to serve on various boards in the community in an executive role.

Nicole Bramhall

Nicole worked as a medical administrator for ten years before switching career tracks to become a paralegal. Because of her work in the medical field, she quickly formed an interest in WSIB law and saw a need for advocacy for those injured on the job. She graduated with honours from the Mohawk College paralegal program and joined B&S Associates in 2021 to fulfill her goal of giving a voice to injured workers.

Joe Cantwell

Joe was employed as a millwright in the steel industry for 34 years; a union activist for over two decades. During this time he was a Union executive, Health and Safety representative, and worked full time on the benefits committee. Joe’s role on the benefits committee consisted of handling WSIB/Tribunal appeals, group insurance benefits, short/long term disability claims, and overseeing the pension plan. He is a certified instructor for both the Steel Workers and Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL).

Debra Carmichael

Debra has been a union activist for much of her career in the Federal sector as a Canada Post employee. She was elected to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers in 2011 as a full-time union representative taking on WSIB, WSIAT, Arbitration, and Short-Term Disability Claims. After retiring from the Union in 2019, Debra became licensed as a paralegal with the Law Society of Ontario in order to continue advocating for workers. She is also an instructor with the Ontario Federation of Labour / Prevention Link. She brings passion and zeal to her work in protecting the rights of injured workers and training the workers of tomorrow to navigate the worker compensation system.

Ron Collie

Ron Collie has been in the labour movement for over forty years. He became President of Steelworkers Local 8485 and then President of a large amalgamated local with the Steelworkers. He began working in the compensation system in 1990, and in then 2006 he became a full-time compensation representative for SEIU Local 1. Ron became a licensed paralegal in 2012 and continued representing injured workers with SEIU until 2022. He has also been a member of the Toronto OHCOW Local Advisory Committee. Ron is an advocate of worker education in the compensation system, and he was actively involved as an instructor for the OFL Occupational Disability Response Team.

Vernica Dulic

Vernica graduated the Paralegal Program with honours at Humber College. She quickly developed her passion for working with injured workers, initially volunteering and later becoming employed in the legal and WSIB departments of Service Employees International Union (SEIU). While employed with the SEIU, Vernica was a Union Steward with her USW local bargaining unit and assisted in the management of WSIB claim files. Vernica joined the B&S team with a well-established interest in WSIB and assisting injured workers.

Rick Hamilton

Rick has been advocating on behalf of injured workers for more than 30 years, beginning in the mining industry. He has been a union activist serving both his Local executive and Algoma Manitoulin District Labour Council as President. Rick then moved to the public sector, representing injured workers through the Office of the Worker Adviser. He continues to serve injured workers at all levels of the WSIB/WSIAT, specializing in occupational disease and mental stress claims. Since 1991, Rick remains an instructor with the Prevention Links (previously OFL WCB committee). Fulfilling his civic duty, Rick has held the positions of City Councilor, Deputy Mayor, and Mayor of the city of Elliot Lake.

Cindy Ihasz

Cindy has been working in the Workers Compensation field since 1981 and has extensive experience in all areas of claims management. From 1994 to 2019 she was an Appeals Resolution Officer at the WSIB in Ontario. She has had training and experience in Alternate Dispute Resolution and Mediation. Cindy's experience working in a medical office for the past 12 years has enhanced her knowledge of medical information, appeals, and applications such as ODSP and CPP disability. Cindy was a member of the OCEU Union (CUPE 1750) from 1996 until 2019. She has been a licensed paralegal since 2015.

Victoria O'Connor

Victoria graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor of Arts (honours) in Sociology. She continued her education by attending Mohawk College where she graduated the paralegal program with honours. Victoria has been a part of the B&S Associates team since 2013. Victoria has extensive experience with assisting and managing WSIB claim files. She is passionate about advocating for injured workers both at work and in the community.

Val Patrick

Coming up through the ranks with the Steelworkers Union, Val has been presenting cases at arbitration since 1980. He has worked as a Union Staff Rep and Advocate covering industrial settings, universities, health care, and others. A firm believer in Union education, Val continues to instruct grievance handling and arbitration to Union Activists including teaching for the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). While making every effort to try to find an acceptable, joint resolution to problems, Val has won a number of ‘Reported’ arbitration awards for Labour.

Dave Rakovich

Dave has been advocating for unionized workers for over 40 years in various capacities, including Health and Safety, labour arbitration, compensation and Canada Pension Plan disability. He brings a wealth of knowledge related to training and program development and has been a mentor to individuals in labour arbitration.

Krystan Tancock

Prior to becoming a licensed Paralegal in 2014, Krystan volunteered through the Niagara North Community Legal Clinic and the Niagara Injured Workers Centre. After graduating the paralegal program with honours from Sheridan College, Krystan continues to offer her services to these organizations. Krystan brings to B&S Associates a diverse background of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), WSIB, and CPPD claims.

Jonathan Van Ekelenburg

Jonathan initially studied journalism at Niagara College, where he gained a keen interest in social justice and inequality. This led him to pursue a career as a paralegal, where he could apply that interest as an advocate for those in need. He graduated from the Mohawk College paralegal program with honours and has been a part of the B&S Associates team since 2021, where he continues to strive to gain justice for injured workers.