Board of Directors

Elizabeth Zinck-Hickey (Executive Director)

Elizabeth, an ethnographic researcher, is a retired Special Education teacher and former Teacher of the Deaf in the Ontario Provincial Schools Branch and in the Catholic District School Board for a combined over 30 years. She brings a lifetime of advocacy on behalf of children and families for whom she has served and is the key advocate for her own son who has autism. Elizabeth is a published ethnographic researcher having collaborated with Dr. Anita Small and published teacher research supported by the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training. Her musical experience is with piano, choir, and voice in her early years. She supports her son’s music journey in every way possible and takes her role seriously as advocate and educator in community engaged empowering musical experiences and documenting their impact.

Verese Vassell-Bowen (Program Director)

Verese is a singer, songwriter and recording artist based in Guelph, Ontario. She graced the Canadian gospel scene in 2016 with her debut album, Forever Praise. This project blends a combination of Traditional, Contemporary, Neo Soul, and even Spoken Word into a soul-stirring musical work. Her single I Am Enough released in 2020 after the racialized uprising in the US takes you on a spiritual journey from pain to praise.

As a songwriter, Verese was one of four artists who collaborated on writing the song Freedom Marching which featured vocals of over 40 racialized recording artists across Canada. Verese served as the Artiste Director for the Guelph Black Heritage Society Juneteenth Celebration 2021. Verese has gracefully shared the stage with reggae Third World, Joseph Hill & Culture, Shaggy, and Maxi Priest. Verese was also a backing vocalist for Jamaican reggae artiste Beres Hammond. In Canada, Verese has also shared the stage with Juno award-winning artists Lance Anderson on concerts The Last Waltz tribute to The Band and Mariposa’s Blues & Gospel Concert. She also was the featured Gospel Artist at The 2nd Annual Mel Brown’s Festival 2023. She’s shared the stage with Toronto Mass Choir, Quisha Wint, Sharon Riley, and Carlos Morgan. Verese is also a member of the Waterloo Region Mass Choir. She also shared the stage with Sammy Duke, Rufus John, Michael Austin Harris and Trevor Dick, to name a few of KW and southern Ontario’s finest musicians and singers. Verese serves as executive producer for the annual Joy In the City A Christmas Gospel Celebration and Women in Worship (May 2018). Her music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other digital music outlets. CDs can also be found at The Bookshelf, downtown Guelph or CD Baby.

James Truman (Legal Director)

James is a retired lawyer with the Office of the Attorney General, where he practiced for 20 years in the area of Victim Services. He brings extensive expertise as well as understanding and compassion for marginalized populations. He recognizes, acutely, the importance and significance of giving back to community. To that end, he manages to slip in time on stage with a Pink Floyd tribute band and says from experience that “Playing music feeds connection.”

Andrew Mahorn (Finance Director)

Andrew brings a wealth of experience to Wholly aMUSed. In addition to his Project Management (PMP) and accounting expertise, he recognizes and contributes thoughtfully towards building positive relationships with his teammates to draw out their best. His attention to and support of space for collective contributions is always appreciated. Andrew demonstrates a sincere commitment to community, and program development as he supports Wholly aMUSed to be its best. Andrew loves music and is also a member of the worship team at his church in Kitchener where he is a drummer.

Mac Cole (President)

Mac is a Senior Continuous Improvement Lead at Cargill for North America. He has been with Cargill, Guelph for 30+ years. When not at his day job, Mac is a committed supporter of Royal City Studios music community as its operations manager and a sound and recording engineer; a jack of all trades with an insatiable sense of community. Comfortable behind any instrument, he brings a broad canvas of music expertise as a former band member of several Canadian bands, and with that an energy that fed and inspired the spirit of Royal City Studios music community on any given night. Mac brings immense leadership, business experience and expertise to our Wholly aMUSed team.

Jim Duffield  (Founder and CEO)

Jim is the former owner of Royal City Studios (RCS), and brings dynamic leadership as well as a lifetime thread of music expertise spanning 40+ years. As a professional saxophone player, his passion for music and commitment to community were the catalyst that moved he and his band, Eclectic Vinyl Orchestra, out of a basement space into a new practice space at Royal City Studios. Jim has also succeeded in the business world as a consultant and employee in IT and Business leadership roles for the past 2 decades.