How Safetynet was Founded

Growing up in Willowdale (Toronto) in the late 1960s, Bill was raised by a single mother, and understood at a very early age in life what it feels like to be marginalized.

Bill took a natural leaning to doing social service work. In his career he has worked with street youth and children with disabilities. He worked for the Children’s Aid Society in Toronto for nine years before moving to Oakville with his wife in 2003. He soon realized that in his new community there was a real need for assistance and followed his desire to be able to give back to the community he lives in.

Since Safetynet Children & Youth charities opened, Bill has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with over 2300 families. He also feels lucky to have been able to take his youngest son, Billy, to work with him every day, and be with him full time. Billy can be often seen running around playing at the charity.

Meet the Team

Bill Shields

Founder Executive Director

Bill founded Safetynet Children & Youth Charities in 2007 after 30 years in the field of social services.
He started his career working with developmentally handicapped children at the Salvation Army, as well as, working with a number of agencies servicing the homeless.
Bill then moved on to work with children/youth at the Children’s Aid society in Toronto, working in group homes, and then opening a mix modality home. Bill lives in Oakville, with his wife Rhonda, and has four children.

Vince A. Rinaldi, J.D.

Vince is the principal lawyer at Rinaldi Law Firm, with offices in Oakville and Burlington.  His practice focuses solely on Real Estate Law and Estate Planning/Administration. Vince is an Appleby College Alumnus, and has spoken at numerous Home Buying and Estate Planning Seminars.

Bridget Coughlin Hoffer

Bridget has extensive experience in delivering strategic integrated Communications, Marketing, and Branding programs. She has worked in agencies, as a consultant for agencies and managed large in-house agencies headquartered in Toronto and linked across Canada. She has lead growth strategy for communications and marketing practices. Bridget believes in being part of work and volunteer environments that foster collaboration, innovation, respect, effective products, sense of purpose and being part of something meaningful – a shared compass for excellence.
Currently, Bridget provides Communications, Marketing and Business Planning counsel for several clients and organizations. Bridget recently completed a Diploma in Project Management at McMaster University.

Barbara Medeiros

Barbara Medeiros is the Director for Environmental Reporting at Ontario Power Generation Inc where she is responsible for reporting on OPG's sustainability and for fulfilling environmental reporting requirements consistent with OPG's Environmental Management System, environmental regulations and conditions of approval at OPG facilities. Barbara holds a Master's degree in chemistry from McMaster University, and has completed an Executive Management Program at the DeGroote  School of Business. Barbara actively believes in the importance of community and giving back where possible. She supports community programs and services, and  has been involved with community development, health care, youth engagement, sporting activities and educational training. Barbara and her husband, Paul, have lived in Oakville for more than 16 years, and have three children together.