Foundation Board Biographies
Chair: Daniel C. Fernandes
Lawyer practicing with his own firm named Daniel C. Fernandes Law Office with 4 clerks and an articling student, specializing primarily in commercial real estate, leasing, commercial mortgage financing and land development. Prior to becoming a sole practitioner in 2001, he worked for and helped establish a small boutique real estate law firm (Hebert McKinley Ramonat) and started his career at Goldberg, Shinder, Gardner and Kronick. He was called to the Ontario bar in 1994. He holds both a B.S.Sc. in Economics and Political Science and a LL.B. from the University of Ottawa. He is the founding member of ELCRO (Luso-Canadian Entrepreneurs of Ottawa) since 1997 and a member of the Canadian Bar Association, County of Carleton Law Association (“CCLA”). He was a board member of the JDRF Ride Campaign for seven years. He is a board member of the CCLA Real Estate Lawyers Committee and has been for the last eight years. He has given numerous seminars to financial institutions, lawyers and to groups of entrepreneurs and trades in the areas of commercial real estate and corporate law. Daniel enjoys skiing, golf and traveling and he was born, raised and educated in Ottawa and love the city. He is a first generation Portuguese with his father being one of the first Portuguese to the city in 1956.
Treasurer: John Wright, CPA, CA, CMC
John is a partner in Vaive and Associates Professional Corporation, a public accounting firm in Ottawa. He achieved his chartered accounting designation in 1992 and has over 25 years working at national and regional tax and accounting firms. He is considered as a seasoned financial professional and results-oriented team player with extensive business experience in finance and accounting, business planning and executive management.
John has been an ambassador of the accounting profession, mentoring students and speaking at events to encourage new students to join the profession. He is a former member of the governing council of CPA Ontario. John is also a volunteer leader in the community and sat on a number of boards of local charities and not-for-profit associations. He is currently the Vice-Chair for the OMS Ottawa Montessori School and external board member along with being the Treasurer of the Bruyère Foundation.
Past Chair: Fiona Gilfillan
Fiona has spent her career in the HighTechnology and Health Sciences sectors, with roles in Business Development, Government Relations and Product and Marketing Management. She has extensive volunteer experience, including Chair and Past-Chair of the National Capital Region YM-YWCA Board and Chair of the 2007 Homes for the Holidays fundraiser for the Hospice at MayCourt.
She is currently a board member of Bon Appétit Ottawa, an annual fundraiser supporting the needs of charities that focus on hunger and poverty, particularly in children and the elderly.
Alain Desmarais is the Senior Managing Director, Broker of Record and one of the Principals of Cushman & Wakefield Ottawa. He has a very successful practice as an Office Leasing specialist. His clients have benefited from his leasing expertise, his experience as an effective negotiator and his knowledge of the office leasing market. As a top-ranking leasing specialist, Alain has received numerous company awards recognizing his superior sales performance. He is a multi-year member of the President’s Round Table, a multiple recipient of the Award of Excellence honoring sustained sales excellence, and a recipient of the National Top Ten Award, which recognizes superior sales performance.
Alain joined Cushman & Wakefield Ottawa (formerly Royal LePage Commercial) in 1992 and subsequently became a leading producer in the Ottawa office leasing market prior to becoming Senior Managing Director and Broker of Record in 2008. Alain is a graduate of the MBA program at Queen’s University and a recipient of the Ottawa Business Journal’s Top Forty Under 40 Award.
Alykhan Abdulla, B.Sc, MD, LMCC, CCFP, DipSportMed CASEM, FCFP, CTH (ISTM), CCPE, Master Cert Phys Leader
Dr. Abdulla is divorced and has three children, He is a badminton enthusiast, a ballroom dancer, and a movie buff. He is multi-angular in his interests and pursuits.
On a vocational angle, he is a comprehensive family doctor, palliative, sports, cosmetic and travel medicine consultant. He is assistant professor Department of Family Medicine and Academic Consultant Level 1 Faculty of Nursing at University of Ottawa. He was awarded the Family Physician of the Year for Eastern Ontario in 2008.
On a leadership angle, he is Clinical Leader for the Champlain LHIN West Ottawa Sub region and Board member for the Section of General and Family Practice of the OMA. He is has on community boards like Eastern Ontario Regional Lab Association, The Viennese Winter Ball, The Great India Festival, Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and the Shepherds of Good Hope. He was awarded the United Way Community Builder Award in 2009.
Finally, on a community engagement angle, he is involved in organizing educational events for doctors, providing interviews to radio, newspaper and TV. He used to have a TV show on Rogers community TV called Med Talks. He was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.
Mrs. Porteous is vice-president of Public Affairs, Planning and Family Medicine. In this capacity, she provides leadership and oversight for Bruyère’s planning process, partnerships development, cultivation of external relations and communications. She has over 12 years of experience working with senior leadership teams in the Ottawa area, at both Bruyère and the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre. Her experience includes leading various strategic planning exercises, operational oversight for residential programs, quality and risk, the development of various proposals for new programs or services, just to name a few.
Mrs. Porteous has a Masters in Health Administration from the University of Ottawa and has completed a thesis study in the field of quality and impact of change, making her a great advocate for advancing research in the areas of administration and health care. She continues to pursue new knowledge in leading studies that advance capacity planning in her area of passion – residential care.
Mrs. Porteous also possesses knowledge and expertise in performing services reviews, marketing, public relations, governance, development of proposals and communications, which are put to valuable use organization-wide. She has obtained certification from the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS) as a certified long-term care administrator. She is also the recipient of the Robert Zed Young Health Leader Award from the Canadian College of Health Leaders.
In her free time, Mrs. Porteous volunteers as she believes in making a difference locally and in having a community impact. As such, she is the vice-chair of the United Way Community Impact Cabinet and has led numerous leadership and information sessions within the Orléans community. She is also a proud mother of three.
Anthonette Jacob grew up in Ottawa after migrating from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, graduated from Algonquin College in Business Management and Events Planning with 13 years of experience in communication, PR, marketing and events planning. Anthonette enjoys volunteering her time to numerous community organizations that focus on creating a link between Afro-Caribbean and Canada.
For more than 10 years, Anthonette has been a financial advisor for Sun Life Financial helping individuals and families achieve their financial planning goals. She received numerous awards for her abilities and mentoring other new advisors on achieving high sales, and outstanding achievements.
Her past working experience includes strategic planning as Event Coordinator for The Aga Khan Foundation Canada organizing their World Partnership Walk and Golf Tournaments. These annual events are held in several cities across Canada to raise money and awareness to fight global poverty.
Anthonette provides advice on Life insurance, Long Term Care, Retirement, Education Savings Planning and Investments. Working with a network of highly skilled professionals in Ottawa she is dedicated to providing high-quality solutions that simplify and enhance the quality of her clients' lives. “Clients are always surprised at the simplicity of my financial plans. In my experience, the real challenge lies in seeing the big picture and analyzing all the working parts. By delivering an approachable plan, I help my clients clarify the path to their goals.”
“I feel lucky to do this work; I get to help people from all walks of life that are doing well in the world. I help young professionals and entrepreneurs balance their long-term goals with their day-to-day choices. I help mature couples confirm that their diligence has paid off and they’re ready to retire. I help others to explore the ramifications of major decisions like a career change or return to school”, says Anthonette.
In 2009 despite her family dynamic changing, the financial instability and fear of the future, her trust in God meant that nothing was impossible and opened a retail business.
Now, she is enjoying the fruitfulness of her labor and grateful for the next chapter. Her clothing store is well established and helping others fulfills her life’s mission.
Barb is the President of George E. Perrin Insurance Agency Ltd., an Ottawa based insurance brokerage firm founded by her late father in 1948. She has worked in the insurance industry for 35 years with a particular focus on the retirement and pension planning areas of the business. Barb served at the National and local level, Board of Directors for Advocis, formerly, the Life Underwriters Association of Canada.
Barb is an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Direct Assistance Committee and has just completed a 7 year term on the Board of Directors. She also served on the Board of Directors for, Andrew Fleck Child Care Services, Rideau Club, and the Kiwanis Music Festival National Capital Region. Her committee work extends to a variety of areas including finance, communications, charitable gift planning, events and program.
She has met many wonderful people through her community service work. Everyone has a story to tell and if you can brighten the life of just one person along the way, that’s the reward.
Barb and her husband Scott enjoy curling. They have two children, Emmett and Amelia.
Clifford T. Lebarron
As a Real Estate Financing professional with over 40 years of Corporate Banking experience in Ontario, Cliff currently holds the position of Regional Assistant Vice President of the National Capital Region and Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec for Laurentian Bank of Canada with 12 staff locally. He holds a B.Econ. from Waterloo Lutheran University and an HBBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.
As a proud supporter of Bruyère, Cliff notes that he “has had the privilege of being part of Bruyere in various capacities for over 12 years with this great organization being my only charitable passion.”
As a proud father and grandpa, Cliff spends free time at the lake house where he is a member of the Lake Association and on the executive of the North Frontenac Lake Associations Alliance being part of FOCA.
He enjoys home renovations, cottage life including fishing, water sports, skiing.
John French is the Chairman of the Dustbane Group of Companies. Founded in 1908, Dustbane is a leader in Canada for the manufacturing and distribution of environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals and equipment. Mr. French joined the organization in 1979 as chief financial officer, became president in 1986 and Chairman in 2015. He is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA, FCA - Ontario) and an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization in both the Quebec and Ottawa Chapters.
For over 30 years, John French has played an active role in the community, serving on the boards of the Ottawa Economic Development Corporation, Beechwood Cemetery, Elmwood School for Girls, the Financial Executives Institute, Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, Kiwanis Club of Ottawa, and the Gatineau Fish and Game Club.
Born in Toronto, Mr. French holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario.
In the spring of 2014 recognized industry sales leader Lesley Mackay joined the Ottawa Tourism Meetings and Conventions team as Director of Meeting and Events. Lesley manages the meetings team in Canada, the US and overseas as well as the Major Events department for Ottawa Tourism. Lesley came to Ottawa Tourism after a long career at Delta Hotels and Resorts Corporate Office. Over the years Lesley has sat on the MPI Ottawa Chapter board of directors and held various committee positions for both Canadian Society of Account Executives and PCMA Canada East Chapter and most recently served as Co-Chair for the One Young World 2016 Summit held in Ottawa. An Ottawa born native, Lesley is a graduate of the Algonquin College Hospitality Program and is a certified Convention and Event Planner and 2017 Forty Under 40 award recipient.
Mark began working with Welch LLP in 1999 as a student and became full time in 2002 after completing his Bachelor of Math and Masters of Accounting at the University of Waterloo. He received his Chartered Accountant designation in 2004 and in 2012 his Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designa¬tion. Mark became a Partner at the firm in 2016.
Mark’s experience since joining Welch includes audits, reviews, and compilation engagements, as well as personal and corporate tax returns in a variety of areas including public sector, private sector owner-managed companies, and not-for-profit organizations. Mark has conducted Practice Inspections on behalf of CPA Ontario since 2010. In addition, Mark has provided annual assurance training services to staff at Welch LLP.
Mark has been involved in the commercial real estate industry for more than 30 years and today is an integral member of the executive team at Colonnade BridgePort. He is responsible for the marketing and leasing of the company's property management portfolio which consists of 6.9 million square feet of commercial space in Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Area.
Ottawa-born, Mark has always been an active member of the community following his belief that an important measure of every individual is what they give back to their community. Over the years, Mark’s volunteer initiatives have included participation in local business associations, coaching youth hockey and participating in fundraising campaigns for local healthcare facilities.
Mark is looking forward to the opportunity of working with the team at the Bruyère Foundation and to the challenge of raising funds for such a vital and important cause.
Giving back to her community is an idea that holds a special place in Nik’s heart. Over the past 5 years, she has made space in her life to dedicate more time to local causes. She is on the board of directors for Ski for Kids, a local fundraiser for CHEO and Children’s Aid Society. She also spends time each semester, mentoring children through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa.
Professionally, Nik is the founder and CEO of Mirabel Management Inc. A company that works with a niche clientele requiring special assistance in finance. Since 2014, the company has grown and flourished. The holistic approach has drawn in clients from all walks of life. She ensures that any company or project she works with gives back to the community and has a mentoring component.
In university, she sought out courses that would challenge her, teach her new practices, or open doors to new industries. It was during this time she became interested in business. Every project that she has dedicated herself to has provided a new experience or lesson. Nik has long believed in the importance of learning new skills and acquiring new experiences while contributing to causes that are important to her. This belief is what led her to join the Bruyere foundation in 2018.
She has evolved by continuously seizing every opportunity and ensuring that each new endeavour contributed to her growth as a business woman and created stronger ties to her community. Nik strives to organically build relationships as she goes through life and continuously apply these relationships and life lessons to advocate for those that may be in need.
Ralph has been an Insurance and Financial Advisor for over 44 years. He is a Chartered Life Underwriter, Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial consultant. He also serves on the Board of The Poste Montane Lodge in Beaver Creek, Colorado, since the early 2000's.
Ralph is keen to put his managerial skills to the service of the Bruyère Foundation. He has had various family members use the Bruyère and St Vincent facility over the years. Therefore Ralph understands the importance of the Bruyère Foundation and is keen to help the foundation to reach its fundraising goals.
Ex-Officio: Guy Chartrand, president and CEO, Bruyère
Guy Chartrand’s value proposition can be summed up in one phrase—infusing life into organizational design. He has had a progressive career path that has provided him with more than 23 years of senior leadership experience and a firm foundation upon which to build a record of outstanding professional success.
Throughout his career, Guy has held a number of senior positions in hospital, long-term care and community care environments, including president and CEO of Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH), and president and CEO of the Mattawa General Hospital and the Mattawa Senior’s Living organization.
Guy is a strong advocate for local health system integration to ensure positive care transitions. He is known for his leadership in the redevelopment of CGMH and for the amalgamation of the Mattawa Hospital and Algonquin Nursing Home. While at Collingwood, he led a sub-region transformation journey of integration through designing a shared accountability and balanced scorecard amongst all service delivery partners.
Guy’s visible and persuasive leadership style, along with an innate ability to identify solutions for operational and cultural challenges, is what helps to drive his consistent success. In working with internal and external stakeholders, Guy is conscious that each voice has the potential to make a meaningful contribution. He makes it a point to listen carefully to everyone.
In addition to obtaining an MBA and an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Laurentian University, Guy taught in the School of Business for 13 years as a part-time MBA and undergrad professor. A life-long learner himself, Guy is currently pursuing his PhD through Pécs University in Hungary. His thesis, Leading Teams, aligns perfectly with his professional mandate to “infuse life into organizational design”.
While investing in the learning and growth of staff and focusing on person-centered care are among Guy's top priorities as CEO, he has always demonstrated his deep commitment to being a steward of resources. He is known for bringing both CGMH and Mattawa Hospital back into surplus positions after more than 10 consecutive years of deficits. Another impressive achievement is that while at CGMH, ED wait times were reduced from 79th to eighth across Ontario.
Fluently bilingual in both French and English, Guy has developed a robust professional network with a diverse group of stakeholders, province-wide and nationally.
With solid family values, Guy has made his home in Ottawa with wife Caroline and three children, Zaccharie, Maxim and Melina. He enjoys spending time with his family in a number of outdoor activities such as skiing, boating, hiking and biking.
Corporate Secretary: Peggy Taillon, president, Bruyère Foundation
Peggy joined Bruyère Foundation with a passion for its important mission and a deep respect for its rich past and many accomplishments. Integrity, diversity and inclusiveness are hallmarks of her leadership. A passionate advocate for equality and social justice, Peggy has led one of Canada’s longest established organizations the Canadian Council on Social Development, influencing public policy and the changing landscape for the third sector in Canada over the last several years. Prior to the CCSD, Peggy served as senior vice-president at The Ottawa Hospital, and previously led Ontario's Mental Health Implementation Task Force, a sweeping reform process. Peggy served as an Advisor to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and to the Premier on the implementation of Ontario’s Regional Health Authorities, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), along with a number of other major health reform processes. Today she sits on the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and is co-chair to the Canadian Council on the Social Determinants of Health under the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Peggy has a long established track record in fund development and philanthropy, raising funds for a number of health partners in the region and across Canada. A dynamic and compelling public speaker, Peggy is often called upon to present on the health and wellbeing of Canada’s most vulnerable, and issues of gender, race, human rights, social development and inequality. A proud Canadian, Peggy believes we can create a strong, resilient and caring nation that values the well-being and contributions of all of its citizens.
Peggy founded the HERA Mission of Canada in 2008, a foundation that supports women leading development projects empowering widows, children and grandmothers in Western Kenya. Through this work, Peggy honors the community where her son Devlin was born. She is the recipient of CTV’s Amazing People Award 2012 for changing adoption laws in Kenya that enabled her to bring her son home to Canada and her Hera Mission work. CTV’s W5 profiled her journey in Kenya in The Love of a Child which aired on March 8, 2014 – International Women’s Day. Over 1.2 million viewers across Canada and beyond tuned in or watched online, with many more since then. Most recently, Peggy received Ontario’s 2015 Leading Women, Building Communities Award.
Originally from the small northern Ontario town of South Porcupine, Peggy was educated in Toronto and Ottawa and holds degrees in Social Work and Law, as well as advanced diplomas in mediation and negotiation.