Foundation Board Biographies


Chair: Daniel C. Fernandes


Portrait of Daniel Fernandes

Lawyer practicing with his own firm named Fernandes Law Offices with 4 clerks and an associate lawyer, 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 commercial real estate law firm (Hebert McKinley Ramonat) and started his career at Goldberg, Shinder, Gardner & 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 a 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 ten 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.  He was born, raised and educated in Ottawa and loves the city. He is a first generation Portuguese with his father being one of the first Portuguese to the city in 1956. 


 Vice-Chair: Vacant

Treasurer: John Wright

Portrait of John Wright

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 Chair for the OMS Ottawa Montessori School and external board member along with being the Treasurer of the Bruyère Foundation.



Corporate Secretary: Peggy Taillon, President, Bruyère Foundation 


Portrait of Peggy Taillon

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. 


Dr. Alykhan Abdulla

Portrait of Alykhan Abdulla

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 Vice Chair for the Section of General and Family Practice of the OMA. He is on many community boards like Eastern Ontario Regional Lab Association, The Viennese Winter Ball, 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.


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. 



Barbara Perrin


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.



Brad Ezard


Portrait of Brad Ezard

As the Chief Operating Officer, Brad oversees all of Keynote Group’s business operations, including its legal, finance, marketing and technology divisions. Brad plays a key role in executing the corporate strategy for Keynote Group and is actively involved in the company’s business development and growth initiatives. Prior to joining Keynote Group, Brad oversaw the operations and growth of national  healthcare start-up focused on creating a strategic network of medical professionals to better serve patients. During his tenure

there, Brad led initiatives that resulted in the company experiencing rapid growth and significant increases in revenue and profitability.


In addition to his operational experience, Brad worked as a corporate lawyer at Latham & Watkins LLP in Washington, D.C., where his practice focused on mergers and acquisitions and public company representation. While the many of Brad’s responsibilities revolve around the efficiencies of Keynote Group’s performance, he also spends a significant amount of time working to establish Keynote Group as a leader in corporate giving and social responsibility in the local community. 



Clifford T. Lebarron

Portrait of Cliff LebarronAs 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 Bruyère 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.



Guy Chartrand, president and CEO, Bruyère


Portrait of Guy Chartrand

Mr. Chartrand is the President and CEO of Bruyère. In this capacity, he acts as Secretary of the Board of Directors and is an ex-officio member of all committees of the board. He is also an ex-officio member of the Bruyère Foundation board and a director on the Bruyère Research Institute board.


Throughout his career, Mr. Chartrand 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.


He is a strong advocate for local health system integration to ensure positive care transitions. Mr. Chartrand 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.


In addition to obtaining an MBA and an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Laurentian University, Mr. Chartrand taught in the School of Business for 13 years as a part-time MBA and undergrad professor. A life-long learner himself, he 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”.


Mr. Chartrand is a family man who enjoys a number of outdoor activities such as skiing, boating, hiking and biking.



Dr. Heidi Sveistrup, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, Bruyère Research Institute 


Portrait of Heidi Sveistrup

Heidi's research focus is on stroke rehabilitation and the use of technologies to support wellness, engagement and long life. She is the academic lead for the Bruyère Centre for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (CLRI), a project lead and scientist with AGE-WELL and CANHEALTH.


Heidi holds her academic position as a full professor in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, and University of Ottawa. Dr Sveistrup served as Vice-Dean, Research and Graduate Studies for the Faculty of Health Sciences for eight years.


She participates in the advisory and scientific councils of the University of Ottawa's Brain and Mind Research Institute and an advisor to the Veterans Ombudsman (Veterans Ombudsman Advisory Council).





Joanne Kudakiewicz


Portrait of J. KudakiewiczJoanne has trailblazed a career path as a successful entrepreneur, award-winning financial advisor, business development strategist and recipient of the Forty Under 40 award in 2019.


As a Wealth Advisor at Yorkville Asset Management, Joanne provides client tailored insurance and estate planning strategies for high net worth families and business owners. She works closely with her clients to understand their specific needs and financial goals, and analyzes the net, after tax impact of various investments. As a former business owner herself, she has a real passion for ensuring that income remains in the hands of her clients all while helping them maximize the impact of their charitable donations.


Prior to Yorkville, Joanne was at Sun Life Financial where she specialized in developing strategies for high net worth clients. After one year, she moved into a Sales Manager role where she helped train and develop advisors. 


Joanne is deeply passionate about her involvement in the community. She is a co-founder of Recovery Matters, an Ottawa based initiative, raising money to help local families and business owners struggling financially due to cancer diagnosis. Additionally, she is a Board Vice-Chair for the Canadian Centre for Mental Health and Sport (CCMHS) The centre is the first in Canada to offer collaborative sport/performance focused mental healthcare services to athletes, coaches and performing artists to achieve their goals while preserving their mental health and well-being. 


Joanne is a busy mother of 2 young kids who enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking and ultimate frisbee.



Lesley Mackay


Portrait of Lesley Mackay

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. In 2018 Lesley was promoted to Vice President, Meetings and Major Events. Lesley continues to lead the meetings team in Canada, the US and overseas as well as the Major Events department for Ottawa Tourism who are responsible for attracting meetings and major sporting events to Ottawa. 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, Co-Chair for the One Young World 2016 Summit held in Ottawa and most recently chaired the Canadian Society of Association Executive annual 2018 conference and showcase.


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 White

Portrait of Mark White

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.


Nik Lemieux


Portrait of Nik Lemieux

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 Bruyère 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.  


Patrick Kennedy 


Portrait of Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy is a Principal with the Earnscliffe Strategy Group, in Ottawa. A public affairs professional with twenty years’ experience in and around policy and politics, he is known for his collaborative approach to public policy issues and stakeholder engagement, facilitating trusted relationships, and emphasizing the importance of building partnerships to work toward desired outcomes. 

Patrick offers valuable insight into public affairs strategy and the policy development process, incorporating a number of critical perspectives based on his involvement inside government, with trade associations, and within the corporate sphere.


Prior to joining Earnscliffe, Patrick worked with CF Industries, the world’s largest manufacturer of nitrogen products, where he established and led the company’s public affairs practice in  Canada. Previously, he worked with financial services leader CIBC, and with the Canadian Bankers Association, in key government relations roles. Outside of the private sector, Patrick held a role as a senior policy analyst in the federal civil service, and served as Chief of Staff to the Speaker of the House of Commons – a role at the heart of the machinations of Parliament, during two of Canada’s recent minority governments.


Patrick holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies from Queen’s University, and a Master of Science in Public Policy from the London School of Economics, where he was a Chevening Scholar. He is the Past President and former member of the Board of Directors of the Government Relations Institute of Canada, a co-founder of the Canadian Advocacy Network, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Writers’ Trust of Canada. In 2012, he was chosen to attend the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.



Ralph Neumann


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.



 Scott Brooker


Portrait of Scott Brooker

Scott Brooker has completed over $1.3 billion in commercial transaction value since joining Cushman & Wakefield Ottawa in 2009. He has specializes in the acquisition and disposition of investment properties across all asset classes. He has executed real estate transactions delivering exceptional value for local investors as well as some of Canada’s largest institutional investors. Scott has also executed over 1.3 million square feet in lease transactions over his career for clients including Dentons, Ernst & Young, Pfizer, Postmedia Group and Costco Wholesale. 


Scott is a consistent top sales performer for Cushman & Wakefield Ottawa, ranking 2nd (2019, 2018, 2016, 2014, 2013), 3rd (2015), and 5th (2012). He is the Ottawa Single Point of Contact for the Cushman & Wakefield Future Leaders program. 

is an internationally recognized leader in the commercial real estate field. He has been a speaker at the Ottawa Real Estate Forum, delivered Green real estate workshops in the United States and Canada, and been quoted by and contributed to a variety of media outlets.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in International Business from Dalhousie University and the Copenhagen School of Business. He was awarded the Commerce Alumni Association Award in International Business for Academic Achievement, and the Northstar Trade Finance Fellowship. Scott also holds two diplomas from Algonquin College in Business-Marketing and Business Administration.

Scott is a member of the Board of Directors for the The Bruyère Foundation. While at Dalhousie he was a Commerce Society Student representative and part of the Dalhousie Chapter of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research.