Board of Directors

When you choose to be a part of an organization that is making a difference in our community, you are choosing to do the exact same.

In operation since 1969, the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region is well recognized within the social services circle. In return for being on the leadership team and helping to steer and direct the Distress Centre, you will get the chance to network with others and be exposed to new ideas and feel empowered knowing that you are making a contribution to your community. Whatever your background, you will be able to use your expertise in governing and promoting the Distress Centre. At the same time, you will learn new skills and gain valuable new experiences.

Board Member Position Description

Directors are expected to serve with no financial compensation for at least one 2-year term, with the option of remaining in their position for two additional 2-year terms.

All new Directors must attend an Orientation Session at the beginning of their 2-year term. They are also expected to:

  • Attend monthly Board of Directors’ meetings from September-June of each year
  • Attend an annual Board of Directors’ retreat
  • Participate in the activities of the Board
  • Attend the Annual General Meeting
  • Support any fundraising events organized by the Distress Centre (i.e. Chocolate Affair Gala, Mindful Ink) and be willing to support and champion the Distress Centre within the community.

Although the amount of time Board Members spend monthly on Board activities can vary widely, on average, a Board Member can be expected to spend 5-10 hours per month on related Distress Centre activities.

Board FAQ

2021-2022 Board of Directors

The Distress Centre is very pleased to introduce its 2021-2022 Board of Directors.  Our Directors are an integral part of what we do, as they dedicate their time and effort in the overall management of the organization as an incorporated non-profit organization in the Province of Ontario.

Position on BoardNameProfession
PresidentSusan PadmosRetired Public Service Executive
Vice PresidentNitika RewariDirector, Prevention and Promotion Initiatives, Mental Health Commission of Canada
TreasurerFrank CestnikDirector, Investment Advisor, Wealth Management Richardson GMP Limited
SecretaryMasha CemmaPolicy Advisor, Office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada
Past PresidentPeter DonnellyBusiness and IT Executive
DirectorDavid de LaunayMedical Student (MD 2022), University of Ottawa
DirectorFatymah DidoInternal Auditor with Environment and Climate Change Canada
DirectorGordon HillLawyer with the Department of Justice Canada
DirectorElie LabakyLawyer, Provincial Private Practice
DirectorJuliet McMurrenSenior Analyst, Department of National Defence
DirectorJaime MorseEducator at the National Gallery of Canada
DirectorCésar Ndéma-MoussaEastern Ontario's Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity in Child Welfare