Board of Directors

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 commit to service, 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 and Ottawa Race Weekend) 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 member, René Bibaud, addressing an enthusiastic crowd during the Distress Centre’s Chocolate Affair Gala.


2017-2018 Board of Directors

Allow us to introduce our 2017-2018 Board of Directors.  These individuals are an integral part of what we do, as they dedicate their time and effort in assisting the Distress Centre stay true to its goals and objectives.

Board Position Name of Board Member External Profession
President Peter Donnelly Business & IT Executive  
Vice President Suzanne Laporte Retired Senior Executive, Global Affairs
Treasurer Daniel Ahmad Economist, Privy Council Office
Past President Mike Neill Retired Superintendent of Instruction Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Director Frank Cestnik Director, Investment Advisor, Wealth Management Richardson GMP Limited
Director David de Launay Rights Advisor, Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Director Gordon Hill Lawyer with the Department of Justice Canada
Director Diane Lepage Retired Senior Manager, Human Resources Management 
Director Susan Padmos Retired Public Service Executive
Director Yehudis Stokes Registered Nurse, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, PhD Student, University of Ottawa