Our Board of Directors fosters the growth of the YMCA across Canada. These dedicated and skilled volunteers are elected for a three-year term by YMCA National Council, the federation’s senior legislative and policy body with representation from each Member Association in Canada.

The Board promotes sound stewardship to National Council and ensures that YMCA Canada follows best practices in governance and operates effectively in accordance with YMCA Federation values (collaborative, accountable, inclusive, sustainable, proactive), by-laws and policies.

National Board Resource Centre

Officers

Brenda Flaherty

Brenda Flaherty smiling
Chair

Brenda is currently serving as the Board Chair and is in her second term on the National Board. She is Past Chair of the Board of the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford, and has served as Chair of the North Hamilton Community Health Centre Board. Brenda has a wealth of experience in hospital and community leadership and is presently serving as Chair of the Board of The Change Foundation. She recently retired from her role as Executive Vice President and COO at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS). Brenda is an Assistant Professor at McMaster University’s School of Nursing and a past part-time instructor in McMaster’s MBA program.

Brenda chairs the Executive Human Resources Committee of the National Board.

Helen Francis

Helen Francis
Vice Chair

Helen is the Director of Business Effectiveness, Base Metals at Vale Mining Company where she leads a team designed to assist the Base Metals Operations globally to achieve operational excellence.  In her previous role at Vale, she led the implementation of the largest business transformation project within the company in several years. 

Helen is a Vice-Chair on the National Board. She is also a member of the Executive Human Resources Committee and chairs both the Governance and Nominations Committees.

Marcel Lauzière

Marcel Lauzière
Vice Chair

Marcel is the CEO of the Lawson Foundation. He has led several national organizations including Imagine Canada, the Canadian Council on Social Development, and the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.  He has also held senior positions in government as Deputy Chief Executive (Ministry of Social Development) in the New Zealand Government, and Special Advisor to the President at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He was awarded the Governor General’s Cross for Meritorious Service (2016) as well as the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) for his work in philanthropy. He lives with his wife in Cantley, Québec, but works out of Foundation House in Toronto.

Marcel chairs the World Relationships Committee and is a member of the Executive Human Resources Committee of the National Board.

Laurie Skinner

Laurie Skinner smiling
Vice Chair, Finance & Audit

Laurie is currently the Chief Financial Officer of KMK Capital and provides strategic financial leadership to a diverse group of companies across several sectors. Laurie is the former Deputy Minister of Finance for Newfoundland and Labrador, and also served as Assistant Deputy Minister for three areas of the Department of Finance. Laurie is a past board director of the Brother T.I. Murphy Centre, and the Youth in Care Network of Newfoundland. She currently volunteers her time as a board director of The Gathering Place, a member of the Rotary Group of Northeast Avalon, and Board Chair of the YMCA of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Laurie currently chairs the Finance & Audit Committee and is a member of the Executive Human Resources Committee of the National Board.

Directors

Mostafa Abd El Meguid

Picture of Mostafa Abd El Meguid
Director

Mostafa is an Engineer and Project Manager in the field of Media Broadcast with Evertz Microsystems in Burlington, Ontario.  Born in Egypt and raised in Kuwait, Mostafa attended McGill University in Montreal where he was an HFA member of the historic Downtown YMCA.  Here, Mostafa saw firsthand the positive impact a centre of community can bring to its neighbourhood.  Following a move to Toronto, Mostafa jumped at the opportunity to volunteer with the YMCA of Greater Toronto, serving on the Youth Advisory Committee to the Board as well as the Association’s Government Relations Task Force.  Mostafa was also an active member of YMCA Canada’s AYA Ad-Hoc Committee.

Mostafa is currently a member of the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee and Technology Committee of the National Board.

Colleen Albiston

Colleen Albiston smiling
DIRECTOR

Colleen is the President & CEO of the Humber River Hospital Foundation, supporting North America’s most digital hospital. Prior, she spent 18 years leading Marketing and Communications nationally and globally for some of the world’s largest professional services firms. Most recently, she was the first CMO at Deloitte. She has served on a number of boards including the YWCA of Montreal, and the YMCA of Greater Toronto, which included a term as Board Chair. She is currently an independent director of the board of ParticipACTION, and an ex-officio on the board of the Humber River Hospital Foundation. Colleen’s achievements and contributions have been recognized with the Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

She is currently a member of the Finance & Audit Committee and Public Policy and Advocacy Committee of the National Board.

Mary Beck

Mary Beck
Director

A long-time YMCA volunteer, Mary is a Board Member and Past Chair of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver and a Trustee of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver Foundation. She became a member of the YMCA Canada Board of Directors in 2016. Mary is a retired member of the Law Society of British Columbia. She has received the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Mary is currently a member of the World Relationships Committee and Chair of the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee of the National Board.

Neil Desai

Neil Desai smiling
Director

Neil is an Executive with Magnet Forensics, one of Canada’s fastest growing technology companies. He previously served in senior roles with the Government of Canada in the Prime Minister’s Office and Global Affairs Canada. He is a contributor to the Globe and Mail’s editorial page and a Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Neil spent much of his time as a child and youth at the YMCA. He was a camper, played and coached basketball, was a camp councillor, camp director, and youth programming director at various YMCAs in Ontario.

He was elected to the National Board in 2015, is a member of the Executive Human Resources and Public Policy & Advocacy Committees, and chairs the Technology Committee of the National Board.

Daniel Doiron

Daniel Doiron
Director

Daniel is a Professor of Management at the University of New Brunswick where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in competitive strategy, strategic management of innovation, and entrepreneurship.  Prior to starting his teaching career, Daniel founded two technology start-up companies for a corporate investor in the telecommunications industry. He is active on a number of boards and committees including the YMCA of Greater Saint John, where he is Vice Chair, chaired their Strategic Planning Task Force in 2017, and sits on the Governance and Nominating Committees.  Daniel has a degree in Electrical Engineering from UNB, along with a Masters in the Management of Technology from MIT.  He lives in Saint John.

He is currently a member of the Governance Committee, Nominations Committee and World Relationships Committee of the National Board.

Tyril Froese

Tyril Froese smiling
DIRECTOR

Tyril is currently a partner with accounting firm MNP LLP. He joined the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Brandon in 2008 as a young leader. Tyril has become widely known in the Brandon community as “the face of the YMCA.” As the current Past Chair, he is especially proud of the YMCA of Brandon’s consistent scores in the coveted upper-right quadrant of the AHa! (Association Health Assessment) metric. He is actively working to expand the reach of the YMCA in Manitoba. He also volunteers his time with the Westman Dreams for Kids Foundation and the MS Society.

Tyril is currently a member of the Finance & Audit and World Relationships Committees of the National Board.

Ruhee Ismail-Teja

Ruhee Ismail-Teja smiling
DIRECTOR

For Ruhee, the YMCA has been a part of life for as long as she can remember. In addition to her full-time role as Public Affairs Analyst with MEG Energy, she volunteers as a fitness instructor at the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA. In 2016, Ruhee was a competing athlete and a member of the Finance Team for the Global Ismaili Golden Jubilee Games in Dubai. Ruhee is a member of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Board of Governors, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Queen’s University Alma Mater Society and as Board Chair of the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society.

She is currently a member of the Public Policy and Advocacy and World Relationships Committees of the National Board.

Richard Payette

Richard Payette
Director

Richard is President and CEO of Manulife Quebec where he is responsible for the development, implementation and execution of the Quebec strategy to advance Manulife’s position and support the company’s mission and vision in the marketplace. Richard sits on a large number of boards and advisory committees and has chaired the Board of Directors of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Fédération des Chambres de Commerce du Québec. Prior to joining Manulife, Richard served as CEO for the Americas Region for BDO International, with responsibility for leading, supporting, implementing and driving strategic initiatives in the region, which covered Canada, the USA, Latin America and the Caribbean. He has significant experience as a strategist and leader with accomplishments in business transformation and team leadership.

He is currently a member of the Finance and Audit and World Relationships Committee of the National Board.

Wan-Peng Sun

Photo of Wan-Peng Sun
Director

Wan-Peng is the Software Development Supervisor at Libro Credit Union in London, Ontario where he advises the executive leadership team in the development of technology-informed strategy and initiatives.  Wan-Peng joined the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Western Ontario in 2012 as a Young Leader and currently chairs the Finance and Audit Committee.

He is currently a member of the Finance and Audit and Technology Committees of the National Board.

Mary Turner

Mary Turner
Director

Mary is retired from her position as the President and CEO of Canadian Tire Bank.  During her 25-year career with Canadian Tire, Mary held progressively senior roles in finance, operations, risk management, information technology, payments, customer service, financial services and credit risk management.  She is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Director. Mary is a Board member and Treasurer of Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities and a member of the Board of Governors of Niagara College, and the 2021 Canada Summer Games – Niagara Host Society.  Mary was recognized as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women as a Top 100 Award Winner in 2015 by the Women’s Executive Network.

She is currently a member of the Governance Committee, Nominations Committee and Technology Committee of the National Board.

Mary Williams

Mary Williams smiling
DIRECTOR

As Vice-President of University Advancement for McMaster University, Mary leads an award-winning team with a mandate that includes communications and marketing, government and alumni relations, and fundraising. Mary also serves on a wide range of non-profit boards. A long-time YMCA person, Mary grew up going to YMCA summer camps and continued her relationship with the YMCA when she got involved with the Board of the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford.  As a former Chair, Mary worked closely with the board and leadership team to foster unique partnerships between YMCAs and other partners like universities.  She is delighted that her Y story continues as she gets involved with YMCA Canada.   

Mary is currently a member of the Governance Committee, Nominations Committee and Public Policy & Advocacy Committee of the National Board.

Jonathan Woolley

Jonathan Woolley
Director

Jon is a partner with Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP in Winnipeg, where he maintains a practice emphasizing construction law.  Jon has been a member of the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg since 2003 and joined the Board of Directors in 2007.  From 2012-2014, Jon served as Chair of the Winnipeg Board, and has recently completed his term as Past Chair.  Jon also volunteers for the Manitoba Legal Help Centre and has coached hockey and soccer since 2012.

He is currently a member of the Governance Committee, Nominations Committee and Technology Committee of the National Board.

Immediate Past Chair

Craig Rowe

Craig Rowe
IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR

Craig's connection with the Y began when he joined the YMCA-YWCA of Northeast Avalon in St. John's, Newfoundland as a fitness member almost 30 years ago and eventually led to his participation as a Board member and Chair, and Chair of the Ches Penney Family Y Project. He was a member of the YMCA Canada National Resource Creation and Capacity Building Committee, Chair of the National Board's Governance Committee, and member of the Executive Human Resources Committee prior to becoming Chair of the National Board. Professionally, Craig has worked, written and presented extensively in the insurance and risk management industries across North America. In 2006, he founded ClearRisk, a risk management software company and in 2014, he founded Optimized Risk and Insurance, an independent insurance brokerage. 

Craig is currently a member of the World Relationships and Executive Human Resources Committees of the National Board. In July 2018 Craig was elected to the Executive Committee of the World Alliance of YMCAs for a four-year term.