Board of Directors
Members of the Alzheimer Society of Ontario’s Board of Directors, elected from across Ontario, guide the organization’s efforts to improve service and care, fund and advance research, educate the communities we serve and mobilize support for the disease.
- Keith Gibbons – Chair, London
- Farhad Sethna - Vice Chair, York
- Rudi Loepp – Secretary,Ottawa
- Thomas Evans– Treasurer, Burlington
- Michael Fraleigh – Toronto
- Gaston Franklyn - Windsor
- Komal Bhasin - Toronto
- Joanne Greco - Pickering
- Claire Forster - Oakville
- Valerie Armstrong - Barrie
- Dr. Mary Pat Sullivan - North Bay
- Rose Creamer - St. Mary's
- Elaine Tappert-Hanson
- Lisa Pflieger
- Ward Sellers
Keith Gibbons, Chair
Having a variety of Executive level positions with major companies in Canada and internationally, Keith brings a broad perspective to the Board of ASO. His professional experience includes organizational development, strategic and financial planning and general management. As well, he has been an active Community member in London where he has sat on several Boards in the non-profit sector.
Joining the Board in 2012, Keith recognizes the significant strain Alzheimer's disease has on families through personal family experience. As well, Keith appreciates the significant social, health and economic impacts that will result from the increasing effects of the population being impacted by dementia in the coming years. Having an opportunity to help deal with these issues motivated him to become involved with ASO.
Farhad has served on the Board of the Alzheimer Society of York Region as Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer. His professional experience includes governance, strategic planning, financial and operational management. Farhad has been an active member of his community by serving on the Boards of Art Starts, a community based arts organization and the Toronto Chapter of Financial Executives International.
Farhad is currently the Vice-President, Corporate Services at Shepherd Village, a healthcare facility for seniors.
Thomas Evans, Treasurer
Experiencing first-hand the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on a close family member, Thomas Evans was motivated by his concern about the effects and projected growth of the disease. He joined the ASO Board in order to help support the search for a cure and those who are affected by dementia and their families.
Thomas will bring his many years experience as an accomplished business and financial executive in diverse industries (financial services, public service, hospitality, transportation, mining, manufacturing) and among large, small, public, private, non-profit and public sector organizations to his position as Chair, Finance and Audit Committee.
Rudi Loepp, Secretary
Rudi Loepp is currently a Business Development Executive, Connected Intelligence with SNAP Security Corporation. He was previously a Sales Executive with IBM Canada Limited with a career that encompasses over 35 years of experience in educational, marketing and management roles.
He has put his leadership skills to work in the community as well. He was Vice President of Big Brothers (Regina), Board Member of Opera Saskatchewan, Chair of IBM/Cheer Board Corporate Challenge (Winnipeg) and Account Executive of United Way. In Ottawa, he was involved with Junior Achievement, and previously chaired IBM's involvement in Destiny 2000. He received his BComm Hons. in Marketing from the University of Manitoba.
He also has 10 years of experience in various roles on the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County's Board of Directors, combined with 35 years of management background and a personal family experience with dementia.
Michael Fraleigh is a Partner with the law firm of Fogler, Rubinoff and has extensive experience in all aspects of health law. He has significant expertise in the representation of physicians, dentists, nurses and other health care practitioners in regulatory matters including complaints, discipline, quality assurance, fitness to practice and registration issues. He has also represented numerous physicians in hospital privilege disputes as well as in medical malpractice actions. He also advises corporations and institutions with respect to health law issues.
Michael has served as lead counsel in matters before all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, and various tribunals including the Discipline Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, College of Chiropodists, College of Audiologists and Speech Language.
Gaston is a professional educator with a B.A., M.Ed. and Ph.D. from Canadian Universities. He has held full-time teaching positions in Primary (Trinidad), and Secondary and Post-secondary institutions in Canada.
He retired from his last position as the Vice-President, Academic at St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology. Post retirement, he has worked for CIDA and the World Bank as an international consultant on Education Change Management in China, Thailand, Syria, the Philippines and the Caribbean.
Gaston has previously served as Board Chair of Alzheimer Society of Windsor-Essex County as well as Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee and Chair of the Community Advisory Committee. He is currently a member of the Board of Windsor Police Services and Children’s Mental Health of Ontario (CMHO).
Komal Bhasin is a seasoned public sector professional with more than 15 years of experience as a consultant, strategic advisor and operations leader in Ontario's health and social service sectors. In her current role, Komal serves as Senior Director of Research Strategy and Operations at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the largest mental health hospital and research centre in Canada.
With a unique clinical and administrative background, Komal has worked in a range of contexts including providing one-on-one counseling to individuals and families; community development and advocacy; and leading large-scale strategic and operational initiatives in healthcare institutions and across government. Komal currently serves on the board of Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO), and previously served on the board of the YMCA of Greater Toronto.
Komal’s interest in serving on the ASO Board is deeply personal, informed by her experience supporting a loved one on their journey with dementia. With the various hats she wears, she has developed a deep understanding of what it means to support people with dementia and their loved ones, and she looks forward to contributing to transformational advocacy and fundraising efforts to fight this disease.
Joanne Greco is currently employed at CBI Home Health as the Director of Residential and Transitional Care for Ontario. In this role, she works with partners to transition vulnerable adults (with dementia, mental health issues, and complex medical care needs) and children (with Autism, dual diagnoses, and other behavioural needs) to the right place of care with the right services. Prior to this, she worked at the Town of Innisfil in the Health and Wellness Catalyst role bringing a health and wellness lens to all aspects of municipal government. Her past role of Vice President of Infrastructure, Chief Nursing Officer and Privacy Officer at Closing the Gap Healthcare Group provided her with corporate experience and leadership for IT, projects, quality and risk, and corporate education. Her education includes completion of a Masters of Science in Health Administration (MHSc) from The University of Toronto; a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) from The University of Windsor; and, she is a Certified Health Executive (CHE) with the Canadian College of Health Service Executives.
Joanne has personally experienced the progression and impact of Alzheimer’s with her grandmother. She feels compelled to share my story and give back to make the journey of others more positive. Her healthcare and community background have offered her many opportunities to learn about the resources available to support caregivers and clients.
Claire Forster is a seasoned Human Resources Professional who has global experience in North America and Hong Kong. Her most recent position was as a Vice-President for a leading global financial services organization. Claire's sole focus now is working in the Not for Profit sector, working with organizations to ensure alignment of their strategy, governance and resources. Claire is the past Chair of the Alzheimer Society of Brant, Haldimand Norfolk, Hamilton Halton (BHNHH) and is the current Chair of the Alzheimer Societies in Ontario (ASiO) Quality Committee. She is a Board Member for Elizabeth Fry Toronto and Community Development Halton. Claire also volunteers with International Needs, an organization that supports women and children in countries where female education is not a priority and is a volunteer consultant for CEE, and organization that focuses on careers, education and empowerment for disadvantaged Black youth.
With a background in occupational therapy, Valerie Armstrong has worked over 30 years in health care, holding a variety of leadership portfolios. She is currently the Director of Quality, Risk and Performance with the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network. In her role, Valerie provides leadership to support and enable an organizational culture of excellence in quality improvement, risk management and patient safety. She has evolved enterprise risk management at both an organizational and governance level; annually facilitates the development of the organization’s Quality Improvement Plan; and has led the organization in several organizational and system level projects including Accreditation. Valerie holds a Six Sigma Canada Green Belt designation, a Masters Certificate in Project Management, an Osgoode Certificate in Health Law and is a patient safety trainer through the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.
Valerie was a member of the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County for many years. She has also served as the Society’s President and Past President. She supported the successful integration of the two local societies, Greater Simcoe County and North East. She also provided leadership at a governance and organizational level in developing the organization’s risk management framework. Valerie continues to have a strong interest in the Society and its work in supporting patients and their families. Having volunteered at the local level, Valerie now welcomes the opportunity to serve on the ASO Board and support the organization in achieving its strategic goals, through successful relationships with the Local Societies.
Mary Pat Sullivan is a registered social worker and social gerontologist (PhD, Gerontology, King's College London), and Director of Social Work at Nipissing University. She is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Dementia Research Centre, University College London. Her research primarily focuses on the social context of aging and young onset and rare dementias.
Dr Sullivan previously headed social work at Brunel University London where she also held a position on the Executive Committee of the British Society of Gerontology. She was awarded the first Tilda Goldberg Social Work Research Fellowship in 2010-11 at the University of Bedfordshire. Prior to her academic career in the UK, Dr Sullivan was a clinical social worker involved in the development, delivery and evaluation of geriatric mental health services in northern and eastern Ontario.
Prior to moving to the UK and in the 1990s, Mary Pat served as Board Chair, Alzheimer Society of Sudbury-Manitoulin as well as a member of the Board of the Alzheimer Association of Ontario (AAO) and AAO’s Public Policy Committee. Mary Pat's involvement with the Alzheimer Society began following her mother's diagnosis at a young age and her desire to eliminate the stigma associated with dementia and ensure individuals and their families are provided with the right support at the right time.
Elaine’s interest in the Alzheimer Society began with her own family story.
Her father was diagnosed with young onset dementia at the age of 54 and her mother, several years ago.
She will devote her life to raising awareness, challenging norms, public education, caregiver support, lifestyle changes to protect brain health and wipe out dementia.
Professionally, Elaine brings decades of experience spanning private, public and non-profit sectors. She was President of 3Com Corporation Canada, a silicon-valley based company and most recently, Head of Operations at Lazard Canada Inc. responsible for human resources, infrastructure and technology, risk & compliance and media. Elaine brings a strong understanding of resilience & systems thinking, sustainability & leadership from prior career experience and academic endeavours.
Elaine is an Ambassador in the Women’s Alzheimer Movement, an organization founded by Maria Schriver, devoted to women-based Alzheimer’s research. She is organized, strategic and a charismatic champion for dementia.
Lisa’s desire to contribute to the ASO Board developed many years ago as a result of her own personal experience as a caregiver to a parent with dementia.
Lisa began her efforts to make a difference with the Alzheimer Society as a volunteer board member with the local Alzheimer Society and the Foundation boards of
directors. In addition, Lisa contributed her expertise in the most recent ASiO governance review process.
Professionally, Lisa has worked in the financial services industry, and, most recently, established her own Financial Planning Consulting Firm, Financial Planning Matters. Lisa’s financial experience along with her passion or strategy and governance issues make her an excellent fit for the ASO Board.
Lisa is a skilled accountant with a passion for making a difference with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Ward’s interest in the Alzheimer Society began with his own family story. Ward’s personal experience with dementia has led to a desire to shift his volunteer focus to
an organization like the Alzheimer Society where he has a
strong personal connection.
Professionally, Ward is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Sherritt International Corporation. In this senior leadership role Ward contributes strategic input on critical business matters including a divisional sale, successful defense of hostile proxy fight, restructuring of public debt, restructuring of joint venture capital structure and innovative public financing and exchange offer.
Ward has a long history of volunteer and philanthropic involvement with organizations including the Canadian Opera Company, the Power Plant Art Gallery and the ECS School in Montreal. In addition, Ward rode with a team of cyclists across Canada to that raised $1.5 million for Coast to Coast National Cancer Foundation.
Ward is a strategic senior executive with a desire to make a difference in Alzheimer’s disease.