Board of Directors

Wayne French – Chair: Wayne is currently the Director of Public Affairs for Waste Management Ottawa where he works strategically in collaboration with governmental entities on issues at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

In addition to his work with Waste Management, Wayne has devoted his time to a number of philanthropic endeavors. He as a Past-President of Kiwanis Ottawa, a Past-President of the Ottawa Executive’s Association and has a long history of volunteerism in the city.

Melissa Reeves – Vice-Chair: Melissa is a specialist in Communications and Marketing. Her extensive resume includes roles with DundeeWealth Inc., the Toronto International Film Festival and the Canada Council for the Arts.

In 2007, Melissa began working for Linebox, a local architecture firm, which would lead to her eventual transition to Modbox – a development company formed from a partnership between Linebox and Lake Partnership Inc.

Nick Ethier – Treasurer: Nick is a CPA and a partner in PwC’s Ottawa office. In his professional life, he works with a variety of clients in Canada and globally, helping them with all facets of financial reporting.  Nick is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and has been active in the Ottawa community for over 20 years. Nick lives in the city’s west end with his wife Amanda and their two young boys, Sam and Thomas. He is an avid golfer, skier, and hockey player/coach.

Nick is fluently bilingual and was previously on the board and audit committee of La Cité Collégiale. He currently sits on the event organizing committee for the Ottawa chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Stephen Tanner – Secretary:  Retired General Manager of Staples with a desire and passion to give back to his community.



Stéphane Giguère – Ex-Officio: Stéphane is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Ottawa Community Housing. He is a seasoned executive and a leader in the development of business partnerships and customer service. Prior to his role with OCH, he served as Corporate Director of CBC/Radio-Canada, responsible for strategic and operational groups and projects related to revenue generation and organizational effectiveness.


Rohan Bansie – Director: Rohan is a lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and Deputy Judge.  Additionally, along with his experience as a teacher and management and training/development consultant, Rohan is an experienced businessperson with decades of sales and management experience. Beyond his professional life, Rohan is a former competitive athlete, and together with his University of Ottawa Law degree, also holds degrees in Education and Philosophy from Concordia University, and a Masters of Education degree from the University of Ottawa. Rohan continues to be active in community life through his dedication to coaching, mentoring and counseling.

In 2014 Rohan’s book, Eloquence: Public Speaking Skills for Lawyers and Other Professionals was published.


Sharon Coward – Director: Sharon is Executive Director of EnviroCentre.  She holds an interdisciplinary degree in Community Development and Health with a focus on International Development and Indigenous Studies.  She worked for ten years in the community health and social service sectors and has an enduring interest in community development, having lived and worked in deliberate communities in four countries and three continents.

She has a keen interest in the intersection of energy policy and sustainable development, and the practical implications of each for our local communities, both today and for future generations.   Her work at EnviroCentre focuses on creative strategies to engage and catalyze local residents and businesses to significant climate action and drive a sustainable low-carbon transition.  Sharon is an Ottawa native and is committed to supporting local initiatives work toward a collaborative vision for a sustainable National Capital Region.

Heather Dawson – Director: Heather is a hospitality professional with strong, proven leadership skills. She is currently the Senior Director, Consumer Sales and Service for the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, where she oversees a team of 30. Heather brings comprehensive experience in sales and revenue management, as well as strong connections to the Ottawa community through her work and through her dedication to volunteerism. She is a graduate of the Bachelor of Arts, Communications Program at Ottawa University as well as a graduate of the Hotel and Restaurant Management program at Algonquin College.

Tara Lapointe – Director:  Tara has held leadership roles in Canada’s most important arts and entertainment organizations, delivering effective programs and partnership initiatives to connect Canadians with art and artists, and a culture of creativity and innovation. As the Director of Outreach and Business Development for the Canada Council for the Arts, Tara oversees three significant programs: the Art Bank, the Public Lending Right Program and the Council’s suite of 39 Prizes – collectively distributing more than $15 million to authors and artists, and celebrating inspiring Canadian achievement.

She is engaged in her community, mentoring new immigrants to thrive in their adopted country and an active participant within the International Association of Business Communicators. She is an accomplished and sought-after public speaker and was recognized for her leadership with the “40 Under 40” Award and IABC’s Distinguished Service Award. Her interests also include community development and sustainability.

David Mason – Director:  David is a Corporate Sales Executive and Promotions/Specials Events Coordinator with experience in various high energy IT selling environments, corporate negotiations, strategic business planning, value propositions as well as large scale event planning.



Barbara Spanton – Director: Barb currently leads a global design team at Siemens, focused on building the future of multidisciplinary oncology care. She has also been highly active in her professional community, as co-founder of Canada’s largest UX conference, as a part-time design instructor, and as a mentor to the next generation of designers.

As a long-time resident of Ottawa’s most diverse neighbourhood, Barb has actively sought opportunities to engage in her community. Whether volunteering at her childrens’ schools, or coaching a running program for girls, or ensuring that a lack of equipment and transportation doesn’t prevent an eager child from playing on a local sports team, or simply showing up to support initiatives led by her neighbours community leaders – it takes a village to make sports accessible to all children, and impact such participation can have on a child’s world is immeasurable.

Sam Bhalesar – Director of Fund Development: A very active member of her community, Sam has dedicated her life to improving her community here in Ottawa and beyond. Currently working as a Senior Engagement Advisor, she has worked and managed numerous projects including Canadian energy projects, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, G7, G20, International Energy project/conferences, and numerous other international affairs. She also runs a small business with her husband. Serving as the current National Party Secretary of the Liberal Party of Canada, she also holds Board of Director positions with the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation, the Ottawa Youth Service Board, and serves as an Adjudicator with the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council. Sam has previously served as the Chair of the Champlain Maternal Newborn Regional Program, Chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council with the Ottawa Hospital (PFAC) & served as a member of numerous other committees at the Ottawa Hospital and CHEO. Sam has also done work with the Canadian International Peace Project and served as a Member of the National Anti-Racism Council of Canada (NARCC) and as a Member of the Network of Indian Professionals. In the 2022 Ontario General Election, Sam stood as the candidate for the Ontario Liberal Party in Ottawa West-Nepean.