Our Board of Directors
Dianne Pritchard, Chair
Dianne Pritchard is a retired Senior Executive of a Canadian Bank. Dianne currently owns and operates Just Imagine Transition Services. Dianne joined The ROSSS Board in 2014/2015 and has been a member of the Governance Committee, the Human Resources Committee and the Finance Committee. Dianne became Chair of the Board of Governors in 2019/2020.
Dr. John Collins, Past Chair
Dr. Collins is a retired urologist. In 1975, he joined the staff of the Ottawa Civic Hospital, and the Department of Surgery, University of Ottawa. In 1990, he was appointed Head, Division of Urology, The Ottawa Hospital, and Chair, Division of Urology, University of Ottawa. He served in this capacity for 14 years. During this time, he served on numerous boards and committees, at both the Hospital and the University. He served as Surgeon-inChief of the Ottawa Civic Hospital, and as Co-Chair of the Postgraduate Medical Education Committee of the University. He was closely involved with the development of urological services in the expanded Ottawa Hospital, and with the coordination of
urological services in Eastern Ontario. In 1995, he was elected President of the Canadian Urological Association. In 2005, he was honoured by the Canadian Urological Association with a Lifetime
Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to Canadian Urology. Dr. Collins served as the Chair of ROSSS’ Board of Directors for two terms: 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.
Phil Byrne, Treasurer
Phil is a tax partner with BDO LLP Chartered Professional Accountants. Phil started his professional accounting
career with Newton & Co. Chartered Accountants in Manotick in 1979 becoming a partner in 1993. Phil completed the CICA In Depth Tax Course Parts I and II in 2002. Newton & Co. merged with BDO in 2010. Phil works with small to medium sized businesses and professionals in the areas of accounting, taxes and tax planning and restructuring. Phil has lived and worked in the Manotick area for 50+ years and has been a ROSSS board member for 4 years and the treasurer for the last 2 years.
Blair Beckwith is the founder and Principle of Railspur Partners Inc., an e-commerce software technology company. Prior to this, he held leadership positions at various software companies across North America including Shopify and Shogun.
Born in a small village in Québec, Mélanie’s parents were required to move to a new province in order to obtain full time permanent work. Mélanie attended a francophone high school located near Burlington and received her first opportunity to work with seniors. As a co-op student, Mélanie assisted with all the activities for a dementia care unit. Noticing her keen interest and hard work, she was quickly pulled into the nursing department and received her first experiences as a healthcare worker. This had a profound impact on her career choices. This experience fuelled her ambition to play a leadership role in the seniors housing industry. With four years’ experience under her belt, she became the Director of Care for a 60-bed retirement community in Orleans. One year later, she became Executive Director in the same company, caring for 90 seniors in a downtown residence at the age of 25. As an active member of the community, Mélanie is very fond of volunteering. She was an active member of the CARP Board of Directors for over 4 years and currently gives her time to the ROSSS as a newly received member of the Board of Directors. Mélanie brings over 20 years of knowledge and experience from the Health Care Industry and seniors’ housing to ROSSS.
John studied in the UK obtaining a PhD before marrying and relocating to Canada. He worked in a number of technical positions prior to joining Ontario Research Foundation (ORF) where he managed a number of Technical Groups. He retired from the NRC Institute for Research in Construction where he worked on code compliance building materials. During his career he worked with many regulatory programs, e.g. standards committees, ISO 9000, certification programs and the Building Code. Since retiring 9 years ago, he has been a volunteer driver with ROSSS transportation and Meals on Wheels. John and his wife have lived in Manotick since coming to Ottawa 21 years ago. We have two children and two grandchildren. His other passion is fly fishing, where he is President of the Ottawa Fly Fishing Society.
In Herb Lagois’s earlier days, he loved working with his hands. Sketching and carpentry were his favourite activities. So, it’s not surprising to learn that his favourite part of his job at Lagois is seeing a project take tangible shape.
When Herb isn’t keeping tabs on everything and everyone involved in all of Lagois’ various projects, you might find him on his motorcycle, listening to the Rolling Stones and dreaming the impossible dream of one day meeting Frank Lloyd Wright.
Retired Senator (June, 1993 – July, 2015), Leader of the Government in Senate (Feb. 2006 – August 2013) Minister of State, Seniors (January, 2007 – January 2010) Deputy Chief of Staff to Prime Minister (March 1987 – June, 1993) Former National Chair and Board Member, MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving) and Resident of Manotick since 1974.
Formerly from New Brunswick Edwina has been a resident of Ottawa since 1995. Edwina worked as a Medical Laboratory Technologist in the Immunology department at the Saint John Regional Hospital. She retired in 1990 and assumed full time work as a stay at home mom. Edwina worked on a committee with Citizen Advocacy in planning their annual fundraiser, ‘Evening in the Maritimes’ and volunteered in the Day
Surgery department at CHEO for 7 years. For the past 2 years, Edwina acted as Vice Captain at Rideauview Golf Club and will become Ladies’ Captain in 2022.
Gary H J Pluim
Gary Pluim has had a long career in the financial and not-for-profit and NGO sectors. Most recently he served as Executive Director of WaterCan, and as a consultant, he worked with smaller charities to create new wealth through sound business practices. He continues to serve on a number of Boards, including Rotel, Impact Bridges Group, Canadian Fellowship Foundation.
Rev. Carolyn Seabrook is an Anglican priest in the Diocese of Ottawa serving three churches in the Parish of South Carleton (Kars, North Gower & Osgoode). Carolyn’s community involvement has included serving as Vice-Chair of the Kemptville District Hospital Board and founding the North Gower Farmers’ Market. Past work has been in the field of ending violence against women. Carolyn has worked previously for the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. She has lived in the North Gower area for over 50 years and the well-being of the residents of rural communities is dear to her hear.
In 2009, Robert was out for a bike ride, but roughly an hour into the ride his whole group (5 people) were hit by a minivan. Robert was the most severely injured, suffering permanent physical injuries, but the most significant was his Acquired Brain Injury (more commonly known as Concussion). He was retired from his work, and his driver’s license was revoked. Five years ago, he was introduced to ROSSS. What he receives from ROSSS is, in his words, better than awesome. When he was offered the opportunity to join the board of ROSSS, he leapt at the chance, because it would enable him to give back as much as possible.