Don was born in Montreal and settled in Ottawa after graduating from Middlebury College, Vermont with the Class of 1973. Don started his 35-year professional career in 1974 in Ottawa and worked for two of Canada’s premier financial services Crown Corporations, namely Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) for 4 years, and then with Export Development Canada (EDC) for 31 years. He retired in 2009 as Group Vice President having served in a variety of senior Executive positions. Don has been actively involved in youth sports locally, serving as House League Chairman in the 1990s with Nepean Minor Hockey Association Board, and as Chairman of the Junior Golf Program at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club in the early 2000s.
Doris Ramphos, Vice-President
Doris Ramphos is a charitable fundraising expert with more than 16 years of experience in donor relations development and special event planning for organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society, Huntington’s Society of Canada, the Hellenic Community of Ottawa, and The Ottawa Heart Institute. She is a seasoned public educator, having lectured on a variety of public health topics for the Canadian Cancer Society and the Anxiety Disorder Association of Ontario. Her professional career is in real estate property management and she is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with degrees in psychology, sociology, and education.
Samer Forzley, Secretary
Samer has over 16 years of retail and eCommerce experience. His experience ranges from Marketing, Operations Management, IT, to sales and customer Service. Samer is also an instructor of the “Enrichment Mini Courses” offered through the University of Ottawa. He has resided in the Ottawa area since 1990 and is an MBA graduate of the University of Ottawa, Telfer School of Management. His “Start up of a Small Business” course allows student to raise funds to local charities while gaining hands on experience. Samer is currently the Director of Marketing for eBillme.
Pete Larocque, Past President
Pete is a Partner for a local management consulting firm and President of an Ottawa-based commercial and residential service company. Pete has served as a Director for the Canadian Special Olympics Winter Games, member of the Executive Committee and Chair of Community Relations for the National Capital Chapter of the Sunshine Foundation of Canada, Business Advisor to the Board and Executive Director of the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, and one of the co-founders of the South Nepean Youth Organization. In addition, Pete has been a mentor for the Junior Achievement Titan Business Simulation and member of the judging panel for the University of Ottawa’s Business Plan Challenge. Pete has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Queen’s University and a certification as an Accredited Business Valuator.
Candy Gaudet, Board Member
Candy was born in Ottawa, Illinois, just south of Chicago where she met her husband who was on a posting in Chicago with the Canadian Customs at the time. They moved to Canada in 1971 and have three children and seven grandchildren. Candy has been involved in the community in various capacities including assisting in developing the Gloucester Food Cupboard, working with Meals on Wheels, and volunteering in Palliative Care at the Riverside Hospital. About l8 years ago Candy started out as a volunteer with the Shepherds of Good Hope and eventually went to work part-time as a front line worker. Currently Candy is the Manager of Support Services with the Shepherds, managing the kitchen area, grocery and clothing programs. The Shepherds of Good Hope Christmas Hamper Program is an umbrella of Support Services. The Shepherds of Good Hope and Christmas Exchange work closely together every year during the Christmas season.
Michelle Mulligan, Board Member
Michelle Mulligan was born and raised in Ottawa. She has been working in Social Services for the past 17 years, at present with the City of Ottawa. Currently holds a position as a case worker with the Employment and Financial Assistance Department. She is a recent board member for The Christmas Exchange. Michelle believes in helping the community, and that every little bit counts. She has done many different volunteer activities from high school onwards. She is a graduate from Carleton University in Sociology and Algonquin College for Early Childhood Education. Michelle is married with one child and three step-children, ranging from ages seven to 20 years of age.
Roy A. Anderson, Board Member
For over 30 years Roy has been an entrepreneur. In 1987, shortly after receiving his MBA, Roy entered the financial service industry. He took the Canadian Securities Course and spent a year on Bay Street working with a specialty brokerage firm marketing tax-driven corporate investments. Roy moved to Ottawa in 1988 where he began to establish himself in the business and investment community. In 1996, Roy retooled his practice to focus exclusively on providing a framework that helps affluent families navigate through investment decisions and major life events. To fully service his clients, Roy works with a network of accounting, legal and other financial professionals.
Marilyn Matheson, CAE, Executive Director
Born and raised in Ottawa, Marilyn served on the Board of Directors of the Christmas Exchange from 1982 to 1988 as both Treasurer and Secretary. Along with her CAE (Certified Association Executive) designation, Marilyn has over 30 years employment experience with non-profit organizations as diverse as a public art gallery, a theatre for the performing arts, the Alzheimer’s Society, Red Cross, United Way, Lung Association, and the Humane Society, in cities throughout Ontario, including Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Windsor, London and St. Thomas. Marilyn has also volunteered for many organizations including women shelters, senior centers and nursing homes, Canadian Diabetes Association, Canadian Cancer Society, as well as being an active member and is the Past President of the Rotary Club of South Nepean. She has been working in the capacity of Executive Director of the Christmas Exchange since March 1999 and has two adult children, Ian McPherson who resides in Ottawa and Laureen McPherson who lives with her husband Matt Cusick in London, ON.