OPDI Board of Directors
OPDI has a governance type board whose activities include
- establishing long term strategic plans, based on member identified needs,
- identifying annual goals and objectives for the organization,
- overseeing fiscal accountabilities to membership and funder(s) and reporting of same
- engaging/evaluating an Executive Director who is accountable to the Board, and who in turn is responsible engages/evaluates staff who are accountable to the ED
- bringing forward information about members needs and interests to inform OPDI positions
Directors are not involved in day to day operations and management of the organization.
OPDI’s board model focuses on being “skills-based” as opposed to “representative”. We use a Skills and Diversity Matrix to identify experiences that contribute to the interests of the organization and its members and to assess our bench strength for the nomination process. Although the directors’ role is not to represent specific groups or regions, we aim to reflect the geographic and demographic diversity of our member groups – groups which may operate in urban, rural or remote settings and whose levels of empowerment range from complete independence, through various degrees of autonomy, to being small programs within mainstream mental health service organizations or institutions.
OPDI has nine directors who are elected to two-year terms of office and may be re-elected for up to three terms. The exception to this is when vacant positions are appointed mid-term by the Board. We attach expiry dates to positions in an attempt to facilitate succession and achieve balance between newer and longer serving directors.
Board applicants must be members in good standing of an OPDI member organization. One director may come from the Associate membership. Director applications are considered by a nominating committee which invites applications, conducts interviews, and recommends a slate to the Board which is in turn moved to members at the Annual General Meeting. The Executive (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) are elected by the Board just after the AGM.
The Board’s current meeting schedule includes two day face to face “retreats” on a quarterly basis, usually at weekends, plus teleconferences as needed. For timely handling of issues we also use email discussion threads and electronic voting where appropriate and possible, with any e-votes ratified at the next board meeting.
We welcome and encourage our members to bring good candidates to the attention of the nominating committee by emailing email@example.com or by speaking to a member of the Board.
Dylan de la Riviere / President (Toronto)
Dylan is a long-time grass-roots volunteer attracted to the opportunity OPDI provides to meet people with similar interests and, especially, to advance the value and presence of peer support. He studied philosophy and literature at University of Toronto and continues to bring that passionately critical and humanist approach to his work. When not riding his bicycle inordinate distances, he enjoys reading, watching movies and wearing funny hats. He currently volunteers with the Participants’ Council of North York General.
Aubrey Andrus / Vice-President (Whitby)
An adventure lover at heart who loves to spend time with her family and friends Aubrey believes that when humans experience life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. Aubrey’s great passion is helping people find ways to bring healthy coping into their lives so they can live the life they want. Through her own lived experience she knows that there is no single approach to this process and helping individuals navigate what it looks like for them is so important to the healing process.
Aubrey Andrus has worked in the Mental Health and Addictions for 8 years in various programs including, Youth Residential Support, Harm Reduction outreach worker and a Peer Support Specialist. Aubrey is currently working for Durham Mental Health Services as a Program Manager for the Peer Support Team. Aubrey is a facilitator as well as an Advanced Level Facilitator for WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan), and also is an instructor for Mental Health First Aid - Basic & Youth. Aubrey is a lover of the outdoors, animals and spending time with her family and friends.
Alise de Bie / Secretary & Treasurer (Hamilton)
Alise is a crazy person that lives with wonderful neighbours in the east end of Hamilton. They are a PhD candidate at McMaster University (focused on Mad Knowing, Teaching, and Learning) where they create community with fellow mad, disabled, service using, and psychiatry surviving student peers through the Hamilton Mad Students Collective and other groups. They are very passionate about accessible education (people with mental health stuff and disabilities should be able to go school, be welcomed and well supported, and learn useful things!) and bringing consumer/survivor and peer support knowledge into the academy in a way that doesn’t feel gross or result in theft/erasure/exploitation. Favourite present/pastimes include: baking, biking, building blanket forts, borrowing library books, growing purple plant babies, discussing trips to alternate realities, delivering the neighbourhood newspaper, and listening to Netflix while washing dishes. They are grateful for their network of lunatikin/crazykin.
Heather Bruce / Director (Ottawa)
A high school teacher by profession, Heather has been passionate about public mental health education for the last fifteen years, first as a presenter and then as coordinator with CMHA Ottawa’s Talking About Mental Illness (TAMI) program. She was honoured to be appointed project manager for CMHA National’s Mental Health and High School Curriculum Pilot Project, which took her to four cities across Canada, and new career heights. Heather’s personal ambition is to see mandatory mental health literacy for all students and teachers.
She’s interested in spreading awareness of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan beyond consumers to the general public, and surviving her father’s suicide has fueled her work towards creating suicide-safer communities and supporting other survivors.
Moira Wheeler / Director (North Bay)
Moira has over 30 years of lived experience which she has used to assist others in their recovery toward mental health. She served on the board of directors for six years at her local Peer Initiative. Moira has worked as a Peer Support Worker at a community mental health agency and with women recovering from domestic violence. Both allowed her to use her lived experience as a means of assisting others in their recovery; “this has brought meaning and purpose to my own Life experience.”
Moira holds a college diploma in Human Resource Management and is a past recipient of the Peer of the Year Lighthouse award. During years of self-study in the areas of nutrition and intestinal health and the impact these have on mental health, her focus changed and she currently works part time at a North Bay Wellness Center which applies these principals as a path to optimum health.
Mike Owens / Director (Thunder Bay)
Bio coming soon