Our Board of Directors
Dr. Dorothy Bakker – Chair
Shannon O’Neill – Treasurer
Chris Merchant – Vice Chair
Harpreet South – Secretary
Rachelle Marek Sparrow
Dorothy Bakker is a family physician who graduated from McMaster’s Family Medicine Residency in 1992. She has practiced in a variety of settings including rural family practice, university student health and immigration medical examination. She is an Associate Clinical Professor and the Assistant Dean of McMaster Community & Rural Education and received the OCFP Regional Family Physician of the Year Award in 2015. Since the death of her son, Stephen, from a fentanyl overdose in 2017 she has advocated to reduce stigma and improve supports for those struggling with addiction.
Chris Merchant began his career with Linamar Corporation in October 1999. He has held the position of Vice President, Global Finance since October 2011. He is responsible for the overall finance function of all operational and support service business units within the organization. His role supports financial reporting, strategic planning, strategy execution, talent recruitment and development as well as compliance. He has been at the forefront of the continued growth of Linamar Corporation, having a key role in a variety of acquisition, innovation and growth initiatives.
Mr. Merchant obtained his Honours Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Laurentian University and holds a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.
Shannon O’Neill is a senior manager at RLB LLP Chartered Professional Accountants and received her CPA, CA designation in 2019. She works mainly with small to medium sized companies who are looking to grow their businesses and spends most of her time specializing in assurance and tax planning. She first joined the GCHC as part of the Young Professionals on Board program in 2019.
Harpreet South is currently the Vice President of Quality, Security, Health & Safety and Environment with a Fortune Global 500 company, with 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and supply-chain industries. Passionate about advocacy, Harpreet was previously on the Board of Directors of a non-profit anti-violence organization providing shelter and counselling for women. Harpreet is currently the executive sponsor of women’s professional leadership program, supporting women in achieving professional and personal success through development opportunities, networking connections and mentorship.
Craig Robinson is a registered Social Services Worker that started out his career working at Seaton House in Toronto. From there, Craig became very interested in harm reduction, substance use and viral management. Craig was invited to work at the Public Health Agency of Canada for numerous years and consulted for the region of Ontario on hepatitis C (HCV) community-based funding. This experience led Craig to overseas opportunities in Nigeria and China where he continued to provide HIV and HCV coinfection technical consultation with local organizations and Centres for Disease Control (CDC). Recently, Craig has graduated from the Master of Health Evaluation program at the University of Waterloo and continues to provide Mental Health and Addictions project leadership at the Guelph General Hospital.
Joel Best is a technology professional who is passionate about using his problem-solving to help improve our community. He currently works as a technology manager at the University of Guelph where he supports a team responsible for a large part of the university’s technology infrastructure. He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in Engineering from the University of Guelph as well as multiple other technology-focused certifications. Joel joined the Guelph CHC board as part of the Young Professionals on Board program in 2018 and is currently a Governance committee member.
Alicia Wood is a registered pharmacist and currently the Lead, Specialty Pharmacy Operational Excellence at McKesson Specialty Health, one of the largest pharmaceutical provider networks in Canada. In this role, Alicia works with both internal and external stakeholders to improve operational efficiencies, create solutions for complex patient needs and reduce access barriers to specialty medications. Alicia is as passionate leader within the healthcare industry and is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration from McMaster University.
Danielle Foster is the Operations and Development Officer at Human Rights Watch. She holds an Honors bachelor’s degree in Media, Information and Technoculture from Western University, with a minor in political science. After realizing her preference for courses in social justice, Danielle pursued a certificate of intensive study from Bard College’s Globalization and International Affairs program in New York City. Danielle recently completed her Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law degree from York University.
Krisha Ravikantharaja is an executive communications professional and speechwriter who strives to build and empower communities through access to education. As Communications and Special Projects Manager for the Office of the President at the University of Guelph, she develops communications strategies and leads key projects that advance institutional priorities. She has also led public relations, policy and strategic initiatives for the office of a Member of Parliament, local-level political campaigns, and conferences. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. Krisha joined the Guelph CHC Board through the PIN Young Professional On Board program in 2021.
David Hong with a passion for understanding people and organizational effective, capacity and capability, David has been working in the HR field for over ten years. Currently, David is the Vice-President, Customer + Employee Success at OCAS, the main application centre and shared services organization for Ontario public colleges, overseeing Customer + Product functions as well as HR functions. Prior to OCAS, David worked in the Tech industry at BlackBerry through times of significant change. David is a graduate of the University of Guelph and believes in community well-being as a foundation for a sustainable future.
Jude Sacramenthas is a Commercial Account Manager in the healthcare space working on mergers, acquisitions, expansions, and start-up financing. His Economics degree from York University provided him with a strong finance background, on top of which he has 12 years of progressive banking experience. He is a proven relationship manager, credit analyst, and risk management professional.
Jude is passionate about positively impacting his community by providing mentorship and support at The Forge McMaster (McMaster University Tech Incubator) and Bhive (City of Brampton Tech Incubator). Both organizations help entrepreneurs develop their start-up business from ideation and validation to growth.
He is also a director/treasurer at Westminster Court, which is the largest non-government rent-geared-to-income (RGI) in the Peel district.
In his free time he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family, which includes his wife and their two young boys.
Kim Wilson has training in social work and gerontology and currently works as an Associate Professor in Adult Development & Aging at the University of Guelph. Prior to joining U of G, Kim was the Executive Director of the Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health. .
Rachelle Marek Sparrow is a Registered Nurse with extensive knowledge and experience in community health, sexual and reproductive health, as well as trauma informed care. Currently, she works as a Public Health Nurse with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health in the Vaccine Preventable Diseases program. She holds a degree from Western University in Community Development and Family Studies and later obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Toronto. Rachelle’s passion and interest in community health and health equity led her to serve on the Board of Directors for a prominent sexual and reproductive health clinic in downtown Toronto. To further build and hone her leadership skills, Rachelle is pursuing a Master’s degree in Clinical Sciences at Western University.
Upcoming Board meeting: Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 6:30-9:00 pm. Contact email@example.com for information.