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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by speaking to a member of the Board.
Aubrey Andrus / 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 / Vice-President (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.
Moira Wheeler / Secretary (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.
Tyrone Gamble / Treasurer (Ottawa)
Tyrone Gamble is a peer support worker and mental health and addictions advocate in Ottawa. He provides peer support in both the community and in several hospitals. Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa is his community and source of support and guidance. His passion revolves around supporting people living with voices and/or parallel realities. Part of his interest and passion for hearing voices and parallel realities comes from his own lived experience and the expertise he has gained supporting others who share these and similar experiences.
This is Tyrone’s second go around on the OPDI Board of Directors. He was first time on the OPDI Board of Directors was from 2010-2016. He values the organization, its mission and vision so much that he was eager to sit on the Board again and be of service to it in a way that makes the best use of his gifts and strengths.
Dylan de la Riviere / Director (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.
Kari Sterling / Director (North Bay)
Regional Director of LERN, Kari comes to us from Temagami where she resides with her husband Rick and youngest son Harrison. As a person with personal & family lived experience, Kari has worked with CMHA in New Liskeard as a Consumer/Family Support Worker and holds two certificates in Peer Support, one from OPDI. Kari is also a Holistic Health Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Health Coach, Laughter Yoga Teacher and Anger Solutions Facilitator. She is upbeat, friendly, positive and enthusiastically and passionately shares her mission to empower, support and inspire others along their journey of well being andrecovery. Kari enjoys spending time in nature boating & camping on Lake Temagami, travelling, hiking, biking, and laughing with friends and family. She is driven, passionate and excited for the opportunity to learn from and work with OPDI's Board of Directors.
Richard Adair / Director (Brampton)
After coming out of retirement from life at age 30, Richard found recovery through acquiring a passion for learning in which has given birth to two diplomas in the areas of: Advertising and Social Service Worker, at the college level. Richard finds accreditation standards, quality improvement and legislation/policy very interesting. Richard believes that the voice of the consumer should be present at all areas of the health care system in Canada. Richard currently holds the position of the Consumer/Survivor Network Coordinator for the Central West LHIN.
When Richard is not working he invests his time into his family. Richard fosters the model that “Hockey is Life” to his partner and children. They don’t necessarily agree with this model, so Richard is thus forced to work on his art, video gaming, and ball hockey hobbies when he can’t have the T.V.
Richard can be known to be overly serious, but once comfortable has a very good sense of humor. Richard holds very firm commitment to the belief that experiential knowledge is indispensable.