BGC Ottawa is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
All Board members contribute by lending their expertise in areas of governance, programs, fundraising, communications, legal, IT, community development, strategic planning, finance, and human resource development.
Robyn Osgood is a Managing Director at McMillan Vantage Policy Group, one of Canada’s leading public affairs firms. She has more than 30 years of experience providing strategic communications counsel, and developing and implementing communications plans. Working with senior leaders, she has developed strategies to support membership engagement and change-management initiatives, and managed large-scale, national campaigns.
She has a track record of creating strategies that have impact, that can be practically implemented and measured, and that reflect a client’s unique situation. She is often called upon to help clients communicate clearly and meaningfully with many different groups, from government decision-makers to customers, members, and volunteers. She has earned the trust of clients through her ability to manage the sensitivities and diverse interests associated with these complex multi-stakeholder engagements.
In addition to the BGC Ottawa Board, Robyn is a member of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Board and sits on that Board’s Quality committee. Robyn is also a member of Women United -- members of Women United support vulnerable women and their families to make sure they have equal opportunities for a successful life. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in public relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and holds a Diplôme d’Études Françaises from Université de Paul Valèry, Montpellier, France.
Meredithe Rechan had a 19-year career with IBM, spanning Australia, US, European HQs, and Southeast Asia with a career focused mainly on financial planning and services consulting. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of NSW in Sydney Australia and a Masters of Management from JL Kellogg School of Management from Northwestern University in Chicago.
Meredithe is a well seasoned board member with a focus on governance, strategic planning, and finance. Her previous board experiences included Board Trustee, Treasurer and Chair of Strategic Planning with the Valley Montessori School, a 500 student Pre-K through eighth grade private school in California – followed by a similar position as Board Trustee and Vice President at the Ottawa Montessori School (OMS) until 2010. Meredithe was a Board Member from 2010 through to 2012 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities located in Ottawa and a member of the Board of Governors at Ashbury College, an independent co-ed university prep school in Ottawa for the period 2011-2014.
Blaine Fitzgerald is the Chief Financial Officer at Kinaxis, a leading supply chain planning tech company based in Kanata. As part of his role, he oversees the company’s finance, procurement, and corporate IT organizations. Blaine has more than 20 years of finance experience, mostly within the high-tech industry.
Prior to joining Kinaxis, Blaine served over 5 years as the Vice President of Finance at e-commerce platform Shopify. During his time at Shopify, Blaine was instrumental in taking Shopify public in 2015 and continued to support the company's rapid growth by building a global team to meet the needs of an organization that scaled to more than $1B in revenue and over 4,000 employees.
Blaine is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant and started in public practice working in Vancouver, Bermuda, Luxembourg, and Ottawa with Collins Barrow, EY, and Deloitte. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Simon Fraser University.
Brittany Forsyth-Wilson works in the tech industry as the Senior Vice President of HR at Shopify. She has been leading the HR department since 2014 but has been with the company since 2010.
Brittany thrives within the growth phase of a company's life cycle and joined the BGCO Board in late 2016 with a wealth of knowledge on employee relations, organizational development, performance management, and benefit and legal compliance, having obtained a Bachelor's of Commerce from Carleton University.
Craig Robinson is a trusted advisor to both private and public sector clients in developing and implementing senior-level enterprise strategies.
He has a strong track record engaging governments on behalf of clients, working directly with executives to ensure organizations deliver maximum shareholder value while improving customer and stakeholder relations.
His expertise includes the financial services and transportation sectors, regulatory and compliance issues, advocacy, program delivery and performance measurement.
Craig has been involved with the BGC Ottawa for many years, Co-Chairing the Camp Smitty golf tournament, as a table captain for the Morning Social and a member of our Govt Relations committee.
Derek Noble is a seasoned real estate developer with a strong background in real estate development, planning, project organization and commercial and residential construction management. Derek’s professional standings include a Chartered Accountant designation and his strengths in finance, corporate governance and due diligence round out his ability to bring innovative development concepts to life and the financial acumen to make them a reality. Prior to joining Huntington Properties as a Partner, Derek held senior executive positions with Canada’s leading “Green” Developer as well as with a National Self Storage Company. Derek skillfully manages strong project teams, engaging investors, lenders, urban planners, design professionals and contractors in order to deliver successful projects to completion. Among his community work, Derek is also Co-Chair of the CHEO Ski for Kids.
Farhana Alarakhiya is a Software Executive who has been deeply immersed in the world of Big Data analytics and AI for her entire 25+ year career. She is currently the Chief Data Innovation Officer at the Aga Khan University (AKU) working on coupling data with smart people to deliver social, economic, and environmental impact in Low Middle Income Country settings.
Farhana holds an Electrical Engineering and Management degree and serves as an advisor to several AI focused incubate firms and think tanks.
She is passionate about fair and equitable treatment of women and about decreasing the gap between the “have” and “have not.” In addition to BGCO, she sits on the board for Pulsar Collective, an organisation focused on improving gender equity in STEM and the Scientific Advisory Board for Universite Catholica’s Biomedical Research Institute.
Jock Climie is a former professional football player who enjoyed a successful 12 year CFL career with the Ottawa Rough Riders, Toronto Argonauts, and Montreal Alouettes. He was selected fourth overall by the Toronto Argonauts in the 1990 CFL College Draft and retired from the league with 56 touchdowns and 627 receptions (good for top 10 all-time at the time of his retirement) and 9,619 yards.
Jock spent 17 years as an analyst on TSN's top-rated CFL Live control show where he provided analysis and commentary from a former players perspective, breaking down the plays and key match-ups throughout the season.
Jock received both a law degree and undergraduate degree from Queen's University, and has been called to the bars of Ontario, Nunavut and British Columbia. He garnered experience with the Department of Justice, before joining Emond Harnden in 2000. Jock has been a partner at Emond Harnden for the last twenty years, specializing in management-side labour and employment law.
Judi Shum-Mousseau holds a Science degree with minors in business and English from the University of Western Ontario. She has been involved with the Insurance industry for over 25 years in Ottawa as a risk consulting manager and Senior Executive at BFL Canada. Judi has lead account teams working in diverse books of business. Judi’s expertise and niche falls within liabilities and complex risk placements with both national and international exposures that require out of scope solutions. Judi is committed to youth coaching high performance athletes for the past 33 years in the sport of volleyball. She is the Director of Excellence and Athlete Development for the Ottawa Volleyball Club.
Michael Tshimanga is a former BGC Ottawa Member, volunteer, scholarship recipient, and staff. He has both participated and worked with members in various programs, including Creating Connections, Homework Club, Sens Sports Leadership League, and Walk This Way. Michael personally understands the importance and value of the programming offered by the BGCO.
Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Ottawa. His education has allowed him to gain valuable insights into public policy development, and governmental administrative procedures, with a focus to promote the inclusion of racialized and marginalized groups in Canada.
Michael will be continuing his academic journey by studying law at McGill University.
Michelle Taggart is the Vice President of Planning and Development for Tamarack Homes and Tartan Homes. She chairs the Builder Developer Council for the Greater Ottawa Homebuilder’s Association. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Queen’s. She is a Registered Professional Planner and a LEED Accredited Professional. Michelle gained experience working for a global urban planning consulting firm in Toronto. She returned to Ottawa to join the Taggart Group in 2010 and is now leading land development and government relations.
Dr Michelle Ward is a pediatrician and associate professor who has spent 18 years working at the intersection of health care, social services, and the law. She also works as a freelance journalist with her pieces appearing in The Globe and Mail, National Post, CBC News and other outlets, as well as on radio and TV.
As a physician leader, Michelle has helped shape the specialized field of Child Maltreatment Pediatrics in Canada and her work has taken her from the hospital bedside, to lecture halls, boardrooms, and courtrooms. Her work has given her a front seat view of childhood adversity and resilience, its effects on individuals and families, and the complex systems around these issues.
Michelle is a practicing pediatrician and former division head of Child and Youth Protection at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa, and the past-president of the Child and Youth Maltreatment Section of the Canadian Pediatric Society.
After finishing a B.Sc in biology and psychology at Queen’s University, Michelle completed her medical training at McMaster University and her pediatrics residency at the University of Ottawa.
She is board certified in Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics. She has authored scientific publications and book chapters, consults and speaks in medical and legal communities, and teaches at the Faculty of Medicine (University of Ottawa) in the areas of child maltreatment pediatrics, communication skills, and advocacy.
Michelle is a graduate of the Fellowship in Global Journalism at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and the Media and Medicine postgraduate program at Harvard University.
Her journalism work focuses on pairing solid science with compelling stories to bring health issues, including those for children, youth, and families, to the forefront.
Robert Rheaume is the CEO of CCSR Advisory Services Inc, a boutique consulting firm providing strategic guidance to entrepreneurs and business leaders on business acquisitions, growth strategies, complex transactions, succession planning and exit strategies.
Robert holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University of Ottawa and is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant. He was in public accounting for twenty-eight years, eighteen years as a partner. He also held C-Suite position in the private sector for twelve years.
He chairs the Montfort Hospital Foundation and is active in the community supporting causes for youth, homelessness, and mental health. Robert enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, gardening and is an avid scuba diver.
Setareh Ziai is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Ottawa Eye Institute. She is fellowship trained in cornea and refractive surgery, is heavily involved in clinical research, as well as in the teaching of residents and fellows at the hospital.
She is the Director of the Cornea, Anterior Segment & Refractive Surgery Fellowship Program, as well as the Director of the Ophthalmic Medical Technology training program at the University of Ottawa Eye Institute.
She is a passionate founding member and past-president of Canadian Women in Medicine, and a member of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society Board of Directors.
Graham Macmillan has been a senior executive in the financial services industry for over 25 years. As President of Walton Asset Management ( 2009-2012), his group created land-based real estate investments for individual and institutional investors worldwide for the Walton Group, one of North America’s leading real estate investment companies. He continues as an advisor to the Walton Group.
For the majority of his career (1986 – 2009), Graham was a Managing Director with RBC Capital Markets , Canada’s leading Investment Bank. In addition to being the firm’s senior Corporate Finance/Investment Banking representative in the Ottawa area between 2000 to 2009, he headed RBC’s Retail Structured Product Division, raising over $100 billion for domestic and international clients.
Graham is currently involved in a number of youth oriented organizations including the United Way (Champion for Youth), the Lift Foundation (Co-founder), and the Ottawa Senators Foundation (Vice Chair). Graham also sits on the Board of several private and public financial services companies.
Stephen Beckta is the proprietor of Beckta, one of Canada’s premier fine dining restaurants, along with the critically acclaimed, small-plates Play food & wine, and the upscale neighbourhood restaurant Gezellig. After graduating with honours from Algonquin College’s Sommelier program, Stephen departed Ottawa to hone his skills in New York City for four years with the top players in the restaurant industry. Stephen managed the wine programs and dining rooms at Café Boulud working for the celebrated chef Daniel Boulud, followed by two years with renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer at Eleven Madison Park before returning to his native city.
Beckta, Play and Gezellig have received glowing reviews in The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, and countless others, being applauded for their extraordinary hospitality and inspired cooking. Just two months after opening, enRoute Magazine rated Beckta dining & wine the fourth-best new restaurant in Canada. Other accolades include seventeen consecutive CAA/AAA four-diamond awards as well as being named the #1 restaurant in Ottawa by Ottawa Magazine three years in a row. Beckta was named “Ottawa’s Signature Restaurant”, by the Ottawa Citizen, and one of the Top 100 restaurants in Canada four times including 2022. Play was named “Favourite Fine Dining Restaurant” at the Ottawa Restaurant Awards, and Gezellig was said to “redefine the neighbourhood dining experience” by the Ottawa Citizen.
Stephen has personally contributed to his industry in many ways: sitting on the board of ORHMA, teaching at Algonquin College, sitting on the advisory committee for the Hospitality School at Algonquin College, mentoring dozens of burgeoning restaurant entrepreneurs and donating his time to various local and national causes whose values he shares. He is most engaged with the BGC Ottawa, being an active member of the board since 2011, and was named Board Chair in 2017. Stephen also sits on the Governance and Nominating Committee and has Co-Chaired the popular BGCO Gala since it’s inception in 2019. Professionally, Stephen has been named Top Independent Restaurateur in Ontario by the Ontario Hostelry Institute, won the National Terroir "Outstanding Service Professional" Award, won the Bill Joe Restaurateur of the Year Award in Ottawa by ORHMA, named one of Ottawa Life Magazine’s Top 50 people twice, one of Ottawa’s Top 40 under 40 by the Ottawa Business Journal and Algonquin College’s Alumni of the year, giving his college’s convocation address the same year.