Jeremy Roach, Chair
Jeremy Roach is an arts and culture executive and has been involved in marketing entertainment in Canada for more than 10 years. With previously held positions within CTV, Nielsen, and DreamWorks, his experience ranges from consumer behavior to creative management. Jeremy is interested in social wellbeing and egalitarianism. He holds a Commerce degree in Marketing Management and is currently pursuing his Civic MBA. As a part of his social commitment, Jeremy is also associated with the Out of the Cold Program and the United Way of Greater Toronto. Jeremy was elected to the Homes First Society Board in June 2011, as Chair in 2015, and serves on the Executive and Communications Committees, as well as on the Finance & Audit Committee.
Fran Perkins, Secretary
Fran Perkins is an international health consultant with over 25 years experience in public health and health promotion, including working with people who are hard to reach and house. She specializes in using the holistic approach to access people’s basic health determinants and human rights, such as housing, income, and a safe, clean environment. At the City of Toronto, Fran was a Director of Community Health Services for 12 years and Executive Director of The Healthy City Office for 5 years, working extensively with city politicians and decision makers, primarily in outreach partnerships. Fran has extensive board experience at the local, provincial, federal, and international levels, and previously served on the City of Toronto’s Alternate Housing Sub-Committee. She joined the HFS Board in 2019, and is serving as Secretary, on the Executive Committee and Co-Chairs the Governance & Nominating Committee.
Jose Querubin, Treasurer
After almost 30 years, Jose retired in 2007 from the banking industry as President and CEO of UCPB in the Philippines. Prior to working at UCPB, he was Senior Vice President and Asia Regional Sales Director for Bank of America based in Singapore. Jose has Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics degrees from the De La Salle University (Philippines) and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the Univ. of Pennsylvania (USA). He is currently the Vice Chairman & Treasurer of Gawad Kalinga Canada whose vision is to eradicate poverty and restore human dignity by building homes for the poor in the Philippines. Jose also helps in providing social services that protect children as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee for the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.
Jose believes that poverty is not so much the lack of money but rather the lack of respect and dignity a human being deserves. By providing homes to the homeless, HFS gives them the dignity and respect for them to become productive members of society. Jose wants to contribute his experience and skills to help HFS further this endeavor and build capacity to help more of the homeless. Jose joined the Board in 2014 and chairs the Finance & Audit Committee, the Shutter Task Team, as well as serving on the Governance & Nominating Committee.
Mo Ettehadieh, Community Director
Mo Ettehadieh is the President and CEO of METTKO. He is an experienced executive, compassionate entrepreneur, and professional engineer who serves on the boards of companies, charities and institutions. Mo is now the CEO of METTKO, a firm specializing in leadership and management of infrastructure construction projects. As an engineering and construction professional, Mo has led teams that have built some of Canada’s iconic and heritage buildings, such as the Ryerson University Campus Development from 2001-2004, the Canadian War Museum and Ottawa’s Lebreton Flats revitalization. Mo is very active in early planning of projects with the policy makers and loves building and working with great teams of professionals of diverse backgrounds. Mo earned his B. Eng. at the University of Westminster, UK and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario and of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He serves on the Connect Legal Board and was elected to the HFS Board in June 2013 and serves on the Shuter Task Team.
Barbara Haynes, Community Director
After a long and successful career in the insurance industry, Barbara retired in 2018. As the first President and CEO of DAS Legal Protection Insurance Company Limited (DAS Canada) Barbara was responsible for the launch and ongoing development of DAS Canada. DAS was named one of Canada’s “Best Workplaces” in 2016 and 2018.
Barbara began her career in the UK then moved to Canada and took on a number of executive roles with insurers and brokers, before moving to DAS. She is a Canadian Risk Manager and a Fellow, Chartered Insurance Professional, received Executive Education at Queen’s University and Kellogg, North Western University, and is currently enrolled in the Institute of Corporate Directors program through University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
Barbara’s previous Board experience includes Chair, National Sponsorships; Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade from 2004 to 2011; Director, RAID; and International Association of Legal Protection Insurers, 2014-2018. She joined the Board of Homes First Foundation in June 2015, and is currently the Foundation’s Secretary. Barbara lives in downtown Toronto and is a strong believer that the city is for everyone, and no-one should be without a home.
Mike Heinrich, Community Director
Michael recently completed eight years on the board of St. Michael’s Homes, a residential addiction treatment centre with four houses in Toronto, and served as the co-chair for the last three years and worked as part of each committee during his tenure. He also currently serves on a board committee at Covenant House.
Professionally, Michael runs a health care communications company best known for creating the Dr. Mike Evans whiteboard video series generating over 20 million views on YouTube. He specializes in combining communications and behaviour change with patient and care provider engagement. Over Michael’s eight years in this role, he has learned a great deal about the continuum of care, the challenges people face navigating the health system, and the importance of the social determinants of health.
Over Michael’s 20-plus years in business, Michael has developed expertise in marketing, strategy, and business development with some of Canada’s largest corporations as well as start-ups in Canada, as well as in the UK and Europe.
As Managing Director of Reframe Health Lab, Michael leads the company in combining communications and behaviour change with patient and care provider engagement.
Mervyn Horn, Community Director
Mervyn is a retired chartered accountant, whose career in public accounting, construction, manufacturing, and retail has spanned 45 years. He qualified as a chartered accountant in South Africa and Canada. Before retiring in 2016, Mervyn spent most of the last two decades in retail pharmacy with the Katz Group, including 6 years as CFO for Rexall. His career as an accountant and executive in different industries has provided him with accounting, finance, and business management skills. A member of Lion Clubs International for 10 years, he was involved in both club and district committees, including two stints as District Treasurer. Along with joining the board of HFS in 2018, Mervyn has also recently joined the finance committee of another charity.
Marc Pourvahidi, Community Director
Marc’s involvement with Homes First began in 2018 when he became a member of the HFS Shuter Task Force, and is currently serving as a member of the HFS Portfolio Committee. He is a proven senior executive with demonstrated success in strategic, operational and financial planning, change management, development management, project management in the municipal sector.
Marc has over 30 years of Municipal and Crown Corporation experience, and has served on boards for the Ontario Municipal Insurance Exchange, the Society of Professional Accountants of Canada, and is an active members of many other boards.
Paulina Salamo, Community Director
Paulina Salamo has worked for over 20 years in the public health field at the local, provincial, national and international levels. For the past 11 years, she has been working at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. More recently, her work has centered on systems, standards and performance. Paulina also has extensive volunteer experience with many NGOs including the United Way. Paulina joined the Board in June 2015, and serves as the Chair of the Governance & Nominating Committee.
Peter Soares, Resident Director and Resident Representative
As a resident of Homes First Society’s Shuter building, Peter was elected by the residents of Homes First as their Resident Representative and joined the Board of Directors in 2019.
As a person with lived experience, Peter joined the Board to bring awareness and understanding of the varying factors that lead to homelessness, and the spectrum of mental health and addiction issues those experiencing homelessness face.
Amie Tsang, Community Director
Amie Tsang, MScOT, OT(Reg.) Ont., is an Occupational Therapist whose career is dedicated to working in partnership with presently and historically marginalized populations. In addition to her knowledge base in homelessness and mental health, Amie applies a critical, anti-oppression, and anti-racism lens to all her work. She has experience as a frontline clinician in the homeless sector and is a tireless educator and advocate. In 2013, Amie became an inaugural member of the Housing First Intensive Case Management Team at the Canadian Mental Health Association – Toronto Branch (CMHA Toronto), where she was involved in all aspects of program development, in addition to service delivery, on this unique and innovative team that supports individuals experiencing both homelessness and mental health challenges.
Amie also holds Adjunct Lecturer status in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. In 2017, through the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration, Amie co-developed and taught a course on Psychosocial Rehabilitation in Mental Health to emerging psychology students and psychiatry residents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Amie was also recently promoted to Health Equity Facilitator at CMHA Toronto and is now tasked with: building staff capacity on issues of equity; community development amongst service users; and conducting research & advocacy activities to address health inequities in Toronto.
Amie is also a member of the National Interest Group on Occupational Therapy and Homelessness, Healthcare Providers Against Poverty, the TTC Fair Fare coalition, and Defend Disability, and one of the co-founders of Occupational Therapists for Equity Advancement.
With several years of front line experience in the homeless and mental health sector, experience in teaching a wide variety of audiences on complex social issues, and more recent involvement with leadership and advocacy, Amie is excited to use her skills and knowledge base to further support organizations that work towards ending homelessness, such as Homes First.
Alexis Van Halen, Resident Director and Resident Representative
Alexis Van Halen is a resident of Pleasant Manor. She has lived in Homes First facilities for 18 years, having first been a resident of Street City – an innovative Homes First Society housing project on Front Street East which has served as a model for many similar projects in Canada and the United States. Alexis has successfully conquered addictions and depression. She volunteers at a local drop-in centre, is experienced and approachable, and has strong leadership and communication skills. Alexis attends Pleasant Manor tenant meetings, and wants to expand her contribution to include all Homes First Society residents. Alexis was elected by the residents of Homes First as their Resident Representative and joined the HFS Board in June 2011 and serves on the Finance & Audit Committee.
Carla Whillier, Community Director
Carla Whillier is a civil and criminal litigator, whose practice has evolved with a focus on mental health law in the context of forensic and administrative law issues. She is cross-appointed to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board and the Health Services Appeal and Review Board. Carla has an undergraduate degree from Lakehead University, a law degree from The University of Buckingham, and a Master of Laws specializing in Health Law from Osgoode Hall Law School. Ms. Whillier recently spoke in Prague at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health Congress and completed a certificate in National and Global Health Law from Georgetown University. Carla has been an executive member of the Ontario Bar Association Health Law Section since 2010 and has been Chair of the section since March 2017. Carla is an active volunteer with Camp Trillium, Ontario Justice Education Network Mock Trial, and Girls E-Mentorship. She joined the Board in 2017 and sits on the Governance and Nominating Committee.