Board of Directors



Nicole Robert, President

Nicole Robert

Nicole Robert graduated as a registered nurse from the École d’infirmières of the University of Ottawa. She holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing, with a concentration in public hygiene, as well as a Master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from the same institution.

Nicole has worked many years in the health sector, more specifically in the mental health sector at the hospital and community levels. She was also the executive director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Community Services of Ottawa for more than two decades. As a member of various local and regional boards and committees, she actively promoted the delivery of services targeted to numerous groups and minorities in a constantly changing environment, collaborating with several partners.

Her professional path has also given her the opportunity to act as a citizen judge, working closely with a multicultural community to defend the principles inherent in Canadian citizenship.

Now a retiree, Nicole pursues her work as a capacity assessor at the Capacity Assessment Office of the Ministry of the Attorney General. She is also a member of the Council on Aging, an organization focused on building an “age-friendly city”.

Nicole has many hobbies: she plays tennis, golf and bridge, attends a reading club and likes cross-country skiing. In a nutshell, she is a very busy woman, as well as a loving grandmother.


Trèva Cousineau, 2nd Vice-President

Trèva Cousineau

A former teacher and dietitian, Trèva Cousineau has devoted herself to the advancement and protection of the” francophonie” at the local, provincial, national and even international levels for more than 50 years. She has served as counsel, coordinator and director of many franco-ontarien and French Canadian organizations, such as President of the provincial ACFO, Chair of the Ontario School Trustees’ Council and Executive Director of the National Federation of the French language school boards (FNCSF). While Vice-President of Richelieu International and Administrator of the local district, she was responsible for the sponsorship of the six first Monuments de la francophonie d’Ottawa. She was President of the Committee for the Monument at Ottawa University, her alma mater. She is Vice-President of the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques, President of MIFO and President of Dialogue Canada since 2011.


Kimberly Peterson, Past President

Kimberly Peterson

Kimberly Peterson is an innovative, strategic, client focused health care professional with over ten years’ experience at the senior leadership level overseeing the introduction of new programs and demonstrating excellent skills in change management, participative leadership and the development of learning organizations. She has worked as the Director of Client Services and VP of Clinical Care of the Champlain CCAC since 2007. She sits on the Inner City Health Board and is a founding member of the Champlain Hospice palliative Care Program Council. Much of her career has been focussed on assisting seniors to maintain or enhance their health.


Sandra Muray, Secretary

Sandra Murray

Sandra has held senior management positions in Customer Service and Human Resources across a number of industries and has worked in numerous cities in Canada as well as Texas, California, and Paris, France. 

She obtained her MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University.  Sandra has previously served on the Boards of Steelbridge Solutions Inc., a Human Resources consulting firm and the Canadian Paraplegic Association Ontario (now Spinal Cord Injury Ontario), and was a founding member of Beaches Speeches in Toronto, a chapter of Toastmasters International. 

A recent transplant to Ottawa, Sandra enjoys Nordic walking, cycling and snowshoeing on the many trails in the area in addition to gardening during the summer months.


Alex Roussakis, 1st Vice-President, Chair, Education

Alex Roussakis

Alex is a retired federal public service employee.  For the majority of his tenure with the Federal Government he was responsible for various training programs, including managing a national learning program in the National Capital Region that had a focus on improving labour management relations.

Alex, served as Vice President of the Centretown Community Health Centre Board.  In addition, as a Board member for nine (9) years he worked on various initiatives that impacted the diverse community of Centretown and greater Ottawa.

He holds, on MA in Human Systems Intervention from Concordia University, a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University and a Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology from the Flourishing Center of New York.

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Chandra Hapuarachchi, Treasurer

Chandra Hapuarachchi

Chandra has been a dedicated volunteer since she came to Canada from the UK in 1981. She has volunteered preparing income tax returns for seniors, students, newcomers and those with low income. Chandra has held several board positions and has acted as treasurer and volunteer auditor for numerous organizations.  She has served on the selection committees for the Prime Ministers’ Award for Teaching Excellence and the Carol Thompson Memorial Fund Scholarship for students with learning disabilities.  She is a founding director of the Sri Lanka Association of Manitoba and the Association for New Canadians in St. John’s. More recently, she is a founding organizer of the seniors’ group providing services to Sri Lankan Canadian seniors which is supported by the Social Planning Council of Ottawa.  Chandra has worked in the charitable sector as a controller and director of finance and for two crown corporations as internal auditor.

COA Directors


Caroline Bergeron, Chair,Comité des affaires francophone

Caroline Bergeron

Caroline D. Bergeron is a healthy aging advocate and researcher. She has a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of South Carolina, a Master’s in Communications from the University of Montreal, as well as a Bachelor’s in Communications and a Bachelor’s in Spanish from the University of Ottawa. 

To date, Caroline has studied falls, ageism, social participation, sexual health, health communication, organ donation, chronic disease management, pain, age-friendly cities, dementia, resilience, alcohol consumption, and suicide among older adults.

She has worked in healthy aging at the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Quebec National Public Health Institute, and the Mayo Clinic. She is happy to be back in Ottawa and to serve on the Council on Aging. 


Nancy Garrard, Chair, Health

Nancy Garrard

Nancy Garrard spent 30 years in the federal public service working primarily on health and social policy and programs.  She spent almost 10 years working on aging and seniors issues.  These included a wide variety of international and pan-Canadian issues including Canada’s contributions to the International Year of Older Persons and the Second World Assembly on Ageing. 

For her work in seniors, she earned the Head of Public Service award.  Since her retirement, she has remained active in volunteer work with many organizations and continues to grow creatively as a fibre artist.


Russel Robinson, Chair, Income Security

Russel Robinson

Dr. Robinson (Ph.D., Yale) taught economics at universities in Canada for five years before joining the Government of Canada where he spent 26 years at senior levels in five departments including the central agencies, working on policy development and intergovernmental relations. Early in his career he helped conduct a federal/provincial review of Canada’s income security system.

In the Department of Finance he was ADM responsible for Canada’s Equalization Program, other federal/provincial/territorial fiscal transfers and social policy issues including the CPP. Russ then devoted 16 years to Canadian and international consulting, and has been “informally retired” for the past few years.


Alex Cullen, Chair, Transportation

Alex Cullen

Alex Cullen has a proven record as a progressive active in his community, from local community activist to Ottawa City Hall and Queen`s Park, and in the non-profit sector.

An economist by training, Alex has worked in both the private and public sectors while finding time to be a school council chair, community association president, service club president, and raise a family.

He has served as a school board trustee, city & regional councillor, M.P.P., and more recently has worked on Parliament Hill as an assistant to an M.P. Alex is familiar with the Council on Aging as he served as Executive Director in 1999-2000, prior to his re-election to Ottawa City Council. Alex is married and grandfather to 4 young boys.



George Hartsgrove, Chair, Social Inclusion

George Hartsgrove

George Hartsgrove is a retired single gay male, originally from Brantford ON, who spent most of his career in Ottawa.  Soon after arriving in Ottawa to work at Carleton University, George began to volunteer for several LGBTQ organizations, which quickly became a passion during his life.

In 1986 George took a bold leap and bought a large house on Frank Street to set up a Bed and Breakfast while continuing to work in the research community at the University of Ottawa.

In 1993, George was asked to come work for the fledgling LGBTQ newspaper, Capital Xtra as advertising sales manager.  In 2007, George decided to slow down by leaving the B&B business to become a Mortgage Agent until early 2017 when he retired.  A tireless community activist, he continues to participate in numerous volunteer endeavours and is very active with the Ottawa Senior Pride network.  In his spare time, George is a motorcycle enthusiast.


MIriam Fry, Co-Chair, Housing

Miriam Fry

Miriam Fry has recently left her position after 6 years as the executive director of Families Matter Co-operative, a family support organization for those supporting loved ones with developmental disabilities.   Appropriate supported housing is one of the key concerns of these families.  Miriam was one of the authors of “Ending the Wait” which led to the province’s Innovative Housing Task Force.  Before that, Miriam spent over 25 years at the CBC, as a journalist and a journalistic manager.

Miriam is the president of Ottawa Carleton Lifeskills, an organization that provides housing and support for adults with disabilities.  She sits on the advisory committee of Doors Open Ottawa and has been a long-time volunteer English language tutor for newcomers.


Linda Meek, Chair, Resource Development

Linda Meek

Linda is a consummate professional who is truly vested in understanding the needs of seniors. This is clearly substantiated by per professional career path. She has 10 years of management experience in Ottawa’s retirement communities, and has been the Executive Director at the Rockcliffe Retirement for the last three years.

Linda served as Vice President of Regional Affairs for the Ontario Retirement Home Association Board of Directors. For three years ending in 2013, she brought senior concerns to the Board from all over Ontario. For over 15 years she has worked with, and volunteered her time for, senior centric causes. She is currently a member of the Health Advisory Committee at the Council on Aging and also serves on the Champlain Community Care Access Centre Advisory Committee. In 2013-14 Linda advised Algonquin College on a task force with a proposal for a Retirement Home Communities Management Diploma Course.

Members whose term has ended, thank you for your service.

 Chantal Cousineau-Mahoney, Patricia Marsden-Dole, Monique Gibbens, Mary Hearn Hendela and Richard McCoy.