Zahra Saigar - Chair

Zahra has served on the Board of Directors at My Friend's House since 2016. Zahra is proud to work with the incredible team at MFH, as she gets to witness daily the heart and effort each brings to serving the vulnerable in this community.

Zahra is an alumni of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Her professional journey has led her through Marketing, Management Consulting and now Leadership Coaching. Her work focuses on partnering with women to stand tall in their own personal leadership. Only when we lead in our own lives can we effectively lead others.

Zahra has proudly called Collingwood home since 2011. Zahra and her husband, Zain, are thrilled to be raising their two daughters in the South Georgian Bay community, where they enjoy hiking and skiing. Zahra is a member of the Collingwood Toastmasters Club.

Mary Ferguson - Vice Chair

Mary joined the board of My Friend’s House upon retiring and moving to Collingwood after decades of visiting the community with her family on weekends. She brings more than 35 years of experience as a journalist, communications director and public relations consultant. She worked as a communications leader in public health, the Ontario government, the Canadian Red Cross and a public relations agency.

She is a volunteer director for the Collingwood Cycling Club and serves on the Communications Advisory Committee for the Town of Blue Mountain. She coaches with the Special Olympics Alpine team and enjoys membership in the Collingwood Curling Club, Toronto Ski Club and the Georgian Triangle Hikers.

Mary is married and has two adult children. “I am always impressed with the level of support and respect My Friend’s House has earned in the South Georgian Bay area. It is an extremely professional organization that provides a vital service to our community.”

Michelle Kemper - Member

Michelle began volunteering on the My Friend's House Board of Directors in May 2019 and is a member of the Governance Committee. Michelle believes deeply in working towards a world free from violence against all women and is inspired by the work of My Friend’s House to ensure that local women and children receive the safety and support they need to rebuild their lives after experiencing gender-based violence.

Michelle is a proud monthly donor to My Friend's House and is regularly impressed with how much support My Friend’s House receives from the entire Georgian Bay community.

Michelle graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2007. She was licensed as an Ontario lawyer in 2008. Prior to law school, Michelle worked as a consultant to numerous candidates for public office and as an advisor to cabinet ministers in the BC government, including the Minister of Women's Equality.

After law school, Michelle articled at a prominent class action firm and spent the first few years of her legal career at a boutique litigation firm in Toronto, focusing on plaintiff personal injury and class actions before joining an insurance defence and professional negligence claim firm, where she worked until 2017.

Michelle joined the Law Society of Ontario as Counsel in the Practice Review Department in May 2017, where she has remained to date. Her work involves supporting the mandate of the Law Society to protect the public interest by ensuring that the people of Ontario are served by lawyers and paralegals who meet high standards of competence and professional conduct.

Michelle is a past chair of the Ontario Bar Association's Women Lawyers Forum (then the Feminist Legal Analysis Committee).

In her free time, Michelle enjoys exploring Ontario’s vibrant restaurant, theatre, music, outdoor and sports scene with her son, rascal dog, extended family and friends. She has been known to cheer unabashedly during her son’s hockey games.

Prabha Mattappally – Member

Prabha joined the Board of My Friend’s House in June 2021 after she moved to Collingwood following years of being a “weekend warrior”. She brings over 20 years of experience as a senior business operation professional, having spent the majority of her career in the non-profit and profit with purpose sectors. Prabha is an advocate for diversity in Collingwood and has made deputations to town council, has written letters to local news outlets, and co-directed and co-produced a short video documenting Collingwood’s drive for change and some of the town’s inspirational community leaders. “No woman should be denied the right to determine her own choices or have her self-worth decided for her. I am honoured to work with My Friend’s House to achieve its vision of empowering women and transforming communities”.

Elizabeth Comuzzi (Liz) - Member

Having recently left corporate Canada for an improved work/life balance, Liz and her husband, Blaine Bell, turned their weekend retreat into their full-time home.

Liz is known as a tactical Human Resources Professional who delivers results while providing exceptional client-driven services. Having worked within several privately held companies, Liz has a keen ability to quickly analyze the challenge, develop a strategy, and execute the plan to deliver results.

Liz and Blaine own Comfort Keepers Georgian Triangle and employs over 40 PSW caregivers who take care of those in need within our community. Together, they enjoy cycling, skiing, hiking, and traveling. Liz is looking forward to working with the Team at My Friend’s House.

Paulette Soper – Member

Paulette joined the Board of My Friend’s House in June 20201 after moving permanently to the family weekend chalet

in The Blue Mountains. She brings almost 40 years of business experience, first as an IT professional and the latter half of her career as an HR executive. Paulette has lived and worked across Canada and the United States and supported non-North American geographies for most of her career. Paulette believes the opportunity to travel and work globally has provided first-hand exposure to different cultures, people and situations. She believes her career success was strengthened by a deep appreciation for diversity in all forms.

Paulette is blessed with a large “mergers & acquisitions” family together with her partner, Greg. They share 6 daughters, a son, and a growing gaggle of grandchildren. Together they enjoy golfing, skiing, hiking, and traveling. Paulette is looking forward to the opportunity to support My Friend’s House in the meaningful and important work they do in our community.

Mary Ruby – Member

Mary joined the Board of My Friend’s House in June, 2021. Mary has been a weekend seasonal resident and avid skier in the Collingwood area for her entire life and has enjoyed introducing her husband and 2 daughters to all that the area has to offer. Mary brings to the Board over 30 years of experience in various legal, governance and executive roles. She recently retired as Chief Administrative Officer of IMAX Corporation, a global entertainment technology company where, over the course of her career, she held various leadership positions including legal, HR, Board secretary and governance, real estate and facilities oversight. Prior to IMAX, Mary worked for a large Toronto law firm in the corporate securities law area. She holds an LLB from Dalhousie University and an ICD.D. from Rotman. Mary has served on several not for profit boards in Toronto and Collingwood and is excited to join the talented and dedicated team who support MFH’s vision and mission.

Carol Ellis - Member

Carol joined the Board of My Friend's House in June 2021. Carol has been coming to Collingwood since she was a child. She made it her permanent home in 2018 - joining her daughters and grandchildren who live here too.

Carol brings more than 30 years experience as a human resource professional nd leadership, team and career coach. Before starting her coaching practice she held a senior HR leadership role at the City of Toronto. Volunteering has always been a part of her life - she has worked in both frontline and board positions in Toronto and Ottawa. Carol is committed to creating a world free from violence against all women. She is inspired by the work of My Friend's House and the support for MFH from the community.

Nancy Prenevost - Member

Nancy joined the Board of My Friends' House in June 2021. Nancy is inspired by the vital work that My Friend's House does in providing support to the women and children of the Georgian Triangle and looks forward to making a contribution to the organization.

Nancy has been a seasonal resident of Collingwood for over 20 years when she and her husband and 2 sons would visit to ski and play golf and as of 2020 have become permanent residents.

Nancy is the Head of Legal Affairs and Operational Compliance for Oxford Prosperities Group. She has practiced law for over 30 years starting her career with a large law firm in Toronto and joined Oxford in 1998.

Nancy is a Governor of George Brown Collège and has participated in leadership roles including President, of Toronto CREW an organization dedicated to the success of women in commercial real estate. Nancy has an ICD.D from Rotman School of Management and a CEC (certified Executive Coach) designation from Royal Roads University.

In her free time Nancy enjoys golf, travel, hiking and entreating family and friends.

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