If you are interested in becoming a Board Member, please visit Board Introduction and Expectations page. 

Mary Ruby

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.

Mary Ferguson

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.”

Paulette Soper

Vice Chair
Paulette joined the Board of My Friend’s House in June 2021 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.

Bob Martin

Bob joined the Board of My Friend’s House in June 2022. In 2016, Bob first became aware of the critical role that My Friend’s House provides by giving an opportunity to move forward for women and children who are subject to domestic abuse and violence. At that time, he and his wife made the organization a beneficiary of an event they held and they have been supporters ever since. Collingwood has been the primary residence for Bob since his retirement in 2013, having loved the area and everything it has to offer with family since childhood. Bob is also a volunteer driver for Red Cross clients in the area, temporarily curtailed through COVID restrictions. Subsequent to retirement, he also joined the Board of a Toronto sports club that suffered a catastrophic fire in 2017. Bob was Vice President and President of that club through the period of the fire and the rebuild. Professionally, Bob was a partner in a major accounting firm, specializing in business valuations and litigation support, providing expert witness testimony in court on related financial matters. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University (now the Smith School of Business) and he is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and a Chartered Business Valuator (retired).

Prabha Mattappally

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 operations 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”.

Nancy Prenevost

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 College 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.

Michelle Kemper

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.

Jennifer Hearn

Jennifer joined the Board of My Friend’s House in June 2023 and has been a seasonal resident for many decades, enjoying skiing at Blue Mountain with her family while growing up. Currently, she resides in Clarksburg with her husband and together they have a beautiful, blended family consisting of five adult children. Jenn currently holds the position of Vice President of Resource Development at Habitat for Humanity Canada. In her role, she oversees all national fundraising activities and works closely with the 46 local Habitats, as well as providing oversight for Canada's support of Habitat's global projects. Before joining Habitat, Jenn worked on the corporate development team at the CAMH Foundation, where she successfully managed corporate partnerships, cause marketing initiatives, and played a pivotal role in organizing their annual peer-to-peer fundraising event. Approximately nine years ago, she transitioned to the non-profit sector, following a successful career in business development and marketing. During that time, she held various roles on both the client and agency sides, working for esteemed organizations such as Geometry Global, Grip Limited, Mosaic, Panasonic, and Motorola. Jenn is driven by a deep passion for giving back, as evidenced by her extensive experience. She is enthusiastic about assisting My Friend's House in achieving their mission and looks forward to making a positive impact within the organization.

Rick Pettit

Rick joined the Board of My Friend’s House in June 2023. He and his wife, Karen, have been long time supporters of MFH, having recognized long ago that, as the population in our area and societal pressures grow, there is an ever increasing need for the services and support that MFH provides for women and children that are subjected to domestic violence. The Pettits moved to the area full-time in 2009, having previously been Winter weekenders since 1985. Rick served on the Board/Advisory Committee of the Heart & Stroke Foundation (Ontario) for six years. He also served on the Board of one of our private ski clubs as Treasurer and President. Rick has his FCPA/FCA designation and was a partner for many years in a major public accounting firm, practicing in the insolvency and restructuring area, which provided significant hands-on experience in dealing with and operating a wide range of businesses. He is a graduate of McMaster University and the University of Windsor and obtained his Certified Director Designation (ICD.D – retired) and served on a public company Board. Rick is looking forward to contributing to the success of MFH in meeting our community’s needs.

Sonya Donovan

Sonya joined the Board of My Friend's House in January 2022, inspired by the important and critical work that My Friends House does to create safe, respectful and empowered communities. After seasonally renting for over five years Sonya decided to take the plunge with her family – partner Chris, son August, and dogs Maggie and Molly, and make Collingwood their full-time home in 2020. Sonya currently works in real estate development. She has spent the last ten years in commercial real estate and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. In addition to her role on My Friend's House board, Sonya is part of the NAIOP Education Committee and is on the board of CRE8, a non-profit she helped establish to create opportunities for women through active networking and mentorship. Sonya is currently training to be a level 1 yoga instructor. In her free time and on most weekends you can find Sonya enjoying the ski hills or hiking paths with her family.

Sherri Coburn

Sherri joined the Board of My Friend’s House in June 2023. Sherri has been a seasonal resident for over 15 years and now resides in Clarksburg full-time. Sherri brings over 30 years of experience working with organizations of various sizes within the high-tech, manufacturing, consumer products, real estate and consulting sectors. Sherri has a broad background in Information Technologies, Supply Chain, Finance, HR, Risk Management and Privacy. She has worked across Canada, and the United States and internationally; this provided her with the opportunity to experience many different cultures and environments. She holds an undergraduate degree from Wilfred Laurier and an MBA in Information Technology. Sherri believes in collaboration and getting to a better place by including people that bring different viewpoints and experiences. In her personal world, Sherri’s focus is on family, friends and keeping it simple. She, her husband and their three girls love the outdoors and regularly take advantage of the many things that Collingwood has to offer – downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, swimming, biking and hiking (often with their fluffy four-legged family members).

Lija Pukitis

Lija joined the Board of My Friend’s House in June 2023. She has been coming to The Blue Mountains since childhood, and made Collingwood her permanent home in 2022. Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honours) in Psychology, a Juris Doctor, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management. Lija is a lawyer with broad civil litigation experience, and works as a consultant in conflict management and prevention. In her current role, she conducts workplace investigations into allegations of harassment including involving prohibited and protected grounds of discrimination, bullying, gender-based violence, and misconduct. She also served on two not for profit Boards prior to moving to Collingwood. She looks forward to working with the dedicated team at My Friend’s House in the vital work they do to support and empower the community. In her free time, Lija enjoys skiing, traveling, yoga, and hiking the local trails with her dog.