Board of Directors

Our GTHS Board of Directors is comprised of compassionate animal lovers from around the Georgian Triangle Area.

BARB FOSTER, Chair

Barbara Foster is a dedicated and passionate leader with a robust background in sales and marketing. She has served on the Board of Directors in various positions since 2017, including Chair of Fundraising and Vice Chair. As the President of her own successful Print/Media company for the past 12 years, Barbara has been instrumental in driving the fundraising efforts at the Georgian Triangle Humane Society by building strong community relationships. Barbara's professional career began at Xerox, where she developed essential skills until 2003. Since then, she has been actively involved in fundraising, contributing her expertise to multiple executive and chair committees for several charities, including Trillium Health Partners, United Way, Wellspring and Epilepsy South Central Ontario. Her commitment to giving back to the community is unwavering, and she has a deep passion for addressing the challenges faced by the GTHS. Living locally with her husband and their beloved Sheltie, Blue, Barbara is actively engaged in the community. She believes strongly in the power of collaboration and is dedicated to creating a cohesive Board of Directors that leverages their collective voices and passion for the betterment of pets and people in the community. Her compassionate spirit and leadership continue to inspire those around her, making her an invaluable asset to the organization and the community she serves.

MONIKA MERZ, Secretary

Monika has spent her career in leadership positions in a variety of retail formats in Canada and Asia. In 2016 she returned to Canada retiring from her role as President and CEO of Toys R Us Japan, China and Asia Pacific. Monika has served on a number of boards and committees in both the profit and nonprofit sectors. A supporter of the GTHS since its inception, she initially volunteered as Chair of the Walkathon which resulted in her deeper involvement to support the cause of animal and community welfare. Monika has received many awards and recognition including the International Dale Carnegie Leadership award as well as induction into the Canadian Toy Hall of Fame. She was a frequent speaker in Japan covering management and advancement of women. She and her husband have 2 rescue cats.

JAMIE SIMMONDS, Treasurer

Jamie is a retired Chartered Accountant with over 40 Years of experience in the Investment Industry with a particular focus in Regulatory Compliance, Finance, Operations and Risk Management. Prior to joining the GTHS Board, Jamie held Board positions with 2 local organizations. When not on the Golf Course, Jamie and his wife can be found on the extensive trail system the region has to offer, or at home laughing at the antics of their two GTHS alumni cats. Jamie & his wife are true animal lovers, having had several furry friends over their married life and in particular fostering Golden Retrievers for Golden Rescue for over 10 years. Jamie currently chairs the GTHS Finance & Risk Committee and is a member of the Construction Committee for the Regional Centre for Pets & People

NickMinotti

NICK MINOTTI, Member

Nick is a professional engineer who has spent most of his career as a general contractor in the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors of the construction industry. As senior partner, President and CEO of the company, it was ranked in the top 40 general contracting firms in Canada. Nick has personally managed the construction and/or renovation of well over 100 buildings the largest of which was valued at fifty million dollars. He was also on the Board of Directors of the Ontario General Contractors Association that has well over 200 members that do 98% of the construction in Ontario. Nick and his wife love animals and have had numerous pets over the years. He now looks forward to contributing his skills to the new Regional Centre for Pets and People that is currently in the planning stages.

SARAH POTTER, Member

Sarah Potter is renowned for her expertise in retail trading, building community and education journeys in business and sustainable leadership. Sarah has built and sold two fintech businesses, lead from the C Suite at a global financial brokerage, authored the book How You Can Trade Like A Pro and frequently contributes to media outlets. She currently serves as Managing Director at TD Direct Investing. Beyond her professional achievements, Sarah is a sought-after speaker and mentor. When she isn’t working she can be found trail running in the woods, skiing , biking, walking her two dogs or at the barn watching her daughters ride their ponies. Sarah is thrilled to be able to give back to the community she lives in and loves.

DERRICK MARCH, Member

Derrick is currently a senior Vice President of Business Development at Canada Life, having spent his entire career in the financial services industry. Derrick and his family are avid animal lovers, benefiting daily from the unconditional love of their four dogs and two cats. He and his family have volunteered with the GTHS for many years, providing love and care for animals until they are ready for adoption. As an active member of his community, Derrick is incredibly proud to serve on the Board of the GTHS and to support projects that enhance community wellness.

KEVIN DRYNAN, Member

In 2013, Kevin retired as CEO and Chairman of the Board of State Street Trust Company Canada. Over the years, he has served on numerous boards and committees in various capacities in both the profit and NFP sectors. He brings to the GTHS a keen focus: on good governance, collaboration, and the achievement of strategic imperatives. To this day (2023), he continues to serve on the State Street board and a number of its committees alongside being a member or chairperson of 5 Independent Review Committees (IRC's) supporting the Canadian Mutual Fund industry. Kevin and his wife Cheryl, while splitting their time between Canmore, Alberta and their farm in The Town of the Blue Mountains, are passionate about animal welfare and the impact that healthy animals can have on human wellness in our communities. They adore their 3 rescues (2 from the GTHS) and are strong supporters of the GTHS and its mission in the Georgian Triangle and beyond.

CHARLENE SCHAFER, Member

Charlene is a partner with Torys LLP specializing in corporate law (commercial real estate and private equity funds). Prior to joining Torys, she was a partner with another national law firm. She is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. Charlene has been involved with a variety of organizations dedicated to animal welfare in a voluntary and pro bono capacity. She was also an auxiliary police officer with Toronto Police for many years. She is a resident of The Town of Blue Mountains and is passionate about animals, the environment and the human/animal bond. She has completed her level 1 Reiki certification and is working towards additional certification in this area, with a view to helping animals and their owners. She has two cats, Rex and Oliver.

Stay informed on GTHS events, initiatives and programs. Learn how the GTHS team is serving the pets and people of the South Georgian Bay Area. Read heart-warming Happy Tails about GTHS Alumni. See a lot of really cute pictures of dogs and cats!