Meet the Board

Meet the Board

The leadership of the FCO consists of a volunteer Board of Directors elected by the membership at its Annual General Meeting. The Board’s main mandate is to promote the role of Ombuds and provide for a wide variety of professional development opportunities to our members – Ombuds’ professionals.

The new Board of Directors was acclaimed for a two-year term (2021-2023) at the June 16th, 2021 Annual General Meeting of the FCO.

President
Nadine Mailloux

Ombudsman of Montreal

Me Nadine Mailloux graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Université de Montréal and was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1999. She is an accredited mediator by the Quebec Bar and the Institut de médiation et d’arbitrage du Québec, and a member of the Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Canada. Me Mailloux is vice-president of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman since 2017.

Me Mailloux codirects with Nora Farrell, the “FCO/Osgoode Advanced Issues in Ombuds Practice” certificate program at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. The program is offered by renowned ombudsmans in Canada and internationally, and is aimed at experienced ombudsmans. For some years, she has offered many training sessions devoted to the best ombudsman practices.

She is one of three elected members who represent North America on the board of directors of the International Ombudsman Institute and is also active with the Association des ombudsmans et médiateurs de la francophonie (AOMF).

Me Mailloux has been an ombudsman for more than 20 years. The majority of her career has focused on alternative methods of conflict resolution. At first an ombudsman of second-instance at the Régie régionale de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal-Centre, she then served in that capacity at a major university hospital centre, and subsequently at a university health and social services centre. She was named Ombudsman de la Ville de Laval by the Commission municipale du Québec in 2013 and opened the office, where she lent her expertise to that city’s citizens until she was appointed Ombudsman de Montréal in August 2020.

For several years, Me Mailloux coordinated a pro bono legal-aid clinic in poor communities. She is also pro bono ombudsman with The Lighthouse Children and Families, a non-profit organization that offers respite care and support for families of children afflicted with illnesses requiring complex care.

Vice-President
Craig Thompson

Patient Ombudsman

Craig Thompson assumed his role as Ontario’s Patient Ombudsman on March 29th, 2021. Craig joined Patient Ombudsman as the Executive Director in 2017 and now leads this nascent health ombuds office with jurisdiction over public hospitals, long-term care homes, and home and community care and support services. Patient Ombudsman receives, attempts to resolve, and investigates complaints from patients or their caregivers about their care experiences.

Prior to joining Patient Ombudsman, Craig held various leadership roles in public and private organizations within the healthcare, communications and design sciences sectors in a career spanning over 30 years.

In 2017, Craig received his MHSc. Health Administration from the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. He was the recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Award presented in collaboration with the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL) and the Kevin J. Leonard Award presented in collaboration with University Health Network’s Centre for Global eHealth Innovation. Craig has completed both Osgoode/FCO Certificates: Essentials for Ombuds and Advanced Issues in Ombuds Practice.

Craig is a Certified Health Executive (CHE), member of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman board of directors, registered Professional Engineer (P. Eng.) with the Professional Engineers of Ontario, and associate member of the ADR Institute of Ontario.

Treasurer
Sophie Petrillo

Ombudsman, Hydro One

Sophie Petrillo has been with the Office of the Ombudsman at Hydro One since the office first opened in March 2016. Prior to her appointment as the Ombudsman in August 2017, Ms. Petrillo held the roles of Ombudsman Investigator and Acting Manager. As the Ombudsman, Ms. Petrillo is responsible for receiving and resolving complaints arising out of the operations of Hydro One. By working with both customers and the company, Ms. Petrillo aims to help Hydro One deliver just, fair, and equitable services to the public.

Ms. Petrillo graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science (Hons. BSc) degree and then went on to earn a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Queen’s University. After being called to the bar in 2002, Ms. Petrillo worked as a commercial litigator at the law firm of Pallett Valo LLP, and most recently as in-house counsel for The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Ms. Petrillo has significant experience in conducting investigations, engaging in conflict resolution, and ensuring that business activities comply with legal, regulatory, and privacy requirements.

Ms. Petrillo reports directly to Hydro One’s Board of Directors. As an office of last resort, the Office of the Ombudsman will conduct an independent, fair, and thorough review of complaints that Hydro One has been unable to resolve.

Secretary
Lori Ciani

Chief Complaints Officer, Amex Bank of Canada

Lori Ciani has been in the banking industry since 1983 and held varying management positions prior to joining the Ombudsman’s Office at Amex Bank of Canada in 2004. The varying roles and experiences allowed her to develop a vast array of business knowledge, leadership, negotiation and mediation skills.

In her current role, she is responsible for managing the Amex Bank of Canada Chief Complaints Office, representing the bank at Canadian Banking Association meetings, and managing relationships with the Canadian banking regulator – the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI).  The Amex Bank of Canada Chief Complaints Office provides customers an impartial intermediary to assist in resolving concerns or issues with bank products or services with a mandate that focuses on reaching fair and appropriate solutions.

Mrs. Ciani is the present co-leader of the SALT employee Network, past co-leader of the Women’s Interest Network at American Express and an active volunteer at her church where she serves as a church board Elder. As an Ombudsman industry veteran and multi-year member of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsmen, she is very much enjoying being a member of the FCO Board of Directors.

Kamini Bernard

Ombudsperson,
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)

Kamini Bernard joined the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) as the inaugural Ombudsperson in May 2021.

Prior to her appointment at SAIT, Kamini worked for the Office of the Alberta Ombudsman for over a decade. She initially started in the Office in 2009 as an Investigator, conducting investigations of complaints of unfairness from various government departments/agencies and jurisdictional professional organizations. In 2016, she became the Manager of Investigations for the Calgary office, assisting in the Ombudsman’s transition to having oversight over municipalities and was one of two leads in the development of the Early Resolution Process for the Office as part of this transition. The Early Resolution Process was developed to be a more timely and informal means to resolve complaints and is now used to resolve approximately 90% of all complaints to the Office of the Alberta Ombudsman.

Before moving to Calgary, Kamini worked at WorkSafeNB, initially in policy, later moving to the management of cases and eventually to the Assistant Director for Pensions and Long-Term Disability. Prior, she spent 8 years at the South Carolina Department of Corrections working as a policy analyst.

She brings with her over 20 years’ experience in interpreting policy and legislation and is a passionate advocate for fairness. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Prince Edward Island and a Masters in Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina. When not keeping busy with Ombuds work, you may find her spending time with her family, travelling or hiking in the mountains.

Carolyn Brendon

University Ombuds, McMaster University

Carolyn Brendon is the University Ombuds for McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Prior to beginning this role in a jointly-held position in 2003, Carolyn was an Employee Ombudsperson and Harassment Advisor at Brock University in St Catharines.

She holds a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, an M.A. from McMaster University, and an Honours B.A. from York University. She has several certifications including the FCO-Osgoode Certificate in “Essentials for Ombuds”, as well as ones in Adjudication for Administrative Boards, Agencies and Tribunals; Advanced Investigations; and Human Rights: Theory and Practice.

She is the Eastern Representative on the Executive for the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons.

Pierre Champoux

Ombudsman, French Services
Radio-Canada

A journalist for more than 35 years, Pierre Champoux touched on all facets of the profession before becoming ombudsman for Radio-Canada’s French Services in July 2021.

After a career as a radio newsreader and television news desk editor, he became editor-in-chief at ICI RDI, Radio-Canada’s all-news channel, and then director of Information, Regions and Digital Archives in the public broadcaster’s digital division. He then held various management positions in Radio-Canada’s News Division, mostly with Digital news.

Mr. Champoux has had a front row seat to the major upheavals that have shaken the news media in recent years, welcoming each challenge as an opportunity to rethink how information is produced and broadcasted to better reach the Canadian public in the wake of its everchanging consumption habits.

Digital transformation, the emergence of social media, the breakdown of the advertising market, the erosion of trust: he has led his teams through this often unpredictable evolution of the media universe, helping to ensure the public broadcaster’s position as a leader in information, regardless of platform.

In recent years, Mr. Champoux has been able to reflect more carefully on the foundations of journalistic action, having the privilege of working, as Director of Community Relations, to protect what unites the Canadian public and Radio-Canada’s information service. More than ever, this has allowed him to see how transparency, fairness and a touch of education can strengthen this bond and solidify a fragile trust.

Renée Gavigan

Deputy Ombudsman, Ombudsman Saskatchewan

Renee Gavigan has over 20 years of experience with the office of Ombudsman Saskatchewan and is currently the Deputy Ombudsman of Intake, Early Resolution and Facilitated Resolution. Ms. Gavigan has been involved in innovative projects such as the development and implementation of the Alternative Case Resolution (ACR) process and facilitation of the Fair Practices Training program. She has conducted numerous investigations and participated in systemic reviews. Previous roles include Manager of the provincial Intake Program and Assistant Ombudsman/Investigator.

Ms. Gavigan has a Bachelor of Arts degree (University of Saskatchewan) a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of British Columbia. She obtained the Ombuds Essentials Certificate in 2013 and is a co-program director of the FCO/Osgoode Ombuds Essentials program.

Past-President
Johanne Savard

Retired

Ms Johanne Savard studied political science at Concordia University, then law at Université de Montréal. She has also completed numerous trainings at Montréal’s École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP). She is a Certified Mediator in civil, commercial and employment related issues; she is also a Certified Mediator in linguistic rights.

Ms Savard practiced labour law for 23 years in two major law firms of Montréal. She headed the Employment and Labour law group and sat on the Board of Directors of one of these firms. She also sat on the BOD and on the Executive Committee of Lex Mundi, the largest association of independent law firms, worldwide.

In 2003, Ms Savard became the first Ombudsman of Ville de Montréal. At that time, there were no other municipal Ombudsman in Canada.  The OMBUDSMAN de MONTRÉAL (OdM) offers an impartial and caring recourse to citizens likely to be adversely affected by a decision or action of Ville de Montréal. Ms Savard supervised the drafting of a Guide pratique sur l’équité décisionnelle (Guide on fair decision-making processes), for managers and other decision makers. When she left the office  in 2020, her team included 10 employees.

Ms Savard was very much involved in her community. She was a member of the BOD of numerous non-profit organisations providing assistance and support to children with a handicap, underprivileged families, people with Alzheimer, potential drop-outs and new immigrants. She was president of the BOD of the Old-Montreal Rotary club. The cause of people affected by a handicap or another personal challenge was always close to her heart.

Ms Savard received numerous awards in recognition of her social implication.  Amongst others : the Commemorative medal of the 150e Anniversary of the Canadian Senate (2017), the Order of Merit of Brossard (2018), la Médaille des arts et métiers du multiculturalisme (2005) and the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from the Rotary International. In 2020, she was also awarded the Montreal Bar Medal.

Ms Savard has been the president of the FCO BOD since 2017. For many years, she was also member of the BOD of the Association des ombudsmans et médiateurs de la Francophonie (AOMF) which regroups Legislative Ombudsman from various countries of the Francophonie.

FCO Secretariat

If you would like to contact a member of the Board of Directors, send an email to FCO Secretariat, who will forward your message. FCO members can use the member directory (available on the Member page) to contact them directly.

Email: fco@intertaskconferences.com

Tel:  613-238-6600 | Fax: 613-236-2727

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