Board of Directors
Dave is currently a Senior Manager of Sales and Operations for a leading financial institution in Toronto. In this leadership role Dave is a highly accountable and approachable business leader consistently leading high performing teams to exceed targets and establishing strategic partnerships at all levels and on delivering superior customer service.
Dave possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from York University and a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from Queen’s University. Dave Lives in Brooklin (Whitby), Ontario with his wife Kathleen and their 11 yr. old Labrador named Gracie. Dave enjoys travelling, golf, hockey, baseball, running and sport coaching.
ROLAND MERBIS, Pickering, Ontario – Vice Chair
Roland is currently Director of Customer Insights at one of Canada’s leading financial institutions, having previously consulted for some of Canada’s most senior government, business, and association leaders when he was Vice President of Public Affairs for a major Canadian polling firm. He has extensive experience working with various provincial and federal government ministries and agencies (including the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care), providing his clients with strategic advice and insights on the implementation of corporate and public policy initiatives.
Roland has most recently served on the Board of the Toronto Branch of the Canadian International Council (CIC), where he helped to promote a deeper public understanding of international issues that affect all Canadians. Roland has a varied background living abroad, including in Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. He holds a Master of Arts degree in International Studies and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History.
CINDY MALACHOWSKI, Oshawa, Ontario – Treasurer
Cindy is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Waterloo. She is an occupational therapist and a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner with over ten years of clinical experience working with individuals living with mental health issues. Her interests include workplace mental health and her current research aims to better understand the social organization of stigma towards mental illness in the workplace. Cindy is a long-term resident of Oshawa, and is proud to raise her three daughters in such a vibrant and diverse community.
Gordon’s career focused on psychiatric client wellness and paramedicine, progressing through frontline, supervisory and management roles in municipal and private health care sectors. He has previous not-for-profit Board experience and provided many years of volunteer service to various organizations. His desire to serve stems from his experiences supporting aging parents and other extended family members coping with addictive and depressive disorders. He was also motivated by seeing, first-hand, the ongoing mental health needs that exist within communities across Ontario. He gained invaluable insights from his wife, Elizabeth, who has travelled the globe on numerous humanitarian aid missions; providing a significant context to his Board work.
Jim has retired from a challenging career in management in the metals manufacturing and distribution sector. He has participated on the board of directors of a professional organization at all levels (including International Vice President) and, for a short while, on an advisory committee at Sir Sanford Fleming College. He and his wife, Barbara, have spent their working lives in the Thornhill/Richmond Hill area and their time off at the cottage on Lake Scugog, which is now their home. Jim has a personal interest in mental health, having close family members diagnosed with manic depression, schizophrenia and developmental handicaps. He intends to help in the community any way he can.
PREYA SINGH-CUSHNIE, Ajax, Ontario – Board Member
Preya is currently Director and Officer of OMA Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ontario Medical Association. The Ontario Medical Association represents 40,000+ physicians, medical students and residents in Ontario, advocating on their behalf to advance health and patient care in the province. In her current position she leads a large team of high performing professionals who support OMA members on their need for insurance and retirement solutions. Preya works closely with key internal and external partners, committees and the OMA Insurance board to advance the risk management program and advocacy work of the Ontario Medical Association.
Previous to joining the Ontario Medical Association, Preya gained extensive experience in Financial Services working for a global insurance company, mutual fund distributor, global banks and national wealth management firms where she led the creation, launch and managed several large scale wealth management platforms and programs. Preya is passionate about people, mental health, diversity and inclusion and that passion deepened during her 4 year term on the Town of Ajax’s Diversity and Community engagement committee where she volunteered as a member and Vice Chair. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Psychology from York University, and is a licensed Life Insurance Agent in Ontario. On a personal note, Preya lives in her hometown of Ajax with her husband and two sons. She enjoys travelling, practising yoga and mindfulness.
Melissa has a diverse background working in the non-profit sector for over 25 years. She is currently a Manager for children’s services in the Durham Region. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa with a Major in English and Sociology as well as an Honours Diploma from Algonquin College in Early Childhood Education. She is a life long learner and enjoys keeping up to date on current research and participating in professional development in a variety of areas including mental health, diversity, special needs, addiction, management and leadership. She has previous experience on a non profit board where she held the positions of secretary and treasurer.
Through both personal and work experience, Melissa understands the important role organizations like CMHA have in providing services for the community as well as for individuals with mental health challenges. Family is a central part of Melissa’s life. She has resided in the Durham region for many years with her partner Mark and her two children. She feels fortunate to have her parents living in the region as well.
Carrie obtained an Honours B.A. in Sociology from Wilfrid Laurier University, an LL.B. from Dalhousie University and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2002. Her practice focused primarily on commercial real estate law. Carrie has been involved in volunteer work most of her life in a variety of capacities and for many different local organizations. Aside from her time away at law school, Carrie has resided in Ajax all of her life and feels fortunate to be able to raise her family in the same amazing community in which she grew up.
Sheryl is known by collaborative partners in the Durham region where she has lived and served for over 20 years. In addition to her role as Interim CEO of CMHA Durham, she chairs the Governance and Nominations Committee for the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region, Board of Directors. She is the Founding President for the Jamaican Canadian Association of Nurses, where she leads the Board of Directors to carry out their activities and purposes. Her previous Board experience includes Member-at-Large Nursing Practice, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario; Vice President, TAIBU Community Heath Centre and President of the Scarborough Hospital Credit Union.
In her recent role as CEO and Principal Consultant for Bernard Consultancy, she worked dutifully with Chief Executive Officers and Chief Operating Officers with the responsibility of inspiring them to cultivate inventive strategic plans, conduct quality-driven operational reviews and to advance the development and growth of their leadership teams.
Sheryl is a life-long learner, who has earned a Bachelor of Nursing, Master of Health Science and Certified Health Executive designation from the Canadian College of Health Leaders. She was cross-appointed as an Adjunct Faculty for the Nursing Degree Program at University of Ontario Institute of Technology and University of Toronto.