our board

board of directors



Phyllis began Alternatives in 1998 as Alternatives Integrating Special People. With a combination of efforts with a collective group of families, Chocolate Concepts Inc. provided financial support to begin Alternatives as an incorporated private not for profit organization. Alternatives was incorporated in 2002, and Phyllis joined the board in 1999, separating Chocolate Concepts Inc. as a separate retail entity. The two still work in conjunction providing an environment that hosts work skills training.

Phyllis’ specialties and interests:
• Small business operation
• Management and operations
• Job identification and role specifics
• Partnership
• Fundraising
• Special event planning and execution

Robert Fox

Co Vice-Chair

Robert Fox joined OntarioMD as CEO in January 2022. Robert has 25 years of experience leading large teams, defining health policy and enhancing the health care system. Robert believes that technology adoption is a critical success factor for the optimization and sustainability of Canada’s health care system.  

Rob held senior positions at TELUS Health and Cisco Systems, where he was responsible for digital transformation of health care delivery across Canada to improve patient outcomes. Rob focussed on leveraging digital network and collaboration solutions to improve the quality of patient care in hospitals and enhance technology adoption to enable patient engagement with Ontario Health Teams. 

Before working in health technology, Rob was an executive at St. Michael’s Hospital for 20 years where he held leadership positions in Quality, Laboratory Medicine, Corporate Performance & Strategy, Decision Support, and Capital Development. He played a crucial role in key projects such as the first fully automated hospital laboratory in Canada, the integration of Wellesley Hospital into St. Michael’s, and major construction projects. Rob has also advised the Ministry of Health on capital infrastructure planning and the funding formula for hospitals.

Chris Sulway

Co Vice-Chair

Chris Sulway is currently the VP for Strategy, Growth and Stakeholder Relations at OntarioMD, shaping the direction of the organization to better serve the digital needs of community based physicians across the province. Previously Chris has worked in a variety of leadership roles across the health system including provincial policy development, regional performance management and local delivery.

He started his career as a physiotherapist where he learned the power of enabling people to achieve their full potential. He has previously held governance positions at Realize (a national charity and HIV partner agency), Applegrove (a City of Toronto agency) and the Canadian College of Health Leaders.



Pat has been in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years in various roles within finance. He is a two time Circle of Excellence award winner, in recognition of his accomplishments. Pat is very involved in the Caledon Senior Hockey League where he sits on their Executive.

Pat’s Specialties and Interests:
• Strategic Planning
• Budget Development and Management
• Coaching and Mentoring
• Providing balanced oversight in support of Contract Negotiations



Ron graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from York University, with that went on to work for Canada Customs where he additionally received French training. Ron spent the majority of his career in Consumer & Corporate Affairs, which was later subsumed under the Competition Bureau. Retiring in 2009, Ron now is a dedicated board member of the York Support Services Network, where he is currently Chair, and Alternatives.

Ron’s specialties and interests:
• Analytics
• Investigating
• Detail orientated
• Legalities
• Consumer based competition analysis
• Experience as Union Local President and member of two school councils



Mark Colella is a Digital Transformation Advocate enabling strategic outcomes with our customers across the province of Ontario. 

Mark is a dynamic, results-driven business professional with over 18 years of industry experience specializing in Account Management, Business Development & leadership. Specifically, Mark has positively impacted business practices and growth as a consistent top performer in the fields of: Project Leadership, Sales Management, Strategic Planning and Innovative Sales Strategies.

Mark’s extensive IT sales knowledge and passion for customer results is being utilized in his capacity as Client Executive at Cisco Systems in helping drive Digital Transformation across the Ontario Public Sector. 



Victoria’s current portfolio focuses on communications strategy, digital and social media marketing, content creation, video and Web design, press releases, strategic planning, business development, all aspects of social media management and various channels, event planning and correspondence and community outreach.

A capacity builder in her own right, Victoria is a effective fundraiser and community activist. Causes that promote positive and progressive social change for members of marginalized populations are always close to Victoria’s heart. As an activist, equality for persons with special needs, has been the driving force behind most of her philanthropic initiatives. Victoria has used her skill set in strategic communications and event management as a catalyst for such social changes. Causes including Ephraim’s Place Community Centre, Down Syndrome Foundation Toronto, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Kidney Foundation of Canada, Down Syndrome Foundation Hamilton, United Way of Greater Toronto and SickKids Foundation have all benefited tremendously due to the countless hours of tireless work put forth by Victoria.

A hands on approach to charity makes it evident that Victoria’s compassion is only matched by her deep, soulful sense of empathy. She is not one to just lend a helping hand. Victoria’s true gift is that she sees the potential in every person she meets. Be it a child diagnosed with a terminal illness, a new immigrant to Canada or an adult with Downs’ Syndrome, Victoria’s bond is instant – as her personal vision is to ensure that every human being has the opportunity to thrive, to feel included, to be embraced with dignity – and to belong.



Kimberley Gadwah is a development strategist who thrives on supporting programs driven around social impact, humanitarian relief and capacity building. In her current role as Head of Philanthropy at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders, she leads the Philanthropy division of the Canadian fundraising department, with a focus of raising private funds to support 400+ humanitarian missions in 70+ countries.

During Kimberley’s 15 year portfolio in the charitable sector, she has successfully developed and delivered optimal fundraising strategies for national and international immigration, refugee, settlement programs, poverty alleviation projects, children’s charities and health care organizations. Her areas of specialization include developing and implementing best practices for sustainable programs for marginalized and displaced populations; targeted fundraising campaigns, ongoing revenue generation and organizational growth plans.

Kimberley is a champion of building inclusive societies and is committed to vision of Creating Alternatives – to transform the landscape of social services by developing integrated support systems and community resources that are optimal, accessible and sustainable.

Shavone Lazarus, MHRM, CHRL


With over 15 years of progressive Human Resources and leadership experience, Shavone is a passionate and award-winning leader and philanthropist. She is committed to driving better business outcomes through well designed and executed people plans grounded in sound operational knowledge. She believes HR effectiveness is rooted in leadership committed to doing the right thing for people, stakeholders and the environment.


Her broad Human Resources and People Leadership experience comes from her roles in Public, Not for Profit and Private sectors such as Board of Directors, Employee and Labour Relations Director and Human Resources Business Partner.   She believes Human Resources leadership centered in empathy and compassion, builds effective teams and encourages engagement for all employees to thrive and bring their best everyday.



Rob is responsible for delivering on the strategic direction and growth of Cisco Systems Canada Public Sector segment.   He leads a high performing team to help their customers connect, secure, and automate to accelerate their digital agility in a cloud-first world. Rob and his team focus on sales and thought leadership on secure, agile networks; hybrid work; optimized application experiences; end-to-end security and internet for the future; to enable digital transformation for their customers.

Rob has a proven track record and over 25 years experience in developing and growing high performing Sales teams in the technology industry. He is passionate about innovation, customers, partners and driving an inclusive future for all.

Prior to Cisco, Rob held Sales leadership roles with EDS and Allstream.  He has a Bachelor of Arts, Economics from Carleton University.  Rob sits on the Board of Directors for Creating Alternatives (a day program for adults over the age of 21 with a developmental disability) and is also a Board Member of Technation.

Rob enjoys playing golf, soccer and hockey and he resides in Burlington with his daughter and son.

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