The Coalition for Persons with Disabilities was formed as a not-for-profit community-based partnership of persons with disabilities and community groups working collaboratively to affect positive changes for persons with disabilities in the regions of Peel, Halton and Dufferin. Operating since 1985, it was established in order to avoid duplication of services and to foster cooperation, trust and collaboration to meet the challenges faced by persons with disabilities.
The Coalition continues its vision for independence and inclusion for persons with disabilities through a number of community-based programs and services. From offices in Mississauga and Brampton, these programs serve the regions of Peel, Halton and Dufferin. Projects of the Coalition are funded, in whole or in part, by the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario.
Board of Directors
Vision and governance for the Coalition are provided by a Board of Directors. Persons with disabilities are represented in the majority of seats on the board. Meetings are held 6 times annually and an Annual General Meeting is held in June.
Meet Our Board
Dina Barazza - Chairperson – Member since 2012
Mrs. Barazza has over 25 years experience in business, human resources, OD and learning. As a subject expert in human resources and learning she brings her leadership and business know how to the fore front of the Coalition. Part-time Dina fosters homeless pets and is the Founder, of Avanti Women, a volunteer organization for women to move forward professionally and personally through networking, mentoring and learning.
She has been canvassing for the Canadian Cancer Society for 22 years and sits on the Dufferin Board of Directors as an Advisory Board Member with the Dufferin Young Professionals.
Paula OlthuisVice Chairperson
Paula Olthuis – Vice Chair – Member since 2006
Paula worked in the Human Resources environment for 24 years. Paula is a published author of poetry and children’s books. A University of Toronto (B.A. History Specialist) graduate who also studied Social Work (Western University), Business Management, Computer Programming, Journalism and Interior Design, and has acted as Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary for various volunteer groups and charities for over 30 years.
Paula especially enjoyed being a coach for Dale Carnegie seminars. Being a board member for the Coalition for Persons with Disabilities has been the most informative and enjoyable experience of her life. Paula’s journey began when she was asked to be Miss Easter Seal at the age of five and seven. Paula continues to write poetry and books and is a reporter for a local community newspaper writing articles regarding the achievements and successes of disabled persons and local charities.
Nancy GaleBoard Member
Nancy Gale - Member since January 2017
Nancy is an award-winning and accredited communications professional. As the Mississauga Halton CCAC’s Associate Vice President, Strategic Communications and Partnership Advancement, she works to position, promote and partner for this community-based health services provider. She co-designed and co-led the Mississauga Halton CCAC Share Care Council, its inaugural patient and family caregiver advisory forum, from 2014-2017.
Nancy has broad experience as a marketing communication professional in both the private and public sectors. Prior to joining the Mississauga Halton CCAC, Nancy served as Marketing Communications director for Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga; communications lead for the Toronto District School Board; and held progressive roles at Bell Canada's enterprise divisions.
Shauna PetriePast Chairperson
Shauna Petrie – Past Chairperson – Member since 2007
Mrs. Petrie comes to the Coalition with over 20 years of business experience and runs an organization as the Director, Sea Wheels Inc. where she is dedicated to facilitating accessible travel opportunities for persons with disabilities, their families and friends. As a professional speaker and consultant, Shauna brings her results focused and collaboration skills to chairing to our Board.
Shauna is passionate about curling, making a difference and supports the Coalition with Persons of Disabilities whole heartily.
Maria Eugenia RictoteBoard Member
Maria Eugenia Rictote – Member since January 2017
Maria-Eugenia Ricote is a Career and Work Counsellor with vast experience in the community services sector. As an employment and career counsellor, she specializes in mental health and vocational rehabilitation case management as well as in career assessments and mapping, job readiness and life skills training, job development, and job coaching services of persons with disabilities and multi-barriers.
Most recently, Maria-Eugenia joined the Mental Health Ambassador Pilot Project, which is a network of mental health professionals in Toronto who share knowledge and experience with frontline staff of settlement professionals
Rimon MahmudBoard Member
Rimon Mahmud - Member since January 2017
Rimon brings in over 25 years of experience that span across diverse backgrounds. He started his career in the Armed Forces where he led various teams for approximately 14 years. After completing his MBA, he started working in CIBC where he currently works in Finance, CIBC. His experience includes working in retail and high value banking, investment management, consultancy, governance, audit and process engineering.
He is also the founder of BCCB, a foundation working to bring all Bangladeshi Canadians under one platform focusing on building an extensive support system. He serves on the board of the Bangladeshi Canadian Foundation. Rimon also works for various humanitarian causes such as United Way, Run for Cure and many such initiatives. In his personal life, he is happily married with two wonderful kids. Helping and inspiring others is his passion.