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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
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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 Olthuis
Vice Chairperson
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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 Gale
Board Member
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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.

Peter Murphy
Board Member
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Member since January 2017

Mr. Murphyis a partner in the Toronto office of law firm ShibleyRighton LLP. Peter has over 20 years of experience in business, real estate and wills and estates law, with a special focus on the law of technology, marketing and privacy. Peter advises businesses and organizations on commercial transactions, intellectual property and technology contracting, corporate governance, data protection and privacy issues. He also advises individuals, including Canadian artists, on wills, trusts and estate planning.

Mr. Murphy is a frequent public speaker and has published numerous articles on privacy law and other legal issues. Before joining ShibleyRighton LLP, Mr. Murphy was a partner at Gowling WLG LLP and practiced as a law associate at McCarthy Tetrault LLP. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toronto, and an Honors Business Administration degree from The Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario.

Shauna Petrie
Past Chairperson
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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.

Khalid El Hasumi
Board Member
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Khalid El Hasumi - Member since January 2017

With over 20 years of leadership experience in business development in the technology industry, Khalid spent his last 7 years working at Microsoft, holding different positions including Partner Sales Lead for North Africa East Mediterranean & Pakistan, and now the position of Senior Partner Practice Development Manager at Microsoft Canada.

Khalid has been an active member of his community. He served in a number of organizations helping casualties of war in Libya, and he is currently serving on the Board at Durham Association for Family Respite Services (DAFRS), an organization based in Oshawa, that has been supporting families with disabled members since 1978, by embracing equal social values within the broader community. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Electronic & Computer Engineering, from the university of Tripoli, and after moving to Canada in 2013, he now lives in Mississauga, ON with his wife and three children.”

Maria Eugenia Rictote
Board Member
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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 Mahmud
Board Member
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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.

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  • 10 Kingsbridge Garden Circle, Suite 403, Mississauga, ON, L5R 3K6
  • Phone: 905.755.9734
  • Toll Free: 1.866.969.9734
  • Fax: 905.755.9953
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