Meet the New Members of the Board

A few weeks ago, the Oakville Community Foundation held its 28th Annual General Meeting of members at the Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens. A number of Fundholders, volunteers, friends and local charities attended as we closed out the year, presented our 2022 Annual Report, recognized retiring Board Members and welcomed new ones.

This year, we said thank you to four retiring directors: Bonnie Jackson, Rob Budhwa, Vik Sachdev and Brian Hanna. We are grateful to them all for their tireless work and service and happy to continue working with each of them as Fundholders.

We also had the opportunity to welcome in our new Board Chair, Mike Miller, as we thanked Bindu Cudjoe, now Past Board Chair, for all of her hard work and dedication over the last two years.

Keep reading to learn more about our four new Directors: Sharmila Ali, Lisa Kohler, Les Ross and Ronan Ryan.

Sharmila (Sherry) Ali

Sharmila is a member of The Foundation’s Community Legacy Building Committee. Professionally, Sharmila is a passionate professional currently fulfilling Executive Services Management at NCR Corporation and previously served at Scotiabank Enterprise Technology in vendor and financial governance roles. Sharmila gained recognition in 2018 for “incredible performance” as a top contributor in her current role at NCR and “exceptional” performance in 2022. Sharmila has an MBA in General Management and a Masters in Law (LL.M) with a concentration in Innovation, Law and Technology. She moved to Oakville in 2019 and is a proud mom and active volunteer.

Lisa Kohler

Lisa is a member of The Foundation’s Women’s Giving Collective as well as the Governance and Nominating Committee. Lisa has had a career in the environmental not-for-profit sector that spans more than 25 years in the U.S. and Canada. Her current role is Executive Lead – Climate Change Response and Sustainability at Halton Region. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Halton Environmental Network (HEN). Lisa currently serves as Secretary on the Green Communities Canada National Board of Directors and served as an advisor on The Foundation’s Climate Action Taskforce. Currently, she is serving as Chair of the Advisory Committee on the upcoming Oakville Climate Report.

Les Ross

Les is the Vice Chair of The Foundation’s Community Legacy Building Committee. Les has four decades of experience in banking and financial services. In his current role with PearTree, he works with major charitable gift donors to significantly lower their after-tax cost of giving with a CRA-approved gifting format. Les is an accredited Master of Financial Advice in Philanthropy (MFA-P), Personal Financial Planner, a Chartered Investment Manager and a Fellow of both the Canadians Securities Institute and the Institute of Canadian Bankers. He is a long-time Oakville resident and currently serves on committees at St. Michael’s Hospital.

Ronan Ryan

Ronan is the Vice Chair of The Foundation’s Finance, Risk and Audit Committee and member of the Impact Investment Committee. Ronan is currently the Executive Director of CIBC Foundation. He is passionate about supporting the CIBC Foundation’s focus areas that include championing inclusive communities and investing in financial education. Previously, Ronan served as Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer Society of Canada and as the Chief Marketing & Development Office at the Canadian Red Cross. Ronan also serves as Chair of the Board of Imagine Canada. He is based in Oakville with his wife, three children and COVID-puppy called Amber.