Our professionals at your Service
The staff of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa are licenced, bilingual professionals, trained to meet the needs of all cultures and faith communities.
Isabelle Staniforth - Managing Funeral Director
Linda Robillard - Secretary/Administration
BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE FUNERAL CO-OPERATIVE OF OTTAWA
Kenton Eggleston - President
Originally from Winnipeg, Kenton Eggleston has lived for more than three decades in Ottawa. Now retired, his volunteer and professional experience in international and domestic co-operative development extends over more than 35 years.
Kenton's career highlights include 13 years as a regional program director with the international affairs unit of the Canadian Co‑operative Association and the position of general manager at credit unions in Manitoba, Ontario and the Caribbean. In the last ten years of his career, he acted as a consultant, nationally and internationally, to such organizations as the World Council of Credit Unions, Shorebank International, the Union of Ontario Indians and the Yukon Government. A dyed-in-the-wool co-operator, Kenton has extensive knowledge of co-operative start-ups and management, credit-union operations, accounting and financial management, project design and implementation, and training for co‑operators.
Among the first one hundred members of FCO, Kenton used the services of the co‑operative in 2014, following a death in his family. Currently President and chair of the Governance Committee, he is committed to helping FCO become the sustainable choice for affordable, compassionate funeral services in the Ottawa region of Ontario.
Beverlee McIntosh - Vice President
Beverlee McIntosh is a retired social worker with significant experience in the field of geriatric and rehabilitative medicine, where she often found herself helping patients and their families with decisions about end-of-life care. Having experienced the high cost of the for-profit funeral industry following the death of her husband, Beverlee is inspired by the vision of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa. She joined the board of directors in 2010 to forward this not-for-profit option for Eastern Ontario.
Beverlee is Vice-President of Health for the Provincial Council of Women of Ontario. A former lecturer on gerontology at the University of Ottawa, she currently volunteers with the Alzheimer's Society as a speaker in dementia care. Beverlee is a passionate advocate for social justice.
David Shanks - Secretary
A founding board member of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa, David Shanks is Publications and Media Relations Manager at the Canadian Co-operative Association, an organization that focuses on poverty reduction in developing countries through the work of co-operatives and credit unions. David develops marketing plans, provides media materials and support, and carries out training in organizational promotion. He has conducted numerous press missions to parts of Africa, Asia and Central America, often under challenging conditions.
Much of David’s professional work has involved training volunteers from developing countries to promote their co-operatives through local media. He is experienced at working with business-development and program staff to help them explain the value of their organization to the consumer. His technical skills include website design, development and maintenance, photography and live videography.
While David’s work takes him abroad regularly, he lives in the Ottawa region and is keenly supportive of FCO’s mission of providing funeral services on a not-for-profit basis, describing FCO as “an idea whose time has finally come."
William J. Callaghan - Treasurer
William (Bill) Joseph Callaghan is a retired Major with the Canadian Armed Forces. A native of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, he currently resides in Ottawa. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of PEI and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.
Bill served for 31 years with the Canadian Forces. During tours of duty in PEI, Newfoundland, Ottawa and Tegucigalpa, Honduras he played many roles, including Logistics Finance Officer, Accounting Officer for Retail Operations, Recruiting Officer, Financial and Cost Analyst, and Comptroller for several units including the Helicopter Support Unit for 250 forces members serving in five Central American countries and the Department of National Defence Aerospace Equipment Program.
On retirement from the Forces in 2006, Bill started a financial-management consulting business providing contracted services to federal-government departments and agencies, including Infrastructure, Foreign Affairs and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
Bill's connection with the co-operative movement goes back to his childhood. His father was a long-time member of the Charlottetown Grocery Co-operative and one of the first members of the Hillsboro Co-operative Funeral Home in Charlottetown. Bill’s wife, Margaret Callaghan, has also been a longtime supporter of the co-operative movement, through her past work as a portfolio manager with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and as a current relationship manager with the Agency for Co-operative Housing.
Jennifer Alldred brings to the FCO board significant expertise as a marketing and communications professional with over twenty years’ experience in various sectors, including for-profit consumer goods and the service industry.
A strong value system led Jennifer to work in the social economy, serving as Marketing Manager for Peoples Credit Union in Innisfil, Ontario and Marketing and Communications Director at La Siembra Co‑operative, an Ottawa-based worker co‑operative leading the fair-trade and organic movement in the chocolate and coffee market. She currently works with Oxfam Canada as Integrated Marketing Lead.
Her work experiences convinced Jennifer that business can be done differently, without sacrificing people for profit. A strong belief in social justice inspires her service on the Board of FCO.
After studies in Commerce at Acadia University, Gail Church moved to Toronto, where she earned a degree in philosophy from York University. An Ottawa resident for more than three decades, Gail served as Manager, Finance and Administration at the Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada, overseeing an annual budget of $1.5 million for an association of approximately 500 member co‑operatives and service organizations. She then moved to the Somerset West Community Health Centre, an important source of primary health care in the centre of Ottawa, where she was Director of Finance and Administration for 15 years, managing an annual budget of $5 million. In 2005, Gail became the founding Director, Corporate Services at the Agency for Co‑operative Housing, managing financial and administrative matters, in addition to human resources, for an organization with four offices serving more than 500 clients in four provinces.
As a volunteer, Gail served as President of the Ottawa Community Credit Union and Abiwin Co-operative. Since her retirement, she has returned to the board of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa, of which she was a founding director.
Well known for her contributions to the Franco-Ontarian community, Jacqueline Pelletier, now retired, has played leading roles as a chair, facilitator and host of organizations, conferences and media events addressing various aspects of the arts, culture and organizational life.
Beginning her career as a teacher, she worked in the area of continuing education at Algonquin College and was a founding director on the board of La Cité Collégiale. A past president of the Ontario Advisory Council on Women's Issues, she hosted prime-time programs on cultural, social and political affairs for TFO, the French-language television station serving the province of Ontario.
In the course of her public service, Jacqueline was provincial spokesperson for the Ontario Breast Screening Program and Vice-President of the Steering Committee for the renewal of the Plan for the Arts and Heritage Ottawa 20/20. In 2015, she served as a member of President Jimmy Carter’s electoral observation team in Guyana.
Besides serving on the board of FCO, until recently Jacqueline chaired the board of the Foundation for the Advancement of Francophone Theatre in Canada. In 2016 she was inducted into the Order of Ottawa.
A resident of Casselman, Ontario and retired teacher and farmer, Carole Prévost-Gratton has served on the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa Board of Directors since June 2014. Carole’s contributions to her community include volunteer service with the Girl Guides movement, the Optimist Club, the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) and several agricultural organizations. She has been a member of the Coopérative agricole d’Embrun and the Caisse populaire Nouvel Horizon for more than 30 years.
Her own experience in making funeral arrangements led Carole early to see the benefits early on of applying the co-operative model to the provision of funeral services. She is committed to promoting FCO in her region.
Originally from Northern Ontario, following his graduation from the University of Ottawa, Marc Ryan served in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a volunteer teacher. After ten years in the field of international development, he moved to Embrun, Ontario, where he became the owner of an insurance agency of The Co-operators Group.
Throughout his life, Marc has assumed numerous roles in social, educational and co‑operative institutions of various kinds, with special attention to those that serve the francophone community. He has served on the board of La Cité Collégiale and as president of La Fédération des ainés et retraités francophones de l’Ontario. He is currently a member of Club Richelieu and has served as a director of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa since 2012.
Nicolas Séguin has provided his expertise in communications, finance and project management in the Ottawa area for 18 years. An experienced director, he chaired the board of the Association des communautés francophones d’Ottawa and has served on numerous other boards, including for the show Écho d'un peuple, the Centre d'excellence artistique De La Salle, the Coopérative d'habitation Desloges and the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario.
Holder of a B.A. in communications from the University of Ottawa and a graduate in business administration from La Cité collégiale, Nicolas has worked for the Desjardins Mouvement, the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne, the Hôpital Montfort, the City of Ottawa, the federal Department of Citizenship and Immigration, the Réseau des services de santé en français de l'Est de l'Ontario and Canada’s Parliament. He developed and launched the country’s first student-run bilingualism centre at the University of Ottawa.
Nicolas takes a special interest in the development of co-operatives, sustainable development, issues concerning official languages and the francophonie, and the rights of vulnerable and minority populations. With such concerns, he was pleased to join the board of FCO in 2016.
Alexandra discovered a passion for co-operatives in 1974, when she and her neighbours organized the conversion of 260 rental flats to a housing co-operative, putting a stop to the owner's plans to evict the low-income tenants. Her involvement in saving her own home led to professional roles in the development, management and provision of association services to housing co-operatives.
After 15 years' service, Alexandra stepped down in 2005 from her post as executive director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada to start up the Agency for Co-operative Housing, becoming the Agency's first CEO. The Agency oversees federally funded housing co-operatives in Canada.
Alexandra's co-operative experience includes three years as manager of finance and special projects in the international affairs department of the Canadian Co-operative Association; six years' service as chair of the Credit Committee of Alterna Savings Credit Union in Ottawa; eight years as a director and chair of the audit committee of Citizens Bank of Canada and Citizens Trust Company; and many years serving as a director and volunteer at three housing co‑operatives in Ottawa and Toronto. Since 2000, she has served on the board of directors of The Co-operators Group and several of its affiliates. Currently chair of the Risk and Compensation Committee, Alexandra chaired The Co-operators’ Audit Committee from 2002 to 2006.
Alexandra’s recent community service includes serving as a member of the Sustainability Advisory Board of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, a member of the Innovation Advisory Board of the City of Ottawa and, since 2015, as a director of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa.