Local. Simple. Yours.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Kenton Eggleston - President

Originally from Winnipeg, Kenton Eggleston has lived in Ottawa for more than three decades. 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 advance the not-for-profit option for Eastern Ontario.

Beverlee represents the Ottawa Council of Women on the Council on Aging and is a member of OASW representing social workers in Eastern Ontario. She is a former lecturer on gerontology at the University of Ottawa, and has volunteered extensively in the community as a birth doula and as a speaker in dementia care. Beverlee is a passionate advocate for social justice and brings these values to the development of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa.

David Shanks - Secretary

A founding board member of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa, David Shanks is a communications specialist in the international development sector, helping people build wealth through community owned and managed enterprises. David develops marketing and communication capacity and has conducted numerous training and 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."

Alexandra Wilson - Treasurer

Alexandra Wilson 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.

Jennifer Alldred

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 markets. 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.

Jacqueline Pelletier

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 public 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. 

Marc Ryan

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 president of Club Amitié Francophone and has served as a director of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa since 2012.

Monique Gibbens

Monique is a career social worker.  She holds both bachelor and masters degrees in social work. For over 30 years, she has worked in various hospitals and home care programs. She has taught social work and gerontology at the University of Ottawa and at La Cité collégiale for more than 20 years.  During her career, she has defended the rights of vulnerable persons, participated in many committees and acted as a consultant to various community groups. In the last 10 years, she has learned the many challenges of being a caregiver while helping and caring for elderly close relatives.

Monique retired in June 2017 and has remained active in the community.  Always interested in staying current and seeking learning experiences, she takes courses in ethics and end-of-life at the Dominican University. During her spare time, she enjoys skiing, running and biking and loves to travel.

René Pouliot

Originally from Sherbrooke, Québec, René Pouliot is retired from senior management at the Canada Revenue Agency. While he took particular interest in improving processes and systems throughout his working life, René also enjoyed mentoring new staff and developing their leadership potential. Both skill sets came into play in the course of his management of various tax programs within which he headed over 300 staff. René is also credited with helping CRA move away from paper-based systems by introducing Interac on-line payments into the agency’s operations.

As a trainer, René travelled to all of Canada’s major cities to share his special expertise in CPP and EI matters. In addition, he undertook major projects for Canada Border Services, liaising with experts in the US and Europe.

Over his 34 years with CRA, René was based in Edmonton, Québec city, Sherbrooke, Armstrong, PQ, and Ottawa. In private life, he is the proud father and stepfather of five, with two grandsons.

Nicholas Gazzard

Nicholas Gazzard has spent his career in the fields of co-operative housing and training for not-for profit organizations. A full-time father in the 1970s following his move to Canada from England, Nicholas began a career as a financial consultant and community college instructor in the 1980s. In 1980, he became a founding member of a Vancouver housing co-operative and in 1988 joined the staff of COHO Management, a property-management company dedicated to providing services to housing co‑operatives.

Nicholas served as COHO’s executive director for 10 years before joining the staff of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada. He was appointed the federation’s executive director in 2005, a position he held until his retirement in 2017.

During his career, Nicholas has served on a number of boards and advisory bodies. Among them are Encasa Financial, an investment-management company for community housing, which he chaired for 10 years, and the Federal Co-operative Housing Stabilization Fund, a lending entity for housing co-operatives. For 12 years Nicholas served on the board of Co-operative Housing International, the global apex body for co-operative housing, where he was president for a four-year term. He is still involved in housing policy groups and has been twice named one of the top federal lobbyists of the year by The Hill Times. Now in semi-retirement, Nicholas works as a consultant offering community housing advisory services.

Glen French

Glen has been an Ontario Licensed Funeral Director since 1994 and obtained a Manitoba Licence in 1996. Glen started his career as a co-operative student in 1991 and worked for Arbor Memorial Services from 1991 to 2002. In 2002, he and his wife Patricia (also a licensed funeral director) purchased a funeral home in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Together they operated French Family Funeral Home until they sold their interest in the business in January 2019 to the Fédération des coopératives funéraires du Québec (FCFQ). Glen continues to manage the day-to-day operations of the home and is also the General Manager for FCFQ of Perrin Funeral Chapel in New Liskeard, Ontario. In addition, Glen is the Senior Director of Development & Acquisitions - Ontario for the FCFQ.

Patricia and Glen are both actively involved in their community while raising their daughter and son. Glen sits on the Ethics Committee of the Kirkland & District Hospital, is Executive Member of the Town of Kirkland Lake Planning Advisory Committee and is an Assistant Basketball Coach with the Swampdonkeys—Mile of Gold basketball organization.

The French's enjoy travelling together, usually to a warm destination during the winter months.