Board Members

Melanie DiReto

Chair

Melanie learned about the Guelph Wish Fund for Children when she was approached by a former director, and joined the Board in 2012 because she believes in the importance and impact of giving back to your community. She currently serves as the Board Chair and is a member of the Executive and Governance Committees. Melanie is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Association Executive, and works at the Agricultural Adaptation Council as the Manager of Finance & Administration. She lives in Guelph with her husband, Enio, and their two children, Santino and Alessia.

Dave Kavanagh

Vice Chair

Dave attended the Gala in 1996 and immediately decided he wanted to give back to the community and support an important cause by volunteering with the Guelph Wish Fund for Children. He joined the Board in 2016 and currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the organization. Dave is a member of the Executive, Finance/Fundraising and Program/Marketing Committees. He is a Plant Manager at Roctel, a division of Linamar. Dave lives in Guelph with his wife, Elsie and daughter, Quincy.

Brandie Kucyla

Treasurer

Brandie first learned about the Guelph Wish Fund for Children through her husband who was a previous board member. She wanted to make life a little bit easier and add joy to lives of those families who are navigating through health challenges with their children. She joined the Board in late 2016 and has since served as the Treasurer of the Guelph Wish Fund for Children. Brandie is also a member of the Executive and Chairs the Finance/Fundraising Committee. She is the Director of Leasing for Corporate Real Estate Canada at Manulife and sits on the Global Women’s Alliance Committee at Manulife. Brandie was born and raised in Guelph but now lives in Waterloo with her husband, Mike, and their Labrador retriever, Newton.

Pam Baker

Secretary

Ron Asselstine introduced Pam to the Guelph Wish Fund for Children and she wanted to become involved because of her youngest son, Jonathan, who became a Wish Child. She joined the Board in 2012 and currently serves as the Secretary of the Board. Pam is a member of the Executive, Finance/Fundraising, Marketing, and Governance Committees. Pam lives in Guelph with her husband, Steve, and their two sons, Cameron and Jonathon.

Karen Cooper

Director

Karen first learned about the Guelph Wish Fund for Children when attending the annual Gala in 2015 and wanted to become involved because of her love of working with families who could use support. She hopes to be able to help bring smiles to the special kids and families in her home community. Karen joined the Board in 2017 and is a member of the Program/Marketing and Gala committees. She is a Child and Youth Worker and works at Peel Children’s Aid Society. She also teaches part-time to Child and Youth Care students at Sheridan College. Karen lives in Guelph with her husband, Jason, and their two daughters. She is a proud dance mom who is excited to be giving back to her community through the Guelph Wish Fund for Children.

James Fryett

Director

When James learned about the Guelph Wish Fund for Children he immediately wanted to volunteer because of his long-standing involvement with children's needs and participation in Rotary Club services and fundraising activities. He joined the Board in 2018. James is a member of the Finance/Fundraising Committee. He is an architect and owns James Fryett Architect Inc. in Elora where he lives with his wife, Marney. Jim has been a member of the Rotary Club of Fergus/Elora and is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Guelph having served for a number of years on the Board and president in 2008-09. Jim has a passion for gliding and is currently president of York Soaring Association.

Aleem Kherani

Director

Aleem first learned about the Guelph Wish Fund for Children through a past Director, Mike Guardiero, and wanted to become involved because he wanted the opportunity to give back to the Guelph Community that has done so much for him and his family. He joined the Board in 2014 and currently serves as a member of the Program/Marketing and Governance Committees. He is a Dentist and practices at Guelph Southend Dental. Aleem lives in Guelph with his wife, Zahra.

Marni Outerbridge

Director

Passionate about supporting local charities that give back to the Guelph community, and having a twin brother with special needs, Marni appreciates how a little help can go a long way. She knew that the mission of the Guelph Wish Fund for Children would be a perfect fit for her. Marni joined the Board in 2018 and is a member of the Program/Marketing and Gala Committees. Marni is a lawyer at SmithValeriote Law Firm and lives in Guelph. In her spare time she enjoys playing tennis, hiking with her dog, Ozzie, and painting.

John Pollice

Director

John first heard about the Guelph Wish Fund for Children from Ron Asselstine. Because he himself was very sick as a young child, he wanted to give back to the community in a meaningful way, so he joined the Board in 2018. He is a member of the Finance/Fundraising Committee. John is a retired Bank Executive and is currently a CPA and partner in his own accounting firm – J & L Accounting Services. John lives in Waterloo with his wife, Lori, has 2 children, Courtney and Jessica, and a dog named Magic.

Robert Serra

Director

Rob first learned about the Guelph Wish Fund for Children through Past Chair, Ken McDougall. He wanted to become involved instantly and joined the Board in 2014. He is a member of the Finance/Fundraising and Program/Marketing Committees. Rob is a Region Director of the Investors Group and lives in Guelph.