Ottawa Branch

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is made up of twelve volunteers who are members of the Association in good standing. The Board consists of a President, two Vice-presidents, a Branch Secretary, a Treasurer and seven other Directors who take on the responsibility of running various standing and ad-hoc committees of the Ottawa Branch.

Directors are nominated and elected to office by Branch members at Annual General Meetings. Directors are elected for a term of two years or until their successors are elected. A Director may serve on the Board for a maximum of 3 consecutive terms of 2 years (six years).

The Board is responsible for the conduct of the affairs of the Ottawa Branch, its assets and properties. It conducts the business of the Ottawa Branch in accordance with the Branch By-laws and the Association’s By-Laws.

There are three committees of the Board: the Executive Committee (includes Governance and Nominations), Branch Community Liaison Committee, and Members Committee (includes recruitment, retention and services). The Board also uses task forces and working groups as needed.

Ottawa Branch is committed to building a culturally diverse board and we strongly encourage all members of our community to apply, in particular, women, former civil servants from all staffing levels, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, 2SLGBTQ+ individuals and individuals with disabilities. Spousal members are also welcome to apply.

The Current Board of Directors

Officers and Committee Chairs (2023-2024)

Dave Bennett

President and Chair, Executive Committee

Denis Lavoie

Vice President

Harry Ruthnum


Hélène Buteau


Sharon Squire

Director at Large

Committee Chairs & Directors

Paul Bennett

Steve Chapman

Leslie Lawry

Dan Napier

J. Hugh O’Donnell

Christian Stumpf

District Directors

Dan Butler

District Director of Ottawa & Nunavut

Michael Fine

District Director of Ottawa & Nunavut

Advisor to the Board

Robert Giroux

Special Advisor to the Board

Nomination of Directors

Each year, one-half of the twelve members of the Ottawa Branch Board of Directors usually reach the end of their two-year term. Elections are held to fill the resultant vacancies during the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The Ottawa Branch By-Laws call for the establishment of a nominations committee and, a written call for nominations that ends 14 days before the AGM. As of 2022, the Executive Committee has taken on the responsibilities of the Nominations Committee. 

To ensure transparency in the process, the annual call for nominations prior to our AGM is provided to our members through Sage, the Federal Retirees magazine. 

Every Branch member in good standing is eligible to nominate or stand as a candidate. 

Ottawa Branch is committed to building a culturally diverse board and we strongly encourage all members of our community to apply, in particular, women, former civil servants from all staffing levels, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, 2SLGBTQ+ individuals and individuals with disabilities. Spousal members are also welcome to apply.

If you are interested in becoming a Director on our Board, click here for more information about the selection criteria for director nominations. 

Interested candidates are asked to mail or email us a brief summary (approx. 250 words) of their experience and qualifications and how they meet our selection criteria and a short CV. Candidates will also be asked to certify that they are a member in good standing. 

Candidates can send an email to [email protected] or call 613-737-2199 if they would like to discuss this opportunity further.

Dave Bennett

A Professional Registered Parliamentarian, Dave Bennett is highly experienced in organizational meetings, board governance, association management consulting and training. Dave’s career includes more than 15 years in senior management with national not-for-profit professional associations and over 25 years in executive management. He has served as an officer with the Canadian Forces, Managing Director for the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board, Chair of the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada, Director of Accreditation with the Canadian University Schools of Nursing, Director of Defence Engineering and Technical Services for the ADGA Group, and Director of Governance and Component Relations with the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Key association experiences include serving as a parliamentarian, leading stakeholders in board governance and policy development, board orientation, strategic planning, development of national certification and training standards and negotiating international substantial equivalence agreements for reciprocity of professional credentials. He has developed bylaws and governing documents for numerous provincial and national associations and led three not-for-profit associations in successfully achieving their Articles of Continuance under the new Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA). He has twice been selected as keynote speaker for professional conventions internationally.

Dave graduated from the Canadian Forces School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. He is a member of the Canadian Society of Association Executives, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Association, the Association of Engineering Technicians and Technologists of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. He sat as an advisor to the Governance Committee of the Ottawa Safety Council and has served on the Ottawa Board of Directors previously. Dave was elected to the Board in 2019 for a two-year term.

Denis Lavoie

Denis Lavoie is a public administrator with over 40 years of experience in military operations, aerospace engineering, program management and volunteering.

Denis began his military career as an aircraft technician followed by a transition to aerospace engineering officer. A lifelong learner, his main contributions included involvement in integrating new aircraft fleets and technologies in Canadian defence capabilities, business planning, strategic planning and performance management. He trained and served in most Canadian provinces and participated in peace support activities in Ethiopia, Darfur and served under NATO in Germany. His second career included consulting services in performance measurement of military operations and performance optimization of large procurement contracts.

Denis has also been very active with volunteer organizations and has served on various boards of administrators since 1996 as Vice-President for the Association du Québec à Compostelle, Tel-Aide Outaouais, Toastmasters, Winterlude, le Centre d’éducation de base de l`Outaouais, the Hull hospital and the Montfort hospital. He also participated as a short term election observer during the second round of Ukraine presidential elections in April 2019.

Denis holds an MBA from the University of Ottawa with specialization in governance and has also completed Program Management Institute (PMI) certification in 1999.

Denis is now retired and enjoys volunteering, the outdoors around the amazing Outaouais region, traveling and long distance walks.

He is nominated to serve a one-year term starting after the 2021 AGM.

Harry Ruthnum

Harry Ruthnum started his career as a senior financial analyst in Treasury at Philips Electronics in Toronto and joined the Public Service as Senior Bank Examiner with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, where he had responsibility for a portfolio of large domestic and foreign banks operating in Canada. Harry also has experience with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) as a Principal with audit responsibility for government departments such as Industry Canada and Canadian Heritage, and large Crown Corporations such as Export Development Canada and CBC. As Principal, he was responsible for three audits that were reported in the OAG’s annual reports to Parliament in two consecutive years.

Harry has worked for the IMF as an expert in Banking Supervision, Internal Audit and Governance advising central banks on bank regulations, internal audit and governance, and best practices in supervising and examining banks.

After retiring from the Public Service, Harry has carried out several consulting mandates for senior management of various departments and agencies in the field of financial management, risk management and governance.

Harry is a member (CPA, CA) of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, and holds an MBA in Managerial Economics and Finance from the University of Ottawa.

Harry was appointed to the Ottawa Board of Directors in November 2017 and he was elected for a two-year term at the 2018 AGM. He was appointed by the Board to serve until the 2021 AGM, due to the pandemic.

Hélène Buteau

Hélène Buteau retired from the federal public service in December 2011 with more than thirty years of government work experience (including 2 years in public health in Québec City). She worked mainly in the department currently known as Employment and Social Development Canada.

Hélène started her career in Affirmative Action and Employment Equity. In the Employment Branch, she also worked in Operational Monitoring and Assessment; Worker Programs and Services; Planning, Monitoring and Analysis; Employment Benefits and Support Measures (Labour Market Partnerships) Grants and Contributions; In-Person Strategies and Policies for Service Delivery. Other branches she worked in are: Public Affairs (Communications), Internal Audit, Evaluation and Data Development.

Over the years, Hélène has provided valuable advice, guidance and support to national headquarters groups, regions and local offices in program and service delivery. She has also developed strategic planning frameworks and work plans, operational support tools, carried out needs identification and assessments and developed related Intranet and Internet content.

Hélène has a BA in Sociology from Laval University where she also pursued Master’s level studies in Sociology. She is fluently bilingual. Since 1989, she has been a member of Toastmasters International where she has held numerous leadership positions and developed her communication skills. She was also Director on her condominium’s Board of Directors from 2013-2021.

Hélène’s hobbies include painting in watercolour, art appreciation and travel. As a mother of two children and four grandchildren, she enjoys passing on her love of art to them.

Since 2018, Hélène has been an active volunteer with the Ottawa Branch in the areas of recruitment, member services and advocacy. Since 2019, she has been the official recorder for Branch Board meetings. Hélène was a co-recipient of the Branch’s Stephen Troy Volunteer of the Year award for 2020.

Sharon Squire

Sharon Squire is President of Vision Consulting+Coaching. Sharon recently retired from the federal Public Service after 32+ years with expertise in service design and delivery, veterans programming and issues, leadership and development, human resources, and sport. She has held senior executive roles in the Office of the Veterans Ombud, Treasury Board Secretariat, Privy Council Office, Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, and Canadian Heritage where she developed and implemented many government-wide strategies, policies, and programs/services. Sharon is also a certified Personal and Business Performance Coach.

Sharon is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Ottawa (hospital) Healthcare Group and has served as Chair of several Boards including Kids Up Front Foundation Ottawa, Institute for Citizen-Centred Service, Canadian Club of Ottawa, Commonwealth Games Association International Development Through Sport, among others.

Recognition of her leadership skills include the Esprit de Corps Top 20 Women in Defence Award (2022), Heintzman Leadership Award for excellence in service delivery in Canada (2018), and Association of Public Service Executives Community Service Award (2017), among others.

Sharon is an avid dragon boater and national team member.

Paul Bennett

Paul Bennett retired in 2014 after a 30-year career with the federal government in various executive, management, and professional capacities in the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Global Affairs (with assignments in Bangkok, Addis Ababa, and Minneapolis), Infrastructure, and Networks of Centres of Excellence. Toward his retirement he served as Director and Deputy Director of the Multiculturalism, Community Historical Recognition, and Settlement programs at Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada.

He was also first Executive Director of Canadian Parents for French (BC/Yukon). He brings a wide skill set in policy, program, communications, and foreign service. Paul was awarded both a President’s and Deputy Minister’s award while at CIDA.

Paul has an Honours BA in history and politics as well as a Master’s in public administration, both from Queen’s University, and an MA in community and regional planning from the University of British Columbia, where his thesis was on the various challenges of and opportunities in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Paul’s recent volunteer experience includes mentorship coordination with Tibetan Resettlement Project Ottawa, communications with Action Sandy Hill, and board chair of One World Film Festival. He has also served as an international polling station officer in Cambodia and Ukraine and a Canadian Executive Services Organization volunteer advisor to various organizations in Ethiopia. While at Global Affairs he served as the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers representative on the Occupational Health and Service Committee.

Paul enjoys snowshoeing, cycling, travel, and film. He recently published On the Border: Twenty Life Stories from Four Continents, a diverse collection of vignettes celebrating the diversity of life’s experiences.

Steve Chapman

Steven Chapman retired from the Public Service in February 2023 after 39 years of service with Global Affairs Canada and in the military, and has filled a variety of executive leadership roles both in Canada and abroad.

He served for 24 years as a foreign service officer with Global Affairs Canada, with 6 overseas postings. Most recently he served as Minister and Consul General in Mexico City, and he also served in Nairobi, Manila, Havana, Tokyo and Santo Domingo. In Headquarters, he filled numerous executive positions including Director for Mission Operations, and Director for Policy and Innovation.

Previously, Steve was a military officer with 15 years of Regular Force and Reserve service at various locations across Canada and retired with the rank of Captain. He holds a BA in Politics from the Royal Military College, an MA in War Studies from RMC, and a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University. He received a Military and Strategic Studies Scholarship to write his Master’s thesis on nationality politics in Tito’s Yugoslavia.

Steve has an ongoing commitment to community engagement and served on boards for a variety of not-for-profit organizations.  He both chaired and served on the Board of Governors for the International School of Kenya. He served as Dean of the Consular Corps of the Philippines and was on the board of In Touch Community Services in Manila, Philippines He also served on the board for the International School Havana.  While in Tokyo, he was President of the Tokyo Consular and Administrative Corps and was on the board for Tokyo English Lifeline, a crisis line and advocacy organization serving the non-Japanese community in Tokyo.

Steve is an avid scuba diver, and enjoys kayaking, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and travel.

Leslie Lawry

Leslie retired from the Canada Revenue Agency in 2009.  She started as a clerk in Hamilton and held progressively more responsible positions as her career progressed, both in Ottawa and Hamilton.  

During her career, she was the Chief of Public Affairs at her local district office, then subsequently went on to be responsible for all business enquiries across Canada.  In Ottawa, she first worked in Client Services, and then she became responsible for all liaison between the Office of the Auditor General and the CRA. She says that was a fun job because she got to tell the Assistant Deputy Ministers what to do!  She finished her career as the Director of Operations for the Office of the Taxpayer’s Ombudsman.

Leslie is happily retired and has been serving as the Chair of the Ottawa Branch Advocacy Committee.  She has two great kids, and three fantastic grandkids – she will tell you all about them if you let her!

Leslie was first appointed to Ottawa Board of Directors in September 2018 and she was elected for a two-year term at the 2019 AGM.

Dan Napier

Dan Napier officially retired in 2021 from Public Services and Procurement Canada working as a Director General in the Parliamentary Precinct Branch responsible for the rehabilitation and renovation of Canada’s Parliament Buildings. Prior to immensely enjoying working for the Federal Government for 20 years, Dan worked in various senior capacities in both the Municipal and Private Sectors as a Director, Planner and Landscape Architect.

Graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Dan continues to seek learning opportunities, both in his professional and personal life.

As a past Board Member and phone line volunteer at the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region, Dan brings his skills as a strategic thinker, team builder and strong engagement and values and ethics to the Board.

Appointed to the Board of Directors in November 2022, Dan wants to become a part of the National Association of Federal Retirees Ottawa Branch team helping to advance their mission and work and
advancing the concerns of the Associations members.

J. Hugh O’Donnell

Hugh O’Donnell has over 40 years involvement in international business development, negotiations, and project management and in professional services in the areas of planning, engineering, geomatics, and related activities. He holds a B.A. Sc. in Geodetic Sciences from Laval University and completed management studies at U of Ottawa; U of Toronto and offered in the Canadian Government.

He has an extensive network of contacts at the decision-making level in many regions world-wide and brings a strong focus on global market entry strategies for the Middle East, Europe, South America, and Asia, notably in infrastructure and healthcare sectors. Hugh held leadership roles in a number of national and international associations and advised Government and senior executives on trade policies. He chaired the Canada Arab Business Council and the Global Affairs Canada Infrastructure Sector Advisory Board, and he has also consulted to Global Affairs Canada.

As Chairman and CEO of the International Division of a major Canadian engineering consulting and planning firm, Hugh was instrumental in winning one of the most prestigious long-term planning projects in the world – the comprehensive plan for the holy cities of Makkah, Madina and Mashaer in Saudi Arabia. As Executive Vice President of the Canadian Commercial Corporation, he was responsible for all Business Development and Operations efforts and helped exporters generate $1.3 billion in business volume annually in 30+ countries.

As Assistant Deputy Minister at the Department of Natural Resources, Hugh was instrumental in championing public-private partnerships globally in the field of National Mapping Programs, Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems. 

Christian Stumpf

Christian Stumpf, a CPA-CMA with an EMBA from Queen’s University, has over 31 years of federal and territorial public service experience in both regional and headquarters settings. He spent 21 years with National Defence, initially in Manitoba and later at NDHQ where he advanced through various executive leadership positions. Christian was asked to take on the role of Chief Financial Officer in the Health Canada portfolio, followed by Executive Financial Advisor to the Receiver General and the Pay and Pension programs. 

In 2015, he was head-hunted for a position with the Government of Nunavut as Chief Financial Officer. He strengthened financial processes and assumed oversight for all territorial federal infrastructure reporting and led the central procurement function for all territorial departments and agencies within the Government of Nunavut. Christian retired in 2019 and started a successful consulting business.

Throughout his career he supported community-based organizations as soccer coach, parent council (English/French) and served on numerous Boards at local, provincial, and national levels, such as the Nunavut Food Bank and the Air Cadet League of Canada and GreenBooks Canada. Christian joined MyCatalyst+ (formerly CESO) as an advisor to share his experience and help develop organizations in need. He is passionate about mentoring, coaching, finance, internal controls, and organizational optimization.

Christian enjoys spending time with his family, being at the cottage and travelling with his spouse.

Dan Butler

While a superannuate since 2011, Dan has now retired on a full-time basis for the first time and believes it’s an ideal opportunity to step forward and contribute to the important work of the National Association of Federal Retirees.

Dan enjoyed a wonderfully challenging 40-year career in labour relations, first as a senior union advocate for professionals in the Public Service and then, since 2001, as a third-party neutral. As part of his mandate as General Secretary of the National Joint Council (NJC), he supervised the co-development of service-wide terms and conditions of employment including the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) and facilitated consultations between the parties on the pension plan. These responsibilities brought Dan into continuing contact with representatives of the (then) FSNA for whom he formed a strong admiration.

After his term at NJC, Dan was appointed by the Governor-in-Council as a full-time member of the Public Service Labour Relations Board and, later, as a part-time member of its most recent successor board where he continued to pursue his passion for adjudication, mediation and other dispute resolution options.

Dan hopes that his extensive advocacy and leadership experience at the most senior levels of the Public Service, particularly on PSHCP and pension issues, may prove useful in pursuing the interests of the Association’s members. He also has a strong interest in governance issues and would welcome the opportunity to work with others strengthening the Association’s relations with its members.

Michael Fine

Michael Fine grew up in New Brunswick and joined the Foreign Service of Canada to see and experience the world. Between postings in Australia, Asia and the United States, Fine worked at a variety of government departments and served as a deputy minister in Manitoba, where he developed a strong understanding of government policy, including its development and implementation. Retiring from Global Affairs Canada as director general, he went on to join the Ottawa Branch and become a member of its board. Fine was first elected to the national board of directors in 2016 and again in 2022.

Robert J. Giroux

Robert J. Giroux retired as President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) in March 2004. Before joining AUCC in 1995, he was Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada and Comptroller General of Canada. As a former senior federal official, he held the positions of President of the Public Service Commission of Canada, Deputy Minister of Public Works Canada, and Deputy Minister of National Revenue, Customs and Excise.

Mr. Giroux is a member of the Order of Canada, honorary member of the Order of Gatineau and a recipient of the Trudeau Medal from the Faculty of Administration of the University of Ottawa. He received Honorary Doctorates from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, the Université de Montréal, in Montréal, Quebec, McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, the University of Ottawa, in Ottawa, Ontario and the University of Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia.

He was Chair of the Board of Directors of Ocean Networks Canada, of Katimavik, and the Canadian Council on Learning. Mr. Giroux was a member of the Board of Directors of the Canada Foundation for Innovation from 2006 à 2012. He served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Ottawa from 2009 to 2017.

Robert joined the Ottawa Branch of the National Association of Federal Retirees in 2012 and first served as Treasurer and then became President in 2017. When members approved new by-laws in 2016, serving Directors started fresh with no accumulated terms as of the 2017 AGM. Robert was elected for a two-year term at the 2017 AGM and re-elected for two more two-year terms at the 2019 and 2021 AGMs. After he stepped off the Board at the May 3, 2023 AGM, the Board approved his appointment as a Special Advisor until the 2024 AGM.