Board Member Election Candidates
Dan Abrahams (Staff)
I am a longtime SOAR member and a director (and Vice-President), seeking a third term on the Board. My contributions outside the Board have included five years as a member of the SOAR Conference Committee. As a lawyer I have spent the bulk of my career in the administrative justice and regulatory sectors. My work to date has included eight years as Senior Counsel and leader of the mediation group at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Tribunal, formerly WCAT, and16 years in various senior counsel and leadership roles at the Law Society of Ontario. I now work for the regulator of professional engineering, Professional Engineers Ontario, where my title is Vice-President, Legislation and Policy. Over the course of my legal career, I have acquired extensive experience in a number of community and professional organizations. I am a veteran board member in the not-for-profit sector. Among my professional contributions, I am proud to be the longest-serving member of the executive of the Ontario Bar Association’s Public Sector Lawyers section, of which I am a former Chair. If re-elected to the Board I will continue to promote SOAR as a vital forum and a source of education for both regulators and administrative tribunals. I am deeply committed to good governance. I also try to approach all professional and volunteer challenges, particularly during the ongoing pandemic, with a good sense of humour, at least a modicum of humility, and a willingness to think outside the box.
Ayumi Bailly (Staff)
I would like to introduce myself as a candidate for the SOAR Board for the 2021-2023 term. I had the privilege of serving on the SOAR Board for many years in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I stepped down from the SOAR Board when I left the tribunal sector for career opportunities in provincial ministries and the non-profit sector. I was tremendously honoured to receive SOAR’s Volunteer Recognition Award in 2006 and then the SOAR Medal in 2012. I recently returned to the agency sector in 2019 when I assumed the role of Director of the Pay Equity Office, and would very much like to continue contributing to the whole sector by volunteering with the SOAR Board. I have accumulated wide-ranging experience in a number of subject areas (public sector governance and ethics, legislative policy and drafting, stakeholder relations, and PLEI, occupational health and safety, among others), and now have 20+ years of executive management experience. You are welcome to view my career details through my LinkedIn profile. I hope that you will consider supporting my nomination for either a Staff role or Member- at-Large role on the SOAR Board.
Robert Blair (Staff)
I have been involved with SOAR throughout the pandemic and SOAR’s pivot to offering virtual education for the administrative justice community. I look forward to continuing my involvement with SOAR and furthering its objectives. I am currently a board member, and SOAR’s Vice-President and Treasurer. I am also involved with SOAR’s Education Committee. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the administrative justice community and contribute to a discussion of the common issues that tribunals face, and benefit from that discussion in my role as Manager, Adjudication Legal Services at the Ontario Securities Commission. In that role, I advise adjudicators, lead projects relating to the Tribunal’s policies and procedures, and develop and present education for adjudicators. In addition to my involvement with SOAR, I am a member of CCAT’s Tribunal Excellence Committee and have been a member of the OBA’s admin law section executive.
Maureen Carter-Whitney (Part-Time Adjudicator)
ACCLAIMED I am writing to express my interest in being a member of the 2021-2023 Board in a part-time adjudicator position. In my ten years as an adjudicator, SOAR has had a significant impact on my work and career. I have learned much from SOAR training programs and annual conferences over the years, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet and network with others at these events. Since 2017, I have been a member of the SOAR Conference Planning Committee. It has been a rewarding experience to work with an enthusiastic and accomplished group of colleagues to help plan and organize the last five conferences. I have also helped to coach several of the hearing simulation and decision-writing sessions in SOAR/Osgoode PD programs. In February 2021, I joined the SOAR Board of Directors as a part-time adjudicator member. I have adjudicative experience in a number of tribunals, having held part-time and full-time positions as a member and a vice-chair. This has included working in tribunals at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels. Currently, I am a part-time member of the Refugee Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board, and of the Condominium Authority Tribunal. I am deeply interested in all aspects of SOAR’s important work – education, advocacy, and promoting innovation in adjudication and regulation – and would be pleased to continue to bring my experience to the SOAR Board of Directors.
Keith Cooper (Part-Time Adjudicator)
ACCLAIMED Much has changed over the past 8 years since I first joined the SOAR Board of Directors, and we are now facing a wave of change in all areas of the administrative law field. In particular, the new reality of virtual hearings and its impact on access to justice is a fresh opportunity that has – and will continue – to change the way we operate. Ensuring that Ontario’s administrative and regulatory tribunals have the necessary resources and support is an ongoing task and one that requires quiet advocacy. Following a decade as a Vice-Chair at the Workplace Safety Insurance Appeals Tribunal, and as a Member of both the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council Discipline Committee and the City of Toronto Licensing Tribunal, I accepted the challenge of modernizing the four Adjudicative Tribunals associated with the CPA Ontario. After successful completion of that project, I transitioned to become Manager of the Horse Racing Appeal Tribunal and arranged its switch to virtual hearings. Concurrently, I sit as the Deputy Commissioner of Licensing for Multi-Tenant Housing in the City of Toronto.
Genevieve Currie (Staff)
I am putting my name forward to serve as a volunteer for the 2021-2023 Board of Directors because I have found SOAR's conferences and advocacy invaluable, both personally and professionally, and would like to continue to contribute to this work. I have worked in several regulatory or oversight offices over the past several years, giving me a unique perspective on administrative justice in Ontario. I am currently counsel to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario, where my work includes regulatory and integrity investigations, conflicts of interest advice and responding to disclosures of wrongdoing by public servants. I have previously worked as Investigations Counsel to the City of Toronto Ombudsman, General Counsel to the Patient Ombudsman and Counsel to the Ontario Ombudsman. Earlier in my career, I was an Assistant Crown Attorney and a litigator at McCarthy Tetrault LLP, where I was counsel to or before various regulatory bodies, administrative tribunals and inquests. I also have previous board experience, including serving as the Treasurer for two different non-profit organizations. Over the past two years, I have learned much about how SOAR operates and how to support its work. I understand that dedicated volunteers make SOAR a success and would welcome the opportunity to work with others on the Board to strengthen the resources available to the field of administrative justice in Ontario.
Romona Gananathan (Full-Time Adjudicator)
Please consider this expression of interest to join SOAR's Board of Directors. I have been an adjudicator and member of SOAR for many years, and have been involved in public/administrative law for over a decade. I am excited to help further SOAR's objectives and assist in any way I can either on the Board or a committee. I am currently a Vice Chair with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and previously was a member of the Social Benefits Tribunal with Tribunals Ontario. I have practiced both in the private and public sector, and appeared before many administrative tribunals and courts. I have also been a member of various non-profit boards and organizations and have a long history in senior management in the non-profit sector, prior to my legal career. I believe these experiences will equip me well to work with SOAR either on the board or a committee.
John Gayle (Staff)
Please accept this nomination as my expression of interest in joining the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR)’s Board of Directors. Based on my experience with SOAR, administrative justice and boards, I believe that I would be a great fit to serve on the SOAR Board. Since 2014, I have been a member of SOAR’s Education Committee. In this position, I have contributed to SOAR’s mission of advancing administrative justice through education, advocacy and innovation by co-chairing SOAR’s FLAT (Front Line Adjudicator Training) program in 2018, 2020 and 2021. To date, my involvement with SOAR has been very rewarding. Not only because of my membership, but also due to my participation in SOAR training sessions and conferences. For the past six years, I have worked in the Information Privacy Commissioner/Ontario’s Tribunal Services Department as an Analyst, Mediator, Investigator and Acting Adjudicator. In these roles, I have adjudicated many matters and, as a result, I am very familiar with the principles of administrative justice. Further, as the former Board President of the Erin Mills Youth Centre and, currently, being on the boards of the Aphasia Institute and The Neighbourhood Organization, I am very aware of a board member’s duties and responsibilities. Making significant contributions to administrative justice is a personal and professional goal of mine. And I believe that being a SOAR board member would help me achieve this.
Trevor Guy (Staff)
Please accept my nomination to serve on the SOAR Board of Directors for the 2021-2023 term. I was called to the Ontario bar in 2006 after receiving my LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School. For the next seven years, I built my career at Heenan Blaikie LLP, mainly practicing administrative and commercial law litigation. During that period, I acted on dozens of judicial reviews and appeals, and served on the OBA’s Admin Law Executive, in which role I organized and co-chaired several conferences. After Heenan Blaikie’s closure in early 2014, I joined the Legal Services Branch of the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, where I was primarily responsible for advising on one of the Ministry’s key legislative and regulatory initiatives, along with advising the adjudicators of the Ministry’s Provincial Nominee Program. Two years later, I joined what is now Tribunals Ontario. In that role, I currently advise the cluster’s tribunals and their adjudicators on a wide range of substantive and procedural matters, as well as act on litigation arising from the tribunals’ decisions. Outside of work, I co-teach administrative law through Osgoode Professional Development’s LL.M. program. I have been a member the SOAR Board since April 2020 and currently serve as the Chair of the Education Committee. I would be pleased to continue my membership on SOAR’s Board and, more specifically, to further develop SOAR’s educational programing.
Rosemarie McCutcheon (Chair)
ACCLAIMED I am writing to express my interest in joining the SOAR Board of Directors. I am currently the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT), and I have served in that capacity since August 2019. I have been reappointed for a three-year term, effective January 9, 2022. Prior to my current appointment, I served as a Vice-Chair at the WSIAT, both in full-time and part-time capacities, for approximately 19 years. The WSIAT has long been supportive of SOAR’s mission to provide leadership, education, innovation, and information to the administrative justice community, as well as SOAR’s non-partisan approach to focusing on the public interest. I have been involved in SOAR’s educational programs over the years, including acting as a facilitator at the Adjudicator Training Course and participating in the organizing committee for the Front Line Adjudicator Training Course. I consider it a privilege to serve in the administrative justice sector, which has a widespread impact on the lives of citizens. SOAR plays a key role in promoting excellence in adjudication in this important field and I would appreciate the opportunity to support SOAR’s work as a member of the Board of Directors.
Josephine Racioppo (Full-Time Adjudicator)
Josephine Racioppo has worked as an adjudicator since 2013. She is presently appointed to the Social Benefits Tribunal, under Tribunals Ontario, where she adjudicates appeals relating to financial, medical and human rights-related disputes. After having worked in human resource management, in both non-profit and private sectors, Josephine’s professional interest turned to the public sector and administrative law matters. Prior to her appointment, she worked as an in-house representative. She has also appeared before a variety of administrative law bodies and courts to respond to summons and subpoenas, negotiated minutes of settlements, and she has both participated in and conducted mediations. She is a member of SOAR, CCAT, CIAJ and a licensed member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. She holds an LLM in General Law with Osgoode, as well as certificates in Labour Relations from Queens IRC, Human Rights from Osgoode PD, as well as Mediation.