The Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) is currently governed by an eight-member interim board of directors. These directors include representatives from industry associations, a religious organization, a municipality, government, the former Board of Funeral Services, a consumer representative, and an individual with extensive DAA experience.
Tom Wright, Chair
Tom Wright was elected Chair of the Interim Board of Directors of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario in September 2014. He is also Chair of the Interim Board of Directors of the Ontario Film Authority, elected in 2013.
In November 1997 Tom became Registrar under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act and in January 2002 became CEO at the Real Estate Council of Ontario until his retirement in September 2014. RECO was one of the first delegated administrative authorities established by what is now the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.
From 1991 to 1997 Tom was Information and Privacy Commissioner for the Province of Ontario heading the office responsible for ensuring that ministries and government agencies of the provincial government and municipal organizations comply with Ontario’s freedom of information and privacy laws.
A graduate of Queen’s Law School, Tom was called to the Ontario Bar in 1975 and practised law for 10 years prior to joining the Ontario Public Service in 1985 where he held various legal positions.
Aubrey LeBlanc, Vice-Chair
Aubrey LeBlanc volunteers as President of the Consumers Council of Canada, whose members form the most active, Canada-wide multi-issue consumer group. The Consumers Council of Canada aims to create an efficient, equitable, safe and effective marketplace.
Aubrey is Chief Administrative Officer of the Ontario Building Officials Association, an industry association representing, training and certifying Ontario’s municipal plans examiners and building inspectors. He is also principal of his own building and residential consulting practice, with clientele which includes: governments, builders and developers, construction materials and innovation enterprises, energy efficiency companies, inspector groups, and other building industry organizations.
For a decade, Aubrey was President and Registrar of the Ontario New Home Warranty Program (now TARION Warranty Corporation), a highly respected legislated consumer-protection delegated authority of the Ontario Government. He has also been a senior executive in several provincial government departments and portfolios in communications, taxation, transportation, northern development, and housing, and was most recently the executive responsible for the Ontario Building Code, in the role of Chief Building Official for Ontario.
Internationally, Aubrey has represented the Canadian building industry, the Government of Canada, and the Ontario government to provide counsel to various countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, as well as most Canadian provinces.
He has a M.Sc. from the University of Wisconsin, and a MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business.
Renu Kulendran, Secretary-Treasurer
Renu Kulendran is the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Consumer Services Operations Division in the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. Renu is responsible for delivering the ministry’s consumer complaint, regulatory compliance and enforcement programs; implementing modernized data and risk-based awareness, prevention and enhanced compliance and enforcement strategies for the ministry; transforming ministry program delivery through expansion of the delegated administrative authority model and providing expert advice on the model across government; and, developing regulatory partnerships with other ministries, governments and enforcement entities to achieve consumer protection objectives.
Renu has extensive experience in social and economic resource policy development; issues management; stakeholder relations; and, experience managing complex enforcement and compliance issues in an operational context.
Renu has held senior leadership positions at the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Ministry of Education, and Cabinet Office. She has worked in the Ontario Public Service for over 25 years.
Yves Berthiaume, Director
Yves Berthiaume is the President and CEO of Salon Funéraire Familial Berthiaume Family Funeral Home Inc., a family business established in 1896 with operations in both Ontario and Quebec. Yves is the current Chair of the Board of Funeral Service of Ontario since 2014, a member of the Board of Funeral Service Association of Canada, and Vice President of the group Professional en Rituals Funéraire.
At the age of 40, Yves was the youngest President of Optimist International, one of the four largest service club organizations in the world. He is currently President-elect of the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation for 2015-2016.
Yves was also the initiator of the "Loss, Grief, and Growth Program", which offers educational material to students starting from Kindergarten through grade 12 in schools across Canada.
Steve Heldman, Director
A seasoned professional with almost 30 years of municipal government experience, Steve is currently the Director of Recreation and Facility Services for the Corporation of the City of Waterloo. Within this role, Steve has been responsible for overall facility operations, business services, programming and event management including management of the City’s Cemetery Services division. Steve is also proud to have served on the Board for the Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals for several years where he held the position of President in 2006.
John O’Brien, Director
John J. O'Brien was appointed Episcopal Delegate for Cemeteries and Insurance by the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, OMI, D.D., Bishop of Hamilton on January 1, 2014. He served as the Business Administrator of The Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton 1999 to 2013 and Director of The Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Hamilton from 1987 to 2013.
Mr. O'Brien served as President of the Catholic Cemetery Conference, Chicago, Illinois from 2002-2004 and spent a total of thirteen years on the Catholic Cemetery Conference Board. He is currently President of the Ontario Catholic Cemetery Conference serving the Catholic Bishops of Ontario. Since 1999 he has served on the Insurance Management Board of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops. In April 2014 he was elected President of the Board of the Catholic Umbrella Pool II, a reinsurance investment pool forming part of the Catholic Mutual Group of Omaha, Nebraska. In July of 2014, he became one of the incorporating Directors of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario.
Mr. O'Brien served a three year term as a member of the Board and Treasurer of Catholic Missions in Canada (2004), and served ten years as a Trustee of St. Joseph’s Villa (2003), a 428 bed Long Term Care Facility. Mr. O'Brien is the third generation of his family to be actively involved in Catholic cemetery management.
Brian Parent, Director
Brian Parent is currently the Legislative Co-chair and Past President for the Ontario Funeral Service Association and has been a member since 1982. He is the owner of Families First Funeral Home in Windsor, Ontario and has been a licensed funeral director for over 27 years. In 2010, Brian received the Business of the Year Award from the Windsor & Essex District Chamber of Commerce for his funeral home.
Brian serves as a director in a number of organizations. He is currently the President of the Victim Services Board of Management, the Past President of the Victorian Order of Nurses, and a director for the Essex Regional Conservation Authority.
Brian is also very active as a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, the Funeral Service Association of Canada, and the Windsor & Essex District Chamber of Commerce.
Glen Timney, Director
Glen Timney is the Vice President Corporate Development for the Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries in Toronto. He has worked within Ontario’s bereavement industry for over 40 years.
Glen has twice served as President of the Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals and as a member of the Board of Directors for 8 years. For more than 3 decades he has travelled throughout the province conducting legislation and operations training seminars for licensees. For 13 years Glen chaired the OACFP legislation committee and represented the association during government negotiations, culminating in the proclamation of the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act in July 2012.
Glen is dedicated to spending time with his family and serving his community. A past president of the local Rotary Club and active member for over 20 years, Glen was honoured with a Paul Harris Fellowship for his charitable community endeavours. He is a Knight Commander within the Order of St. Lazarus, a world-wide charitable organization established in 1093 which supports palliative and hospice care throughout Canada and the eradication of leprosy globally. A past Commander of the Toronto Commandery and Vice Chancellor Commanderies for Canada, Glen currently serves as Commander Emeritus in Toronto.
Glen has served as treasurer for two charitable foundations and a Board member of a children’s home. He currently serves on the Humber College Health Sciences Funeral Education Advisory Committee, and is an inaugural member of the Board of Directors of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario.