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Board of Directors

The Board is composed of up to seven members who are elected at the annual general meeting. They serve for a term of three years and three members leave each year.

Gilles Deslauriers, B.A., M.Ed.

President

Gilles Deslauriers was born in Vanier, Ontario. He holds a B.A. with specialization in French and Latin from the University of Ottawa and a B.A. from the University of Dijon, France. From 1963 to 1996, he was a teacher and head of the Department of Modern Languages at Eastdale High School in Welland. A member of Club Richelieu since 1988, he is a past president, has been on the local board since 1990 and has been writing his monthly newsletter since 1999. He served on the Board of Directors of Foyer Richelieu from 1989 to 1998 and is a past president.

Marcel Maurice

Vice President

Marcel Maurice is a native of Welland and a graduate of the Civil Engineering program at Niagara College. He had a long career as an engineering manager for Bell Canada that included living and working in the United States and Saudi Arabia. He is now on his second career as a real estate agent with Century 21 Today Realty Ltd. He has volunteered for many community organizations over the years and now sits on the boards of Centre de Santé Hamilton-Niagara, Foyer Richelieu and Fonds Foyer Richelieu.

Milan Plentai

Treasurer

Senior Investment Advisor Milan Plentai is team leader of the Plentai-Lewis Wealth Management Group at National Bank Financial. With more than 25 years of financial service experience, he is a Certified Investment Management Analyst and a graduate of the University of Western Ontario. His focus is on independent investment selection and management for a select group of clients, corporations and charitable foundations. He previously owned a successful business in downtown St. Catharines. Milan has been an active contributor to many local, French and English community groups across the Niagara Region and Canada, such as Club Richelieu, La Residence Seniors Home, Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre, Canadian Cancer Society, United Way and the Centre de Sante.

Camille Bernard

Director

Camille Bernard, a Welland native, had a distinguished career as an educator of French as a second language. He held positions with the Port Colborne Catholic School Council, Niagara Catholic School Board and the Ontario Ministry of Education as a teacher, program co-ordinator and director of courses. He earned his teaching certificate at the University of Ottawa and was a member of the Ontario Modern Language Teacher’s Association. Camille is on the Residence Richelieu board, is a past president of the Club Richelieu Welland, Foyer Richelieu and Club Renaissance. He received the highest honour of the Club Richelieu International in 1998 when he was inducted into the Cercle Horace Viau. In 2009, he was the master of ceremonies to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic torch in Welland.

Ronald Holmes

Director

Ronald Holmes is a native of Welland. He began his career with Ontario Hydro as a lineman in 1970. From 1981 to 1987, he worked as a life insurance agent for Canada Life and then as a general insurance agent with Arthur Boulanger. He took a locksmith course in partnership with Gaston Godbout. He tried to be a trucker for some time to finally return to his original job as a lineman for “Welland Hydro”. He ended his career as head of line department in 2014.

He and  his wife Jocelyne, née Laferrière, have three daughters, two boys and six grandchildren.

His hobbies are dancing and more specifically, creating different objects in welding, although he also enjoys carpentry.

Ronald has been a member of the Club Richelieu Welland since 1999. He spent one term as Club Treasurer and another as Chair of the Inn Committee.

Benoit Mercier

Director

Benoit Mercier is the Executive Director of the Franco-Ontarian Association of Catholic School Boards. He retired from his teaching career in 2017, which began with teaching French immersion classes in Toronto prior to moving back to Niagara in 1988. He was President of the Association of Franco-Ontarian Teachers from 2008 to 2012. A seasoned baseball referee, Benoit has refereed several national and international tournaments, including the 1999 Pan American Championship in Winnipeg MB and the 2005 European Championship in Barcelona ES. He now trains young people to become baseball referees. Benoit pursued studies at Concordia University in Montreal before completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Western Ontario in London. He has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa. Benoit joined Club Richelieu in 2013 and was President in 2017.

Dr. David Robert

Director

Dr. David Robert is a practicing chiropractor in Welland for 22 years. He offers total laser therapy that can relieve pain and reduce dependencies on medical and surgeries, helping people to live a more active lifestyle. He is a registered member of the College of Chiropractors of Ontario, the governing body established by the provincial government to regulate chiropractors in Ontario. A long-time member of Club Richelieu, David is committed to ensuring that funding is available to help residents of Foyer Richelieu.

Daniel Keays

Director of Development (staff)

Dan worked as a student at Foyer Richelieu Welland for seven summers in the nursing, recreation, kitchen and maintenance departments providing experience in long term care. He has a specialisation in economics, and a concentration in international development and globalization from the University of Ottawa. After gaining work experience in Toronto in the banking sector and human resources, Dan returned to Welland to work for the Fonds Foyer Richelieu Welland. He is president of l’Auberge Richelieu serving his second term, past vice-president of l’Auberge and past treasurer of the Club Richelieu Welland. He has served on the Sacred Heart Church Renovation Committee, Welland Age-Friendly Community Action Committee and the Age-Friendly Niagara Network Leadership Council.