Equality and Justice
For People With Disabilities

2020 Board of Directors

Honourary Chairperson

The Honourable John D. Richard, Former Chief Justice, Federal Court of Appeal (ret'd)

 The Honourable John D. Richard was born in Ottawa in 1934. He attended Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, graduated with Honours, and was awarded the Gold Medal and the Chancellor Van Koughnet Scholarship. He was awarded a Rotary Foundation Fellowship and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1959. He graduated with honours from Louvain University in Belgium with a Licentiate in Political and Social Sciences in 1960. He practiced law in Ottawa with Gowling & Henderson from 1960 to 1988 and with Lang Michener from 1988 to 1994. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1976. He was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, and ex officio Member of the Federal Court of Canada, Appeal Division, in 1994. He was also appointed a Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada in 1995. He was later appointed Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada in 1998. Then in 1999, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada and later became the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal. He retired in 2009 by reason of the mandatory age requirement. He had been involved in many charitable and philanthropic organizations over the years prior to his appointment to the judiciary. He was appointed Honourary Chairperson of Reach Canada in 2009. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012 and admitted to the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa by Carleton University on November 10, 2012.



Frank McNally

Frank E. McNally is a litigation lawyer with the firm McNally Gervan LLP, specializing in personal injury law. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 2004 after receiving his LL.B. from University of Ottawa. He has appeared before various levels of courts and tribunals including the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Appeal, Financial Service Commission of Ontario and Canadian Pension Plan Review Tribunal. He is the past chair of Reach’s Education Committee. In addition to Reach, he is also an enthusiastic volunteer for other community organizations, including the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (National Capital Region) where he served as President.



Tara Marie Andronek

Tara received her undergraduate degree from McMaster University in 1999 and her law degree from the University of Ottawa in 2002, before being called to the Bar in 2003 by the Law Society of Upper Canada. She started her career in private practice and moved to the non-profit sector before joining the federal public service in 2008 where she is currently Legal Counsel with the National Security Group of the Department of Justice, having previously worked for Legal Services at the Canada Border Services Agency practicing in the legal areas of national security, human rights, information and privacy, immigration, customs, and administrative law amoung others. She spent 2.5 years at the then-Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development in national security law, crown liability, and providing advice to help Canadians in distress in foreign countries, particularly children and those in detention. Tara has been awarded a Public Service Award of Excellence in 2015 for assisting vulnerable persons abroad and recently a second National Excellence Award from the Deputy Minister of Justice.

In the fall of 2013, Tara lived in Cordoba, Argentina, to volunteer with local NGOs, advocates and lawyers to promote and protect human rights in the movement to help strengthen the development of democratic institutions there since the fall of the last military dictatorship. Her work included acting as an observer to the war-crimes trial, human-rights monitoring with a foundation that provides food and care for those living on the streets, working at a free community legal clinic in a barrio, and providing anti-human trafficking education and other topical human rights training for volunteers. Currently, she is also a volunteer mentor for women students at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Common Law and is Vice-President of the Board of Directors for Reach Canada, an organization she has volunteered with since 2005 which provides free legal and educational services to the disabled in the community. Her grass-roots activism still resides with the National Capital Region Branch of the United Nations Association in Canada. She has been with UNAC for 18 years and President since 2010, during which time the Branch has engaged the public on topics including human rights and the Syrian refugee crisis, the right to privacy in a digital age, the UN and outer space, and the humanitarian famine crisis in Africa. In 2006 she received one of the UN’s Global Citizen Awards in recognition of community volunteer service.



Rod Carpenter

Rod Carpenter graduated from Carleton University and became a consultant on disability issues. As a student, he was unable to open his own bank account as he could not sign his name and his bank would not accept his thumbprint instead of a signature. Ernest Tannis, who was teaching a course in which Rod was enrolled, and along with others, helped him take the bank to court. The two won and changes were made to The Bank Act. Subsequently, Rod and Ernest formed Reach to help other people with disabilities fight injustice and discrimination. Rod is now retired from the federal public service.



Ernest Tannis

Ernest Tannis practiced for ten years with the law firm Karam, Tannis, Greenspon. He later worked with the law offices of Blaney, Stappels & McMurtry before acting as the Executive Director for the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution (CICR). He then worked as a Mediator with the ADR Centre before joining Barrick Poulsen LLP in 2004. Ernest joined the law firm of Francis & Francis LLP in 2010. He is co-founder of Reach Canada and has been Honourary Counsel for dozens of charitable and non-governmental organizations. His areas of practice as a solicitor include: Family Law, Business Law, Corporate Law, Charities Law and Civil Litigation. He has vast experience with all types of mediations, arbitrations and various other kinds of alternative dispute resolutions. He is the author of "Alternative Dispute Resolution That Works", published in 1989. He is on the approved list of Court-Connected Mediators in the City of Ottawa. He received the designation of Chartered Mediator (C. Med.) from the ADR Institute of Canada in 1996.



Lawrence Greenspon

Lawrence Greenspon is a human rights lawyer with the law firm Greenspon Granger Hill in Ottawa. He is a graduate of Ottawa University Law School and a member of its Honour Society. He is a certified specialist in criminal and civil litigation. In 1981, he joined his then law partner Ernie Tannis and Rod Carpenter in creating REACH.  That same year, he cofounded the Reach Celebrity auction. He is the past President of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa, past Chair of Reach Canada, The Snowsuit Fund, The Multicultural Centre of Ottawa and Child & Youth Friendly Ottawa. He is also a past Chair of the United Way Community Services Cabinet and the National Chair of the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation. He continues to work with many charitable organizations including the Snowsuit Fund, Project North, The Sens foundation, CAYFO, ACCESO, Human Development Foundation, AfricaReads, the Ottawa Food Bank, and the Youth Services Bureau Foundation. Lawrence started the Nordic Pole Walk for the Cancer Survivorship Center and chaired the Leadership Team. He has trained and boxed in the Fight For the Cure. He is currently the Chair of the Monfort Hospital CT Scanner Campaign. He has received the Advocates Society's “Award of Justice”. He is a past recipient of the Gordon Henderson award. In 2008 he received the Community Builder of the Year Award. Lawrence was honoured to receive the St. Joe's Quality of Life Award and Volunteer Ottawa's Lifetime Achievement Award.


Honourary Officer

Chantelle Bowers

Chantelle Bowers has held various positions on the Reach Canada Board of Directors since 1996, such as past President, past Vice‐President and Education Chairperson, and most recently, honorary officer. She is a senior lawyer with the federal government, and has occupied several positions with the Federal Courts, including that of General Counsel and Executive Director, Federal Court of Appeal and of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada, and Acting Deputy Chief Administrator of Judicial and Registry Services for the Courts Administration Service.  She is currently the Deputy Executive Director at the Security Intelligence Review Committee. She has a background in international law and believes strongly in the importance of human rights, in particular for persons with disabilities. She is married and has three children.



Honourary Counsel

Domenic Crolla

Domenic Crolla is a partner based in Gowling WLG Ottawa office. His practice emphasizes professional and product liability, health law, and information technology matters. He counsels clients in a litigious and non-litigious setting. He has an active interest in the application of information technology to professional practice, particularly in relation to the practice of law and medicine. He is listed as a leading practitioner by Lexpert and listed in the Best Lawyers in Canada directory. Called to the Ontario Bar in 1987, he is an advocate before all levels of courts and administrative tribunals. Mr. Crolla is a frequent author and lecturer, is Editor of Electronic Healthcare Law Review, was Regional Director of Osgoode Hall Law School's LL.M in E-Business, and teaches in Osgoode's LL.M in Health Law programme. He participated in the drafting of a proposed convention on Telehealth as part of the work of the Sub Committee of Law and Medicine, General Practice Section, International Bar Association (1998 - 1999). He is a member of a number of professional societies, including the International Bar Association, Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, Advocates Society and the County of Carleton Law Association where he has fulfilled many roles including Vice-President and President. He is the past Chair of the Medicine and the Law Committee of the Division of Legal Practice, International Bar Association and a past Director of the Advocates' Society and Bar-Ex Communications.





Director / Education Committee Chairperson

Lucille Marleau

Lucille worked in the Federal Public Service for over 35 years. During her career, she occupied various senior level positions in the human resources field: classification, labour relations, human rights, career and employee development programs, diversity and official languages. Through her efforts as the Director of Diversity and Official Languages Programs at Health Canada, and those of her team, the Department was recognized for three years in a row as a Top Diversity Employer in Canada. She was honored to have received the Deputy Minister’s award of excellence at Health Canada in 2010 for her exceptional contribution.  She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Reach Canada since June 2012.  She was the chairperson for the conference on Post Traumatic Stress which was held in June 2013.  She is currently the chair of the Education Committee.


Director / Auction Committee Co-Chair

Margaux Beland

Margaux Beland spent nearly 30 years in the international education sector working specifically in not-for-profit organizations developing and overseeing partnerships between higher education institutions across the globe. Whether working for the national Association for Community Colleges, the Association for Universities and Colleges Canada or for the Canadian Bureau for International Education she was responsible for multi-million dollar pan-Canadian umbrella programs that enabled institutions from the global South to partner with Canadian higher education institutions sharing their knowledge and expertise in the pursuit of a better world. Her role was that of thought leader, ensuring that the government-funded programs were efficiently managed, always motivated to advance initiatives that had meaningful impact. Working collaboratively and creatively, Margaux constantly sought to add value and positive change to the lives of individuals through educational institution partnerships. 



James Foord

James Foord is a partner at Foord Davies LLP. He has practiced criminal law since his call to the Ontario Bar in 1998. James’ practice focuses primarily on criminal trial and appellate advocacy. He represents individuals charged with regulatory offences, those charged with all criminal offences, as well as professionals before their disciplinary tribunals. He also frequently represents individuals on appeal from both convictions and sentence. James obtained an Honours Degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1992. He then obtained his Baccalaureate of Laws from Queens University in 1996. James has appeared at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Superior Court of Justice. He teaches Trial Advocacy at the University of Ottawa Law School, and regularly presents at continuing legal education programs. James was previously the President of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa. He was also a former Director of the Association, as well as a former Trustee of the County of Carleton Law Association. He has served as a member of the Ottawa Criminal Law Conference Planning Committee since 2005. In 2006, Mr. Foord was awarded the Regional Senior Justice's Award in recognition of his accomplishments as an advocate.



Randy Slepchik

Randy Slepchik is a Partner at Jewitt McLuckie & Associates LLP, an Ottawa union-side labour & employment firm. He manages the Firm’s long term disability benefits litigation practice, and otherwise assists unions and workers with labour, human rights and disability issues. 

Randy has worked with REACH for many years as a rostered lawyer and has been involved in a number of REACH Conferences presenting to the community on issues including long term disability benefit litigation and advocacy for persons struggling with addictions. He looks forward to furthering REACH’s efforts toward access to justice for persons subject to disability.