Board of Directors
Rob Sampson, Chair of the Board
In October 2018, Rob was elected as a Councillor on The Town of The Blue Mountains Council. Rob is Chair of the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation and Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee of the Committee of the Whole.
Rob is currently part owner and the Managing Director of Ceres BioSystems India Private Limited (“Ceres India”). Ceres India is investing in and operating facilities in India that convert organic waste material into a valuable organic fertilizer.
From June 1995 to October 2003, Rob was an elected member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and a member of the Government of Ontario Cabinet. He held a variety of positions including Minister without Portfolio with Responsibility for Privatization from August 2006 to June 2009, and then Minister of Correctional Services from June 1999 to April 2002.
Rob has an MBA and a BA Economics from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Prior to entering politics, Rob worked at the Toronto Dominion Bank and at the Chase Manhattan Bank.
Alar Soever, Mayor
Now the Mayor of The Town of The Blue Mountains, Alar Soever's connection to the region is longstanding. Alar grew up spending his summers at the family cottage at Christie Beach that his father, a carpenter, built with a friend in 1955. It was at Christie Beach that Alar developed a love for the area, as well as an interest in rocks and fossils.
This fascination led him to pursue a successful career as a geologist, and later as a mining executive. Following his studies at the University of Toronto, he began work as a geologist and consultant that took him to many parts of Canada and overseas, though during these travels, he found no place he would rather settle down than right here in The Blue Mountains.
During his career, Alar has had the opportunity to work with individuals, management teams, boards of directors, and community groups all over the world. Currently, he is Chairman of the Board of Wallbridge and also sits on the board of Carube Copper, and he has also served on the advisory boards of two university research centres and the Ontario Geological Survey.
All of this experience informs his contributions to achieve attainable housing in The Blue Mountains, and positions him to provide a strategic lens and cooperative approach to our organization's work.
Cary Eagleson, Treasurer
Cary is currently the Treasurer of the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation. He has been a Director of the BMAHC Board since 2015.
Cary graduated from University of Waterloo with Bachelor of Mathematics and then went on to earn Accounting professional designation.
Before retiring, Cary was President of Emerson Electric Canada. Emerson Canada is the Canadian operation of Emerson Electric, a U.S.-based multi-national company with operations worldwide. He was responsible for the Canadian operations, of approximately 1,500 employees, and grew sales from $600,000 to a billion dollars under his guidance in a five-year period. Previous to that position, he was Vice President Finance and Administration for 10 years. In addition to his financial and administrative duties in that role, he managed several large construction projects including warehouses and office buildings.
Prior to working for Emerson Electric, Cary held financial positions for Outboard Marine Canada and Dodge Canada, a division of Reliance Electric.
Cary and his wife started skiing in The Blue Mountains over 40 years ago and he has been an avid volunteer for organizations such as Canadian Ski Patrol, Alpine Ontario, National Ski Academy and Georgian Peaks Club and Attainable Housing. He still volunteers at Georgian Peaks as a ski race official. While they have owned property in the area since the mid-'80s, they have been full-time residents of The Town of The Blue Mountains for the past seven years.
A concern about the lack of suitable housing for the young people who want to live and work in this area, and for seniors who want to remain living here, is what motivates Cary to dedicate his time volunteering on the Board of the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation.
Ms. Findlay has a background in housing development and program administration for government agencies. She held management positions for Peel Region’s housing agency, Peel Living, where she oversaw the start-up and development of a substantial portfolio of non-profit housing developments for that community. Earlier she was a loan officer for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in Toronto and Mississauga.
Janet began her career as a planner for the City of Edmonton and then the City of Calgary, following graduation in the 1970s from McGill University’s postgraduate program in urban planning.
She has also worked as a housing policy consultant for several membership-based organizations. They include the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association and the Ontario Association for Community Living, where she prepared position papers as well as submissions to various Ontario Standing Committees and Commissions. She has been Executive Director of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association where she was involved in the negotiations leading to Ontario’s first new home warranty program. Janet is accustomed to working with volunteer boards and helping them deliver their message effectively to government and the broader community.
Before retiring and moving to The Blue Mountains in 2010, Janet provided development services to Bellwoods Centres for Community Living, a health service provider to people with physical disabilities in Toronto which obtained funding for a 31-unit supportive housing project at Shaw and Dundas Streets. She has had a lifetime interest in housing issues and has been a member of the volunteer board of the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation since 2013, working toward the development of affordable housing in this resort community.
Patrick A. Gourlay
Patrick Gourlay is the co-founder and owner of Gemcraft Screen Products Inc., a company that manufactures filters for industries such as plastic recycling, pharma, and automotive. A proven leader, Patrick has strengthened Gemcraft from start-up, to securing the number-one spot as manufacturer and supplier of such respective product lines in Canada.
Born and raised in the Montréal area, Patrick attended Concordia University and moved to the GTA in 1998 to pursue work opportunities. The majority of his early professional career was shaped by his experience with Volvo Group, in both the finance and the construction equipment division. Patrick’s time with Volvo was rewarding; in his last three years, he earned recognition as the number-one sales leader in Canada and placed within North America’s top 10 for his sales achievements.
Patrick’s ambition and work ethic did not start in the business world, but on the rugby pitch. Patrick’s passion for rugby would prove to be his best network tool after he hung up his boots; friendships on the pitch and at socials, helped facilitate many successful business opportunities within his working career. Rugby also introduced him to his beautiful wife and eventually, three children. As a way of giving back to a sport that gave him so much, Patrick served on a club level board for many years and became the liaison between Rugby Canada & La Fédération de Rugby Québec for nearly eight years.
In 2014, Patrick and his family made the decision to move from Newmarket to The Town of The Blue Mountains; this move was made with ease as the area and community fulfilled every want and need desired to raise a family. A year later, with the purchase of land and shovels in the ground, Patrick embarked on another milestone in his life—building his own home. Wanting to be apart of the community he and his family now call home, Patrick jumped at the opportunity to volunteer with the Board of Directors for the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation…who knows what’s next!?
Gavin H. Leitch
Upon becoming a lawyer after his studies and articling in the Maritimes, Gavin returned to his home province of Ontario and chose to settle in Grey County to practise law. Gavin joined the local law firm of Scheifele, Erskine & Renken in January 2014 as an associate lawyer, and now assists in the general practice of the firm with a focus on litigation.
Since moving to Grey County, Gavin has called The Town of The Blue Mountains home, and is raising his young family in the community. Gavin joined the Board of the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation in 2017 to help shape and implement the programs that will directly benefit those within our community who face barriers to housing, and to promote healthy, sustainable long-term growth generally. Gavin believes such growth is achieved when social conditions, including access to quality housing, allow for a diversified population taking part in every sector of the economy.
Andrew Siegwart has built a reputation as an authentic and focused association leader. Over the past 20 years, he has worked with some of Canada's most innovative national industry associations to deliver world-class member experiences, valuable programming, events and conferences, thought leadership and effective advocacy to ensure that communities, people and industries prosper.
In his role as President of the Blue Mountain Village Association, Andrew oversees the delivery of the Association’s strategic plan, develops valuable programs and services for members, provides innovative and memorable guest experiences and partners with municipalities and organizations within the South Georgian Bay Region to ensure the growth of the local economy.
Carolyn Letourneau is the Executive Director at Beaver Valley Outreach (BVO) and has been in a leadership role with them since 2003. Carolyn’s ability work with a diverse group of people and projects which involves wearing many hats and keeping multiple balls in the air, has served BVO well. She facilitated the most recent move to their current location on King St. and has managed the organizations growth by thinking outside the box. Working with and alongside a Volunteer Board of Directors is a natural fit for Carolyn as she has worked in the Not for Profit sector for almost 3 decades.
Carolyn has a Social Service Background and worked in the Milton/Georgetown area before the housing boom exploded there. She gives thanks to a former employer who introduced her to the Blue Mountains area, put a local real estate magazine in her hand and within months she and her husband, purchased their home in 1998. They moved here full-time in 2000, well ahead of the curve and have never looked back.
Carolyn was a member of TBM’s Affordable Housing Committee years ago which included being part of the inception of the Housing Corporation. Through the lens of working in Community and Social Services Carolyn can speak to the importance of attainable housing in this area and values the importance of a diverse community.
Michael has had a long and distinguished career in the construction industry. After completing the Construction Engineering Technology and Management program at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, he joined EllisDon Construction where, over the next 40 years, he took on various roles of every expanding responsibility retiring as Executive Vice President. Michael is a Certified Engineering Technologist (C.E.T.), Professional Quantity Surveyor (PQS), and has a Gold Seal Certification (GSC) from the Canadian Construction Association.
Upon retirement Michael and his wife Hope moved to The Blue Mountains where they have owned a home for a number of years. Always interested in local issues Michael learned of the attainable housing initiatives that were being undertaken in the area. His experience in the construction industry and the desire to give back to the community positions him well to provide insight and guidance as it relates to the construction of future attainable housing projects in the Town of The Blue Mountains. Michael is the most recent addition to the BMAHC Board of Directors.
Sharon McCormick, Executive Director
Sharon McCormick joins the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation with 20 years of experience in municipal governments and the non-profit sector. Supported by a diverse educational background that includes a BSc from the University of Waterloo, and post-graduate studies in England and Australia, she has spent her career working in the field to help people thrive and excel in their work and personal lives.
That work has included serving as the inaugural Executive Director of Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of that municipality, to partner with industry in making home ownership a reality for working Calgarians. She also served as Executive Director at Highbanks Society, working provide affordable housing for young mothers, and SPEC Association for Families and Children.
Sharon has extensive experience in the public sector working for the former Mayor of Calgary and in the areas of strategic and business planning, managing projects, and establishing strong community outcomes. Most recently, she has worked as a senior management consultant for the Town of Strathmore and previously for the Town of High River. At heart, Sharon is a mom, an avid cook, hiker and outdoors-person, and an advocate for healthy communities and social entrepreneurship, and is excited to bring those perspectives to our organization's important work.