Valerie Smith-Waines – Chair

Valerie Smith-Waines association with Ontario Society of Senior Citizens’ Organizations (OSSCO) began as a Seniors Advisory Committee volunteer for 2 New Horizons for Seniors Grant projects. The 1st project that she was involved in was Best Practices: Dealing with Loneliness and Social Isolation resulting in a provincial conference. This was followed with Valerie’s involvement in the Step Up to Elder Abuse project. This project resulted in 7 learning modules, online videos, an informational brochure and a 1-hour workshop.

Valerie has been an advocate for seniors for many years in the London area. She has been Chair of the Council for London Seniors; an Advisory Board member for The Horton Street Seniors Club with 1,400 + members and a Board member for the Boys and Girls Club. She recently joined the Advisory Committee for the Ontario provincial Senior’s Games. She is an active committee member of Elder Abuse Network London-Middlesex. Valerie volunteered for many years for the Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil campaign. She is also a pet rescue person.

Upon joining the OSSCO board, Valerie took on several leadership roles as Secretary to the Board, then became Vice-Chair and is currently Chair of the Board. Valerie is also a member of the Senior’s Liaison Advisory Committee, Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility.

Sharon Mooney – Vice-Chair

Sharon is bilingual and holds an MBA from Western University and a BSc and B.Com from Concordia University. She is a multifaceted leader, professor, and relationship builder whose career has traversed education, sales, and marketing within the post-secondary, financial services and consumer packaged goods industries.

Over the span of the last three decades, Sharon has worked with major national and global organizations, including Centennial College, CIBC and Revlon to name a few.

Fusing exceptional interpersonal strengths with a passion for taking on challenges, Sharon has accepted international assignments where she has worked with resources in Canada and on the ground in India, Egypt, the UAE, Nigeria, Singapore, the Caribbean, Russia, and Malaysia to promote business and to launch projects such as new satellite campuses for the college. For the last decade, Sharon has focused her career on leading Centennial’s Centre of Entrepreneurship. Under her leadership, the Centre was able to deliver successful programming to youth, the underemployed and the community. Over the course of 10 years, 1500 start-ups were launched as a result of Sharon’s dedication and tireless efforts in stretching funding dollars. In 2014, Sharon’s efforts were recognized with the Board of Governors Award of Excellence in the category of Community Partnership, and in 2015, the team earned the Silver Program Excellence Award and the Entrepreneurship in the Community Award from Colleges and Institutes Canada. Throughout the course of her career, Sharon has earned a reputation for her astute relationship building and problem solving capabilities. She excels in demanding, often politically complex, environments that call for tact, diplomacy and the ability to approach challenges with a fresh perspective. Having a specific interest in helping and supporting seniors, Sharon volunteers with the Red Cross and Acclaim Health working with palliative care clients in her community.

Mark Adler – Treasurer

Mark Adler is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Organization on Aging and Longevity (NOAL). NOAL was established to serve as Canada’s thought leader on issues relating to our country’s rapidly changing age distribution. Prior to NOAL, Mark was a Member of Parliament where he served on the Standing Committee on Finance working closely with the Minister of Finance on fiscal policy. In 2003, Mark established the Economic Club of Canada which quickly became Canada’s podium of record. He is a public speaker, author and media commentator. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two teenage children.

Kenneth Schafer – Secretary to the Board

Kenneth was born in downtown Toronto in 1950 where he lived until early 1963 when he moved with his family to Bathurst Manor and attended Dufferin Heights Junior High School and William Lyon McKenzie Collegiate Institute graduating in 1969. Kenneth attended University of Toronto and University of Detroit to complete his post-graduate education in dentistry and returned to the Toronto area in 1984. He has lived in Toronto and worked in York Region ever since his return. Throughout Kenneth’s professional career, he has always been invested in volunteer activities. Kenneth was on the executive of the York Region Dental Society for 15 years and held positions of Newsletter Chairperson and Chairperson of the Dental Health Month Committee. He was on the executive of the Ontario Society of Endodontists for 5 years as a line officer, eventually holding all Executive Board positions. Since retiring, Kenneth has served on the Executive of the Branson Community Action Group and has been secretary of the York Centre Electoral District Association for 2 years where he gained some expertise in governance issues, in senior issues and in organizing and mounting public campaigns.

Anna Zachariah – Board Member

Anna Zachariah graduated from Queens University and followed her passion for law,. This led to her opening a law practice in 1993.

For most of her career, she helped those that are vulnerable. Her studies and experience helped her have more substantial qualities in assisting refugees in immigration, human rights and more.

Anna Zachariah is known for supporting non-profit organizations like AURA and the Ontario Health Coalition.  She was hard at work with OSSCO’s board and staff to ensure new policies were developed and implemented that supported this charity’s future directions. She spoke at several OSSCO conferences dealing with Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention as well as Civic Dialogue.

By representing OSSCO at various provincial government consultations and feedback sessions, she ensured that the senior’s perspective was known. She also made presentations on various other legal matters involving seniors issues.

In 2018, Anna Zachariah received the Legacy Award from Volunteer Toronto for volunteering. Anna currently is associated with St. Margaret’s Community Centre.

Anne-Marie Quan – Board Member

Anne-Marie worked as an Analyst in project management at TD. She recently retired, and joined the Board of Directors of these organizations: OSSCO, TransCare (a charitable corporation providing high quality care and compassion to seniors and younger adults with disabilities in Scarborough), IAVGO (a community-based legal clinic provides free legal services to injured workers in Ontario, and TTCriders (a grassroots transit advocacy organization with a focus on better public transit service in Toronto).

Anne-Marie believes that by understanding the issues we face as seniors, that we can better plan for our future.

Ellen Yachnin – Board Member

Ellen is passionate about “public service”. She recently retired from the Ontario government after a 30-year career that spanned both the federal and provincial government and covered a diverse set of issues from immigration to economic development, education and lastly seniors’ issues. Most recently, Ellen worked as the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility and was responsible for the expansion and delivery of the Age Friendly Community (AFC) which is a World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed planning and evaluation framework across Ontario. By continuing to work with OSSCO, Ellen hopes to continue to support and promote seniors’ issues. Ellen is an experienced Foreign Service officer with full posts held in London, Hong Kong and Rome; with additional secondments in New York, Prague, Beijing, and Tokyo. She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Public History from the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Ghazy Mujahid – Board Member

Dr. Ghazy Mujahid has a Masters in Economics from the University of Karachi (Pakistan) and a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Cambridge (UK). He has more than 40 years of experience of working in the area of population and development in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He started his career at the Institute for World Economics in Kiel (Germany) and during the 1980s served as an Advisor to the Ministry of Planning of Saudi Arabia. For more than 20 years, he worked for the United Nations International Labour Organisation and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). He served as Population Advisor to the Governments of Jordan, The Gambia and then Malawi. His last assignment was as UNFPA Advisor on Population Policies and Development for East and Southeast Asia based in Bangkok (Thailand). In recent years, he has been working increasingly in the area of population ageing. He has several publications in the area of population policy, migration and ageing. Dr. Mujahid worked closely with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in developing the Guidelines for the National Implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Since retiring from the UN, his research and consultancy work have focused increasingly on population ageing and issues relating to seniors. He serves on the Board of the Ontario Coalition of Senior Citizens Organizations (OSSCO) and as an Advisor to the Asia Pacific Population Journal of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

Mary Lynn Biggley – Board Member

As a young adult, Mary Lynn Biggley volunteered for an 18-month assignment in Southern France and Switzerland, experiencing Europe, it’s culture and people.   Employment, community and faith-based involvement blended. After Brigham Young University, she devoted most of her career to education …University of Western Ontario as Visiting Professor; University of Waterloo with co-op placements for students in Urban and Regional Planning; an Employment Counsellor; St. Clair College overseeing their county courses and delivery of Pay Equity training to employers.

Mary Lynn has time to reflect on her 28.5 years as Community Development Officer with the Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB).  At GECDSB, Mary Lynn focused on Human Rights Investigation and Mediation, Race Relations, Employment Equity, Women’s Issues, Duty to Care, Violence Free Schools, Bullying – Prevention and Intervention, Threat Risk Assessment, Mental Health and Poverty and Environmental Issues. She also introduced to Canada, the work on Asset Building by Dr. Peter Benson, and the work on Poverty by Dr. Ruby Payne as well as Threat Risk Assessment for prevention and intervention on school shootings and other serious incidents. She implemented the Jumpstart Student Nutrition Program serving 29,000 students when she retired.

She has sat on her local Police Services Board. She worked with community members to create a Youth Centre which is now a vibrant youth and family resource centre. She also engaged in many community projects and committees, always with threads related to “Equity and Inclusion” to bring about “respect, dignity and opportunities”.

Shaukat Rizvi – Board Member

Shaukat is a retired international seniors executive with more than 30 years of experience in leading Fortune 500 multi-national organizations like Philips (Holland) and Panasonic (Japan) in the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan, Europe and North America. He is known in the industry as a turnaround expert. He has been instrumental in driving record profitability across multiple business units. He has also worked as the advisor to the Government of Pakistan for the Alternate Energy Board.

Shaukat has always been involved in community-based initiatives such as Lions Club, Professional Education Foundation, Professional Forums UAE and YMCA where he was most recently a volunteer board member. After retirement, he focused more on being a Seniors Enthusiast dedicating his time to seniors’ welfare, uplifting the quality of their lives and making a positive impact. His drive to giving back led him to establish “Senior Forum Canada” in 2016 which is a social organization with an objective in bringing visibility to the needs of seniors across a diverse ethnic background. He has established regular activities like educational seminars and fitness programs for seniors to help active and healthy aging and reduction in social isolation.

Shaukat has a Masters in Electronics Engineering (Netherlands), Bachelors in Electrical Engineering (Pakistan) and various Management Courses in different countries.


Board Committees for 2022-2023

Board committees meet on a regular basis, and report on their activities to the full board. Volunteers may apply to participate on Standing Committees of the Board such as the Education and Research Committee,  Communications and Membership Committee or Ad Hoc Committee such as Advisory Committee on Public Health. Some Standing Committees such as Human Resources Committee may also include Volunteers, in limited roles. Please contact Elizabeth Macnab, Executive Director at ed@ossco.org or call 1-800-265-0779 to inquire about Board Committee opportunities.

Standing Committees

  • By-law Comittee
  • Communication and Membership Committee
  • Education and Research Committee
  • Finance and Revenue Generation Committee
  • Government Relations
  • Human Resources Committee

Ad Hoc Committees 

  • Advisory Committee on Public Policy

Board Delegate Appointment

  • Ministry of Seniors’ Affairs Liaison Committee
  • Senior Advisory Committee (Ontario) Federal Level



Please note that OSSCO Board meetings are held every other month. The Board meets 6 times a year. All meetings unless otherwise noted are done remotely on Zoom. OSSCO office is open for people who wish to attend in person. Registration is required to provide access to the building.  You may also request access to the meeting on Zoom.




May 10, 2023

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM     Virtual on Zoom and Teleconference

July 14, 2023

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM    Virtual on Zoom and Teleconference

Sept 13, 2023

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM    Virtual on Zoom and Teleconference

November 8, 2023

changed to Nov 9, 2023

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM    Virtual on Zoom and Teleconference

January 10, 2024

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM       Virtual on Zoom and Teleconference 

March 13, 2024

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM     Virtual on Zoom and Teleconference

Please note: Board meetings take place by teleconference unless otherwise identified. The Annual General Meeting is held between the months of July and August.