Meet Our Team

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Pamela Ross
Foundation CEO
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Robyn Blanchet
Campaign Coordinator
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Giving back to the community has been a long time passion for me and my family. I am inspired by my family’s philanthropic ways and transitioning into a role in the charitable sector with the RVH Foundation has been both humbling and rewarding.

The position of Campaign Coordinator is my second role within the RVH Foundation team, I enjoy having the opportunity to coordinate tours and meetings that demonstrate the impact our generous community has made for patient care. 

One of the best parts of my role is being able to work closely with our committee volunteers, it is inspiring to learn and hear about their “RVH story” and why RVH is a charity of choice.

I believe in helping others and am inspired by having the opportunity to learn from the brilliant members of team RVH, volunteers, patients and donors. I feel it is a privilege to be a part of the team that raise funds to support patient care at RVH.

My proudest accomplishment are my sons who make me smile every day, both were born at RVH and we are grateful for the exceptional care we received.

I am lucky to be married to my best friend, we live just outside of Barrie in the beautiful township of Springwater. Growing up I was a competitive figure skater and now continue to live an active lifestyle.  When not at an arena with our sons for hockey, as a family we enjoy cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs or snuggling up to watch a movie with popcorn. In warmer weather golfing, hiking or boating are where you would probably find us.

Katelyn Dewar
Business Gift Officer
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Katelyn is the Business Gift Officer at the RVH Foundation. She is motivated by the transformational opportunity of the private sector in their generous support of local initiatives. Her previous experience working for other corporate charitable organizations has inspired her to take on this role directly impacting her local community.

As a new resident of Innisfil, she feels firsthand the welcoming nature of Simcoe Muskoka residents, and can see the importance of exceptional healthcare and supporting one another. With a young family of her own, she sees her role at the RVH Foundation as one that will help establish a lasting impact for this community for future generations and is thrilled to work alongside such a committed and generous group of residents, colleagues and supporters.

Cybele Gorrissen
  Donor Relations Specialist 
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There is something heartwarming about working in the not-for-profit sector. I take pride in the fact I am able to say that I work for the RVH Foundation – knowing that what the team and I do in our day to day roles, will in turn help continue to build a better future for the health centre and its patients.

After completing the Special Events Planning program at George Brown College, my first experience working in fundraising was with an event management company that planned events for several charity organizations. These experiences showcased the importance of fundraising and community support.

Shortly after moving to Barrie a few years ago, I worked for a local cancer support charity organization, as an events and fundraising coordinator. This invaluable experience eventually led me to my new role with the RVH Foundation.

As a Donor Relations Specialist, I have the honour of sharing meaningful stories from our donors by promoting their fundraising efforts through social media platforms, donor communications, and through programs such as MY CARE Hero.

Over the years, I have endured several personal losses, including both my father and best friend. These specific losses have highlighted the importance of managing good health and being purposeful with the path you choose in life. I have chosen to work in an industry that positively impacts the lives of those in the community, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.

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Jennifer Harris 
Stewardship Specialist 
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Healthcare has long been a passion of mine. After working as a medical administrator in Cardiology for 20 years, I decided it was time for a change, but I wanted to remain in this field. When I applied to the RVH Foundation it was on a whim – a whim that’s turned into a fantastic opportunity.

I love getting to know the patients and donors at RVH. It’s humbling to hear their stories of care, and how they’ve been touched by the compassionate staff at RVH.

I was born and raised in Barrie and have watched this community grow over the years.  The hospital has always been there for my family and it has been a privilege to see the positive changes as it has also grown, including the recent opening of the Child & Youth Mental Health inpatient unit and the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program. 

My family, my church, and music are my strongest passions. I’m fortunate to say my two sons are my proudest accomplishment and I have been their biggest fan at all of their sports games. With a background in piano and choral singing, I also work part-time as the music director at my church. 

Patients and donors who accomplish great goals while overcoming huge obstacles motivate me. I also draw inspiration from those who prove one person can make a significant difference – like Zach Makes Tracks.

Lindsay Iannello
Lindsay Iannello
Fundraising Events Officer
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I have long been drawn to helping others in my community so when the opportunity presented itself to work with the incredible team at the RVH Foundation, I knew it would be something special. 

My initial involvement with the Foundation began when I started supporting the Hearts and Minds Campaign as someone desperately in need of resources for a family member requiring youth mental health services. At the time, these kinds of supports were not sufficiently available. I watched the Foundation team work tirelessly to bring awareness to the critical need for these services in our region and I will forever be grateful for the efforts that were put forth during this campaign.

RVH has really given me so much – not only has it given me hope as I watched the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Child and Youth Mental Health Program finally come to fruition, but it has also given me my two beautiful daughters. It has provided my father with life saving support after several cardiac emergencies and  ensured my mother received the care she needed after a traumatic allergic reaction. I cannot count the number of times my family and I have relied on RVH, and now as a proud member of this team, I truly feel that it is my turn to give back.

I love being able to use various modes of communication to support donors in their community events benefiting patient care at RVH. I look forward to continuing to grow in my role and to support the incredible work that is done every single day at RVH. 

Greg MacMillan, BA, CPA CGA
Foundation Finance Manager 
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Amber McGarvey-Moreland 
Gift Officer

Born and raised in Orillia, I always had a sense of small community needs – and was drawn to help others at a young age. In my teens I began to volunteer for several local organizations, and that led to working & volunteering within the vulnerable not-for-profit sector; caring for seniors, hospice palliative care, and managing youth enterprise projects. I returned to school and achieved an honours diploma in Medical Office Administration, and within days of completing my studies, I found my way on to the RVH Foundation team. I’m currently working towards obtaining my Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credentials.

My role provides a wonderful opportunity to develop closer relationships with our generous donors in the community. I assist with our Annual and Monthly Giving Programs, as well as our signature fundraising events. My favourite part of my role is hearing the motivation and stories as to why donors from across the region are supporting patient care at RVH – it’s truly inspiring.  

The weekends are a time to spend with family and friends. My husband and I keep busy – and are often bringing our two adventurous daughters to farmers markets, galleries & museums, attending music and literacy festivals, and antiquing. We’ve begun bottling syrup from maple trees on our family farm in Bass Lake. We love to travel and enjoy day-tripping with our girls.

The generosity of the region is truly inspiring. When I joined the Foundation team, the IBelieve Campaign and major RVH expansion had just completed. I was then part of the Hearts and Minds Campaign, the opening of the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program and Child and Youth Mental Health Program was a vital addition to the healthcare services we provide – all thanks to the generosity of our region. People truly want to make a difference – and I appreciate being part of such a dedicated and passionate team here at RVH.

I want to share my passion for volunteerism and philanthropy with my children, and inspire others to see what they can do to help those in their community. I’m the proud co-director of Ripple of Kindness Orillia, and I hope that will “pay it forward”.

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Ryan McLeod
Fundraising Events Assistant
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It is an honour to have the chance to work with so many of our incredible community event organizers and getting the opportunity to work with them to plan and promote their fundraising events. It is a privilege to help tell their story and help support patient care at RVH. 

I came to the RVH Foundation after almost a decade working for Bell Media (previously Larche Communications Inc.) where I chaired the Radio for Cardiology Radiothon for several years. Seeing the impact a community can have when they join together to support a cause firsthand was an incredible experience.

I am originally from Montreal, but found my way to Simcoe County in 2010 and have come to love everything about living in this area. I’m an avid hockey fan and as a ‘Montrealer’ cheer for the Habs – but don’t hold that against me. My wife and I love to spend our time by the water in the summer, skiing in the winter, and squeezing in a round of golf or two when we can. We recently moved to Springwater Township, where we try to spend as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors.

 Nelson Mandella once said, “It always seems impossible until it is done.”  I am continuously inspired by what a community can do when it comes together – the way a group of people can rally around a common cause and make the seemingly impossible – a reality.

Melissa Pahl
Development Assistant
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I’m honoured to join Team RVH as the Development Assistant. After completing my BA at the University of Toronto, I found myself drawn to the non-profit sector. I didn’t always know what path I would take, but I knew that working to further a cause I believe in was the bottom line.

Though I obtained a graduate certificate in Communications and Public Relations, I found myself drawn to working directly with donors and data. Over several years and with different organizations, I have been lucky to build authentic relationships with donors and community partners, as well as hone my skills at working with fundraising databases to ensure efficiency and accuracy in donor communication.

After living away for over a decade, my husband and I are excited to find ourselves back in our hometown of Barrie, this time with the company of our young son. We are looking forward to being closer with friends and family and joining our local community in a meaningful way.

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Kelly Pottage 
Manager of Community Giving
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It is a privilege to be a team member in the RVH Foundation as it allows me to help and collaborate with community members who organize events and initiatives to raise funds for exceptional patient care. I am passionate about this cause, particularly because two members of my immediate family have received life-saving services at RVH. Both incidents were sudden and unexpected and if weren’t for the incredible quality of care provided by the health care providers and the tools and technologies they have access to, either situation could have turned out very differently. Needless to say, my family is and will continue to be, very grateful to RVH. This is why fundraising to ensure the organization can continue to deliver the highest possible quality care for its patients, is important to me and very close to my heart.

My background in journalism, corporate communications and working in the fundraising department of Georgian College for over a decade, has created a pathway of experience in writing and story-telling, building relationships for the betterment of important work and causes, and the skills to stitch together and project manage the many little pieces and details that create meaningful events and projects. No two days are ever the same, and that creates exciting and rewarding work.

When I’m not at work, I can be found enjoying time with my family, walking our two dogs, and once in a while, I like to hit the greens to golf with friends or my husband which is my favourite activity (although I’m a work in progress on the course). I also enjoy really good quality coffee, and have found that Café Royal in the main lobby of RVH offers a great cup of brew!

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 Kim Sexsmith
Senior Administrative Assistant
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I was born in Birmingham, England, but my family immigrated to Canada when I was seven years old. I grew up in Montreal and lived in different areas of the GTA before having a family and moving to Bradford, where we lived for 25 years. Prior to RVH I worked in the technology and education fields, but never felt what I was doing was making a real difference. Three years ago we moved from Bradford to Springwater, and I was fortunate enough to join the RVH Foundation in May of 2017 as the Senior Administrative Assistant, supporting the Foundation CEO and the Director of Philanthropy. Although my position is similar to what I’ve done in previous jobs, I now see on a daily basis that no matter what our roles are, we all contribute to the ongoing commitment of providing quality healthcare closer to home to improve the lives of patients and their families. Working at RVH just feels right – we all make a difference. Staff and volunteers have the same goals and intentions – there’s a reason why we’re called TEAM RVH. I am also constantly amazed by the many community members who are passionate about supporting the healthcare centre as volunteers, donors or advocates.

On a personal note, I love going to the movies, am a long-time Toronto Blue Jays fan, and a music lover – everything from Celine Dion to Iron Maiden. I enjoy walking, and last summer I started running. My husband and I love to vacation down south, preferably in Mexico, go to the gym together, and spoil our dogs Hoover, and Poppy – a rescue from Romania. I have two adult children and we are very close, so we get together as often as we can. I try to visit England whenever possible, especially to spend time with my brother and his family. My brother was given up for adoption as a baby, but after many years of searching, I was lucky enough to find him in 2000, and even luckier that our families have grown to love each other.

I’ve always been inspired by, and in awe of, individuals who devote their lives to helping others. I am passionate about paying it forward, have volunteered and financially supported various organizations my whole life, and brought up my children to do the same. I consider myself compassionate, and I truly enjoy helping others. I love hearing people’s stories, and we hear many amazing stories at RVH.

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Rebbeca Truax, MBA, CFRE
Director of Philanthropy  
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Mobile: 705-627-0888

Every day I cross paths with someone new and I’m reminded that philanthropy knows no boundaries. Our donors come from different backgrounds, different experiences – they range from 10 years old to 90 years old. I learn from each of them. 

I was inspired to join this profession because I saw the incredible difference philanthropy makes to communities. As someone with roots in rural Ontario, I understand the importance of building a strong community and people helping each other. People can build anything they want to when they’re empowered.

RVH supporters are amazing people who energize and inspire me. Healthcare touches everyone, at some point in their lives, and in response people have made RVH a charity of choice.

Outside of the foundation, I lead an active life. I’m a passionate road cycler and enjoy a variety of other sports including yoga, circuit training, hiking, and golf. My greatest achievement is my son – he’s curious, positive and kind. And I love animals – my dog Jasper and cat Kenya are my furry companions.

Our patients are my biggest motivator, knowing everyday they’re braving something that’s often unexpected and with such grace. It is inspiring to know that our patients are supported by their community.

Donors are the centre of everything we do at the RVH Foundation. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work with them and honour their generosity.