Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is made up of volunteers from the business community and representatives from our founding cities.


Back row (left to right): Éric Bédard; Isabelle Bonneau, Eng., MBA, PhD; Caroline Lavallée; Geneviève Desrochers, Eng.; Fanie Noël, MBA; Chantal Allinger, D.V.M.; Mathieu-Michel René, CPA-CMA, MBA

Front row (left to right): Me Wendy Chavez; Sylvie Gervais; Me Catherine Dufour; Marie-Josée Salvail, Eng. M. Eng.; Me Janie Harbec


Geneviève Desrochers, Eng., President and Founder

Retired engineer, 1988 graduate of Université Laval and member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, Ms. Desrochers began her career in a consulting engineering firm as a structural engineer. In 1995, she started a recruitment company specializing in engineering positions, and in 2001, she joined Dotemtex Recherche de cadres as Vice President and Partner, a position she held until 2018. In 2011, with the assistance of a business group, she started Proanima.

Chantal Allinger, DMV, Vice-President

Ms. Allinger has been involved in small animal veterinary medicine for thirty-six years, including nearly thirty years as a veterinarian. She has about fifteen years of hands-on experience, in addition to several years in the industry and as the owner and manager of her own company. For about ten years, she was a member of the Association des médecins vétérinaires du Québec (AMVQ) Board of Directors, including five years as its president. For the past ten years, she has also been a member of the Board of Directors of Anima Québec. In addition, her participation in various committees and working groups on animal welfare in Quebec has enabled her to acquire an expertise that she has shared with Proanima since the very beginning.

Wendy Chavez, Lawyer, Administrator

Ms. Chavez has extensive experience as a legal counsel and training officer. She was an ambassador for the GroupedesTrente, promoting ethnocultural diversity among Montreal BODs. She was a director at SUCO and at the Carrefour Famille Hochelaga. She attended the programs of the Réseau jeunes femmes leaders and the Incubateur Jeunes administrateurs (Institute for governance of private and public organizations). In 2017, she took the Administrateurs de la relève course at the Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce.

Catherine Dufour, Notary, Administrator

Since the start of her career, Catherine has focused her work on commercial transactions, including agreements between business partners (agreements between shareholders, employment contracts, service contracts, agreements in principle, partnership agreements, etc.) and commercial leases. Corporate transactions and business transfers are some of the transactions she particularly enjoys. She has a keen business vision and gives her clients sound advice by simplifying and taking into account the business issues of a transaction. She has a law degree from the Université de Sherbrooke and has been a notary since February 2012.

She is a member of the business law committee of the PME INTER NOTAIRES network. She has been involved in her community as trustee of Proanima since 2017, and has previously contributed to various other organisms and organizations, including LE 2159 (in the organizing committee of Bal 2159) and the Maison Kekpart, as a member of the board of directors.

Sylvie Gervais, Administrator

Ms. Gervais has more than twenty years of experience in human resources and health and safety, and sits on the Boards of Directors of Unicel Architectural Corp. and of CSMO Mines. She has also been a trustee for Proanima since 2017 and heads the Human Resources Committee of Proanima’s Board of Directors. In 2018, she became Vice President of Human Resources for Quebec’s leading diamond mine, Stornoway. She holds a bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology from Concordia University, as well as a certificate in industrial relations from the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Caroline Lavallée, Administrator

Ms. Lavallée has over twenty years of experience in strategic consulting and communications. She has worked in a wide range of industries, including insurance and financial services, culture and health. Having implemented and managed community business investment programs, she understands the reality of NPOs. She has a degree in human resources management and public relations, as well as a university background in educational design and adult education. She is also a training officer, spokesperson and lecturer.

Éric Bédard, MBA, Inspecteur, Division protection du citoyen, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu 

Mr. Bédard, a police officer by trade, has been working in the municipal sector for the past twenty-five years. He began his career as a patroller, with a primary focus on public service and citizen safety. He developed an interest in administration and human resources management, and completed a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety in 2011. His passion continued with an MBA from HEC Montréal in 2016. He is currently an inspector of professional standards for the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu police department, after having headed the Citizen Protection Division from 2014 to 2018 as an inspector, and the Criminal Investigations Division from 2010 to 2014 as a commanding officer. Given his position in the municipality of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and his love for animals, his role as a trustee on the board is particularly meaningful.

Janie Harbec, avocate

Janie Harbec is a member of the Corporate/Commercial practice group in the firm’s Montréal office. With a business law practice focused on securities, Janie works on corporate financing in the form of loans or share issues. Before joining Fasken, Ms. Harbec practised for five years as legal counsel for a major Canadian investment dealer. As part of a team of seasoned financial analysts, she developed a thorough and practical understanding of the financial markets. Janie graduated with a Bachelor of Law from the Université de Sherbrooke. She spent a semester studying international law at Aarhus University in Denmark. She also holds a Juris Doctor from the Université de Sherbrooke.

Fanie Noël, MBA, Administrator

With more than 20 years of experience in various sectors of activity, Ms. Noël is Director of Corporate Finance at the Business Development Bank of Canada. A valuable partner, she supports companies in growth, productivity and innovation initiatives. Involved in the business community, Ms. Noël sits on various boards of directors, including Proanima’s since 2017, where she heads the finance committee. She has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Université de Sherbrooke (2007).

Marie-Josée Salvail, Eng. M. Eng., Administrator (City of Boucherville)

Ms. Salvail holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (1992) and a master’s degree in engineering management (2001) from the Université de Sherbrooke. She worked for just over six years in the industrial sector as a project manager before moving into the municipal sector in September 1999. Initially head of the supply and mechanical division for the city of St-Bruno-de-Montarville, she was promoted to head the supply department of the city of Longueuil during the municipal merger in January of 2002. After structuring the new large supply department, which at the time served the seven former cities that had become boroughs, she was appointed Director of Public Works for Boucherville, a position she has held since April 19, 2004.

Isabelle Bonneau, ing., MBA, Ph.D, Administrator

Ms. Bonneau, an engineer and doctor of business administration, has twenty-five years of experience in various institutions and industries such as municipal and para-public organizations, consulting engineering, higher education, high technology, infrastructure and transportation. She is currently Deputy Director of the Bureau des projets et programmes d’immobilisations, at the Direction générale de la Ville de Montréal. In addition to her involvement with Proanima, she is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Montreal Diet Dispensary, an NPO founded 140 years ago.

Caroline Pagé, Divisional Manager (City of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville)

(photo to come)

Ms. Pagé holds a bachelor’s degree in urban planning, which she obtained in 1993 from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She is a member of the Ordre des urbanistes du Québec and has been working in the field of urban planning for over 27 years. She began her career as a municipal inspector for the town of Shawinigan-Sud, before working for nearly 10 years as Director of the Planning Department in the town of Lac-Mégantic. She later held the position of project manager for a private office in Montreal, the position of urban planner for the town of Saint-Philippe, and that of assistant director for the town of Beloeil. During these years, she has, among other things, made several regulatory overhauls of urban planning regulations. She was also a director of the Association québécoise d’urbanisme for 4 years. Since 2015, she has been part of the Town Planning, Environment and Sustainable Development Department of the town of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, as Head of the Regulation, Permits and Inspection Division.


Mathieu-Michel René, CPA-CMA, MBA, Administrator (City of Longueuil)

Mr. René completed graduate studies in political science and business administration before adding the titles of CPA and MBA to his profile. He is presently the head of the department of planning and resource control within the Agglomération de Longueuil police department. Employee of the City of Longueuil since 1996 and in the police department since 2003, he has been responsible for the animal file for the police department since the creation of Proanima in 2012.


Call for Nominations for Proanima’s Board of Directors

About us

Since 2012, Proanima has been placing animal welfare at the heart of all its actions and decisions. As a non-profit organization, it welcomes, cares for and temporarily shelters stray or abandoned pets from its partner cities. It does its best to find the owners of lost animals. Involved in the community, it aims to reduce animal overpopulation by raising public awareness, sterilizing and identifying animals. Using a careful pairing process between adopters and animals, Proanima ensures the success of each adoption, because “Adoption for life isn’t foolish!” Proanima is proud to say that, to date, it has saved nearly 14,000 animals!

Roles and Responsibilities

By respecting governance best practices, trustees manage the organization’s business with care and caution. The Board of Directors must ensure that the organization fulfills its mission and complies with the relevant laws. It must also ensure that financial affairs are managed properly.

The Board uses its powers by means of resolutions adopted at a meeting in which the quorum is met, or by means of written resolutions signed by all the trustees.

The active members of the Board must comply with the following admission standards:

  • Must endorse Proanima’s mission
  • Must fill out the application form
  • Must not be an employee of Proanima
  • The application must be approved by the Board of Directors
  • Must not put Proanima in a position of conflict of interest, or make it appear to be so
  • Must not present a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest, with Proanima
  • Must be able to contribute to Proanima through their profession, expertise, network, experience and/or knowledge
  • Must be able to volunteer the time needed to properly carry out their duties on the Board of Directors, including:
  • Actively attending the regular meetings of the Board of Directors
  • Actively attending the special meetings of the Board of Directors
  • Participating in one or more committees as needed
  • Providing occasional support to the Executive Director as needed
  • Ability to listen, work in a team and actively look for solutions.

What we are looking for in our trustees

  • A good sense of ethics
  • No significant conflicts of interest and no legal impediments to carrying out their duties on the Board
  • Experience on a Board of Directors
  • IT/Web expertise, and/or
  • The availability required to carry out their duties effectively
  • Experience in a non-profit organization is an important asset

Term of office and commitment:

The trustees sit for a renewable two-year term. The Board meets physically four times each year, holds conference calls as needed and requires participation on a related committee.

How to apply:

Please send a cover letter and your resume to Ms. Genevieve Desrochers, Eng., President of the Board, at the following email address: