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Michelle O’Hara appointed new executive director of the OAFC

August 1, 2019 
By FFIC Staff

August 1, 2019, Ajax, O.N. – The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) announced that Michelle O’Hara, a long time association staff member, has been named executive director of the organization, replacing Richard Boyes who retired from the post after seven years.

The OAFC president Chief Cynthia Ross Tustin said, “The Board of Directors conducted an exhaustive search for the role and based our decision on Michelle’s extensive experience, in-depth understanding of both the organization and the culture. We look forward to working closely with Michelle on promoting the OAFC, and the important role that fire chiefs play in setting community safety policy and education.”

As an association executive with close to a decade of experience at the OAFC, O’Hara worked with the OAFC leadership team to develop and launch the successful Ontario Fire Administration’s Candidate Testing Service, along with a number of other member service focused initiatives and programs. She will continue to work closely with both internal and external stakeholders, foster partnerships with other organizations, and advocate for the OAFC’s initiatives, mission and mandate.

Tustin stated: “In her role as operations manager, Michelle is acutely aware of the demands and responsibilities of the day-to-day operations of both OAFC and OFAI and will look for opportunities to provide value and resources to our members.”


“I am extremely pleased to accept the executive director position with the OAFC. I am excited for the opportunity to assist in the development and implementation of new initiatives, programs and services to benefit our members and the fire service in Ontario,” said O’Hara.

O’Hara has a background that includes experience in business, marketing, accounting, project management and IT. She is currently working towards her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation, through the Canadian Society of Association Executives.

Tustin acknowledged Boyes for his tenure at the OAFC.

“Richard was a firefighter, a fire chief, and both the president and the executive director of the OAFC. We are grateful for his service and commitment to both the membership and to helping improve community and fire safety in Ontario. We are a better organization because of him.  I wish him the very best in his much deserved retirement.”

O’Hara’s new role is effective as of today. She will be focusing on an organizational review and will be searching for a fire service professional with diverse officer experience to provide expertise to the organization and membership.

“I am looking forward to working with Michelle in her new role, and I hope you will join me in welcoming her to her new position,” said Tustin.

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