Board, Staff, Advisors

Dr. Adeel Safdar, Chief Scientific Advisor, Co-Lead for mitoHUB
Dr. Safdar is a postdoc fellow with Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University. He brings over a decade of experience in the field of molecular exercise physiology and mitochondrial medicine. Dr. Safdar holds a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from McMaster University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Safdar’s research has received worldwide recognition and garnered extensive media coverage including, but not limited to: Science Magazine (an Editors’ Choice article by Dr. Stella H. Hurtley), New York Times, TIME Magazine, CBC National News and CTV News, US News & World Report, CTV and affiliates, PostMedia News and affiliated newspapers, Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Aging Newsletter, and various radio stations in Canada, Europe, and Asia. Dr. Safdar has received many awards and accolades over this career including the Kelsey Wright Award for Excellence in Mitochondrial Medicine, International Biochemistry of Exercise Young Investigator Award, CIHR Age Plus Prize, Gatorade Young Investigator Award, Caroline tum Suden/Francis Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award to name a few.

Currently, Dr. Safdar uses his training in molecular exercise physiology and mitochondrial medicine and genetics to develop targeted therapeutic treatments for rare genetic diseases. Adeel has been intimately involved in social and professional events raising awareness about mitochondrial diseases and has closely worked with various families with kids and adults with mitochondrial diseases. It’s his dream to be able to treat mitochondrial diseases one day along with Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky.

Suzanne Gowland, IT Consultant

Evan Weselake CEC, Coach and facilitator evanjw@getpurefocus.com

Anne Sutherland, Consultant, Founder of thinkingU an independent teaching studio for critical thinking and creative problem solving. anne@newthinking.ca

David Olivares, Digital Strategist, Founder of Creative Phenomenon, info@shockdav.com

Josh Slatkoff Ph.D. R.Psych, Chair
Dr. Slatkoff completed his doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at the University of Victoria, a program accredited by the Canadian and American Psychological Associations. He has also taught at the graduate level and served as a consultant to public and private organizations regarding the development of empirically supported mental health programming.

Peter L. Hurd, Professor, Associate Chair Department of Psychology, & Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

Dr. Hurd is an academic specialising in biology. He is an Associate Professor aligned to the Department of Psychology’s Biocognition Unit, and the University’s Centre for Neuroscience at the University of Alberta.

Chris Newell, MD/PhD student at the University of Calgary, was awarded the inaugural 3-Year Scholarship funded by the MitoCanada Foundation starting in 2014. Newell is working under the supervision of Profs. Aneal Khan and Jane Shearer. The overarching goal for his research is to determine the role of mitochondria in rare disease states and their potential for therapeutic intervention. Newell is also part of the Leaders in Medicine program at the Cumming School of Medicine.

Maureen Latocki is the National Executive Director of the MitoCanada Foundation reporting to the Board of Directors. She directs the achievement of the Foundation’s strategic priorities; co-leads the mitoHUB and has overall responsibility for the organization.

Ms. Latocki specializes in strategic revitalization, stakeholder management, governance, and systems thinking with healthcare organizations. She brings a diverse background that includes health outcomes, policy development, and public affairs within a provincial ministry of health and the pharmaceutical, medical device and strategic communications industries. Maureen has been a key architect of MitoCanada’s move towards broadening the organization’s profile and is playing a major role in the Foundation’s efforts to partner with academia, researchers, industry, health system decision-makers and to engage with all of the patient community in a more meaningful way.

Maureen is a past board director of Halton Healthcare Services (HHS) including as chair of the Strategic Planning Committee; past board director of the Oakville Hospital Foundation and past member of the New Oakville Hospital Art Council. In addition, she has served as a Board Director and Governance Committee Chair for ArtHouse, a charitable organization offering cost-free arts programs to children. A graduate of the Management Certificate program as well as holding a BA Economics (Statistics) from University of Manitoba, Maureen has completed the joint NFP Governance Certificate program, from the United Way and the Directors College, DeGroote School of Business (McMaster University). Most recently she was awarded a Patient Advocate Fellowship at the DIA’s 51st Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

Caroline is the chief operations officer for the Foundation. She is accountable for the effective development, delivery and evaluation of programs or operational functions contributing to the achievement of MitoCanada’s mission and goals. This includes facilities and general office management; information management; donor relations; events and volunteer coordination. Caroline holds an Honours Degree from McGill University and a certificate from the Canadian Securities Institute.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Mills held several senior level operations management roles and brings an impressive skillset that includes project and event management, market research & analysis, and communications. With a reputation for being a problem-solver, Caroline can be counted on to bring a personable and light-hearted approach to dealing with matters that are important to our subscribers.

Caroline brings a commitment to the non-profit sector having served as a Director with the Geoffrey H.Woods Foundation and Advisory Council Chair for Women Moving Forward.

Reporting to the Second-in-Command, Adria brings extensive experience as a finance and business manager in the not-for-profit sector. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from McMaster University and has completed the Foundations of Project Management Program offered by the University of Toronto.

Kei’Ichi is a graphic designer and visual media production expert and in the final year of his Masters in Archives Record ManagementProgram at the University of Toronto. He holds a Certificate in Digital Media from Sheridan College and an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Toronto.

partners whose hard work and dedication are making a very real difference in the lives of those affected by mitochondrial disorders, it is an honour and a privilege to work alongside you. There are no limits to what we can achieve together.

Will is enrolled in Film Studies at Ryerson University in Toronto. He has corporate experience as a videographer, editor, and director and been the recipient of numerous awards including Take21, Best Canadian Film – 5 minute documentary (2016); Best Film of Class of 2019 Year One – 2 minute short (2016); Plural+ United Nations Video Award, Main Winner – 5 minute music video (2014) and Charlie Awards for Student Films, First Place – 10 minute film (2014.)

Ruth’s interest in mitochondrial disease began with the diagnosis of her friend Suzanne’s child Jacob. After seeing the issues Suzanne had to deal with in getting appropriate care for Jacob, and participating in the Mito March, she became committed to raising awareness about mitochondrial disease and volunteered to help launch Mito Canada as a non-profit charity.

Ruth is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick and has worked in financial services for the past 12 years. She is currently employed by CIBC Mellon as a project manager. She has also served as past chair of the United Way workplace campaign at CIBC Mellon and has participated in a number of volunteer and fundraising activities. Apart from her Co-chair role, Ruth serves on the Audit Finance Committee.

David Mosher is the Director of McKesson Canada’s RelayHealth business which provides the ability to connect and share clinical information between health care providers and patients in a secure manner, creating an on-line relationship between doctors and their patients. Prior to joining McKesson,

David held a number of senior roles at Hewlett-Packard including managing HP’s healthcare business and as a Global Principle Consultant in HP’s services business. David earned a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Management from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Information Technology Association of Canada Healthcare (ITAC Healthcare). ITAC Healthcare is a national association representing healthcare information technology companies. He is also on the advisory board for the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research which is a research and educational centre located at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. CanChild’s research is focused on improving the lives of children and youth with disabilities and their families.

Dave’s interest in MitoCanada is very personal to him as he has a daughter with mitochondrial disease. Apart from his Co-chair role, Dave chairs the Governance and Nominations Committee.

A plumber by trade, Chuck is a retired labour relations executive from Matrix NAC (Hamilton.) The direct hire union division of Matrix Service Company (Nasdaq: MTRX), Matrix NAC provides procurement, construction, maintenance and repair services to the North American energy, power and industrial markets. Founded in 1984, Matrix Service Company began union operations in 1986, however, through our acquired businesses, which include S.M.Electric and Kvaerner North American Construction, this proud legacy extends as far back as 1946. Chuck maintains excellent relations with the various building and construction trade organization in Ontario.

Besides his role as Director, Chuck is one of MitoCanada’s most passionate advocates and a member of the Marketing and Fundraising Committee. Chuck’s family has a direct connection to mitochondrial disease and have been major fundraisers and volunteers for MitoCanada. Chuck and and his wife Betty’s story was featured in The Hamilton Spectator story http://www.thespec.com/news-story/5839300-hamilton-researcher-set-to-manufacture-potential-treatment-for-genetic-diseases/

Matt is Commercial Manager at Canadian International Oil Corp. (CIOC) a privately-owned oil and gas company with ~20 employees whose primary asset base is approximately 400,000 acres in the Deep Basin of west central Alberta. He leads the firm’s economic analysis of company investment decisions and full field development plans including long range planning, operations optimization, financing opportunities, A&D activities, and responding to ad hoc requests from Senior Management and Board of Directors.

Matt has previous international experience in other energy-related enterprise and commercial banking. He has been a Big Brother Mentor and Role Model as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters in the Calgary & Area including with a family who was impacted by mitochondrial disease. Apart from his role as the MitoCanada Foundation Treasurer, Matt leads several Alberta-based fundraising initiatives including the Shaw Classic Birdies for Kids Campaign and a new event in 2017 the TIBanff.

Dr. Albensi is the principal investigator in the division of neurodegenerative disorders at the St. Boniface Research Centre and associate professor in the University of Manitoba’s department of pharmacology. He is also the Dr. John Foerster Centre for Health Research on Aging’ Associate Professor, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of Manitoba; Manitoba Dementia Research Chair; and Everett Endowment Fund Chair.

Dr. Albensi’s background is diverse where he has received training in both basic and clinical research. He has also worked in both academic and in industrial sectors on several novel drug discovery and drug development projects. He has reviewed grants for numerous foundations worldwide including NIH, CIHR, NSERC, US DOD, FASEB and is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Alzheimer’s Society of Manitoba. Ben chairs the MitoCanada Board’s Medical Science and Technology Commmittee.

Jeff is the Vice President at IDS Canada Inc., providing marketing and communication services for clients targeting healthcare professionals, patients, and healthy conscious Canadians with education and awareness programs. Currently servicing over 2,000 locations, he and the team of dedicated individuals at IDS are constantly innovating and have recently launched the largest digital poster board network located in family practice offices in Canada.

Throughout his career, Jeff has held various leadership positions in multinational healthcare organizations such as St. Jude Medical and Cardinal Health. Jeff is an active member of his community as a volunteer leader with the local cycling club, an organizer of fundraising events for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and is the current Chair of the St. John Paul II School Council. Jeff holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University and enjoys working and living in Oakville with his two children.

Mr. Dunn is an accomplished and experienced health industry executive with a track record of success throughout Canada and the United States. He has held a variety of executive management and senior sales positions throughout his career and has achieved significant financial and operational successes for his employers. In February of 2016, Mr. Dunn retired from his position as vice president of McKesson Technology Solutions Canada. During his 25 years at McKesson, he was responsible for the overall leadership of McKesson Corporations’ healthcare information technology business in Canada.

In 2012, Mr. Dunn was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal. Since retiring from McKesson, Mr. Dunn has established his own consulting firm focused on helping healthcare software and services companies to maximize their growth and opportunities in the Canadian and US markets. He currently serves as a health technology advisor for Lumira Capital and also as a health advisor for MaRS Ventures Services. Additionally, he has volunteered his time and expertise to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and other not-for-profit and charitable organizations.

Julie Drury is a mother, athlete, writer, policy analyst, and a parent advisor concerning health care system navigation, and complex care. Julie’s daughter Kate passed away November 30th, 2015 after a bone marrow transplant to treat her rare form of mitochondrial disease called SIFD. Julie was Kate’s medical coordinator and strongest advocate during her 8 short years. She balanced part time work and periods of leave from her job at Health Canada leading health policy development, strategic planning, and work as a senior health policy advisor.

Julie has been involved with MitoCanada and Team MitoCanada since the organization was founded. For the past 5 years, Julie has led Team MitoCanada at Ottawa Race Weekend, facilitating mitochondrial disease awareness among local media and the community, and leading fundraising efforts for MitoCanada.

An avid marathoner, triathlete and team athlete, Julie has an educational background in human kinetics and exercise physiology. She has participated in 8 marathons, including the prestigious Boston Marathon. Julie was a member of the parent advisory committee of her local children’s hospital for 5 years, and also served as the Co-Chair and Chair. Julie has spoken regularly about family centred care, and her family and Kate’s patient experience to staff, medical and nursing students, research forums, and at fundraising events. Julie, her husband Brian and their son Jack live in Ottawa, Ontario. You can follow Julie on Twitter @SolidFooting on Facebook or follow her blog www.searchingforsolidfooting.com

Shannon is very familiar with MitoCanada having been our legal consultant for the past several years. She is an associate in BLG Calgary’s Tax and Family Wealth Counsel Group in our Calgary office. Fluent in both French and English,

Shannon focuses her practice on a broad range of Canadian income tax and estate matters. She acts and assists on a broad range of matters including tax litigation, estate and trust litigation and tax and estate planning. http://www.blg.com/en/ourpeople/james-shannon

Freddy came to MitoCanada having come to know about mitochondrial disease through a close family acquaintance. He is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with Aurora Hotel Group. His past professional experience includes Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Yamana Gold, and Encana.