MitoCanada - Board of Directors - Sean Messing

Sean Messing, Board Chair

Sean is a Senior Wealth Advisor for CIBC Wood Gundy Private Wealth Management. He holds a B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia as well as the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®) designation. Sean has been providing thoughtful wealth management through multiple market cycles with a respected team of advisors since 1995.

Sean believes everyone is impacted by the trillions of tiny mitochondria that fuel our lives. He is committed to the work MitoCanada is doing to build awareness, support breakthrough discoveries, secure the attention of government, and, most importantly, support and save lives. A long-time supporter of MitoCanada, Sean’s passion for the foundation is driven by the need to introduce strategies to protect healthy mitochondria and a desire to be present when a cure for mitochondrial disease is discovered.

In addition to loving what he does, the people he works with, and being deeply committed to his family, Sean enjoys running marathons, cross country skiing and volunteering in the community.

MitoCanada - Board of Directors - Steen Hendry

Steen Hendry, Director and Treasurer

Steen graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2010 with a Bachelor of Management, specializing in Financing.

In his 10 years at Enbridge, Steen has worked in various commercial, business development, operations and finance roles. He is currently the Director of Cash Management & Banking in the treasury department.

Outside of work Steen is dedicated to supporting others through his involvement as a mentor in the University of Calgary Scholars Academy and as an Ambassador for We Run the World Club (WRTWC) run club.

MitoCanada - Board of Directors - Zachary Seymour

Zachary Seymour, Director and Secretary

Originally from the hamlet of Granum, Alberta, Zach holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Calgary and a Juris Doctor from the University of Victoria. A senior associate lawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Zach’s practice focuses on complex corporate commercial litigation and arbitration, with an emphasis on construction and intellectual property disputes. As Secretary of the Board of Directors, Zach is custodian of all important records, including the organization’s by-laws and incorporation documents.

Zach joined MitoCanada as part of his commitment to help those suffering from rare, under-diagnosed medical conditions. Two of Zach’s immediate family members suffer from mitochondrial disease, and Zach himself is a brain tumour survivor. Zach hopes to use his platform as a litigation lawyer and his unique background to advocate for others.

In his downtime, Zach enjoys cooking, cycling, all things basketball, and walking his dog, Maisey.

MitoCanada - Board of Directors - Blaine Penny

Blaine Penny, Director and Co-Founder

Blaine’s commitment to MitoCanada is legendary. He is a co-founder of MitoCanada, chairing the Board from 2009 – 2015 and served as President and CEO from 2018-2020. In 2008, Blaine’s son, Evan, tragically suffered an unexplained brain injury and went from being a healthy typical 4-year-old boy to a spastic quadriplegic, who is non-verbal and tube fed as a result of mitochondrial disease. Blaine has poured thousands of hours into helping raise awareness and funds for mitochondrial disease research, and building a Mito community connecting patients, scientists, clinicians, and industry.

Outside of MitoCanada, Blaine has spent over a decade as an executive in the health, technology and engineering sectors in various leadership roles. Blaine is currently the CEO of Lumiio, a global digital health company that accelerates health outcomes through data and technology. Blaine has significant corporate governance experience through sitting on numerous Boards and is an Executive Advisor with Mito2i.

MitoCanada - Board of Directors - David Mosher

David Mosher, Director

David holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Management from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

David’s beautiful daughter Victoria was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease in 2003. Now, his goal is to do everything in his power to make sure that patients get the right diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately a cure so they can lead long and fulfilling lives.

David is currently the Vice President of Business Development for Novari – a firm dedicated to building solutions to reduce surgical wait times, improving access to care and coordination of care.

Claudia Aguirre, Director

Claudia has extensive experience in strategic planning and market research across different industries and countries and has been part of the executive teams guiding marketing and branding strategies for many flagship brands.

She has now added to her career, the creation of brands wanting to communicate their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) story.
Claudia has a certificate in Circular Economy from the Delft University in the Netherlands and is certified as an ESG Practitioner by the CSE U.S.A. She is currently working on brands in this sphere.

Claudia was VP Strategic Planning for FC & B in Mexico, Regional VP Strategic Planning for Leo Burnett in the Latin American, Caribbean, and US Hispanic Market regions. She was the first Mexican women speaker at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. She was also awarded as one of the 40 before 40 in Mexico in 2007 and was a member of the global strategic counsel for Procter & Gamble for more than 5 years. She has won several international awards in creative and strategic areas.

Dr. Neal Sondheimer, Director

Dr Neal Sondheimer is a physician-scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children and The University of Toronto. He is Section Head for metabolic disease and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Molecular Genetics.

Dr Sondheimer earned his M.D. and Ph.D at the University of Chicago, completing post-graduate training in paediatrics, medical genetics and metabolic at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Since 2015, Dr Sondheimer has provided care for children with metabolic diseases including mitochondrial disorders. His research focuses on the regulation of mitochondrial gene expression and the impact of mitochondrial mutations in common and rare disease.

In his spare time, Dr. Sondheimer enjoys poker, golf and trying to keep his mitochondria in good working order.

Dilek Dag, Director

Dilek is a values based leader having spent the last 20 years in operations and engineering in highly regulated pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods companies.  She is committed to building relationships to continuously improve and drive innovation.

When not at work, she likes to spend as much time outdoors as possible. She lives in Toronto with her husband, three children and their golden retriever.