President & chief executive officer
As someone with more than 25 years’ experience in the charitable sector, I’m a passionate advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities in our community. Multiple sclerosis has touched several people in my life, including close friends and members of my extended family. It’s the stories of people living with MS that inspire me every day in my work.
I am very proud to be Acadian. I grew up in Campbellton, NB, and it’s only when I travelled to Vancouver Island to attend the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific that I became fully bilingual. I have a Master of Management from McGill University, an MBA from Concordia and a BA from the University of Toronto. I’ve spent 17 years as a CEO and have been honoured to lead the MS Society since 2007.
I’m a coach and mentor to others working in our business, and a political junkie who is proud to live in the best country in the world. I’m passionate about the important role governments need to play to make Canada a place where people with disabilities are truly part of the community.
I sit on the boards of the MS Scientific Research Foundation and the MS International Federation and have the privilege of being involved in shaping the agenda for MS research. I am really thrilled about the global commitment to accelerate the development of therapies for people with progressive MS.
Executive director, Quebec Division
I’ve worked to support people with disabilities for most of my career as executive director for several non-profit organizations, serving at the MS Society for 10 years. In January 2011, I did the MS Climb at Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for MS research, and it was an unforgettable adventure. The process made me realize that research does progress, and one day the MS Society will close its doors – because we have found a cure for multiple sclerosis.
I have a Bachelor of Education from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and I’m also currently the chair of the HealthPartners Quebec board of directors. I’m a proud francophone from Montreal, QC, who loves reading and cheering for my favourite hockey team: the Habs, of course!
National vice-president, shared services
I was first introduced to computers in 1973, and since then I’ve spent more than 35 years in IT – 18 of those years have been at the MS Society. IT is often seen as a back office area of an organization, but I was able to see the real impact of my work when we launched the MSAnswers.ca website, which instantly connected people living with MS to timely and accurate information about their disease. The positive response was extremely gratifying, and it’s projects like these that inspire me in my work.
I have a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, with an emphasis on computing science. Born in Belleville, raised in Toronto and currently living in Burlington, ON, my favourite part of being Canadian is flying above our great country as a private pilot.
National vice-president, government relations; President, Atlantic Division
I’m proud to have held senior positions in the charitable Sector for the past 15 years. I’m deeply motivated to help others, and I’m passionate about leadership that encourages staff and volunteers to change lives for people living with disabilities. I’ve met a number of people living with MS over the years, and I’m motived every day by their courage and resiliency. It’s with them in mind that I choose to work to make a difference.
A proud Maritimer who grew up on one of the many beautiful coasts
of Nova Scotia, I have Bachelor in Kinesiology from the
University of New Brunswick and a Master of Human Kinetics from
the University of Windsor. When I’m not chasing my two little
boys around the wonderful beaches of NS, I’m cheering hard for
Canada’s Toronto Raptors.
President, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Divisions
I’ve spent 20 years working in the charitable sector with a focus on health, older adults, youth and at-risk populations. I’ve served the MS Society in several locations across Canada, working for Saskatchewan, Manitoba and national offices. When I first began my work with the MS Society, I knew very few people who lived with MS – but since that time I’ve established many friendships with people who live with MS and have also had family members receive a diagnosis. I continue to be inspired by the resilience of people who live with MS and have chosen to fight the disease by helping others.
I’ve studied physical activity, psychology and recreation at the University of Regina and SIAST Polytechnic, and I have a Certified Association Executive designation through the Canadian Society of Association Executives. Originally from Regina, SK, I enjoy spending time at the rinks watching my kids play hockey and ringette and being at the cottage with family and friends.
Science first introduced me to multiple sclerosis as a young researcher, but it’s the people affected by MS who have made me committed to the cause. I first volunteered with the Ottawa Chapter of the MS Society when I was still a graduate student studying MS, and this connected me to entire community of people affected by MS who are yearning for more answers about their disease. It’s an honour to be able to apply my research directly to my career.
I couldn’t get enough of school – I have a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from University of Ottawa and a BSc in Cell Biology from Western University. Born in Winnipeg and raised in Hong Kong and Ottawa, I ask serious questions like any Canadian: what’s in a Nanaimo bar? Do they really come from Nanaimo, BC?
National vice-president, talent, programs and services
I have more than 30 years of leadership experience working in the health sector and with health charities, and half of my career has been spent working directly with volunteers. My time at the MS Society has been rewarding as a whole, but nothing has compared to observing and listening to young people connect with each other at MS Summer Camp. The joy on campers’ faces as they realize they’re not alone in their journeys with MS is what drives me in my work to end this disease for all Canadians.
Originally from Toronto, ON, and now living in Burlington, ON, I graduated from the University of Toronto. During our short Canadian summers, I enjoy swimming in the cold waters of Georgian Bay at the cottage.
President, Ontario & Nunavut Division
Just before I joined the MS Society in June 2014, I spent three years as the national director of Relay For Life with the Canadian Cancer Society. After developing school-based childcare programs with the YMCA, I spent 14 years with the Heart and Stroke Foundation in various leadership roles.
During the MS Society’s 2014 Muck MS Canada event in Hamilton, I met a lovely young woman who had been a summer student at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She shared with me that her husband has been battling MS for several years, and I was reminded that MS has a ripple effect – the disease also touches people who care for their loved ones who live with the disease.
Originally from Oshawa, ON, I have a BA of Sociology from York University, a diploma in early childhood education from Lambton College and a certificate in project management essentials from the University of Toronto. I love to ski and eat French toast with maple syrup – two activities that were closely connected during my childhood.
Vice-president, marketing and development
Before joining the non-profit sector, I spent many years in the sports marketing field (NHLPA, IMG, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment) with a focus on corporate sponsorship and large-scale event management. I love being part of a collective enthusiasm for an important cause, and fuelling people's investment in raising funds for a common goal; so far my favourite moment at the MS Society has been witnessing so many A&W staff who were engaged and excited about ending MS, during a record-breaking Cruisin' to end MS year in 2015.
Born in Humboldt, SK, I moved to Mitchell, ON at age 10 – small towns! I have an honours BA in English from Western University, and like many Canadians one my favourite activities is to spend time with my family at our Georgian Bay cottage in the summer.
President, British Columbia & Yukon Division @TaniaVrionis
I began my non-profit career more than 15 years ago, and I’ve had the privilege of working with some remarkable organizations in the education, social services and health sectors. Before my work with the MS Society, I didn’t have a strong personal connection to multiple sclerosis – now, having developed so many relationships here, I can honestly say that many important people in my life are affected by MS.
At this year’s Muck MS Canada event, I saw two people living with MS award 600 hugs to muddy participants who crossed the finish line. The muddier they got, the happier they were. I was touched to see them so determined to thank every participant – and it served as a strong reminder of why we do what we do.
Originally from Ontario, where I received a BA in political science from Western University, I have been living in British Columbia for six years. Living in the Vancouver area, “Canadian” activities are a little different – does watching my son play outdoor soccer in January count? Sorry, no snow angels here!