Our Leadership

Pamela Valentine

President and CEO


Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, I am a proud mother of three. I enjoy cooking up a storm for a full table of family and friends and when the weather allows, I can often be found outside tending to my garden.

I am a trained research scientist who is passionate about the power of collaboration and believe that through building strong relationships, we can build stronger communities. My most recent role was with Alberta Innovates where I spent over 15 years leading innovation and change.

As the newly appointed President and CEO of the MS Society of Canada, I am honoured and excited to go to work for Canadians impacted by MS. Together with our board, I hope to grow the impact of our efforts and ensure that we remain a strong national, bilingual organization that delivers exceptional community-based programs and drives a results-oriented research portfolio.

A more detailed biography can be found here.

Louis Adam

President, Atlantic and Quebec Divisions


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!

David Arbuthnot

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.

Benjamin Davis

Senior Vice-president, Mission


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 motivated 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.

Erin Kuan

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.

Dr. Karen Lee
Vice-president, Research



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?

Danielle Mandell

Vice-president, People Innovation & Volunteers


I am passionate about people – the power of staff and volunteers – and the role they and all stakeholders play in bringing about change. I learned early on in my career that I’m a mission-driven person with a large desire to contribute my best in an organization focused on creating lasting positive social impact.

After earning a masters degree in International Human Resource Management from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England, I spent over 15 years gaining diverse, cross-sector executive leadership experience in organizations that ranged from providing financing and mentoring to entrepreneurs, to affordable homeownership programs, to international development. I have focused my efforts on developing people-centred programs, policies and practices that maximize the stakeholder experience.

Having only recently joined the MS Society, and I have quickly recognized there are many in my expanded community who are living with or affected by MS. I am both energized and humbled by both the work the organization carries out and the people who, every day, in small and large ways, advance the mission on a local, national and international stage.

I was born and raised in Toronto, and today I still really enjoy the city I call my home -- exploring different neighbourhoods within it, and spending time outside with my dog in the green spaces.

Lisa McCoy

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.

Lori Radke

Vice-president, Marketing & 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.

Joanna Valsamis

Vice-president, Programs and Advocacy


In my early twenties I found myself immersed in the world of health charities after my own diagnosis with an autoimmune disease. After brief stints as a research scientist and teacher, I discovered a passion for mentoring and educating others affected by illness through volunteering. My volunteer experience ultimately paved my way to a rewarding career in the charitable sector. I had the pleasure of working at Cystic Fibrosis Canada for nine years in various roles in science communications, health advocacy, research administration, and clinical care.

I have an Honours Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Sciences from the University of Guelph, and a Bachelor of Education and a Master’s of Science in Health Administration from the University of Toronto. I am adoring the adventures of parenthood, love learning about our planet and the universe, and enjoy cooking feasts for family and friends.

Tania Vrionis

President, Alberta & NWT - British Columbia & Yukon Divisions 



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!

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