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Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada: Our Board of Directors

Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together, we will make it happen.

HSFC board members represent our country and come from many walks of life. Working with Foundation staff at the local, regional, provincial and national levels, our board of directors guides the overall strategic management and stewardship of the Foundation.


Chair: Rod McKay, FCA
“I’m inspired by working with people who share a common passion to find a solution to heart disease and stroke. I have visited major research institutes and seen the amazing work the Foundation supports. We live for the future.”

Rod McKay is Chair of the Board of Tourism Calgary and member of the board of the Calgary Sports Tourism Authority. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants of Alberta. In the six years ending March 2013, Rod was a Member of the Alberta Securities Commission and Lead Independent Member. He serves on the Board and Audit Committee of Fidelity Capital Structure Corporation and the Board of the Institute of Corporate Directors – Calgary. Until retirement in 2006, as a partner of KPMG, an international audit, tax and advisory firm, he held senior leadership positions in the firm in Canada and internationally. Rod has been active in numerous community based health services and cultural organizations for many years.

Rod McKay

Past Chair: Douglas B. Clement, CM, MD

“At age 65 I had a stroke and was lucky enough to recover fully. I bring a different perspective to the Foundation, as a stroke survivor and sports medicine specialist. I have gone from helping individuals through my medical practice to helping change policies and behaviours on a bigger scale.”

Dr. Doug Clement is an internationally recognized former Olympic and Commonwealth athlete and coach who is now a professor emeritus, faculty of medicine, at the University of British Columbia. As co-founder of the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, he taught and practiced sports medicine for more than 20 years. He has served as a director of the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine and the Achilles International Track and Field Society. He was physician to the Vancouver Canucks and served on the medical and coaching staffs of more than 12 Olympic Games. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and has received numerous other academic and professional awards.

Dr. Doug Clement


Mark R. Andrews, BComm, JD
St. John’s

“My family and my home province suffer from above average incidents of heart disease and stroke. Having lost one grandfather to a heart attack and the other to multiple strokes, I know the feeling of loss suffered by family members left behind and, with a young family of my own, I understand the urgency and importance of the Foundation’s mission.”

Mark is Legal Counsel to ExxonMobil Canada and Imperial Oil with a focus on eastern Canadian offshore projects and in particular the Hebron oil field project. He was previously a corporate commercial partner with a large Newfoundland and Labrador law firm. He is a lecturer for the faculty of business administration at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is also a director of the Avalon Arena Association (a not-for-profit multiplex ice rink) and is a former executive member of the national business law section of the Canadian Bar Association. 

Mark Andrews

Guy Beaudin, MBA, PhD
“There are few places where I could volunteer and make the same kind of impact on individuals’ lives, as well as Canadian society as a whole. I have been associated with the Foundation for over five years and feel richer for it.”

Dr. Guy Beaudin is a senior partner with RHR International, where he manages the firm’s international operations and works extensively in the area of management due diligence. Guy also specializes in assisting leadership teams in working more effectively together. Prior to joining RHR in 1996, Guy worked as an internal HR director for an international organization. He has an MBA from the University of Ottawa, where he specialized in marketing and finance, and a PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Montreal. Guy is active in a number of charitable organizations and is a past director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

Dr. Guy Beaudin

Denis Berthiaume, FCIA, FSA

“I am honoured to contribute to the mission of the Heart and Stroke Foundation by serving on the Board of Directors. Helping Canadians live longer, healthier lives is essential for our future; the Foundation is at the forefront of many initiatives that will help make that healthy future a reality. For many reasons, both personal and professional, I’m happy to be part of an organization that is leading the way in health promotion across the country.”

Denis Berthiaume is President and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Insurance since 2011 and also Senior Executive Vice President and General Manager, Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, of Desjardins Group. He is responsible for a team of nearly 6,000 people. His team is responsible for manufacturing life and health insurance and specialized savings products, their integrated distribution through the caisse network and through complementary channels for clients with specialized needs. They also oversee marketing to support the caisse network and back-office services. Denis is also director of NorthWest & Ethical Investments L.P. He graduated from Université Laval with a bachelor of actuarial studies. He is a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and of the Society of Actuaries.

Denis Berthiaume

Marc-André Blanchard
Ontario and Quebec

“The leadership of the Heart and Stroke Foundation in promoting healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke makes an important difference for Canadians.The Foundation inspires me to change my behaviour. I feel privileged to contribute to its development.”

Marc-André Blanchard is the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of McCarthy Tétrault. He practices civil and commercial litigation, and provides advice to companies on strategic and public policy issues. Prior to becoming Chair and CEO, Mr. Blanchard served two terms as the Regional Managing Partner, Québec region, and was a member of the firm-wide leadership team. He was the youngest lawyer to have been appointed regional managing partner of a Canadian law firm. Mr. Blanchard was president of the Québec Liberal Party from 2000 to 2008. He actively participated in the transition teams of several governments at both the federal and provincial levels. He is a member of the Board and a Past Chair of the Board of the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC), an institute affiliated to the Université de Montréal, and a board member of the WoodGreen Foundation. He has been an active member in cabinet campaigns of United Way since 2004. He is a member of The Conference Board of Canada since October 2012.

Denis Berthiaume

David Jones, MD, MHSc

“I have a family history of premature cardiovascular disease. My father had a stroke at age 52, and his father died at 49. Having had my own stroke at 58, I’ve realized how our approach to stroke and brain health lags behind our understanding, treatment and rehabilitation of cancer and heart disease. I’m excited to be able to contribute in a small way to addressing these challenges.”

Dr. David Jones was Canada’s first chief public health officer from 2004 to 2014. He headed the Public Health Agency of Canada which provides leadership on the government's efforts to protect and promote the health and safety of Canadians. A researcher in a broad range of public health issues, he is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba as well as a clinical professor with the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine. From 1995 to 2002, David was chief medical health officer and executive director of the Population Health and Primary Health Services Branches for the Province of Saskatchewan.

In 2010, David was the recipient of the Robert Davies Defries Award, the highest honour presented by the Canadian Public Health Association, recognizing outstanding contributions in the field of public health.In August 2014, he received the Canadian Medical Association’s Medal of Service and in September 2014, the Public health Agency of Canada announced the creation of a Leadership Award in Public Health in his honour.

David Jones

Andrew Claerhout, ICD.D

“The Heart and Stroke Foundation is an outstanding national charity with a clear and admirable mission, a distinguished management team and a diverse and supportive volunteer and donor base. Supporting the Foundation is truly life-changing, as the lives of far too many Canadians are adversely impacted by heart disease and stroke.”

Andrew Claerhout leads the Teachers' Infrastructure Group, overseeing acquisitions and asset management globally. He joined Teachers' in 2005 and was most recently vice-president Teachers' Private Capital, where he managed the consumer, retail and industrial sectors. He has extensive international experience having worked for Pacific Equity Partners in Australia and Bain & Company in Hong Kong before his involvement with Teachers' in England. While at Teachers’ Private Capital, he was involved in a number of private equity transactions across various geographies and industries.Andrew is a director of Global Container Terminals and serves on the boards of Ontario Airport Investments Limited and Andescan.

He previously served on the boards of Alexander Forbes, Alliance Laundry Systems, Dematic, Easton-Bell Sports, EXAL Group, General Nutrition Centers, National Bedding, Munchkin, and Simmons Mattress Co. Andrew earned his HBA at the Ivey Business School at Western University, and has ICD.D certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Andrew Claerhout

Andrew W. W. Cockwell

"Heart disease and stroke have a tremendous adverse impact on our population, my family included. I'm privileged to contribute to the work of the Foundation to ensure better outcomes for all Canadians."

Andrew Cockwell is a managing partner for Ursataur Capital Management. Prior to this role he was a partner with ReichmannHauer Capital Partners, a Canadian middle market private equity firm. Andrew was previously a management consultant at the global consultancy McKinsey & Company, where he was a member of their private equity practice and their corporate finance and strategy practice.

Before joining McKinsey, Andrew practiced law at Sullivan & Cromwell in its mergers and acquisitions groups.

Andrew holds a BA from Queen's University and an LL.B. with Great Distinction from the Faculty of Law at McGill University.

Andrew W. W. Cockwell

Barry Cracower, MBA, ICD.D

“Since retirement, I have been very active in our Foundation. Working with such dedicated and professional people for a cause that is so important to our society has been both rewarding and humbling.”

With an extensive career in marketing and sales in the retail sector, Barry Cracower brings business, entrepreneurial and consulting experience to his Foundation role. Founder and former President of Rexall Drug Stores, Mr. Cracower is currently an active member of several profit (public and private) and not-for-profit boards, including The Martin Ross Group, Zast Foods, Dominion Citrus and The Baycrest Health Centre. 

Mr. Cracower joined the HSF Ontario Provincial Board in November 2004 and was Chair of the Board from November 2010. A dedicated leadership volunteer, Mr. Cracower held numerous positions with the Ontario Foundation including Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of the Fundraising and Marketing Committee, Chair of the Board Development Committee, member of the Lottery Management Advisory Group and member of the Ontario Community Advisory Group. In his national role, Mr. Cracower was Chair of the Provincial Chairs Advisory Group (PCAG).

In June 2013, Mr. Cracower was appointed Chair of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, the leading research partnership in the world dedicated solely to stroke recovery, in which the Heart and Stroke Foundation is a key stakeholder.Mr. Cracower received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in February 2013 and the 2013 Tony Graham Award in September 2013.

Mr. Cracower graduated from Sir George Williams College (now Concordia University) with a B.Comm, he holds an MBA from Columbia University, and has completed his Certified Director designation with the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Barry Cracower

Charmaine Crooks, CM

"Having had loved ones affected by heart disease and stroke, I am proud to volunteer my time with the Heart and Stroke Foundation to help shine the spotlight on a disease that affects Canadians from diverse backgrounds. I look forward to working with the many community champions as we support the Foundation’s mission of education, advocacy, research and healthy living."

Charmaine Crooks is a five-time Olympian and Olympic silver medalist. She was elected a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1999-2004 and is currently a member of the IOC Press Commission. She was a founding member and director for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter and Para-Olympic Games bid. She is president of NGU Consultants Inc., a global consultancy and management company, as well as a freelance TV presenter, speaker and member of several corporate and charitable boards. A longstanding director of the Canadian Olympic Committee executive board, she is the Honourary President of Olympians Canada and was the vice president of the World Olympians Association. Charmaine received the Order of Canada in January 2013, and was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame (2003) and the University of Texas at El Paso Sports Hall of Fame (2006) as the first female inductee, and has been named one of the “Top 50 Women of Power” in Canada.

She is actively involved in charities that focus on youth, women and sports and was a founding international board member of the global humanitarian organization Right to Play.

Charmaine Crooks

The Hon. David C. Dingwall, PC, QC

“Both my father and mother suffered severe heart attacks. That’s why the Heart and Stroke Foundation is very personal to me. I’ve had the pleasure of working with numerous health organizations across the country, but in my view the Foundation’s greatest days are just on the horizon.”

David Dingwall has considerable private and public sector experience as a lawyer, national public figure, corporate CEO, and corporate director. His vast international experience allows him to bring considerable perspective to the issues of the modern enterprise.

He was elected to the Parliament of Canada on four different occasions. In 1997, as Canada’s health minister, he introduced and passed the Tobacco Control Act, recognized as a major achievement by both the World Health Organization and the Canadian Lung Association. David is presently counsel to the Toronto law firm Affleck Greene McMurtry LLP. He also serves as chairman and CEO of The Darius Group.

More recently, David has joined the Ted Rogers School of Business at Ryerson University as a distinguished visiting professor.

David Dingwall

Marc Filion, MBA
Shefford, Quebec

“Volunteering with the Heart and Stroke Foundation is an extraordinary opportunity to contribute with passion to a first class organization dedicated to improving the health of Canadians. The cause of heart disease and stroke touches all that we have to lose – the people we love, quality of life, healthcare costs, who we are, what we do and where we live. I’m thrilled to contribute to making Canada a healthier place to live.”

Marc Filion has more than 20 years of experience in business leadership, retail and B2B marketing, turnaround, strategy, sales management, M&A and partnership in the IT, telecommunication, healthcare and banking sectors. Marc is currently the President and owner of Vision 360 Management, a management consulting firm that offers strategy, M&A, partnership negotiation, product marketing and turnaround consulting services to Canadian enterprises of all sizes.

In 1997, Marc contributed to the creation and management of BCE Emergis, Canada’s flagship e-commerce and Internet solutions company at the time. He later became the chief operating officer of TELUS Health and Financial solutions. More recently, Marc was Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Virtual Banking, Retail Market, at the Laurentian Bank. Marc’s experience also includes leadership in solution development, outsourced operations, human resources management and sales management.

Marc Filion

Anthony Graham, CM, MD

“Every day in my clinical practice, I see patients who have benefited from the wonderful progress we have made in the care of Canadians at risk for, or who suffer from heart disease and stroke. The Foundation has played a key role in all of this progress over the past 60 years and with its new unified national structure, I firmly believe it is in a position to continue to provide leadership in our battle against two of our leading causes of death.”

Dr. Anthony Graham is a clinical cardiologist and the Director of the Robert McRae Heart Health Unit at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. He is a professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto. In his clinical practice, Dr. Graham is involved in developing pre-hospital Emergency Cardiac Care Programs for heart attack victims and is active on a range of advocacy issues promoting heart-healthy lifestyles. During his continuing 35-year relationship with HSF, he has chaired both the Ontario and National Boards. In 2002, he became a Member of the Order of Canada for his work in developing the Emergency Cardiac Care Systems in Canada as well as for his service with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. In 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and more recently in February 2013, Dr. Graham received the 2012 Award of Merit for exceptional contribution to the mission of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Dr. Anthony Graham

Zaylin Lalji

“The Heart and Stroke Foundation has taken on the challenge to change behaviour and shift our living paradigm to one of health promotion. With knowledge, commitment, and health, we as Canadians can do more for our families, our communities, and the world at large.”

Zaylin Lalji brings to the Foundation’s board extensive experience in business and the public sector as well as an active commitment to numerous philanthropic causes in Canada and abroad.

Ovide Mercredi, OM, LLB

“I see a need for on-going public education and timely health services as a means to addressing an important issue that affects all people in Canada. My hope is to help where I can as one of the many advocates who support the work of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.”

Ovide Mercredi is a Cree leader, lawyer and negotiator – known for being the former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, where he played a key role in the Charlottetown Accord discussions. He recently served as the chancellor of the University College of the North as well as the Chief of Misipawistik Cree Nation. Ovide has been awarded honourary degrees from St. Mary's, Bishop's, Athabasca and Lethbridge universities, as well the Order of Manitoba. In 2013 he was honoured with the Distinguished Alumni Award of the University of Manitoba. Best known for being an advocate for non-violent conflict resolution, he also cares about many of the initiatives of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, including smoking cessation and the Foundation’s work to decrease heart disease and the incidence of stroke in Aboriginal populations.

Ovide Mercredi

Jonathan Ross, BBA, PFP

“After my father suffered two heart attacks and a stroke, I figured it was time I found out more about heart disease and got involved. Am I ever glad that I did. The Foundation is an excellent organization, made up of great people who are really committed to making a difference in the health of Canadians. They truly are making that difference.”

Jonathan Ross is a Director of Wealth Management with Richardson GMP, a partner with Cudmore Ross Wealth Management, a specialized team within the larger firm of Richardson GMP. With a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Prince Edward Island, Jonathan has achieved numerous industry certifications and most recently is a graduate of the Securities Institute at the Wharton School of Business. In addition to his community work with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Jonathan is a Paul Harris fellow in Rotary, Chair of the J. Angus Society and President of the Charlottetown Executive Association.

Jonathan Ross

Alison Twiner

“I have fond memories of canvassing my neighborhood for HSF as a young girl, connecting with our community and sharing stories of heart health and stroke awareness. Knowing that access to information and early intervention vastly improves health outcomes. I look forward to connecting more Canadians through the Foundation’s important cause.”

Alison Twiner is Group Director of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook Canada where, since 2010, she has worked with the team responsible for building strategic marketing relationships and delivering business solutions for Canada’s largest marketers and agencies. Throughout her career Alison has used her curiosity about communications, technology and media to deliver strategic and tactical solutions for companies building their businesses online. Prior to Facebook, Alison held a similar role building the business of Google Canada. She has a BA with distinction from McGill University.

Alison Twiner