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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.

Heart and Stroke Foundation 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
(Calgary, Alberta)
“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

Vice Chair - Andrew W. W. Cockwell
(Toronto, Ontario)

“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 (Hons.) from Queen's University and an LL.B. with Great Distinction from the Faculty of Law at McGill University.

Andrew W. W. Cockwell


Penny Ballem, MSc, MD, FRCP, FCAHS
(Vancouver, BC)

“As a senior government health policy and decision-maker over many years, I have had the remarkable opportunity to work with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, watching it evolve into the most coherent and effective agency in Canada, working for the heart and vascular health of our public. It is such a privilege to be able to serve on the Board of this remarkable organization.”

For the last seven years, Penny Ballem served as the city manager of the City of Vancouver. During her tenure, Vancouver experienced a remarkable rise in its global brand, built on the success of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the City’s innovative policy agenda in the area of sustainability, its comprehensive healthy city strategy and its innovation economy. Penny served on multiple boards during her tenure: director on the board of VANOC Canada, Canada Line, the Vancouver Board of Trade, EComm and the Street to Home Foundation.

Since her graduation from UBC with her MD in 1978, Penny has had a diverse career in the health and government sector as a clinical professor of medicine, researcher and senior administrator in various academic institutions in British Columbia.

In 2001 she was appointed deputy minister of health for the province of B.C. and was one of the longest serving health deputy ministers (2001 – 2006) in B.C. and Canada. Penny served as the co-chair of the Federal/Provincial Territorial Conference of Deputy Ministers of Canada and served on a number of key boards including CIHI, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and as a member of Canada Health Infoway.

Penny Ballem

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.”

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 of 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 provincial board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Ontario.

Dr. Guy Beaudin

Denis Berthiaume, FCIA, FSA
(Montréal, Québec)

“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 has been the president and chief operating officer of Desjardins Insurance since 2011 and the 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. Denis is also director of NorthWest & Ethical Investments L.P and Fiera Capital Corporation. He graduated from Université Laval with a bachelor of actuarial studies and 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 lifestyle choices. 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, Marc-André 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. Marc-André 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 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 has been a member of The Conference Board of Canada since October 2012.

Marc-André Blanchard

Andrew Claerhout, ICD.D
(Toronto, Ontario)

“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 Teachers' Infrastructure & Natural Resources Group. He is responsible for delivering long-term, predictable value and hedges against inflation by making direct investments in infrastructure on a global basis. He is also responsible for physical investments in natural resources, such as timberlands, oil and gas assets and farmland.

Andrew joined Ontario Teachers' in 2005 and has held positions of increasing responsibility, culminating with his appointment as senior vice-president, infrastructure in 2013.Prior to that he was vice-president, private capital, where he managed the consumer, retail and industrial sectors. Andrew also previously headed Ontario Teachers' London office from its opening in 2007 until returning to Toronto in 2009.

Andrew has extensive international experience, having worked for Pacific Equity Partners in Australia and Bain & Company in Hong Kong before his involvement with Ontario Teachers' in the United Kingdom. While at Private Capital, he was involved in a number of private equity transactions across various geographies and industries. Andrew is a member of the Heritage Resource advisory board, a director of Global Container Terminals and serves on the boards of Ontario Airport Investments Limited and AndesCan.

Andrew earned his HBA at the Ivey Business School at Western University, completed the Stanford Executive Program and has an ICD.D certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Andrew Claerhout

Barry Cracower, MBA, ICD.D
(Toronto, Ontario)

“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, Barry is currently an active member of several profit (public and private) and not-for-profit boards, including Zast Foods Dominion Citrus, The Baycrest Health Centre and chair of the DAREarts Foundation.

Barry joined the HSF Ontario provincial board in November 2004 and was chair for three years from November 2010. A dedicated leadership volunteer, Barry held numerous positions with the Ontario Foundation including vice chair of the board .In his national role, Barry was chair of the provincial chairs advisory group.

In June 2013, Barry 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. .Barry received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in February 2013 and the 2013 Tony Graham Award in September 2013.

Barry 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

The Hon. David C. Dingwall, PC, QC
(Toronto, Ontario)

“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

Thomas Feasby, MD
(Calgary, AB)

“I have been interested in stroke since my early days of training with Dr. Henry Barnett, who put stroke and Canada on the map through his conduct of the first clinical trials in stroke. I was inspired by the work of Dr. Alastair Buchan who developed the Calgary Stroke Program into a world leader. Canada continues to lead the way with new advances in the prevention and treatment of stroke.”

Thomas Feasby is a professor of neurology and was the dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary from 2007 -2012. Prior to that, he was an associate dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Alberta and vice-president academic at Capital Health in Edmonton.

Thomas, a graduate of the University of Manitoba, trained in neurology at Western University and did post-graduate training at the Institute of Neurology in the UK and at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica CA. He was head of the department of clinical neurosciences at the University of Calgary from 1991 to 2002, where he founded the Calgary Stroke program in 1993.

His research work has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and he has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Thomas received an honorary degree from Western University in 2013 and the Medal for Distinguished Service from the Alberta Medical Association in 2014. He serves on the boards of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and on the advisory board of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health.

Thomas Feasby

David Jones, MD, MHSc
(Ottawa, Ontario)

“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.”

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.

He has received honorary LLD degrees from York and Carleton Universities. In 2010, David was the recipient of the Robert Davies Defries Award, the highest honour of the Canadian Public Health Association. 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

Zaylin Lalji
(Vancouver, British Columbia)

“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.

Thomas Marrie, MD
(Halifax, NS)

“While much has been done to alleviate the burden of cardiovascular disease in Canada, much remains to be done. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is an important member of the team, striving to achieve optimal cardiovascular health for all Canadians.”

Thomas Marrie was appointed the 12th dean of the medicine at Dalhousie University on September 1, 2009. Prior to his appointment, he was the dean of the University of Alberta’s faculty of medicine and dentistry. Thomas had a 22 year career at the faculty of medicine, Dalhousie University, where he work as a professor, researcher and clinician and founded the division of infectious diseases. His leadership on numerous national committees and boards includes terms as associate editor of Physical Signs for the American Journal of Medicine, president of the Canadian Association of Professors of Medicine and as president of the Canadian Infectious Disease Society.

Thomas is member of the Order of Canada and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. His many awards include a Master Clinician Lecturer Award (department of medicine, Dalhousie University), a Lifetime Achievement Award (Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of Canada) and a honourary doctorate (University of Mediterranean, Marseille, France). He graduated from Dalhousie medical school in 1970 and completed residencies in general medicine and infectious diseases. He retired as dean of medicine in July, 2015.

Thomas Marrie

Ovide Mercredi, OM, LLB
(Winnipeg, Manitoba)

“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 Indigenous populations.

Ovide Mercredi

Perry Miele
(Toronto, Ontario)

“The Heart and Stroke Foundation has played a critical role in Canada, from educating and empowering Canadians on how to live healthy lives free of disease, to aiding the recovery of those affected and by guiding the way for the Canadian medical community. I am honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to this meaningful vision and look forward to a future free of heart disease and stroke.”

Perry Miele is chairman and partner of Beringer Capital, with over 25 years of experience specializing in the marketing, communications and the media industry. Since 2003, Perry has been a principal of Beringer Capital, a fund investing in emerging marketing services companies. As chairman, he is responsible for investing activities, strategic development and oversight of Beringer’s portfolio companies.

Most recently, Perry assumed the role of chairman of Match Marketing, a North American retail marketing firm with over 550 employees and eight offices in the U.S. and Canada. This is the largest group of its kind, focusing on companies covering every aspect of retail shopper expertise, providing Fortune 500 companies with a single, integrated, retail solution.

Perry began his career with the Canadian federal government in 1984, rising to the position of chief of staff to the minister of international trade during the NAFTA negotiations. In 1987, Perry became a partner of the Gingko Group, an integrated marketing services company located in Toronto. At Gingko, Perry grew the company’s annual revenues from $1 million to $10 million. In 1998, Gingko merged with DraftWorldwide (a subsidiary of Interpublic Group) and in 1999 Perry joined the management team of DraftWorldwide as the president of the international group. In that position, Perry was responsible for 36 offices operating in 24 countries and led the international expansion with a combination of strategic acquisitions and organic growth. Over three years, he led over $80 million in acquisitions which grew revenue from $70 million to $140 million.

Perry is a director of Andrew Peller Wines, a TSX listed company and is currently a member of the McGill MBA advisory committee and on the board of Trillium Heath Partners. Perry was a member of the Young Presidents Organization for over 10 years.

Perry Miele

Jonathan Ross, BBA, PFP
(Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)

“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
(Vancouver, British Columbia)

“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