OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dancing with Parkinson’s would like to introduce you to the incredibly talented and generous board members who are donating their time and expertise to the DWP program.
Tess McLean is foremost a supporter and lover of the arts. She is also a communications specialist with over twenty years’ experience in helping organizations successfully plan and deliver effective communications strategies. In the corporate consulting environment, the public sector, and with not for profits, Tess works with all levels to ensure key messages are shared and vital information is understood.
From the boardrooms of Bay Street to artist co-operatives – everyone has a story to tell. Tess has had the privilege of assisting organizations find their voice over the roar of 21st century challenges. She is passionate about arts organizations that are innovative and committed to making art accessible to all. Tess is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School and continues to feed her creative soul through the adult ballet program at NBS. She currently serves as NBS’ Alumni Relations and Donor Communications Officer.
Malcolm Lester has been active in Canadian publishing since 1964. He is best known as the president of Lester & Orpen Dennys which he co-founded in 1973. The Literary Review of Canada named three of L&OD 's publications among the most important books ever published in Canada. Currently, Malcolm Lester is Publisher-at-large at Malcolm Lester & Associates where, among other things, he produces limited editions of books for individuals and organizations.
Andy Barrie is a 25 year veteran of radio and broadcasting. In 2007 Andy learned he had Parkinson's disease and a year later, thanks to Dancing with Parkinson's, learned how to do the tango.
Susan Shiels is currently the Operations Manager for AT&T Global Network Services Canada Co. Seven years before this she was the Marketing Manager for Canada and was responsible for all marketing, fund raising and event planning. Susan is looking forward to reviving her event planning and marketing skills to contribute to fundraising and organizing events for Dancing with Parkinson’s. She is thrilled to be part of this board and to contribute to enhancing the lives of PD dancers.
Lorraine Kalia graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School, followed by a brief professional ballet career as an apprentice with the National Ballet of Canada and a corps de ballet member with the National Ballet of Portugal. She then pursued academic training to become a clinician scientist, obtaining a BSc (Biology) at Queen’s University, MD/PhD (Neuroscience) at University of Toronto, FRCPC (Neurology) at University of Toronto, postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, and movement disorders fellowship at Toronto Western Hospital. Currently, Lorraine is a clinician scientist and assistant professor in the Division of Neurology, University of Toronto with appointments at the Krembil Research Institute, Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto. She is a movement disorders neurologist at the Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Centre at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. Her clinical work and research program focus on improving our understanding and treatment of Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders.
Robert Davis is a professional facilitator, having worked in the public sector for almost 25 years. With a degree in Urban Studies/Sociology, with a minor in music, from York University, Robert feels privileged to have applied most of that degree to his working life. Robert played string bass in a number of amateur orchestras in the Toronto area for 40 years, until the onset of Parkinson's Disease. Robert's hobbies have included music recording and production, photography (he is also a graduate of Sheridan College Photography) and video production - some of which are used as part of his volunteer activities. Since 1999, Robert has sat on the board of the Aradia Ensemble, a Toronto-based professional period baroque orchestra. Robert lives in Toronto with his wife, 14-year old daughter and Theo the rabbit.
Rachael Mather has been a dancer all her life, with her first performance at the ripe young age of 6. After devoting herself to competitive dance through elementary and highschool, she continued to Dance at Queen's University. While obtaining her Bachelor's of Commerce, she was a member of the Queen's Competitive Dance Team, and lead team as a Co-Captin in her 4th and final year of studies. When she wasn't danicng, Rachael volunteered with a grassroots charity, the Nyantende Foundation, and used her business skills to provide pro bono consulting to local non profits such as Ten Thousand Villages. Now working at Reliance Home Comfort in their rotaional leadership program, Dancing with Parkinson's became the perfect opportunity to pair her of the love of dance and admiration for the non profit world. After volunteering at the North York DWP classes, Rachael's saw first hand the overwhelming impact of dance on those with Parkinson's and felt compelled to do more. Rachael will use her business skills and passion for dance, to help DWP reach new heights and energize more souls with the incredible joy of dance.
Pat Irwin enjoyed a long and successful career in financial services – banking, trust and systems consulting – in Canada and the US. When her dad became ill in 1997 and her mom could no longer care for him, there were so few choices that after three months in a nursing home, her dad was dead. First she got mad, then she got busy, and in 1999 founded ElderCareCanada, a consulting service assisting adult children in dealing with aging parents.
She builds on her consulting and service-quality training in developing strategies with families so they can plan together to get things done, including in-home care, housing options, relocation assistance, absentee care management, and strategies for long-term care, estates, Wills and funerals. Another specialty area is elder care mediation, and expert opinions for families undergoing mediation and litigation regarding elder care costs and effort.
Education includes an honours BA from the University of Toronto, Associate of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (AICB). Her specialty is effectively managing the family dynamic between seniors, their adult children and adult siblings.
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA/CPCA) designation, and certificate in mediation from the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor. She also offers onsite lectures and Webinars on eldercare topics and supports corporate Employee Assistance Programs as well as her private practice.
Media includes print and on-line publications in trade publication such as Solutions Magazine, Help’s Here, Dialogue and Comfort Life; she has been quoted in The Globe & Mail’s Report on Business Magazine, The Globe & Mail, Macleans and Canadian Business magazine. Radio includes Classical 96.3fm, and CBC Radio including Fresh Air, The Current and Definitely not the Opera; TV includes Discovery Health television, CTV’s Canadian Business Television and Comfort Live TV.
Pat is a Professor of Distance Learning at Centennial College, developing and teaching several courses in the Retirement Communities Management (RCMC) designation offered by the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA).
Personal interests include a 30+ career as a singer, board member and volunteer fundraiser with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, as well as tenures on boards of the Mendelssohn Choir, Viva Youth Singers of Toronto and Saint Elizabeth Foundation, and the volunteer committee of St. Michael’s Hospital.