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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

Tess McLean, Co-Chair

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.

Rachel Gray

Rachel Gray, Co-Chair

Rachel Gray is Executive Director of The Stop Community Food Centre. Prior to joining The Stop in 2012, Rachel worked nationally and locally with homeless youth, first developing and managing Eva's Phoenix, and then as Director of Eva's National Program, facilitating national knowledge sharing initiatives and research projects, and supporting the establishment of a national, partnership based response to youth homelessness. She worked for the Ontario Government as a special assistant to the Minister of Health. Rachel is the Chair of the Toronto Food Policy Council and a member of the Board of Directors for Dancing with Parkinson's.

Andy Barrie

Andy Barrie, Honorary Chair

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.

Dr. Jackie Bender

Dr. Jackie Bender, Director and Research Committee

Dr. Bender is a Scientist at the ELLICSR Health, Wellness and Cancer Survivorship Centre in the Department of Supportive Care at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and an Assistant Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bender's father, John Bender (also known as Dancing Johnny), has had Parkinson's Disease since 2004.

Susan Shiels

Susan Shiels, Director

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

Lorraine Kalia, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Research Committee and Director

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

Robert Davis, Director

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

Rachael Mather, Director

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.

Ian Kerr

Ian Kerr, Treasurer

Ian Kerr is a finance and accounting professional who has always had a passion for the arts. From concert master in an orchestra to hip-hop dancing for a charity, he has always found a way to participate or contribute to arts organizations. Previously, Ian has worked as a financial analyst within the provincial government's health industry, as well as a Financial Planning & Analyst (FP&A) for Elizabeth Arden. Currently, he works at Toronto International Film Festival as an FP&A. As a board member, Ian has served previously on the Film Revue Society Board, and currently serves on the Kindred Spirits Orchestra Board. For Dancing With Parkinson's, he is a co-treasurer and board member.