Board of Directors
Board Meeting Minutes
Mary Peterson| President
Elected to Board: June 2021
Mary Peterson is the parent of a son with developmental disabilities who was a long-time Safehaven Respite user until he aged out of children’s programming. Since that time, Mary has been a passionate advocate for Transitional and Adult Programming within this community. Mary lives in Toronto with her husband and three children and, in her business life, she is the Vice President, Enterprise Business Division, at Samsung Canada.
Connie Lombardi | Secretary
Elected to Board: September 2011
Connie is the owner of Marcon Kitchen and Bath Studio with over 32 years of experience in the kitchen and bath industry, working with architects, designers, contractors, builders and home owners. Connie is co-founder and president of Angels from Heaven Youth Foundation, a non-profit, fundraising and granting charitable organization. Angels is dedicated to working with organizations to develop and promote integration programs for children and young adults with disabilities; and to further educate and heighten awareness within communities as to the abilities and contributions of the disabled.
Elected to Board: January 2021
Renee Blomme is the Director of Privacy and Risk Management for the Scarborough Health Network, where her focus is on advancing privacy, cybersecurity initiatives, developing an enterprise risk management program including emergency preparedness. Before working with SHN, Renee was the Manager of Patient Experience and Corporate Risk for North York General Hospital, where she established, developed and delivered transformative strategies to improve patient safety and mitigate risk. Renee’s work has been recognized as she continues to be an invited speaker at various conferences. Renee is the recipient of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s 2017 Patient Safety Champion Award.
Renee brings a strong educational background with a Masters in Nursing from the University of Toronto, and a Masters Certificate in Risk Management and Business Performance from Schulich School of Business. She has not only acted as a mentor to many new risk managers across Ontario, but also taught the Ontario Hospital Association’s Certificate program in Healthcare Risk Management and the Quality and Patient Safety Certificate. When Renee is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family.
Elected to the Board: June 2019
Jennifer Briscoe was called to the Ontario Bar in 1985 and the Quebec Civil Bar in 1988. She served as a Prosecutor for the Department of Justice in Ottawa then Montreal until 1997 when she transferred to Toronto. While in Montreal she served as co-chair Criminal Justice Subsection of the Canadian Bar Association. As a member of the Department of Justice Flying Team she handled cases in remote areas of the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.
In Toronto she served as Team Leader Old City Hall, an onsite legal advisor for the Toronto Police Service and as Counsel in complex mega prosecutions. She currently serves as an agent for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
Elected to Board: June 2021
Noela Fowler is an Associate Partner at Deloitte. Having joined Deloitte in 1985, Noela has over thirty years consulting experience in corporate strategy development, business planning, corporate development and program management. Over the past 20 years, Noela has served in a number of roles in Deloitte’s Global Consulting practice including Chief of Staff for Global Consulting where she also served on the Global Consulting Executive and in Corporate Development, where she led the Strategic Hiring program globally. Currently, Noela leads Finance & Operations for Deloitte’s Global Delivery Center Network. Noela is excited to play a part in helping to navigate Safehaven’s future direction. Noela has two children, including an adult child with disabilities.
Elected to Board: September 2016
Gaurav Singh works at Tangerine, Canada’s leading digital bank, and is currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer. Gaurav has worked at Tangerine for 17 years and served in a variety of capacities including Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Payments and Lending, Vice President of Strategy & Planning and Vice President of Integrated Marketing. Gaurav obtained his MBA from the Ivey School of Business and completed his undergraduate studies in Economics at the University of Toronto. He lives with his wife and son in the Greater Toronto Area and has an avid interest in local arts, culture and sporting activities.
Elected to Board: October 2018
Sandra is a Healthcare Executive with over 24 years’ experience in the Ontario Health System. She is a Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) who also brings a nursing background to her practice. Sandra is known as a values based leader with a focus on culture, leadership and engagement. Sandra has had the opportunity to be involved in a number of provincial committees and supports partnering to develop systems solutions. Prior to joining Women’s College Hospital as their Vice President, People, Culture and Equity & Chief Human Resources Officer, Sandra has worked at Southlake Regional Health Centre, North York General Hospital and Trillium Health Centre.
She is a member of the College of Canadian Health Care Executives (CCHSE) and holds the CHE designation, and is also a member of Human Resource Professionals (HRPA) and the College of Nurses Ontario (CNO).
Elected to the Board: January 2023
Julie Castle is the Campaign Director for the Faculty of Health at York University where she is responsible for leading the engagement of philanthropic and partnership support to advance the faculty’s strategic priorities, cultivating meaningful relationships with alumni, and supporting the development of a culture of philanthropy across the Faculty. She brings to this portfolio more than 20 years of extensive advancement experience in both the education and health sectors, along with a Master of Arts degree in Philanthropy and Development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and the Certified Fund-Raising Executive credential. Julie’s experience prior to entering fundraising includes 9 years with the Ontario Public Service in policy analyst and grants administration portfolios.
Julie lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons, and their goldendoodle Max. Outside of work Julie loves spending time with her family and friends and plays Cello as a member of Resa’s Pieces Strings Ensemble.
Elected to the Board: January 2023
Janet (Jan) Gillespie is Vice President of Marketing Operations at Ricoh North America. Leading teams across the U.S. and Canada, Jan is responsible for marketing and sales technology planning, and creating engaging new platforms for digital customer engagement, e-Commerce and customer self-service.
In this role, she also serves as a member of Ricoh Canada’s Executive Management Team, bringing more than 25 years of experience in both B2B and B2C marketing environments with expertise in brand management, marketing technology planning and delivery, and digital marketing.
Jan lives in Burlington, Ontario and when not working, she enjoys spending time with her family & friends, travelling adventures around the world, and yoga.
Marelize Konig is an audit partner at PwC Canada where she specializes in the energy, mining and utilities sector with a focus on listed companies and multinational engagements. Marelize started her career with PwC in Johannesburg, South Africa and also spent two years with PwC in Philadelphia, USA. She joined PwC Canada in 2009 and was admitted to partnership in 2015. Marelize is a frequent presenter at external seminars and workshops on accounting, governance and regulatory developments.
She is a regular instructor at the Directors Education Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors and Rotman School of Business. Marelize is a wife to Alan and a mom to two young boys.
Lorella is a strategic thinker and problem solver, skilled at critical and organizational analysis and structuring. Her experience includes founding, operating and managing a range of startup enterprises in various fields, acting as managing partner in a busy law practice, creating and chairing a variety of charitable and operational committees as president and board member in the arts, condominium management, and sports fields, and conceiving, initiating and managing organizational and operational solutions in a range of enterprises.
A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and called to the Ontario bar in 1988, Lorella has acted as counsel to a wide range of financial institutions, organizations and individuals, and has been a frequent speaker at seminars in the trust, banking and real estate sectors.
Lorella believes in fostering cooperation, accessibility and collaboration as a way to finding practical and effective solutions to challenges faced by her clients and the organizations in which she participates.
Gaby has over 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry working across Canada, the US and globally. In his role as Vice President and General Manager of Alexion Canada, he is responsible for all aspects of the commercial organization in Canada with the goal of transforming the lives of people affected by rare diseases.
Gaby came to Alexion Canada after establishing and leading the Global Commercial Function for one of AstraZeneca’s emerging oncology medicines. In that role, he was accountable for building Phase 3 clinical trial investment decisions, establishing the global strategic direction and engaging with markets in preparation for launch and positive patient outcomes.
During his 20 plus years with Alexion and AstraZeneca, Gaby has served in various sales, strategic marketing and leadership roles across the oncology, respiratory, cardiovascular and rare disease therapeutic areas.
Gaby holds Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Kinesiology and Bachelor of Arts in Economics degrees from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.