Board Members

Board of Directors

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.

Sacha Kennedy | Vice President

Elected to Board: November 2017

Sacha is a strategic communications professional with over 17 years of experience in the health sector working with health care providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, researchers and non-profit organizations. Her experience includes product launches, corporate reputation, executive counsel, issues management, organizational change, employee communication, managing community partnerships and media relations. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two young children.

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.

Eric Clarke | Treasurer

Elected to Board: October 2017

Eric Clarke is a partner at PwC and specializes in the energy and utilities sector with a focus on listed companies and multinational engagements.

Eric joined PwC in Edmonton, Alberta in 1993 after graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. On obtaining his Chartered Accountant qualification in 1996, he transferred to the London, England office where he worked in the Firm’s assurance practice from 1996 to 2003. During this period, Eric also spent one year working in Paris. He returned to Canada in 2003 to join PwC in Toronto.

Eric is a frequent presenter at external seminars and workshops on accounting, governance and regulatory developments. He is a regular instructor at the Directors Education Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors and Rotman School of Business and also the Canadian Electricity Association Finance & Accounting Committee. Eric and his wife Jennifer have two children, Michael who is 14 years old and Hanna who is 11. 

Khalil Alfar

Elected to Board: March 2019

Khalil Alfar leads Microsoft Canada’s Azure Cloud Business. Khalil has been with Microsoft Canada for 15 years and held  various consulting, customer support management and marketing roles during this tenure. Prior to Microsoft, Khalil held various consulting and senior management roles in Banking, Insurance, Public Sector and Healthcare. He is technology veteran with over 25 years of experience in connecting technology to organizational success. Khalil is passionate about the potential that technology brings to enable everyone to realize their full potential and active in championing Canadian innovation. He is dedicated to lifelong learning and a graduate of the Applied Science and Engineering program at the University of Toronto.

Renee Blomme

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. 

Jennifer Briscoe

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.

Dave Dame

Elected to the Board: September 2019

Dave is a leadership coach, enterprise agile leader, and trainer with over 20 years of product management and leadership experience, which he leverages to drive large-scale transformation in complex organizations. Dave’s practice focuses on scaling change by building up high-performing teams through training & empowering workforces – over the course of his career he has trained over 600 professionals in product management, leadership, and agile delivery practices. He has worked with technology companies such as OpenText, PTC, and MCAP; in many cases improving delivery times by over 150%. Dave also spends a significant portion of his time coaching well-seasoned executives, and is very proud that he has played a role in the development of nearly 20 SVP-level and C-level executives. In his role as the Global Enterprise Agile leader at Scotiabank, Dave has built up an agile organization across 5 countries in North and South America with the goal of engaging technical and non-technical Scotiabankers across the organization to embrace agility and change.

Noela Fowler

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.

Judy Litwack-Goldman

Elected to Board: October 2017

Judy Litwack-Goldman is an independent consultant. She is well respected for her extensive experience in fundraising and philanthropy, and helping charities, non-profit organizations, corporations and family foundations find their focus and adapt to change. She has a B.A. in Commerce, and an MHSc in Health Administration from the University of Toronto. Since 1990, she has worked with dozens of clients in the health, arts, social service, education, and private sectors, including Safehaven.

Jennifer Lovrics

Elected to Board: June 2021

Jennifer is a Director of accounting at Oxford Properties where she oversees the reporting for the North American residential portfolio.  Prior to joining Oxford, Jennifer spent nine years in public accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  While at PwC, she provided audit and assurance services to large public and private companies with a focus on financial services, including private equity and pensions.  Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Honours) from Queen’s University and a CPA, CA designation with CPA Ontario.  During university, Jennifer spent a semester studying abroad in Budapest, Hungary.  Jennifer lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons.

Gaurav Singh

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.

Sandra Smith

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).

Julie Castle

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.

Janet Gillespie

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.