Wendy is a devoted wife, mom and grandmother. She is the passionate voice and driving force behind the National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED) which she founded in 2012.
Wendy was driven by the severe nature of her own daughter’s illness to create an organization that was focused on raising Awareness, Understanding and Action to counter the desperate situation facing individuals with Eating Disorders and their families in Canada.
Wendy was honoured as a CAMH Difference Maker – one of 150 Leading Canadians in Mental Health.
Lynne truly believes in Gandhi’s quote: “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” With her friend and business partner, Wendy, struggling daily to help her daughter cope with anorexia and bulimia, she encouraged Wendy to gather the troops and take action.
Lynne has honed her marketing, administrative and leadership skills over the course of a 25-year career serving companies such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, The Hospital for Sick Children, The Career Foundation, Shropshire Communications and her own charity, Seeds For Change, that grows healthy neighbourhoods through school and community gardens.
Patti is a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Psychotherapist. She is the founder of The Eating Disorders Clinic Inc, a community based, outpatient clinic for treatment of individuals and family struggling with Eating Disorders and has been treating Eating Disorders for almost 45 years.
She has been active in the community speaking out about Eating Disorders, facilitated groups at Sheena’s Place, and served on many committees and boards related to Eating Disorders. She has supervised numerous beginning therapists and mentored many young professionals.
She has many unpublished monographs relating to the practice of psychotherapy and treatment of Eating Disorders. She is a member in good standing with the College of Nurses of Ontario.
Lorne Bernstein is an active volunteer, having participated with a diverse range of not-for-profit organizations in a variety of roles from committee member to board chair and president. Celebrating 50 years with his life partner Barbara, together they have two children and have been blessed with two grandchildren.
Lorne comes to NIED through lived family experience and understands the challenges posed by society – from the lack of public awareness and support at all levels, to the personal impact on the family and caregivers alike.
Lorne has also experienced the joy that comes from commitment and hope in breaking through these same barriers.
Michelle has been working with NIED for just over a year, following a thirty-year career in the in the federal public service, where she held various leadership roles, primarily focusing on human resources, policy, and strategy development. Michelle comes to NIED through lived experience as the parent of a loved one who was impacted by an Eating Disorder. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of those suffering with this severe mental illness, and in the lives of those who care for them.
Michelle is a long-time community volunteer, and currently holds a board position with Restoring Hope Ministries in Ottawa.
Morris is a registered life member of The Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario.
A career businessman and previous owner of one of Canada’s largest jewellery manufacturing companies. He was elected Chairman of The Canadian Jewellery Association after heading up its Government Affairs committee which lobbied for and oversaw the elimination of the federal excise tax on jewellery. As well he has served as a board member of other associations and was a founding director and the first treasurer of The Diamond Bourse of Canada.
Morris is a devoted husband, father of three sons and grandfather of nine. He is excited to be given the opportunity to use his professional skill and experience to assist NIED in meeting its worthy objectives.
Mark is a Canadian lawyer and a former Canadian diplomat, serving on several non-profit boards. He provides legal, business, strategic and organisational advice to not-for-profits and charities.
Mark was called to the Ontario bar in 1984. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he served in the Canadian Foreign Service at the United Nations and the Canadian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
As a lawyer and executive, Mark has been involved in the management and reorganisation of several companies and not-for-profit organisations, having served as a senior executive and chair and board member. He has extensive experience in management, strategic planning, governance and organising businesses.
He serves on several boards in the Canadian Jewish Community as well as boards in the General community. Mark is a past President of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, and past President of ARZA Canada and past Chair of ARZENU. He currently serves as a Director of the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company.
Karen is a passionate educator who has worked as a high-school teacher, a K – 12 principal, and, most recently, with the B.C. Ministry
Karen’s dedication to causes connected to mental health and resilience stem from her professional experiences supporting children and youth, but even more importantly from her experience as a support and caregiver for her sister, Michelle Stewart, who lived with her Eating Disorder for more than 30 years before succumbing to organ failure in May 2014. Karen, along with Michelle’s partner, Kirk Mason, published a book of Michelle’s blog posts, Shell: One Woman’s Final Year After a Lifelong Struggle with Anorexia and Bulimia, the proceeds from which have supported organizations like NIED.
Karen remains dedicated to efforts to end the stigma associated with Eating Disorders and to support education and recovery for those with lived experience and their caregivers.
Francie is involved with numerous volunteer endeavours. She has over 30 years’ experience in communications and public relations, with her last engagement as the Director of Communications for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, and prior to that as a Communications Officer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Francie comes to NIED through lived experience with a family member. She is committed to inspiring change within Canada’s Eating Disorder landscape to improve outcomes for all those challenged by Eating Disorders.
Arielle is a passionate advocate and public policy professional. She is dedicated to raising awareness and creating a community of care and support for those suffering with eating disorders and their families.
As a long-time volunteer with NIED, Arielle is eager to cultivate and support and strong and active network or volunteers and advocates across the country.
Elissa Myers is an innovative and creative association executive, specializing in developing great leadership and clear strategic and tactical direction for associations. She most recently served as Executive Director, and ex-officio member of the Board of Directors, of the Academy for Eating Disorders in the United States, a global professional association committed to leadership in Eating Disorders research, education, treatment, and prevention. She is passionately committed to bringing to reality the Vision of global access to knowledge, research and best treatment practice for Eating Disorders for everyone, and to the fight to promote the use of empirical evidence in the treatment of Eating Disorders.
With 40+ years’ experience as a professional association executive, Elissa has specific experience in staff and volunteer development and leadership, strategic and tactical planning, membership development and retention, member benefits development and marketing, effective internal and external communications, advocacy and public & media relations. She is frequently called upon as a speaker/lecturer on association management, is the author, editor, and or publisher of numerous articles and publications.
Elissa has spent her career walking the talk on volunteering. Among her exceptional volunteer leadership positions, she has served as a member of the U.S.’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Partners Task Force, and as a member of the Joint Commission Task Force on in-patient Eating Disorder treatment.
Marlene provides a wealth of relevant and all-encompassing experience to the Steering Committee through her current work providing solution focused coaching and her previous work at LOFT Community Services, CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), volunteer experience at Sheena’s Place and as Vice President, Board of Directors for North York Women’s Shelter.
Marlene has worked with youth and adults with a range of mental health and addiction issues, has practical experience with client engagement, psychosocial assessments, counselling, case management, crisis management, and group work using solution focused coaching.
Her extensive network with other organizations specializing in mental illnesses, superb organizational skills and outgoing personality are incredible assets to NIED’s mission of generating awareness about Eating Disorders and propelling action and change.
Throughout her professional career, Denise has believed that building a better community starts with heart. Working in the volunteer sector has given her the ability to connect with her community and engage with her peers and stakeholders while doing her part for social/civic responsibility and action.
Denise been a leader in volunteer engagement for over 15 years because she believes in the power and compassion of the human heart and how it can change futures to make a difference.
For over 10 years, she has qualified for her Certification in Volunteer Resource Management (CVRM).
Denise had the privilege of working alongside amazing people while volunteering at Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto and currently at The LIFE Institute. She is very excited to put her heart and skills into helping NIED fulfill its mission and vision.
Diane is the Mental Health Champion at her workplace where she is central to all activities related to creating and maintaining wellness at work. Together with others, she developed a national peer support network at work. After leaving an active legal practice for 30 years, Diane is now a manager and member of a national tribunal.
Diane has just submitted a master’s thesis in psychology on the lived experience and effects on mothers who care for daughters with an Eating Disorder. She is passionate about helping NIED to develop and strengthen support for caregivers of family and friends with an Eating Disorder.
After graduating from the University of Toronto with a BA in Economics and minor in Commerce Blaise has held several positions in the investment industry. For the last 36 years, he has grown his Wealth Advisory business with the help of some remarkable Associates.
Blaise is committed to community service and has been active with organizations such as Toronto Big Brothers, Ontario Track3 Adaptive Ski Association, Minor League Hockey, and the Malamute Help League, an animal rescue association.
Blaise and his wife Danuta have lived experience with Eating Disorders supporting their daughter through her journey. He looks forward to combining his volunteer experiences and business development abilities to assist NEID with its goals and objectives.