Why give?


CEO brings an activist vision grounded in research

Yves Savoie sees an ambitious future for Heart & Stroke. In this wide-ranging interview he talks about his hopes and plans for transforming the health of Canadians.

Our board of directors 

A Cockwell

Chair: Andrew W. W. Cockwell (Toronto)

"Heart disease and stroke have a tremendous adverse impact on our population, my family included. I'm privileged to contribute to the work of Heart & Stroke to ensure better outcomes for all Canadians."

Andrew Cockwell is a managing partner for Ursataur Capital Management. Prior to this role he was a partner with ReichmannHauer Capital Partners, a Canadian middle market private equity firm.

Andrew was previously a management consultant at the global consultancy McKinsey & Company, where he was a member of their private equity practice and their corporate finance and strategy practice. Before joining McKinsey, Andrew practiced law at Sullivan & Cromwell in its mergers and acquisitions groups. 

Andrew holds a BA (Hons.) from Queen's University and an LL.B. with Great Distinction from the Faculty of Law at McGill University.

Rod McKay

Past chair: Rod McKay, FCA (Calgary)  

“I’m inspired by working with people who share a common passion to find a solution to heart disease and stroke. I have visited major research institutes and seen the amazing work Heart & Stroke supports. We live for the future.”

Rod McKay is chair of the board of Tourism Calgary and member of the board of the Calgary Sports Tourism Authority.  He is a fellow of the Chartered Accountants of Alberta.  In the six years ending March 2013, Rod was a member of the Alberta Securities Commission and lead independent member.  He serves on the board and audit committee of Fidelity Capital Structure Corporation and the board of the Institute of Corporate Directors – Calgary.  Until retirement in 2006, as a partner of KPMG, an international audit, tax and advisory firm, he held senior leadership positions in the firm in Canada and internationally. Rod has been active in numerous community based health services and cultural organizations for many years. 



Penny Ballem

Penny Ballem, MSc, MD, FRCP,FCAHS (Vancouver)

“As a senior government health policy decision-maker over many years, I have had the remarkable opportunity to work with Heart & Stroke, watching it evolve into the most coherent and effective agency in Canada, working for the heart and vascular health of our public. It is such a privilege to be able to serve on the board of this remarkable organization.”

For the last seven years, Dr. Penny Ballem served as the city manager of the City of Vancouver. During her tenure, Vancouver experienced a remarkable rise in its global brand built on the success of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the City’s innovative policy agenda in the area of sustainability, its comprehensive healthy city strategy and its innovation economy. Penny served on multiple boards including VANOC Canada, Canada Line, the Vancouver Board of Trade, EComm and the Street to Home Foundation.

Since graduating from UBC with her medical degree in 1978, Penny has had a diverse career in the health and government sector as a clinical professor of medicine, researcher and senior administrator in various academic institutions in British Columbia. 

In 2001 Penny was appointed deputy minister of health for the Province of BC and was one of the longest serving health deputy ministers in Canada (2001 – 2006). While deputy minister, Penny co-chaired the Federal/Provincial Territorial Conference of Deputy Ministers of Canada and served on a number of key boards including Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and as a member of Canada Health Infoway.




Denis Berthiaume

Denis Berthiaume, FCIA, FSA (Montreal) 

“I am honoured to contribute to the mission of Heart & Stroke. Helping Canadians live longer, healthier lives is essential for our future; Heart & Stroke is at the forefront of many initiatives that will help make that healthy future a reality. For many reasons, both personal and professional, I’m happy to be part of an organization that is leading the way in health promotion across the country."

Denis Berthiaume has been the president and chief operating officer of Desjardins Insurance since 2011 and also senior executive vice president and general manager, Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, of Desjardins Group. He oversees a team of nearly 6,000 people which is responsible for manufacturing life and health insurance and wealth management products, and their integrated distribution through the caisse network and through complementary channels for clients with specialized needs. They also oversee marketing to support the caisse network and back-office services. Denis is also director of NorthWest & Ethical Investments L.P and Fiera Capital Corporation. He graduated from Université Laval with a bachelor of actuarial studies. He is a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and of the Society of Actuaries. 

Andrew Claerhout

Andrew Claerhout, ICD.D (Toronto)  

“Heart & Stroke is an outstanding national charity with a clear and admirable mission, a distinguished management team and a diverse and supportive volunteer and donor base. Supporting Heart & Stroke is truly life-changing, as the lives of far too many Canadians are adversely impacted by heart disease and stroke.”

Andrew Claerhout leads Teachers' Infrastructure & Natural Resources Group. He is responsible for delivering long-term, predictable value and hedges against inflation by making direct investments in infrastructure on a global basis. Additionally, he is responsible for physical investments in natural resources, such as timberlands, oil and gas assets and farmland.

Andrew joined Ontario Teachers' in 2005 and has held positions of increasing responsibility culminating with his appointment as senior vice-president, infrastructure in 2013. Prior to that he was vice-president, private capital, where he managed the consumer, retail and industrial sectors. Andrew also previously headed Ontario Teachers' London office.

Andrew has extensive international experience having worked for Pacific Equity Partners in Australia and Bain & Company in Hong Kong before his involvement with Ontario Teachers' in the United Kingdom. Andrew is a member of the Heritage Resource Advisory Board, a director of Global Container Terminals, and serves on the boards of Ontario Airport Investments Limited and AndesCan. 

Andrew earned his HBA at the Ivey Business School at Western University, completed the Stanford Executive Program, and has an ICD.D certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Barry Cracower

Barry Cracower, MBA, ICD.D, (Toronto)

“Since retirement, I have been very active in our Foundation. Working with such dedicated and professional people for a cause that is so important to our society has been both rewarding and humbling.”

With an extensive career in marketing and sales in the retail sector, Barry Cracower brings business, entrepreneurial and consulting experience to Heart & Stroke. Founder and former president of Rexall Drug Stores, Barry is currently an active member of several for-profit (public and private) and not-for-profit boards, including Zast Foods, Dominion Citrus, The Baycrest Health Centre and as chair of DAREarts Foundation.

Barry joined the Heart & Stroke Ontario provincial board in 2004 and served as its chair from November 2010 for three years. A dedicated leadership volunteer, Barry held numerous positions with Heart & Stroke in Ontario including vice chair of the board, chair of the fundraising and marketing committee, chair of the board development committee, member of the lottery management advisory group and member of the Ontario community advisory group. In his national role, Barry was chair of the provincial chairs advisory group (PCAG).   

In June 2013, Barry was appointed chair of the Heart & Stroke Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, the leading research partnership in the world dedicated solely to stroke recovery, in which Heart &Stroke is a key stakeholder. Barry received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Tony Graham Award in 2013.

Barry graduated from Sir George Williams College (now Concordia University) with a B.Comm. He holds an MBA from Columbia University, and has completed his certified director designation with the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Thomas Feasby

Thomas Feasby, MD (Calgary)

“I have been interested in stroke since my early days of training with Dr. Henry Barnett who put stroke and Canada on the map through the first clinical trials in stroke. I was inspired by the work of Dr. Alastair Buchan who developed the Calgary Stroke Program into a world leader. Canada continues to lead the way with new advances in the prevention and treatment of stroke.”

Dr. Thomas Feasby is a professor of neurology and was the dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary from 2007 to 2012. Prior to that, he was an associate dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Alberta and vice-president academic at Capital Health in Edmonton.

Thomas is a graduate of the University of Manitoba who trained in neurology at Western University and did post-graduate training at the Institute of Neurology in the UK and at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica CA. He was head of the department of clinical neurosciences at the University of Calgary 1991 – 2002, where he founded the Calgary Stroke program in 1993. His research work has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and he has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers. He received an honorary degree from Western University in 2013 and the Medal for Distinguished Service from the Alberta Medical Association in 2014. He serves on the boards of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and on the advisory board of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health.

David Butler Jones

David Jones, MD, MHSc (Ottawa)  

“I have a family history of premature cardiovascular disease. My father had a stroke at age 52, and his father died at 49. Having had my own stroke at 58, I’ve realized how our approach to stroke and brain health lags behind our understanding, treatment and rehabilitation of cancer and heart disease. I’m excited to be able to contribute in a small way to addressing these challenges.”

Dr. David Jones was Canada’s first chief public health officer from 2004 to 2014. He headed the Public Health Agency of Canada which provides leadership on the government's efforts to protect and promote the health and safety of Canadians. A researcher in a broad range of public health issues, he is a professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Manitoba as well as a clinical professor with the department of community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine. From 1995 to 2002, David was chief medical health officer and executive director of the Population Health and Primary Health Services Branches for the Province of Saskatchewan. 

He has received honorary LLD degrees from York and Carleton Universities. In 2010, David was the recipient of the Robert Davies Defries Award, the highest honour of the Canadian Public Health Association. In 2014, he received the Canadian Medical Association’s Medal of Service, and the Public Health Agency of Canada announced the creation of a leadership award in public health in his honour.

John Kelleher

John Kelleher (Toronto)

“I feel very humbled to be joining such a tremendous group of leaders and such a special organization. Like many, heart disease has touched my life very personally. I am looking forward to doing my very best to advance our important mission”.

John Kelleher is a partner and in-house CEO/CXO in McKinsey’s turnaround unit that focuses on providing elite leadership talent to drive large-scale turnarounds. John is an experienced turnaround CEO & private equity executive who has driven multiple successful turnarounds across a range of industries. His specialty is corporate finance, financial modelling, private equity/mergers and acquisitions, and accounting. John’s career has been focused on private equity and leading complex corporate turnarounds. John’s core strength is his ability to combine investing skills and experience with his ability to lead people and execute as a CEO.

John co-chairs NEXT Canada, Canada’s leading program for entrepreneurial development. In this capacity, he works with some of Canada’s top business leaders to build disruptive startup companies that challenge large industries. He has served extensively as a director on for-profit and non-profit boards and has also been an active technology angel investor.  

John’s writing on corporate governance, corporate finance, and technology has been published in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Toronto Star, McKinsey Quarterly, and Director (the magazine of the Institute of Corporate Directors), among other publications.

He holds an Honours BA in business administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business where he graduated as Gold Medalist; an MA in public administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government; and an MBA from Harvard Business School where he graduated with distinction. 


Zaylin Lalji (Vancouver)  

“Heart & Stroke has taken on the challenge to change behaviour and shift our living paradigm to one of health promotion. With knowledge, commitment, and health, we as Canadians can do more for our families, our communities, and the world at large.”

Zaylin Lalji brings to the Heart & Stroke board extensive experience in business and the public sector as well as an active commitment to numerous philanthropic causes in Canada and abroad.

Thomas Marrie

Thomas Marrie, MD (Halifax)

“While much has been done to alleviate the burden of cardiovascular disease in Canada, much remains to be done. Heart & Stroke is an important member of the team, striving to achieve optimal cardiovascular health for all Canadians.”

Dr. Thomas Marrie served as 12th dean of medicine at Dalhousie University from 2009 to 2015. Prior to his appointment he was the dean of the University of Alberta’s faculty of medicine and dentistry. Thomas had a 22-year career at Dalhousie, where he work as a professor, researcher and clinician and founded the division of infectious diseases. His leadership on numerous national committees and boards includes terms as associate editor of “Physical Signs” for the American Journal of Medicine, president of the Canadian Association of Professors of Medicine, and president of the Canadian Infectious Disease Society. 

Thomas is a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. His many awards include a Master Clinician Lecturer Award (department of medicine, Dalhousie University), a Lifetime Achievement Award (Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of Canada), and an honourary doctorate (University of the Mediterranean, Marseille, France). He graduated from Dalhousie Medical School in 1970 and completed residencies in general medicine and infectious diseases.

Glenn Sauntry

Glenn Sauntry, B.Eng, MBA (Toronto)

Glenn Sauntry joined the Ontario provincial board in December 2014. He joined the investment subcommittee of the Heart & Stroke national board in 2015. A graduate of McGill University, Glenn is vice chair of BMO Capital Markets. Prior to his current position, he was a head of Bank of Montreal’s Canadian Corporate and Investment Banking Group. Glen has been at BMO or its successors for the last 22 years. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at Scotiabank.

Glenn has broad experience in advising boards of directors on a wide range of financial matters including mergers and acquisitions, financial strategy and capital raising. Glenn has also previously served on the board of directors of Burns Fry Limited and SP Finance Ltd. Glenn has been a consistent Heart & Stroke donor for the past 10 years and has been a keen supporter of Ride for Heart each year.

Portrait of Rebecca Schalm

Rebecca Schalm, PhD, ICD.D (North Vancouver)

“The mission of Heart & Stroke became very personal to our family when my father underwent heart surgery in 2011. I am honoured to serve an organization committed to improving the lives of so many Canadians."

Dr. Rebecca Schalm is founder & CEO of Strategic Talent Advisors Inc. She provides boards, management teams, and human resources executives with expert advice and innovative succession, development and talent management solutions. She has assisted organizations for over 20 years in building talent capability that enables business strategy.
Prior to founding Strategic Talent Advisors Inc. in 2014, Rebecca was senior vice president and chief human resources officer of Finning International Inc., a $7 billion public company and the world's largest Caterpillar sales and service organization. 

She is currently chair of the board of Vantage Point, an organization that provides leadership and governance education for not-for-profit leaders in British Columbia. She is also a director of PHS Community Services Society, an organization dedicated to providing housing, service and advocacy for poorly served members of Vancouver’s downtown east side and beyond. She is a former board member of OEM Remanufacturing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Finning International Inc.

In 2014, Rebecca was a candidate for Diversity 50 (Canada’s only national database of qualified, diverse candidates for corporate board appointments). She is a graduate of the ICD-Rotman Director Education Program and achieved her ICD.D designation in 2016.

She holds a PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Guelph.

Alison Twiner

Alison Twiner (Vancouver) 

“I have fond memories of canvassing my neighborhood for Heart & Stroke as a young girl, connecting with our community and sharing stories of heart health and stroke awareness. Knowing that access to information and early intervention vastly improves health outcomes, I look forward to connecting more Canadians through Heart & Stroke’s important cause.”

Alison Twiner is group director of global marketing solutions at Facebook Canada where, since 2010, she has worked with the team responsible for building strategic marketing relationships and delivering business solutions for Canada’s largest marketers and agencies. Throughout her career Alison has used her curiosity about communications, technology and media to deliver strategic and tactical solutions for companies building their businesses online. Prior to Facebook, Alison held a similar role building the business of Google Canada. She has a BA with distinction from McGill University.