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Introducing the Heart & Stroke Young Leaders Committee

Passionate volunteers are dedicated to raising awareness and funds
Eight members of Heart & Stroke Young Leaders Committee

Young Leaders members (from left): William Jones, Dr. Adam Kassam, Kristina McCaughey, Larissa Moscu, Charles Layton, Alice Lan, Jacqueline Martinz, Robert Saunders (absent: Dr. Vanessa Rambihar).

The next generation of philanthropic leaders are ready to make an impact now. Heart & Stroke in Ontario is proud to introduce the Young Leaders Committee, a team of passionate volunteers dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and stroke among their peers and to raising critical funds for breakthrough research. 

The committee brings together young professionals from different fields, all philanthropists eager to lead healthy lives and to help shape the future of Heart & Stroke.

Committee chair William Jones is a long-time Heart & Stroke spokesperson “I had cardiac arrest at the age of 17. Fortunately, a teacher was trained in CPR and saved my life,” William says. “We will help young professionals focus on prevention, share ideas, and lend support so Heart & Stroke remains a leader in research and advocacy.”

The committee is planning a variety of engaging events to be held in venues throughout Toronto in 2018. Young professionals will find opportunities to learn the latest exercise regimes, speak to renowned medical experts, explore apps for a healthy lifestyle and much more.

“I’m excited to see how much this group accomplishes,” said Avril Goffredo, CEO, Heart & Stroke, Ontario. “They have innovative ideas, plus the energy and connections to get things done.”

For more information about the Young Leaders Committee and upcoming events, send an email to


William Jones, chair: As a product manager at Panasonic, William has designed and developed products in the aerospace, medical device, and public safety industries. William survived an unexplained cardiac arrest at age 17 with the help of CPR and an AED. The experience led him to become a Heart & Stroke spokesperson. William enjoys golfing and cycling through Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. 

Charles Layton: Charles is a senior legal counsel at Ontario Power Generation. Prior to this role, he practiced competition and foreign investment review law for eight years at a large Canadian firm. Charles is passionate about healthy living and fitness. In his free time, he can be found playing hockey, cycling, or skiing one of Ontario’s steepest, most dangerous slopes. 

Jacqueline Martinz: Jacqueline is a communications associate at BMO Financial Group. She provides strategic communications counsel to senior business leaders and develops speeches and articles. As a freelance writer, her work has appeared in publications including Metro, University Affairs, and The Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report Card. She loves watching stage productions in Toronto’s entertainment district, and cheering on the Jays and Raptors. 

Larissa Moscu: Larissa is a litigator at a boutique litigation firm, Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb,  with a practice focused on complex commercial disputes and regulatory proceedings. She argues cases before all levels of court in Ontario, as well as specialized boards and tribunals. Larissa graduated in the top 2% of her class from York University’s Osgoode Hall law school, and was the gold medalist in political science at McGill University. As a former competitive gymnast, Larissa loves to exercise and strives to lead a healthy, active life. She also enjoys cooking meals for family and friends and is a voracious reader.

Allison Perlman: Allison practices law at Torys LLP and works on government-mandated infrastructure projects throughout North America. Her work includes the design, construction, finance and maintenance of hospitals, courthouses, fiber-optic networks and light rail transit systems. Allison grew up playing competitive sports and strongly believes in the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, fitness classes, travelling and cooking. 

Vanessa Rambihar: Vanessa is the associate program director for the University of Toronto’s Family Medicine Residency Program, and is a lecturer for its faculty of medicine. She is a staff physician and clinician educator at Women’s College Hospital. Vanessa was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community of young adults collaborating towards innovative change in their community. She is the co-founder of Global Heart Hour, which focuses Valentine’s Day on humanitarianism. Vanessa has been involved in research, outreach and community engagement events on heart health with a special emphasis on newcomers, females, and younger populations. Vanessa enjoys running half-marathons, playing soccer, yoga and baking. 

Robert Saunders: Robert is a consultant at Monitor Deloitte. His work focuses on strategy and business transformation for the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors. While finishing an undergraduate degree at Carleton University, Robert played varsity basketball. He remains an avid sports fan. Robert also enjoys traveling, music, and literature, especially the work of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Salinger.