Formed in 2017, the Heart & Stroke Young Leaders is a passionate group of philanthropists. They connect young professionals to help shape the future of the organization, focus on prevention, and support life-saving research.
The Young Leaders Committee is the driving force for the group, responsible for developing the framework to accomplish their ambitious goals and organizing a variety of initiatives.
The Young Leaders have a VIP table and team at Ride for Heart that anyone in their 20s or 30s is able to join. Successful past events organized by the Committee include Yoga for Heart and Future of Health Technovation, which brought medical experts and digital innovators to downtown Toronto.
Meet Melissa and Jackie, and learn about what drove them to get involved and what’s in store for the upcoming year.
Connect with the Young Leaders
- Keep updated and informed with the Young Leaders through Facebook and Instagram
- Follow and connect with them on LinkedIn
Jacqueline Martinz, Chair
Jacqueline is a strategic communications professional working in the healthcare industry and a freelance writer. She has written articles on a variety of topics from education to sports for publications such as The Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report Card, Metro, University Affairs, and more. Jacqueline studied English Literature at Wilfrid Laurier University and completed post-graduate programs in public relations and journalism. She became passionate about raising funds for Heart & Stroke several years ago after her father had a heart attack and underwent cardiac surgery, which was successful. In her free time, Jacqueline enjoys cheering on the Raptors, exploring art and history museums, traveling, and staying active with her dog, Oliver.
Allison Tse, Vice-Chair
Allison is a product manager at Wealthsimple, a financial services technology company. Prior to this, she held various roles at CIBC and American Express in digital strategy and marketing. In her free time, she enjoys cycling, camping and skiing. Allison became passionate about raising awareness of stroke in young people after a series of personal experiences. Her father suffered a massive stroke in his early 40s, leaving him with aphasia (the inability to speak), and she experienced a minor stroke at the age of 29.
Nadia is a senior clinical research coordinator at the Sunnybrook Research Institute. She received a Master's degree in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto for her work developing novel methods of cardiac MRI. During this time, she had the privilege of witnessing firsthand many patients' experiences, which ultimately inspired her involvement with Heart & Stroke. Originally from northern Ontario, she is a passionate advocate for improved healthcare in rural and Indigenous communities. Nadia also enjoys cooking, skiing, and running, having completed one full marathon to date with hopes for many more in the future.
Lauren is a Registered Nurse and the Managing Director of marketed services programs at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Previously, she worked in health policy and system advocacy, and as a frontline emergency nurse, caring for those experiencing heart disease and stroke. She holds two Bachelor’s degrees in Biomedical Science (University of Guelph) and Nursing (McMaster University), and a Master’s of Health Administration (IHPME, University of Toronto). In her time off, Lauren enjoys keeping her mind and body active through cycling, riding her horse, reading, and learning new things.
Sabrina is the manager, corporate policy and planning for the TTC. She has a background in public service and stakeholder relations. Sabrina graduated from York University with a master’s in public policy, administration and law. In her free time, you can find her outside with her beloved French bulldog, with her head in a book or creating new, healthy dishes. Sabrina lost her father to complications from heart disease. Since then, she has been a long-standing volunteer with Heart & Stroke, and is passionate about making heart health a priority on the public agenda.
Syed is an accounting & reporting professional in the financial and professional services sector. Through engagements in the non-profit space, he realized the importance of financial administration and regulatory affairs in the Canadian health landscape. With a history of cardiovascular illness in his family, Syed is passionate about creating social impact alongside fellow professionals. In his spare time, he enjoys travel and photography.
Andrew is a Financial Analyst at Meltwater, a media and social analytics platform. Andrew attended Western University, earning both a business degree at the Ivey Business School and a bachelor of medical science with honours specialization in biochemistry. His passion for Heart & Stroke research stems from his experience performing neurological research at Western University and losing his grandmother to heart complications at a young age. Andrew’s interests include playing the guitar and piano, tennis and running.
Michelle is the Director of Accounts & Creative Services at Creative Currency, sister agency of Enterprise Canada. She lost her father unexpectedly to a heart attack in 2017. Three of her grandparents also had experiences with heart complications, including her grandmother who overcame a quadruple bypass surgery and four other heart attacks before the fifth one took her life. These experiences pushed Michelle to become passionate about raising awareness of heart disease and advocating for healthy living. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, doing yoga and spending time with friends and family.
Lauren is a Strategy Director at Sid Lee, serving as the right hand to the managing partners of the creative agency. Lauren’s dad underwent a quadruple bypass in 2008. Thanks to her family’s knowledge of heart disease, they were able to get ahead of what could have been a different story. It was at this point Lauren realized their knowledge was a privilege — and sought to work with Heart & Stroke to help make this type of education accessible to all.
As a Vice President of Credit Solutions at Silicon Valley Bank, Karim is responsible for supporting Canada's most innovative companies, and plays an active role in giving back to the community through SVB's employee giving and volunteering programs. While completing his MBA at the Ivey Business School, he discovered his passion for the role that renewable energy plays in the development of emerging markets. With a family history of heart disease, Karim believes the work Heart & Stroke does is vital for the near and long-term health of our community. His other interests include fitness, soccer, cooking and travel.
Emily is an Associate Director of Investments with a global media agency, working on executing strategic media campaigns for a wide variety of clients. She has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dalhousie University and has recently completed her MBA at Ivey Business School. Emily is passionate about Heart & Stroke’s dedication to centering women and driving equity in heart and stroke research. She is honoured to continue her grandmother’s legacy, who has been a volunteer with Heart & Stroke over the past decade.
Daniel is a strategic brand marketer at Johnson & Johnson, deeply committed to solving some of the world’s largest healthcare challenges and holding an award-winning track record of achievement in addressing Skin Health inequities. Prior to this, Daniel worked across various marketing roles at PepsiCo and graduated from the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. In honour of his grandmother and the stroke that changed her life, Daniel is committed to supporting the Heart & Stroke Foundation in bringing about a world where a stroke diagnosis is void of pessimism. In his free time, Daniel enjoys hopelessly cheering for the Leafs, learning a little bit about everything on Reddit, and staying active with his Australian Shepherd Lizzy.
Bella is a creative mind living in a business world. With over a decade of experience in marketing, communications, brand, and business development, she currently is combining her unique skill set to produce new and exciting award-winning brands in the cannabis industry. With a commitment to sustainability, Bella executed a first-to-market vape recycling program across Canada, which garnered media attention from such outlets as Bloomberg BNN. Earlier in her career, she was founder and CEO of Missy Ink Magazine, a self-published quarterly available across Canada in Chapters Indigo. Embracing a life-work balance, Bella focuses her down-time around yoga, cooking, and spending time with her cats, partner, friends, and family.
Brittany is a criminal defence lawyer at Markson Law where she practices with a strong empathy for the needs of clients at critical junctures in their life. Brittany obtained her law degree at the University of Calgary and previously worked at a leading international law firm. She attended Queen’s University where she obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and Master of Arts in International Relations. In her free time, Brittany enjoys exploring new places, cooking for loved ones and spending time on the water. Her curiosity has led to experiences studying and working across Europe, the Middle East, United Kingdom and Southeast Asia. Brittany’s passion for advocacy led to her involvement with Heart & Stroke. She is focused on driving change and advocating for equity in women’s health, and traditionally underrepresented groups, as well as raising awareness for prevention in young people.
Charmain is a Community Engagement Manager working in politics for the Federal Government of Canada. She earned a Bachelor of Arts with honours from Brock University, where she majored in Women’s and Gender Studies and minored in Labour Studies. Additionally, she has a Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Humber College. In her free time she can be found at community events, attending concerts, going for a bike ride and trying out new foods and restaurants. Charmain’s involvement with Heart and Stroke started shortly after her grandfather passed away from a heart attack in 2018.
Valerie is a member of the corporate healthcare strategy team at Shoppers Drug Mart. She previously worked in management consulting where she helped to develop strategies for public sector healthcare organizations. With a background and interest in the intersection of healthcare and business, Valerie is passionate about improving the health of Canadians and believes that the work of Heart & Stroke is integral to supporting this mission.