Introducing the Heart and Stroke Young Leaders Committee

The next generation of philanthropic leaders are ready to make an impact now.
runners during Ride for Heart event

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. 

Connect with the Young Leaders 

Keep updated and informed with the Young Leaders through FacebookLinkedIn or Instagram

Upcoming events
Stay tuned!


Meet the current Young Leaders committee

Melissa Hartwick

Melissa Hartwick, Chair 

Melissa is Director of Partnerships at Flashfood Inc., where she partners with grocers across North America to tackle the mounting problem of food waste. Her background is in business strategy, which she developed while working as a management consultant at Oliver Wyman and further honed through her experience at Element AI. Melissa graduated from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, where she was also Captain of the Women's Varsity Ringette Team. In her free time, she enjoys staying active and has completed two half marathons to date. Melissa has been passionate about raising awareness and funds for Heart & Stroke research after losing her dad to a heart attack in 2015.

Jackie Martinz

Jacqueline Martinz, Vice-chair

 Jacqueline is a public relations professional working in higher education. She enjoys freelance writing and has a background in journalism. Her articles have appeared in The Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report Card, Metro, University Affairs, The Toronto Star’s Speak Your Mind Blog,, and more. Jacqueline has been passionate about raising awareness and funds for Heart & Stroke research since her father had a heart attack several years ago. Fortunately, he recovered after surgery. In her spare time, she can be found exploring art galleries, watching a play in Toronto’s entertainment district, or cheering on the Raptors.

Adam Kassam

Adam Kassam

Adam is chief resident physician in the department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Western University. His background includes public health, global health, medical education, medical research and leadership. He graduated from Cornell University, obtained an MD from Dartmouth Medical School while also completing a master's in public health from Columbia University. His medical and professional interests include stroke rehabilitation, sports medicine, clinical research, medical education, public policy, media communications and entrepreneurship.

Alice Lan

Alice Lan

Alice is an engagement manager at Opencare, which promotes preventive healthcare by rewarding people for going to the dentist. She previously worked in KPMG's Digital Health consulting practice to help transform healthcare organizations by leveraging tech.  Outside of work, you can find her playing on an intramural sports team, cooking, or booking her next trip. Alice is involved in Heart & Stroke because she is passionate about standing up for women's heart and brain health equity, especially after she lost her grandmother to a sudden stroke. 

Lauren Libetti head shot

Lauren Libetti

Lauren is the Manager of Executive Projects at Sid Lee, serving as the right hand to the managing partners of the creative agency. She enjoys fitness classes, strolling Toronto’s neighbourhoods and trying out new plant-based recipes. Lauren’s dad underwent a quadruple bypass in 2008. Thanks to her family’s knowledge about 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 became interested in helping bridge these education gaps with Heart & Stroke.

Kristina head shot

Kristina McCaughey

 Kristina is the brand manager for Steam Whistle Brewing. She creates and executes brand plans for Toronto's iconic microbrewery. As her line of work is more on the indulgent side, she ensures that she has a solid balance with her health and fitness. She enjoys cycling, running, yoga and cooking. Her passion for cycling, and her family history have gotten her involved in the Heart & Stroke's Ride for Heart, and this passion continues to grow with her involvement with this committee. She's proudly from Montreal, enjoys discovering new music and travels to new places every chance she gets.

Ilana Richer

Ilana Richer

 Ilana is an Orthopaedic Surgery Pharmacist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She also serves on the clinical team at Passport Health Canada, acting as a drug information resource in travel medicine. Ilana lost her father suddenly, just days after what was thought to be a successful complex angioplasty. His long standing cardiac history, and her experience growing up with him requiring multiple cardiac surgeries, led her to become a passionate Heart & Stroke advocate. Ilana loves golden retrievers, and can’t wait to get one of her own.

Robert Saunders

Robert Saunders

Rob is a senior manager in Deloitte’s Toronto Office. His work focuses on strategy and business transformation for the power and utilities, mining and transportation sectors. Rob’s passion for work lies at the intersection of helping businesses in Canada create winning strategies that are fully actionable and catalyze transformations to improve the lives of their customers and employees. Rob cares deeply about the Heart & Stroke mission: to promote health, save lives and enhance recovery. This care is born out of personal connections and a strong conviction that technology will revolutionize the way we think about these diseases, and drastically reduce their impact in our lifetime.

Adrianne wai head shot

Adrienne Wai

Adrienne is a consultant on the Strategic Initiatives, Global Marketing team at Manulife. Previously, Adrienne worked on Manulife’s sponsorship team, focusing on brand activation, business development and employee engagement from concept to completion. She is an active volunteer involved with the Discovery Gallery at Royal Ontario Museum and a volunteer piano accompanist with young cello and violin students. Adrienne enjoys reading graphic novels, and gaming.

Life. We don't want you to miss it.