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
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.
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, TalentEgg.ca, 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.
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 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 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 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.
Daniel is the Co-Founder of CAARY Capital, a financial platform made by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. He graduated from Ryerson University with an MBA and is passionate about using technology to solve humanitarian efforts. An avid traveler, he’s been to more than 20+ countries, and believes that culture is an important factor in developing oneself as a leader. Daniel became even more passionate about raising awareness and funds for Heart & Stroke research after having personal connections affected several years ago.
Andre is a Product Manager driven by the potential technology has to improve people's lives and the health care system. He believes in working with products that can truly help people with experience in Electronic Health Records and Wearable Technology development. After his grandfather survived a heart attack, he realized the importance of organizations like Heart & Stroke which provide funding for life-saving research. In his spare time, Andre enjoys cycling, hiking, climbing, snowboarding, and attending concerts.
Sharon is a biomedical engineer working in data science at a large investment management fund. She focuses on using data science techniques to draw insights to make investment decisions. Sharon graduated from Engineering Science at the University of Toronto, where she led several clubs focused on professional development for students. For her undergraduate thesis, she worked with stroke patients for the development of a post-stroke recovery robot at Toronto Rehab. In her free time, she enjoys HIIT based activities, yoga, and running with the aspiration of hitting an Olympic triathlon. An avid traveler, she plans to visit 50 countries by age 50. Sharon has been passionate about raising awareness and funds for Heart & Stroke research since losing her father to a heart attack in 2016.