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
Allison Tse, 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.
Michelle Hann, Vice chair
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.
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.
Gillian is a project manager with Choosing Wisely Canada, the national voice for reducing unnecessary tests and treatments in Canada. Gillian has a background in health policy and implementation science, and has a master's in public health from Boston University. Gillian is looking forward to working with the Young Leaders Committee to help spread and scale their great work, and also as a way to honour her dad who passed away unexpectedly in 2022.
Bianca is an intermediate graphic designer for Plan International Canada. As a creative and provisional member of the RGD, Bianca is always keen on advocating for better accessibility practices, diversity, equity and inclusion, and bringing youth voices to the forefront of advocacy and decision making. She is passionate about designing with empathy. Her goal while being on this committee is to fuel action that leads to awareness for prevention and social change for the betterment of society. In her spare time, she likes to dabble in all sorts of creative hobbies, some which include miniatures, rug tufting and baking croissants.
Marc is a director of process engineering at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. He has earned a Bachelor in Commerce and Finance at the University of Toronto, and completed his Masters of Business Administration at the Schulich School of Business. He has had various family members and friends who have experienced strokes or heart conditions, which inspired his involvement with Heart & Stroke. He is Jamaican-Chinese, captains a softball team, and enjoys swimming, reading and cooking in his leisure time.
Emily is an Associate Director of Business Transformation with a leading global media agency, working on strategic initiatives across all facets of the business. 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.
Filip Potempski is the program manager for Bridge to Health Global and a clinical research analyst at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute with several years of experience in academic research and public health. Filip completed his Master of Public Health at Brock University and has published and presented on topics such as polypharmacy, cardiovascular health, and musculoskeletal rehabilitation. His work in both the public health and non-profit space, alongside his interest in community-based health promotion, drives his passion for contributing to Heart & Stroke’s mandate. In his free time, Fil enjoys mountain biking, skiing, spending time outdoors, and producing music.
Brittany is a commercial litigator at Babin Bessner Spry LLP where she acts for clients in a wide range of litigation matters involving commercial and shareholder disputes, securities and administrative law defence proceedings. Brittany obtained her law degree at the University of Calgary and previously worked as a criminal defence lawyer. 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 increased public access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
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.