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Board of Directors

2023 – 2024

The Board of Directors is vested with the responsibility for carrying out the mission of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and overseeing its management and direction. The Board is responsible for planning and policy decisions, for financial stability, selection and evaluation of the CEO and for evaluating and monitoring the work of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. A Director’s primary role is to serve the best interests of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

Faith Davis, PhD, FACE, FCAHS

Faith Davis has over 40 years of experience as a cancer epidemiologist and is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta. She retired from her role as Vice-Dean of the School of Public Health in 2018 and transitioned her research projects, including leadership of the Brain Tumour Registry of Canada, to colleagues by December 2021.

Faith is the Chair of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada Board and serves on the Executive, Governance and Research Committees. She is passionate about supporting the goals of the Foundation and believes that the innovative, disciplined, and multipronged approach is critical for translating research into optimal care and support for patients and caregivers. She hopes that the Foundation’s efforts will help build a multidisciplinary network of professionals well prepared to ensure that the evolving understanding of brain tumours is translated to this underfunded and important research area in Canada.

Bill Walker

Bill Walker is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI), supporting a dedicated team of staff and volunteers and a membership of 230+ companies with a vision to drive and strengthen a thriving Canadian nuclear supply chain through innovation and leadership. Bill recently retired as MPP for the riding of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound after a 10-year tenure of public service.

As a Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada Board member Bill attends and participates in meetings of the Board of Directors, and the Advocacy and Fundraising Committees.

Bill’s interest and commitment to supporting BTFC is a way of giving back, as his son is a survivor of a brain tumour.

His philanthropic spirit extends beyond his role at BTFC, and he has volunteered in various roles with many charitable and not-for-profit organizations over his lifetime. He is also an amateur Auctioneer and a practicing Marriage Officiant, and an avid sports fan.

Dela Avle

Dela Avle is General Counsel at Bruce Power where he manages the legal and administrative staff in the Law Division.

He is a member of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s Board Governance Committee.

The basis for Dela’s involvement with BTFC is to be involved in an organization for which he can see tangible benefits to the community, and one that could benefit from his skills, experience, and time. He feels BTFC does amazing work in the critical area of support for brain tumours and is glad to be able to support its mission.

Russell Smith

Russell Smith is the Director of Internal Audit and Internal Control Compliance for City of Dreams Manila, where he relies on over 30 years of experience as a CPA, CGA to lead a professional team of auditors.

Russell first became involved with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in 2006 when his four-year-old daughter Sarah was diagnosed with a rare malignant Brain Tumour. After many adventures and ups and downs, Sarah died peacefully at home on March 1, 2011. Russell has remained involved with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada since then, volunteering in several roles over the years. In June 2019, Russell joined the Board of Directors and chairs the Finance Committee.

When not working or volunteering, Russell enjoys travelling with his wife of 30 years, Suzanne, and spending time with his daughter Jillian who attends Western University.

Daniel Mendelsohn, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Daniel Mendelsohn is a neurosurgeon at Lion’s Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, BC. In addition to his role as a Director on Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada Board of Directors, Danny sits on the BTFC Information, Support and Education Committee.

Danny became involved with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada as a result of his work. He performs brain tumour operations routinely and hopes that his involvement with BTFC can help to improve patients’ experiences with these challenging diagnoses.

Mary Lou Robertson, BA, BSW, RSW

Mary Lou Robertson is a registered social worker who has spent nearly 25 years helping people with complex diseases to navigate health care systems. Her experience spans outpatient work in oncology, mental health, geriatrics and neurology.

As a BTFC Board Member and member of the Advocacy Committee, Mary Lou contributes her perspective as a health care professional, and her vast knowledge of policies related to drug and treatment access in Canada. She is committed to simplifying access to care for patients in Canada, particularly those facing the unique challenges of a brain disease.

Mike Mutrey

Mike Mutrey is a marketing, business development, and corporate training professional living in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Mike’s professional background goes back 15 years with significant experience in the fields of event planning, hospitality training, client service, and developing and executing marketing strategies, plans, and campaigns for a diverse array of clients.

Mike initially became involved with BTFC’s marketing committee in 2022. He was inspired to reach out to the organization after his father passed away in late 2021 from the rare Gliosarcoma. Mike’s goal as a board member of the foundation is to help the organization continue to reach its goals of education, awareness, and support.

Arun Thomas

Arun Thomas is the Chief Information Officer at Dynacare. As an accomplished IT executive, Arun has a successful history of leading complex technology initiatives within the demands of large, national organizations.

Committed to giving back to the community, Arun is an active board member for BTFC where he also contributes as a member of the Finance Committee.

Arun is also a board member for Rapport Youth and Family Services, a not-for-profit social service organization that provides counselling and related support services to youth in Peel Region of Greater Toronto Area.

Rebecca Harrison

Rebecca Harrison, MD, is a medical neuro-oncologist at BC Cancer in Vancouver. Her clinical practice involves caring for patients with brain tumours and neurologic complications of cancer.

Rebecca has joined the BTFC board of directors because she believes that their promotion of research and advocacy in neuro-oncology is of great value in improving outcomes for patients and families affected by brain tumours.

Adam Lakusta

Adam Lakusta (he/him) is a Calgary-based lawyer at a Canadian intellectual property law firm. Adam is an active member of the Law Society of Alberta and obtained his post-secondary education in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.

Having been diagnosed with a Grade II brain tumour in 2014, the work of the BTFC is deeply personal to Adam. Adam is a proud participant of the annual Brain Tumour Walks and other BTFC initiatives. Adam’s education and experience of living across Western Canada provide him with a unique ability to contribute to the BTFC.

Sarah Ironside

Sarah Ironside is a Neuro-Oncologist with Horizon Health Network in Moncton, New Brunswick. She is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Neurology at Dalhousie University and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine (Neurology) at Memorial University. She earned her Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Biology and Psychology with high distinction followed by her Doctor of Medicine from Dalhousie University. Sarah completed her Neurology residency training at the University of Toronto and a two-year fellowship in Neuro-Oncology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, with funding as the first recipient of the Gord Downie Fellowship in Brain Oncology. She has authored and co-authored multiple peer-reviewed publications. She has a particular interest in tumour-related epilepsy, advanced neuro-imaging techniques, and research focused on improving outcomes and overcoming barriers to accessible care for brain tumour patients.