Canada’s Ballet JörgenBoard of Directors & Atlantic Advisory Board
Members of the Board of Directors
Mara L. Nickerson - Toronto
Read Mara's Biography
Mara has been Canada’s Ballet Jörgen Board Chair since November, 2012. Mara is also a member of the Executive Committee, Governance Committee, and Stewardship Committee.
Mara has been a dance enthusiast all of her life, with a particular love for ballet. Though never a dancer herself, she has spent many hours watching and nurturing her daughter’s dance activities in ballet and competitive Irish dance. Outside of Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, Mara is a lawyer, now the Chief Knowledge Officer at Osler, one of Canada’s leading law firms. She has a passion for innovation in law and brings that passion and her commercial and administrative experience to her role as Chair of Canada’s Ballet Jörgen.
Robert D. Brouwer - Toronto
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Rob Brouwer is the Vice Chair of KPMG Canada, and Regional Head of Markets, Americas. Rob has over 30 years of experience in a variety of leadership roles, as well as serving as a senior relationship partner for a wide range of public and private companies with operations in Canada and internationally, and in a range of industries. Rob is a member of the KPMG Americas Management Committee.
David Aylward - Oakville
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David T. Aylward is currently Senior Business Manager, General Counsel Group, Royal Bank of Canada.
Mr. Aylward joined RBC in October 1995 in the Trading and Market Risk unit and has had number of business and finance roles within the bank including the Corporate Treasury unit and the Controllers department. He became Senior Business Manager for the General Counsel Group in November 2004. Formerly, Mr. Aylward was CFO and Corporate Secretary of a British bank in Canada and prior to that was with KPMG in Toronto.
Mr. Aylward is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario and is a CPA CA. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Toronto and an MBA from Schulich School of Business where he currently volunteers in the graduate mentorship program.
Mr. Aylward is an active supporter in the charitable community and long-time supporter of the arts and diversity & inclusion initiatives.
Salvatore (Sal) Badali
Read Salvatore's Biography
Prior to joining Odgers Berndtson, Sal was a Director in the Strategy and Operations group of Deloitte & Touche and has a financial, strategic planning and governance background. He has worked on a range of projects within the private, public and voluntary sectors in Canada and around the world.
Sal holds an MBA from York University, a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for service to the community.
Sal is a Governor of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Director of Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, a former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the ROM, a past Chair of the Government Affairs Committee of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, and a former member of the Board of Directors of Canada’s National Ballet School.
Previously, he served on the Boards of the Sunnybrook Hospital, the Orthopaedic & Arthritic Hospital, and the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts.
In the spring of 2015 Sal was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Distinguished Service Award for Service to the Community.
Heather Baker - Toronto
Director and Chair of Finance & Audit Committee
Read Heather's Biography
Heather is an Audit Partner in KPMG’s banking practice. Since making partner in 1996, Heather has led engagement teams in providing services to a broad range of clients in KPMG’s Toronto Audit practice. As lead audit partner, Heather has ultimate responsibility for the delivery of all services to her clients. She currently is a Securities Partner, performs engagement quality control reviewing responsibilities and is on the Technical Topic team for employee benefits, supporting engagement teams in Toronto and across Canada. Heather is an experienced client service practitioner with over twenty years of experience as a partner. Heather is known for her collaborative approach in supporting others through her role as Securities and EQCR partner. She has recently been appointed to the Board of KPMG Canada where she also serves on the Partner Admissions, Acquisitions & Alliances and Nominating sub-committees.
Heather is also the mother of two teenagers, and sits on the Finance Committee of Sleeping Children Around the World. She previously served as Finance Director for Women In Food Industry Management and as Group Commissioner for a Toronto Scouting Group.
George Bothwell - Toronto
Read George's Biography
George Bothwell has spent a career leading brand strategies and building corporate reputations in North America and Europe. He has acted as the senior marketing and/or communications officer at Bank of Montreal, Barclays Bank and Atomic Energy of Canada. In these capacities he has led the customer, employee and market research functions.
He began his career in the Government of Canada where he was Departmental Assistant to the Minister of Industry, Trade & Commerce; Secretary to the Foreign Investment Review Agency; and Vice Consul and Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Consulate in Philadelphia. After leaving the Government of Canada he was Vice President of Communications and Environmental Affairs for Coca-Cola Canada and Director of Packaging for Coca-Cola Europe. He has managed marketing and communications programs in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. During his career he has lived in Ottawa, Toronto, Philadelphia, Brussels and London.
He currently runs a consulting practice focusing on marketing and communications issues.
George is a graduate of Carleton University and resides in Toronto, Canada.
Kevin Goldthorp - Toronto
Read Kevin's Biography
Kevin Goldthorp is President and Chief Development Officer at SickKids Foundation.
He is an accomplished and dynamic leader with a strong track record of managing successful, high-profile fundraising campaigns within the academic and health-care sectors.
Most recently, he was Chief Executive Officer, Sinai Health Foundation (formerly Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation) and Executive Vice President, Advancement & Marketing, Sinai Health System. In just over three years, Kevin raised an unprecedented $250 million for the Campaign to Renew Sinai, the largest campaign in their history.
Prior to joining Sinai, Kevin served as Vice-President, External Relations, at Western University where he drove a transformational campaign, re-branding strategy, aligned international foundations and launched a new International Advisory Board.
Prior to Western, he spent six years as Chief Executive Officer of the Sunnybrook Foundation where he completed the integration of separate foundations and launched a successful multi-hundred million dollar campaign.
Kevin graduated with an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Commerce from Trinity College at the University of Toronto. He has three children and is a Board member of Canada’s Ballet Jörgen.
Jane Cooke Lauder - Toronto
Director and Chair of Governance & Nominating Committee
Read Jane's Biography
Jane Cooke-Lauder serves on Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s Executive, Fund Development, and Governance Committees.
Jane is the founder and CEO of a niche consulting firm focused on strategy and governance in the not-for-profit sector. In addition, Jane teaches Change and Innovation in the Health Industry as part of the Schulich Business School’s MBA program as well as teaching and coaching physicians about leadership. It was Jane’s interest in leadership, innovation and collaborative business models that first drew her to Canada’s Ballet Jörgen and the opportunity to be part of a growing and highly entrepreneurial organization. She brings to the board her strategic and governance expertise as well as her curiosity about organization design and collaboration in the 21st Century.
Helene Vukovich - Toronto
Read Helene's Biography
With over 30 years of experience in the financial services and public sectors, Helene is a respected leader and subject matter expert in strategy, financial management , higher education and sustainability. Her operational and managerial experience was honed while working with leading investment management companies such as Mackenzie Financial Corporation and Fidelity Canada. Her experience in higher education strategy, including the design and delivery of post secondary educational programming, was gained during her role as Director and in turn Associate Dean for George Brown College. A 2017 graduate of the Master of Environment and Business at the University of Waterloo, she has been invited to speak on topics related to the intersection of Financial Services and Sustainability. She also mentors youth interested to build strong networks and join communities of practice related to environmental, social and economic sustainability. Passionate about supporting the performing arts, she is active as a musician, composer and video producer.
Kathy O'Brien - Toronto
Read Kathy's Biography
Kathy O’Brien is a founding partner with DDO Health Law, a boutique health law firm in Toronto. A corporate/commercial lawyer since 1994, Kathy works with clients in the health care and charitable sectors. She is well-versed in corporate governance, integrations and restructuring, and outsourcing, as well as regulatory, privacy, charitable and procurement issues. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers® of Canada 2008-2019 in the field of Health Care Law.
Luigi Ferrara - Toronto
Read Luigi's Biography
Luigi Ferrara is an architect, designer, educator and storyteller. He is the Dean of the Centre for Arts, Design & Information Technology at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada and Director of the internationally acclaimed Institute without Boundaries (IwB). He has served as President and Senator of Icsid and lectures around the world on topics as diverse as design and sustainability, design management, urban planning, information technology, digital media, telecommunications and the network society.
Trent Scherer - Toronto
Read Trent's Biography
Currently the Chair of Media and Performing Arts at George Brown College, Trent was one of the founding members and co-Artistic Directors for 3 Men of Sin Theatre Productions in Kamloops, BC directing such plays as Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Screwtape, The Beggar’s Opera, House, and Of the Fields, Lately and producing more than forty productions. Trent has taught at the secondary and post-secondary level over the years including Acting courses at Thompson Rivers University and Theatre History and Photography courses at George Brown College. Trent is an Equity Stage Manager and a member of ACTRA having stage managed for Cabaret Company, Western Canada Theatre, Sunshine Theatre, Theatre Non Nubis, Welcomewood, and Western Canada Theatre.
Read Alexandra's Biography
Alex Panousis is an executive at the forefront of digital media, technology and creativity. A culture leader and media/creative industry veteran, with over 20 years of experience leading high-growth, innovative and profitable agencies. Alex is the President and Chief Media Officer at Havas, and is the Community Director with TechTO and host of MarketingTO, one of the largest marketing and tech forums in Toronto. An executive advisor and board director to several organizations, a teacher at Humber College, Alex has held senior positions at the National Post, the CBC, Leo Burnett and Starcom Mediavest group.
Daisy Heung - Toronto
Guest, Director in Training
Read Daisy's Biography
Daisy Heung is currently the Coordinator at LEAP | Pecaut Centre for Social Impact. She brings over five years of experience in serving people from diverse walks of life within the social sector, including in arts and culture, youth development, education, health, and workforce development, and joins Canada’s Ballet Jörgen through G(irls)20’s Girls on Boards initiative. Daisy holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, post-graduate certificates in Human Resources Management and Teaching ESL from Seneca College and is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs Ontario.
Advisory to CEO
Alden Hadwen - Toronto
Read Alden's Biography
Alden Hadwen, Director of Community Engagement at Aimia, is responsible for all of Aimia’s corporate Social Responsibility in their Americas Region, including the Aeroplan Loyalty Program. In 2006 she oversaw the creation of Beyond Miles, the online donation program where Aeroplan Members can support 10 corporate not-for-profit partners as well as over 465 Canadian grassroots community causes by donating miles. In 2016 this donation program was renamed the Aeroplan Member Donation Program. Alden is also responsible for Aimia’s partnerships in the Arts, including the Aimia l AGO photography Prize and the corporate installation of artworks in their offices working with Arts institutions and involving employees. Her role includes corporate charitable giving, with an emphasis on skills based volunteering which has evolved as a key focus in Aimia’s community outreach program, especially through Data Philanthropy. Alden has worked with Aimia for 20 years, serves on the board of Ballet Jorgen, and is a published poet. She hosts a community radio show in Guelph, loves to garden and has 4 grandchildren.
Mara L. Nickerson
Robert D. Brouwer
Heather J. Baker
Fund Development Committee
Mara L. Nickerson
Government Relations Committee
Salvatore (Sal) Badali
Mara L. Nickerson
Finance & Audit Committee
Heather J. Baker
Governance & Nominating Committee
Mara L. Nickerson
Atlantic Advisory Board Members
The Atlantic Advisory Board provides Canada’s Ballet Jörgen with strategic advice relative to its hub strategy for Halifax and Atlantic Canada.
Janice Flemming - Halifax
Read Janice's Biography
Janice has been a member of Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s Atlantic Advisory Board since 2011.
For many years she was head and principal teacher of the Ballet School at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. Now she provides an annual scholarship for ballet. She is a Former Board Member of The Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company and currently an International Council Member. She is also a long time member and Honourary Director of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. At present, she provides them with an annual prize for dance.
Janice has previously served in governance roles with many arts organizations, including the Task Force for Arts and Culture for the Province of Nova Scotia, the Dance Committee at the Rebecca Cohn Arts Centre (Halifax), the Dancers in Transition Board (Toronto), the Encore Encore Board (Toronto) and the Board of Le Groupe de la Place Royale (Ottawa). She is also the former Chair of the Atlantic Ballet Company Board (Halifax) and a former Board Member of Dalhousie University and Mount Saint Vincent University.
candice prior - Halifax
Read candice's Biography
candice j prior has been a member of Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s Atlantic Advisory Board since its inception in July 2007.
She is currently teaching pilates, pole, aerial hoop, trx, and barre fitness at studio in essence in Halifax. She won the Canadian Masters Pole Championship in 2013, placed second in the 50 plus Masters World Pole Sport Championship in 2014 and placed second at the Canadian Nationals Master Division in 2014.
Although her training in dance has been in modern she has a love of ballet and thinks Canada’s Ballet Jörgen is doing a fabulous job of bringing the joy of dance to all.
Leila Kovacevic - Halifax
Read Leila's Biography
Leila has been a member of Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s Atlantic Advisory Board since 2009.
A former international dancer, performer and producer, for both stage and television, Leila also happens to be the only real estate agent member of the Canadian Employee Relocation Council within Nova Scotia.
Having over 15 years of success as a Fellow of the Real Estate Institute of Canada (FRI), a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) and a notable tenacity and dedication, Leila has not only achieved exceptional client service but also Keller Williams 2013 Silver Certificate.
When she’s not basking in the excitement of helping young couples buy their first home, or helping seniors transition comfortably into retirement, Leila is busy building a more inclusive community for us all, while also connecting youth and under-privileged individuals to the arts. A tireless board member of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, Ballet Jorgen Canada’s Atlantic Advisory Board and Dance Nova Scotia, Leila continues to contribute tremendously to promote sponsorships, offer scholarships to aspiring young artists, and to create initiatives that ensure more diverse engagement.
Leila injects her passion, commitment and values into everything she does, whether it’s real estate, social justice, fine arts or ballet.
Ed Ng - Halifax
Read Ed's Biography
Ed joined the Atlantic Advisory Board of Canada’s Ballet Jörgen in the summer of 2012.
Ed is a professor at Dalhousie University, where he holds the F.C. Manning Chair in Economics and Business. His work focuses on managing diversity for organizational competitiveness. He hopes to bring ballet and arts to diverse socioeconomic groups in Atlantic Canada.