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National Board of Directors

Our leadership team and employees across Canada are held accountable to a national volunteer board of directors. The board’s responsibilities include governance, leadership, public accountability, establishing our nation-wide priorities and acting as trustees on behalf of Canadians.

Call for board nominations

At Diabetes Canada’s 2021 National Annual General Meeting (NAGM), the Delegate members will elect Board Directors. Nominations may be submitted to the Governance & Nominations Committee for three available positions, each with a three-year term of office, by January 31, 2021. Attached for your consideration are the following documents:

Board of Director posting  

Expression of interest form

Diabetes Canada is currently looking for 3 Directors, three unique skill sets as outlined below:

  1. One with strong health care practitioner experience in diabetes
  2. One with significant volunteer and community engagement experience in the not-for-profit charity sector with a preference for direct experience with Diabetes organizations.
  3. One with scientific research experience in diabetes While Diabetes Canada is looking for Directors with these 3 different experience and backgrounds sets as expressed above, it is critical that the applicant demonstrate ability and experience in broad-based thinking and be able and willing to contribute to all aspects of DC Board work and responsibilities.

Interested candidates are requested to send the requested documents by January 31, 2021 to

After the deadline date, the Governance & Nominations Committee will meet to discuss the candidates, conduct interviews and present their recommendations to the Board of Directors. A proposed slate will be sent to the Delegates and the election will take place at the NAGM on April 10, 2021. Delegates are in the process of being elected or appointed in accordance with the Association’s by-laws. Thank you for your participation in this process.

Catherine M. Potechin

ICD.D, Board Chair (Mississauga, ON) 

Catherine M. Potechin has over thirty years of global business experience in the private healthcare sector specifically nutritional and pharmaceutical industries in various executive roles with Mead Johnson Nutrition and with Bristol Myers Squibb. Catherine has earned the ICD.D designation from Institute of Corporate Directors / Rotman-University of Toronto and has also completed the Governance Essentials for Not-For-Profit Organizations. She now serves on both for-profit and not- for-profit boards in Ontario as Board Director; Chair; Chair/Member of Governance and Nominating Committees, Compensation and HR Committees and Audit Committees. She is a member of all of the Diabetes Canada Board Committees and previously served as Board Secretary and Chair of the Governance & Nominations Committee.

Michael McMullen

ICD.D, Vice-Chair/Secretary & Chair, Governance & Nominations Committee (Winnipeg, MB) 

Michael McMullen has over 35 years of experience in business with extensive strategic planning expertise, deep knowledge and experience in the retail sector and expertise in operations management.

His work history includes time as the Chief Operating Officer/Executive Vice President (EVP) of Ashley Global Retail based in Tampa Bay; EVP for The NorthWest Company managing their 132 store Northern portfolio; leading WareHouse One: The Jean Store from bankruptcy to over 100 locations as CEO/President and one of three Division Managers for Ikea North America. Michael founded MCM Consulting Limited in 2013. MCM's client portfolio includes firms operating in the following sectors: Public Relations, the Internet of Things, Pharmacy Retail and Acquisitions, Human Resources, Municipal & Federal government agencies and a National Business Association.

Michael has travelled extensively across Canada, visited and conducted business in over 150 northern communities from coast to coast to coast in all of our Indigenous communities and nations. His portfolio included direct capital investment in northern communities, including the introduction of new stores and new concepts as well as conducting business in traditional segments of Indigenous trade.

He has served on the Board of Directors, the Executive and Chaired the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Michael is a Governor of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and in 2019 was honoured and inducted to CCC’s Emeritus Leadership Circle. He is a past Vice-Chair for the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce (2015-2019). Michael earned the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors and his MBA from The University of Western Ontario. He is Vice-Chair/Secretary of the Diabetes Canada Board and Chair of the Board’s Governance & Nominations Committee. Michael serves as Chair of the National Diabetes Trustee Corp. and is on the Boards of SickNot Weak Mental Health Foundation and First People's Economic Growth Fund.

Patricia Li

Treasurer & Chair, Audit, Investment & Risk Committee (Toronto, ON) 

Patricia Li is a graduate of the Ivey Business School, Western University, a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and an Institute-Certified Director (ICD.D). 

Patricia held a number of senior executive positions with the Government of Ontario as an Assistant Deputy Minister. She was an Assistant Deputy Minister within the Health Ministry for the last 10 years to provide emergency health services to all Ontarians and funding assistance for assistive devices and medical supplies to people with disabilities including managing the Ontario Health insurance program.

Prior to the health care portfolio, Patricia was responsible for delivering a diverse portfolio of front line government services and had led reform initiatives to improve many programs within Ontario. Her deep interest in promoting diversity and inclusivity led her to be actively involved in being an executive champion in mentorship and leadership programs within the Ontario Public Service.

She has a passion for board governance and has been an independent director in a number of organizations. She was previously a director with the Ontario Pension Board, a trustee with the OPSEU Pension Trust, and a commissioner with the Niagara Parks Commission. She is the Vice Chair of the Catholic Women’s Leadership Foundation and a member of its Audit and Finance Committee. At Diabetes Canada, she is Chair of the Audit, Investment & Risk Committee and a member of the Fund Development Committee.

Michael Coyle

Canning, NS 

Michael Coyle, JD, CPHR, is Principal Consultant with MVC Management Consulting based in Canning, Nova Scotia. Michael practiced employment, labour and human rights law for 30 years in the public, private and non-profit sectors. He is also a Charted Professional in Human Resources. He has worked extensively on both sides of the labour-management table. He served as Legal Counsel and Chief Negotiator for the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union for several years while, at other times, he represented management interests in healthcare labour relations. Michael was appointed Chair of the Nova Scotia Election Commission for a statutory 5-year term in 2009.

Michael’s previous board service includes the Annapolis Valley District Health Authority, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Annapolis Valley-Hants Community Action Program for Children, which he chaired for about 10 years. Michael is a member of the Diabetes Canada Board’s Compensation & HR Committee and is a Director on the National Diabetes Trustee Corp. Board.

Len Daniels

Chair, Compensation & Human Resources Committee (Regina, SK)

Len Daniels is Principal of Daniels Management Consulting (DMC) which began operation in 2014. DMC specializes in Human Resource and Management expertise and looks to help organizations that are looking to improve business results and utilize the talents of its most important assets, their people. 

Len’s career in Human Resources and Business Management began in the private sector which lasted close to 15 years. More recently, he worked in the public sector, for Commercial and Treasury Crown Corporations and Municipal government. Len has been fortunate to work in different HR sectors such as Agriculture, Call Centre, Insurance, Business Registry, Liquor, Gaming and more recently in Policing. These experiences have provided him with a range of experience in unique and diverse environments.

He holds a Degree in Administration from the University of Regina in partnership with the First Nations University of Canada along with a Chartered Professional of Human Resources (CPHR) designation. He is a proud member of the George Gordon First Nation. Len’s immediate and extended family have been impacted significantly by Diabetes along with his Indigenous community. Len is a strong advocate of his profession and he brings that same kind of focus to Diabetes Canada where he serves as Chair of the Board’s Compensation & HR Committee.   

Susan Doyle

Chair, Fund Development Committee (Ottawa, ON)

Susan Doyle is a Principal with SD Coaching, a Fund Development Coaching and Consulting Company that she co-founded in 2011 to develop much-needed capacity in the charitable sector.

Her career in fund development began at Carleton University where she became Assistant Vice President of Development and Alumni Services in 1997. From 2001 to 2011 she was CEO of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation where she successfully completed two major campaigns for the Hospital and Research Institute.

She holds a BA and B Ed from St. Mary’s University and an MA from Carleton University. Susan is passionate about the role that philanthropy can play in helping end Diabetes. She is the Chair of the Board’s Fund Development Committee a member of the Audit, Investment & Risk Committee.

Diane T. Finegood

Vancouver, BC 

Dr. Diane T. Finegood, PhD is a Professor and Fellow at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. Her academic career has spanned a broad range of disciplines and leadership experiences. She is currently the Executive Director of the Canadian Health Services and Policy Research Alliance. She served as President & CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (2012-2016) and inaugural Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (2000-2008).

Diane is also an internationally recognized academic with scholarly work in a range of disciplines and problems including the fundamental science of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, application of mathematical modeling to physiological systems, new models for population health science, cross sector partnership, and complex adaptive systems. She has published more than 140 peer reviewed papers and book chapters, received a total of $35 million in grants and awards. Diane has received numerous honors and awards for scientific excellence, leadership and mentorship including the Fredrick G Banting and Young Scientist Awards from Diabetes Canada. Diane also held many volunteer positions for Diabetes Canada including Co-chair of the first two annual professional conferences, Vice-Chair of the Clinical and Scientific Section and member of the National Research Council. She serves on the Diabetes Canada Board’s Fund Development Committee.

Shelley Jones

Moncton, NB 

Shelley Jones is a Registered Nurse, holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, is a Certified Facilitator for several educational programs around behavior, change and diabetes and is a Certified Diabetes Educator. She developed the Outreach Diabetes Care Manager position for the Moncton Area of Horizon Health Network in New Brunswick and, based on the success and evidence collected from this program, this role became a pillar of the New Brunswick Diabetes Strategy leading to the integration of Case Managers into Primary Care across all regions of the province. She has worked in a hospital setting, in primary care, and since 1999 the focus of her practice has involved diabetes self-management, education and support. She has worked in the diabetes education programs at both the Moncton Hospital and the Sackville Memorial Hospital, and has been involved with the planning and delivery of a provincial diabetes educator conference in New Brunswick since its inception in 2007. Shelley has also worked as a private consultant for many years as a speaker for Continuing Medical Education events, a member of various Industry Advisory Boards and Expert Review Panels, a study coordinator for several clinical trials in diabetes research and as a Medical Science Liaison at Sanofi. She is currently self-employed as a Consultant.

Shelley has been an active volunteer with the Professional Section of Diabetes Canada for over 15 years as a member of the Diabetes Educator Section South-East New Brunswick Chapter, (Chair from 2005-2013); a member of the DES Executive, (Director of Quality 2013-2015), (Chair-Elect 2015, Co-Chair -Elect 2016 for the combined Professional Section); and is currently serving as Past Co-Chair of the Professional Section. She has also been active in several local advocacy activities in New Brunswick, a member of the 2013 and 2018 Clinical Practice Guideline Dissemination & Implementation Committees and a past member of Diabetes Canada/CSEM Conference Planning Committees. In 2013 Shelley was awarded the Canadian Diabetes Association ‘Regional Outstanding Health Professional Award” for New Brunswick and in 2014 the Canadian Diabetes Association/Life Scan “Diabetes Educator of the Year Award”. She has served on the Board’s Governance & Nominations Committee and is currently a member of the Compensation & HR Committee.

Mark Lehman

CPA, CA (Toronto, ON) 

Mr. Lehman is an Audit Partner with KPMG based in Toronto, Ontario. Mr. Lehman specializes in Consumer and Industrial Market practice with public, private and multi-national companies. He is a seasoned finance professional with over 30 years experience in public accounting. 

Throughout his career, Mark has gained significant experience in many different Boardroom settings and has developed a strong understanding of Board Governance. Mark has served a variety of companies, large and small, including not- for-profit organizations and Family Foundations, as well as pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical, consumer goods, transportation, service sector and manufacturing companies. 

Mark has an understanding of the challenges in working with volunteer boards through personal volunteer experience, including religious and academic Boards and Advisory Boards. He is a member of Diabetes Canada’s Audit, Investment & Risk Committee and is a Director on the National Diabetes Trustee Corp. Board. 

Nafisa Merali 

Vancouver, BC 

Ms. Merali is the founder of Naz Pharmacy and Co-Founder of Wellness Pharmacy. The NAZ Wellness Group consists of several pharmacies in the lower mainland area of Vancouver. Since 1996 Ms. Merali has been a consulting pharmacist within the NAZ Wellness group and has served in a variety of capacities for the group. 

Currently Ms. Merali is a Regional Chapter Chair for Diabetes Canada. Since 2013 she has been a Certified Diabetes Educator and a Diabetes Case Manager. Additionally, her current engagements include being a patient advocate for People Living with Crohns and Colitis and a committee member for Fraser Health. She was previously on a working group for Vancouver Coastal Health. 

In 2018 Ms. Merali received the Charles Best Award that recognizes a health professional who has made a significant difference across Canada towards improving the quality of life for individuals living with diabetes. In 2016 Nafisa received the "Outstanding Health Care Professional Award" from the Vancouver Coastal Region CDA. She is serving as a member of Diabetes Canada’s Fund Development Committee.

Jimmy Mui

Ottawa, ON 

Jimmy Mui holds the position of Executive Vice President, Corporate Services, Chief Operating Officer and CFO at the Canadian Medical Association. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant, CPA, CA and holds a Master of Accounting degree from the University of Waterloo. 

He has held a variety of senior leadership roles across many diverse industries, including CFO at the Canadian Red Cross and Executive Director at the Ottawa Police Service. Jimmy has volunteered with several non-profit Boards during his career and is currently serving on the Finance and Audit Committee of the National Dental Examining Board. He is a member of the Diabetes Canada Board’s Audit, Investment & Risk Committee.

Verlyn Olson

Camrose, AB 

Verlyn Olson is the sole Partner of OlsonLaw. He practiced in Camrose, Alberta for over thirty years before entering politics in 2008. He served as MLA for Westaskiwin-Camrose. In 2011, he acted as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Then in mid-2012, he was appointed as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

After seven exhilarating years in politics, Verlyn returned to law. He wanted to focus his practice on assisting families transition their farms or small businesses to the next generation. With that vision in mind, he founded OlsonLaw in 2015.

Verlyn has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for some 37 years. In the spring of 2015, he had 2 Islet Cell Transplants at the University of Alberta Hospital and then had a 3rd one in early 2017. He and his family are very grateful for the very significant improvement this has made to his health. Verlyn is a member of the Diabetes Canada Board’s Governance & Nominations Committee.

Peter Senior

Edmonton, AB 

Dr. Peter Senior BMedSci (Hons), MBBS (Hons), PhD, FRCP, FRCP(E) is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Alberta. He is from the UK where he completed his specialist training in Diabetes and Endocrinology and received his PhD in 2002 before moving to Canada. His clinical and research interests focus on type 1 diabetes, islet transplantation, hypoglycemia and diabetic kidney disease. He is an investigator in a number of clinical trials in diabetes, is a popular speaker who has lectured in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and has authored more than 100 peer reviewed publications. Within Diabetes Canada he has served on the Professional Section Executive since 2010, the National Research Council, the Clinical Practice Guidelines Steering Committee and the Board’s Fund Development Committee. Currently he is Chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee, Past Co-Chair of the Professional Section and a member of the Board’s Governance & Nominations Committee.

Ellen Stensholt

Brentwood Bay, BC 

Ellen Stensholt was a lawyer for twenty-seven years with the Department of Justice. She was the Senior General Counsel at Public Works and Government Services for fourteen years, responsible for managing the provision of legal advice on public procurement and real property; before that she had been the General Counsel, International Trade Law, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, responsible for providing legal advice on international trade law.

Ellen has been involved in community activities both in Canada and abroad for many years. She began as a volunteer with Diabetes Canada in Ottawa in 2004 and continued to be involved with Diabetes Canada when she moved to Victoria in 2010. She is particularly interested in helping to educate Canadians about the serious effects of diabetes as her daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1993, when she was 21. Ellen was the Vancouver Island Regional Chair and the Chair of the Diabetes Canada Advocacy Council. Currently, she is the Co-Board & Council of Regions Liaison, a Member of the BC Public Advocacy Committee, Co-Chair of the National Awards Committee and a member of the Board’s Governance & Nominations Committee.

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