Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto Staff
Pat Brown joined Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto as the charity’s Executive Director on October 15th, 2013 becoming the Chief Executive Officer in January, 2017. Pat is a high energy, strategic thought leader and team player with a diversified healthcare, business and community service background gained in hospital, large and small business and charitable organization environments. When Pat worked as the Manager, Patient and Family Support Program at the Odette Cancer Centre (OCC) at Sunnybrook Hospital, she served as OCC’s Psychosocial Oncology Provincial Lead at Cancer Care Ontario. Pat was an active participant on CCO committees/working groups playing a key role in developing the Guideline: ‘Psychosocial healthcare for cancer patients and their families: A framework to guide practice in Ontario and Guideline recommendations’. As Program Manager at Wellspring Cancer Foundation, Pat was involved in the development of innovative programming that responds to the social, psychological and informational needs of patients and their caregivers. Throughout her distinguished career in both the not for profit and private sectors, Pat has shown proven expertise in developing innovative solutions; coaching and inspiring individuals and teams; building and leveraging relationships to drive results. Her experience in sales, marketing, program and business development, operations, personnel and financial management are all welcomed skills at Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto.
Pat has a Registered Nursing degree and holds an Interprofessional Psychosocial Oncology: Theory and Practice certificate - IPODE Project, Dalhousie University and a certificate in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. Pat is also a proud member of Dragons Abreast, Toronto’s breast cancer survivor dragon boat team.
Lee is a professional fundraising, development and marketing expert with over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, leadership management, team building, fund development, marketing and campaign execution. A visionary leader and team player, Lee has a “relationship-first” management approach both with donors and colleagues. She also brings with her an entrepreneurial spirit and background. From 1996-2012, Lee was President of the company she founded, Rennick, Hoppe & Associates and Rennick Marketing Solutions (RHA-RMS), which was a full service consultancy firm. RHA-RMS delivered successful fund development services including strategic planning, individual giving, foundation appeals, corporate development, communication and social media campaigns for over 70 charitable and corporate organizations.
Lee’s exceptional skills, knowledge and experience will greatly enhance Gilda’s Club’s ability to ensure the charity’s long term sustainability and enable us to make a real difference in the lives of people living with cancer and their caregivers.
Katie has her Bachelor and Master in Social work. With almost a decade of experience in the industry, Katie has created, implemented and facilitated programming for people living with HIV/AIDS, children and youth who are taking on a care giving role and bereaved families. Her passion for social work has led her to assist students who are seeking practical experience in the field. She has been affiliated with Gilda's Club since 2013, when she began facilitating our Adult Bereavement Group. Katie has a wealth of experience and a passion for working with community organizations and supporting those who are coping with illness, and their caregivers.
Katie is also a Registered Yoga Instructor and believes in holistic and therapeutic programming that can support people in every stage of their journey.
Elana joined Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto as the Development Coordinator in April 2003. She completed her National Certificate in Fundraising Management at Ryerson University in 2003, and holds a B.A. in English and Communications from McGill University as well as a post-graduate certificate in Arts Management. Elana volunteered at The Hospital for Sick Children for 6 years and was a member of their Volunteer Advisory Committee. Before joining Gilda’s Club, she worked for 10 years in Music Publishing Agreements at the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). Elana was born and raised in Ottawa, and has 2 boys who were born in 2004 and 2007.
Emily Wittet graduated from Western University where she double majored in Media and Women’s Studies. Since graduating, her passion for art and the LGBTQ community has led her to working and volunteering for a variety of non-profits in coordination and administrative roles. In her spare time, Emily enjoys photography, writing, and petting every dog she sees. As a lifelong fan of Gilda Radner, Emily is delighted to join the team at Gilda’s and looks forward to working alongside our amazing volunteers.
Deb Aber has been involved in the care and treatment of oncology patients in both Canada and the United States for over 35 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY in 1973, and continued her studies in the Masters program at the University of Pittsburgh. Deb was one of the first nurses to join the Oncology Nursing Society upon its inception in 1974 while she was in private practice in Pittsburgh, and later received her OCN (Oncology Certified Nurse) designation in Advanced Practice. Since that time, she has worked for both private practitioners as well as major hospitals in Hartford, CT and Boston, MA (Dana Farber Institute). Her affiliation with Gilda's Club dates back to 2003, when she began as a volunteer, and she is currently the Adult Program Coordinator and the Facilitator for the Living with Cancer support group. Deb has always had a passion and creative flair for cooking, and has been able to combine her culinary skills with her knowledge of the needs of oncology patients into an educational experience. Viewing food as a healthy and positive component of living, Deb believes that nourishing the body also nourishes the soul- and that eating well is an essential part of living well. Her other passions in life include her family, ballet, needlework, and gardening.
Kim joined Gilda’s as bookkeeper/financial assistant under her company Bookkeeping by Squire in November 2011. She obtained her bookkeeping certificate from Centenial Colledge in January 2010. She obtained the title Certified Bookkeeper with the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping in May of 2015. She was born and bred a Scarborough girl and lives in her childhood home with her husband and 2 children.