Our Board of Directors

James M. Ellis - BSc., FCAM

Board Chair

Jim is the President and Managing Director of AdvanceStates Inc. He is a senior executive business optimization professional with particular expertise in organization change and transformation management, He knowledge and skills have been honed over the years in many projects both large and small, in technology and process deployments, in entrepreneurial and M&A projects and across a number of industry types. An inspirational leader, author, project collaborator and entrepreneur, his professional experience is in both the for-profit and non-profit organizations where he’s been a valuable contributor to both across North America and beyond.

Irwin Elman - BA, MoE

Board Secretary and Treasurer

Irwin is a teacher by training who brings an extensive background as a counsellor, youth worker, program manager, policy developer and youth advocate to Resilient Kids Canada. He has a master’s degree in education from the University of Toronto and has worked with equity seeking young people for over 35 years.  He was the Manager of a centre for youth preparing to leave the child welfare system, the Director of Service for an inner-city children’s mental health centre, Ontario's Child Advocate from 2008-2019 and is a Former President of the Canadian Council of Child Advocates. Having created innovative approaches for child advocates in Jamaica, Hungary and Japan, Irwin is known for his global advocacy on behalf of vulnerable children and youths.

James S, Gyurke - PhD

Board Secretary & Treasurer

James is the Head of Clinical Strategy and Business Development for Riverside Insights, the first commercial test publisher in the US.  In this role, he is responsible for global strategy, partnerships and acquisitions for the Riverside Clinical Product lines, including ImPACT Applications, the Woodcock-Johnson and the Battelle Developmental Inventory.  Previously, James was the CEO of ImPACT Applications Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Riverside Insights, the world leader in providing tools and training for the assessment of acquired brain injuries (concussions).  He has over 30-years of experience in Senior Executive roles with leading healthcare companies working in test development, enterprise implementation, business development and operations. Jim is also currently a Director of the Youth Opportunity Foundation that helps troubled teens become successful adults. As an executive member of the Children’s Home of Tampa, he set policy and strategic direction for the oldest not-for-profit organization serving the need of neglected and abused children. He also has served on the advisory board of the National Association of School Psychologists Minority Scholarship Fund.  He has participated on many technical and advisory review boards and committees. James has his Ph.D. in developmental psychology with a specialty in high-risk newborn development.

Jan Kasperski - RN, MHSc, CHE

Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Jan is recognized as the driving force behind Resilient Kids Canada and its focus on the best start in life for young children. Advocacy for the most vulnerable Canadians especially children, has been a focus of her extensive career as a clinician, an administrator, an educator, a researcher and a consultant. Jan is skilled in government, media and physician/healthcare professional relations and is known as a “connector” with an extensive provincial, national and international professional network. In addition to extensive hospital-based experiences, she has led two healthcare professional associations: the Ontario College of Family Physicians and the Ontario Psychological Association. In addition to a number of hospital Board positions, Jan has served on several on several not-for-profit  and serves as the patient/family advisors at the local, regional and provincial level. As a mentor, coach and life-long learning,  Jan is inspiring high school and university students to seek careers in our healthcare system. Jan’s broad-based experiences and her dedication to the well-being of kids and parents, caregivers and educators are key to the effectiveness of Resilient Kids Canada and in ensuring that our vision becomes a reality.

Jana (Arber) Bartley - RN, MBA, LNC

Board Member

Jana has extensive knowledge and experience in the healthcare field as a Registered Nurse working as a clinician, unit manager, patient relations consultant, and legal nurse consultant. It became apparent after reviewing hundreds of cases that there was a desperate need for healthcare navigation services. So, in 2013, she founded Integrity Healthcare Consultants, one of the first Canadian Healthcare Navigation companies. Working along side her team of highly educated professionals, she assists patients in navigating the complexities of today’s healthcare system. She also offers corporate clients with a realm of services including chronic disease management, occupational health and safety, mental health support, and overall workplace wellness. Since 2020 her team has been offering consultation on COVID-19 recovery and transition.

Raelynn Douglas - MBA, CHE

Board Member

Raelynn is the CEO of Raesoleil Consulting, an independent consulting firm that focuses on building resilient leaders.  She has 25+ years of senior leadership experience with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance and the Ontario healthcare system.  Raelynn completed a Global MBA in Health and Life Sciences, Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto, with the intent to tackle the Health Human Resource (HHR) crisis.  Her research confirmed that we can fundamentally transform our healthcare system if we improve the employee experience and create resilient leaders at all levels. Raelynn has designed resiliency programs and leadership workshops to create a league of resiliency champions across the healthcare system, to drive large systems savings, create a strong and sustainable workforce, and achieve excellent patient experiences.

Dina Kulik - MD, FRCPC, PEM

Board Member

Dina is a mother, pediatrician, and pediatric emergency medicine physician in Toronto, Canada. She is the founder of Kidcrew, a multidisciplinary clinic for children, providing a One Stop for Kids’ Health™. She is a leading child health media expert, providing information to parents and the public through television, radio, and print media and via her blog DrDina.ca and at Kidcrew.com. Above all, Dina’s greatest joy is her family and being the mom of four active, happy boys.

Beth Millard - BA, MA, PhD

Board Member

Beth is a Staff Sergeant with the York Regional Police and a part-time Instructor at Georgian College and Simon Fraser University. Having completed her PhD in Criminal Justice/Law and Public Policy with an emphasis on mental health, Beth recently was recently appointed as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Regina. Her vast experiences in policing, academia and research has given her the requisite skills to help lead administrative, operational and investigative police teams for optimal growth. She is nationally recognized for her passion for mental health that resulted in the creation of a Peer Support Unit at York Regional Police which is dedicated to police officers and their family's well-being. She continues her work in police wellness by collaborating with academics writing articles, book chapters and teaching at the post-secondary level. Beth has completed her PhD in Criminal Justice/Law and Public Policy with an emphasis on mental health. Beth is a proud Mom and the spouse of a Police Officer and the daughter of a retired OPP Officer.

Jelena Rakovac - BSc., B.Ed., OCT

Board Member

Jelana is a mother of two young children and is a biology, science, and social science teacher at the Toronto District School Board. Jelena came to Canada from Serbia at the age of 15. Since then, she has been running a music studio with her mom where she teaches piano. Jelena has organized over 30 concerts to share students' talents with family and friends. Through fun and play, she helps students build self-esteem and confidence, overcome the fear of public performance, and explore the joy of music making. Jelena also has worked with Dr. Eric Hoskins in his role as Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment and Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Francoise Raoult - BA, BoE

Board Member

Fran is an international educator having taught in Japan, Canada and China. Following her role in an international school in Japan, Fran returned to Canada and taught with the Toronto Board of Education prior to accepting a second international teaching role in China. Having worked with children for the last 15+ years, she is an advocate for educational reform to be more inclusive of mental health awareness and resources for school communities.

Jennifer Schipper - BA, MA

Board Member

Jennifer is a healthcare and life sciences communication strategist who is passionate about the power of communications and all that it can achieve – from shaping complex information into the arc of a compelling narrative to educating and engaging audiences, and inspiring action. Jennifer is the Founder and President of Arc Communications, a communications firm specializing in healthcare communications. Previously, she was the communications executive leader at two government healthcare agencies and a senior vice president at a North American communications agency.

Resilient Kids Canada

We do not provide mental health services.  If you require assistance, we recommend you contact:

Crisis Services Canada:  to help you to find distress centres and crisis organizations across Canada.  You can assess immediate help by calling 1-833-456-4566 (toll-free and available 24/7) or by Texting 45645 (4 pm – 12 am ET).

Kids Help Phone: available 24 hours a day for young people aged five (5) to twenty-nine (29).  Phone 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text Connect 686868.

Hope for Wellness Helpline: a 24/7 crisis counselling helpline for Indigenous people across Canada who are suffering from mental health issues. Contact them at 1-855-242-3310 or visit their chat line at www.hopeforwellness.ca

Resilient Kids Canada’s Registered Charity Number 718447477 RR 001

Land Acknowledgment: Our lands spanning from Lake Ontario to the Niagara Escarpment are steeped in the Indigenous History and Modern Traditions of the many Firsts Nations and Métis. The territory is mutually covered by the Dishwith One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy, the Ojibway and other allied Nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is part of the Tready Land and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit.