Food Allergy Canada has a dedicated team and a committed Board of Directors and medical advisors. Many of our staff and directors have severe allergies themselves, or have children with potentially life-threatening allergies.
Laurie Harada, Executive Director
As the Executive Director of Food Allergy Canada since 2003, Laurie is recognized within the international community as a leading advocate for people living with food allergies and their families. As the mother of two children, including one with multiple food allergies, she has first-hand knowledge of the daily challenges, and shares her practical tips and advice in her “Hot Topics” column in Allergic Living magazine. Laurie acted as the project lead on the development of guidelines for schools – Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings – and has been a co-investigator on several quality of life studies. In 2012, Laurie received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her commitment to the community. The award recognized her contribution in galvanizing public and political support for two landmark public policy initiatives: the adoption of Sabrina’s Law, Ontario legislation that has led to similar laws in several other provinces protecting children at risk of anaphylaxis in schools and the passing of comprehensive federal food labelling regulations that make it easier for consumers to identify allergens in ingredient listings. Prior to joining the organization, she worked in the financial sector for CIBC Bank in their Tokyo office and spent eleven years in various management roles at McCain Foods Limited. Laurie is a graduate of the University of Toronto and York University with degrees in education and languages.
Beatrice Povolo, Director, Advocacy & Media Relations
Beatrice began volunteering with us in 2005 as Chair of the Toronto Anaphylaxis Education Group, after one of her three children was diagnosed with peanut allergy. Her volunteer work created a deep understanding of the issues and the overall allergy community, and inspired her to join Food Allergy Canada in 2007. Bea has been engaged in many of our marketing and communications initiatives including our corporate partner program and liaising with media. She has also acted as project lead on many allergy-related issues within the community such as food labelling, airline travel, and media. As our Director, Advocacy & Media Relations, Beatrice will continue to liaise with media and spearhead many of our advocacy efforts. Prior to joining us, she was Director of Marketing and Product Development with Manulife Financial and held managerial positions with TD Canada Trust. She graduated from the University of Toronto, with an Honours BA in political science and economics.
Ranjit Dhanjal, Director of Marketing
Ranjit joined Food Allergy Canada in 2016 with a focus on engaging and growing our supporter base, ensuring families impacted by food allergies know about us and can get the support they need. Her career spans over twenty years in marketing in both the non-profit and profit sectors. She has led global projects with over 70 countries, been instrumental in various coalitions from introducing 10-digit dialling in Ontario to increasing the awareness nationally for humanitarian aid for developing countries, and has been passionately committed to increasing retention and acquisition in each organization she has been involved with. Ranjit has extensive expertise working in all aspects of marketing, including direct marketing, product marketing, branding, internal and external communications, and advertising. Her imagination and passion for others has no bounds, and she continues to explore life with uninhibited exuberance with her son and husband by her side. She graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Marketing.
Tammy White, Office Manager
Tammy became involved with Food Allergy Canada in 2001 as our organization’s first employee. Tammy coordinated the opening of our first office and currently oversees the daily operations of the business, managing the support staff, and working with volunteers nationally. Prior to joining Food Allergy Canada, Tammy worked in the financial sector for 12 years in various managerial positions. She is a graduate of Ryerson Polytechnic University with a certificate in Human Resources Management.
Laura Bantock RN, Director, Western Region
Laura Bantock is responsible for Food Allergy Canada’s western region, and is located in British Columbia. She provides regional support to the western provinces and territories. One of her key roles is to work with healthcare professionals to provide anaphylaxis training and resources. She is also the program lead and co-author for the Newly Diagnosed Support Centre, a resource and patient handbook for parents of children recently diagnosed food allergies. Laura is a Registered Nurse who has practiced in both the United Kingdom and in British Columbia. Her specific career interest has focused on child development and preventative health education. She is also the parent of a daughter with food allergies and asthma. Laura was a member of the BC Provincial Anaphylaxis Advisory Committee which was assigned to assist in the development of a provincial Anaphylactic and Child Safety Framework to outline provincial expectations with respect to managing anaphylaxis in the school setting, she also served on the BC Provincial Anaphylaxis Evaluation Committee and is a member of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Jane Holden, Member Services
Jane has been with Food Allergy Canada since 2012 providing online and phone support to the community, including parents, child care staff, and educators. With a passion for helping others, Jane has been especially supportive of parents in need of friendly advice and guidance on teaching children how to self-protect and working with others. Her years of experience working in child care centres as an Early Childcare Educator made her a natural for this role which she loves. Jane is a graduate of Herzing College with a Community Service Worker diploma. She has two adult daughters.