About Us

Our Staff

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.

Jennifer Gerdts, Executive Director

Jennifer joined Food Allergy Canada in 2014 first as a volunteer board member, and then as board chair, before assuming the position of Executive Director in January 2018. Since joining the organization, Jennifer has been instrumental in crafting the strategic direction that maintains Food Allergy Canada’s foundation in providing medically reviewed education and support for individuals and families living with food allergies while elevating the focus on key advocacy issues.

Jennifer’s interest in food allergies is driven by the experience of raising twin boys who have multiple food allergies. Her sons started school the same year Sabrina’s Law was implemented (2005), Ontario legislation that protects children at risk of anaphylaxis. With this, Jennifer and her family experienced first-hand the benefits of the work of Food Allergy Canada, which advocated for the passing of this legislation.

Having spent 10 years in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble, and 15 years in consulting, helping large and small North American companies with strategy development, business planning, and organization effectiveness, Jennifer wanted to apply her business skills to help Food Allergy Canada. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary. Learn more about Jennifer by reading her personal introduction.

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, Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Engagement

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.

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.

Our Board Members

Our Healthcare Advisory Board