Ryan Murray, Chair

Ryan is a partner at Oatley, Vigmond Personal Injury Lawyers LLP. Ryan has been representing people with traumatic brain injuries for nearly a decade. That experience has taught Ryan that a brain injury often has a lifelong impact on both the injured person and their family.

Raising awareness about brain injury and promoting injury prevention are two of the reasons that Ryan volunteers with BIST. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B.) and a Master of Laws degree (LL.M. – Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution) from Osgoode Hall Law School. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from York University. Ryan is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, the Advocates Society and the American Association for Justice (formerly American Trial Lawyers Association).

 

Kerry MacLean, Vice Chair

Kerry MacLean has been working with adults with Acquired Brain Injury for over 18 years. She is a Service Coordinator at Community Head Injury Resource Services (CHIRS), managing an outreach team that provides home and community support to adults living with ABI. Kerry is also the ABI System Navigator in the Central LHIN, and a member of Provincial ABI Network. In this role, she works to improve system access for individuals with ABI and their families. Kerry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare and has a background in addictions and mental health.

Outside of her work with ABI, Kerry is a busy mom of two boys, actively involved in her local community and enjoys pursuing her two other passions: painting and running.

 

Colleen Worsley, Secretary

Colleen is dedicated to raising awareness and building support systems for individuals living with acquired brain injury. (ABI) Colleen is currently working with Delisle Youth Services as a Community Resource Consultant as well as continuing to work on fund raising projects in the ABI community.

She has more than 15 years of experience in the social services field. She graduated from York University with a Specialized Honours Degree in Psychology, has a certificate in Nutrition and training in Behaviour Therapy techniques. Her continuing education involves conferences, seminars, and courses focusing on advances in the understanding and treatment of ABI and spinal cord injury.

 

Josh Himmel, Treasurer

Josh is a Senior Accountant at Lipton LLP, a mid-sized accounting firm. He has had extensive experience working with clients in the not-for-profit sector and has a strong background in the Accounting Standards for Not-for-Profit Organizations (ASNPO). Josh is hoping to apply his knowledge and expertise gained through his practices in the accounting field to the Treasurer role at BIST.

Additionally, as Josh has had a close relative suffer from ABI, he has seen the effect it has on the individual and their family members. Josh is looking forward to both raise awareness for brain injury and broaden the reach of BIST while using his professional experience in accounting to help ensure long-term growth from a financial perspective.

 

Michelle Diamond, Past Chair 

Michelle Diamond currently works with Functionability Rehabilitation Services as the Director of Case Management and Client Services.  She has worked in the field of Brain Injury for over 12 years.  She graduated with her Master’s Degree of Social Work from the University of Toronto in 2000 and began working at Toronto Rehab on the ABI service department in 2001.  Michelle was with Toronto Rehab for over 10 years in the capacity of Social Worker, Service Coordinator and was seconded for one year to the Toronto ABI Network as Project and Referral Coordinator.

Michelle continues to work directly with clients and families living with the effects of brain injury.  Michelle has been involved with BIST for many years as a volunteer on two committees; the BIAM Committee and was a founding member of the Run Committee.

 

Jordan Assaraf

Jordan Assaraf is a lawyer at Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers. By being involved in contact sports his entire life, Jordan has seen how traumatic brain injuries can occur and affect not only the person who acquired the injury, but their whole family. This has led Jordan to become the personal injury lawyer he is today, and has also led him to volunteer his time and raise awareness about brain injuries by joining BIST.

Jordan’s other volunteer experience includes leading his law firm’s team in the annual Wheelchair Relay Race and supporting the charitable organization THREE TO BE in their efforts to assist children with neurological disorders. Jordan is committed to raising public awareness about the effects of brain injuries on victims, their families and the broader public.

 

Asad Hussain

Asad is a family member of an individual who has an Acquired Brain Injury. He has been a member of BIST for a number of years and has volunteered and spoken at previous BIST Family Retreats and other Brain Injury Conferences.

He is currently employed at the Department of Justice as a Regional Director of Finance and holds an accounting designation (CMA-CPA) and MBA (Schulich School of Business).

Asad is looking forward to bringing both his personal and professional experience to the board and the members of BIST.

In his spare time he is the proud father of a 2-year-old and an avid sports enthusiast.

 

Erik Joffe

Erik Joffe was motivated to join BIST as a result of his experience growing up working at Camp Awakening, and later on in life, as a result of his experience working with clients suffering from traumatic brain injury.

Erik has been an Associate with Neinstein LLP since joining as a summer student in 2011. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at McGill University, where he obtained a double major in Political Science and Sociology and graduated with Distinction. He went on to graduate with a J.D. from Queen’s University Law School. While at Queen’s University, Erik was an active member of the Queen’s Law Journal, Clinical Correctional Program, and an Executive Producer of Queen’s Pro Bono Radio.

Erik is an avid traveler and spent half of his final year of law school on exchange in South Africa. He has backpacked through Nepal, Israel, South East Asia, South America and Europe. During his free time Erik also enjoys running, playing hockey and golfing.

Erik’s practice is devoted to all areas of Personal Injury litigation on behalf of plaintiffs, including motor vehicle accident claims, disability claims and Canadian Pension Plan, occupier’s liability claims, product liability claims, medical malpractice and accident benefit claims.

 

Rick Menassa

Rick brings 27 years of business development experience working for global and Canadian technology companies in Canada and across Europe. He is the President and co-founder of, iCare Home Health, a boutique home health care co. serving Halton, Peel and the GTA region; and iCare Navigator providing Patient Advocacy and Expert Opinion regarding standard of care for persons who suffered injury, serving Ontario.

Rick is also the VP, Marketing, Pharmaceutical Innovation Ltd., a start up and creator of the InteleChip. A device that will revolutionize medicine dispensing to patients with accessibility challenges.

Making a difference is an integral part of his DNA, Rick fundraised for several organizations and continues to participate in the annual Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart, the Healing Cycle Ride in support of Palliative care, and the annual Alzheimer Society fundraising campaigns in Halton and Peel.

Serving on the BIST Board compliments Rick’s passion to empower injured and aged to live with dignity and maintain the quality of life they deserve.

 

Celia Missios

 Celia Missios is the founder and author of the internationally read lifestyle blog High Heeled Life. Since 2010 she has been inspiring women worldwide with her journey of surviving what should have been a fatal accident, finding her “Joie de vivre” and creating a new life that fits the person she is today.

Celia has been a brain injury survivor for almost 9 years, and has volunteered with BIST as Peer Mentor; spoken at community meetings and is a regular editorial contributor to the blog. She is also a regular speaker for Canadian Blood Service’s – Speakers Bureau. Prior to her accident Celia had a successful corporate career as Business and Market Development for a local communications firm. And volunteered her time as Chair of Fundraising Committee for an East York homeless youth shelter.

Celia believes it’s not what happens to you that determines your future its how you chose to react to it. When she is not volunteering her time in the community and helping others create a healthy lifestyle that fits who they are today– she enjoys traveling; meditating; afternoon tea; self-care; yoga; writing; gardening; photography; and playing with her Yorkies, Dolce & Gabbana.

 

Alexandra Piotti

Alexandra Piotti is a private Case Manager/ Rehabilitation Consultant working with the catastrophically injured. Her areas of expertise include working with individuals who have sustained an acquired brain injury, have complex medical needs, mental health issues, dual diagnosis and the behaviourally challenged. Alex is an advocate for her clients, dedicated to helping to ensure the best environment for maximal recovery.

Alex has been a member of BIST since 2012 and currently is the Chair of the Awareness Committee.  As a member of the BIST Board, Alex hopes to bring her passion for people and service and hopes to find new ways cast a wider net to increase the presence of the Brain Injury Society of Toronto in our city.