Jordan Assaraf, Chair 

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.

Alexandra Piotti, Vice Chair

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.

Erik Joffe, Secretary

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.

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). 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.

Darrell Booker

Darrell began volunteering for BIST so that he could be involved with helping survivors from the ground up. As an owner of In-Trend Home Solutions, he works daily to assist those in their homes who have acquired an injury, either physically or mentally. He has a passion for designing and building, and has worked in this space for over 10 years. Darrell believes providing people with a new home or renovation is a rewarding feeling. In his free time he enjoys living an active lifestyle. You can usually find him after work biking along the lake or playing baseball. Darrell began his involvement with BIST in 2016 as committee member assisting with the annual golf tournament. He enjoys being part of the committee and working together with the other volunteers. He wanted to join the board to assist with growing the society and developing new ideas to raise awareness and funds for its many programs and services. One of his favourite quotes is ” Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

Jennifer Bowler

Jenn is a social worker with more than 12 years experience working with adolescents and adults with acquired brain injuries and their families.  She currently works as a clinical leader at Markham Stouffville Hospital where she is responsible for providing day-to-day supervision and operational support to over 100 staff members.  Prior to this role, Jenn worked for 11 years full-time at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with the majority of those years working in the Trauma Program, and she still works at Sunnybrook in a casual social work capacity. While full-time at Sunnybrook, Jenn was a member of the ABI Network Transitions Committee for several years. She has also been a regular promoter of BIST services/supports with her patients, families, and colleagues including being a volunteer on the 5K Run, Walk, and Roll Committee since 2017.  Based on Jenn’s experiences supporting ABI affected individuals and families in their hospital journeys and community transitions, she hopes that she can provide insights and advocate for support during the early phases of ABI.  She is also passionate about ABI education and prevention and looks forward to promoting awareness and safety strategies.Jenn spends her free time travelling, watching movies, playing tennis, and enjoying the Toronto restaurant scene.

Alison Foo 

Alison has been a member of BIST since 2013. She was previously on the Special Events Committee and currently writes for the “Mind Yourself with Alison” column on the BIST Blog. She’s dedicated to using her unique perspective, research and experience to help other brain injury survivors and their caregivers. She has a B.Sc.H. from Queen’s University, a M.Sc. from University of Toronto and a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. She worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 10 years and created the brand, Cooking with Alison, which offers social media marketing services. Her other interests include dogs, new experiences, and psychology. Her current daily mantras are, “good enough is good enough” and “I didn’t come this far to only come this far”.
 

Dr. Hiten Lad

Dr. Lad is a registered Clinical Psychologist with specialization in the practice of Clinical Neuropsychology for adults and seniors. He is listed with the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology and is the Practice Director and Owner at Lad & Associates. Dr. Lad previously held positions as a Clinical Neuropsychologist with the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Program at Hamilton Health Sciences and as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. He is also involved in research and has co-authored journal articles as well as a book chapter related to acquired brain injury. Dr. Lad also held a position as a clinical coordinator and training supervisor for the Canadian Psychology Association Accredited Neuropsychology Internship program at Hamilton Health Sciences. Furthermore, he worked as the clinical supervisor for rehabilitation therapists at the Acquired Brain Injury Community Services program at Hamilton Health Sciences. Prior to working with Hamilton Health Sciences, Dr. Lad worked in a multidisciplinary team at Toronto Western Hospital providing cognitive behavioural rehabilitation services for the treatment of chronic pain patients.

Dr. Carolyn Lemsky 

Dr. Carolyn Lemsky is a neuropsychologist with over 25 years of experience working in rehabilitation settings in the U.S. and Canada and has been the Clinical Director at CHIRS since 1998.  She is also the director of the Substance Use and Brain Injury Bridging Project (SUBI), a research and knowledge transfer initiative funded by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. Carolyn supervises an active clinical research program related to co-morbid mental health and problematic substance use and is a regular presenter at national and international conferences on brain injury.  She is hoping to bring her skills and expertise to the BIST board to help further awareness and advocacy efforts.Carolyn has a passion for working with people and loves the outdoors.  In her spare time, she volunteers with the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiiing, plays soccer and baseball and is an expert ‘green thumb.’

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.