Board of Directors

As a registered charity, Lymphoma Canada is led by a volunteer board of directors drawn from the Canadian lymphoma community. Our board includes lymphoma patients and medical and research professionals. All members of our Board of Directors reside in Canada. 

Sharlene Smith | Chair  Victoria, BC
Claudio Grossi  | Vice Chair Woodbridge, ON 
Karen Gillespie | Treasurer  Vancouver, BC
Ryan Baxter Halifax, NS 
Lucy Bonanno  Geraldton, ON
James Hanson  Victoria, BC
Dr. Nathalie Johnson Montréal, QC
Sarwar Azam Khan  Toronto, ON
Dr. John Kuruvilla  Toronto, ON
Kathy Mannas  Richmond, BC 
Sean Pieris Milton, ON
Barbara Pollock  Regina, SK 

Honorary Governors 
Terry Creighton  
Nick Iozza 
Anawar Knight
Harold Olney 
Paul Weingarten  

Sharlene Smith - Chair
Victoria, British Columbia
Owner/Operator, CommPlan Canada 

Sharlene is the owner/operator of CommPlan Canada, a BC-based communication management consulting firm she established in 1997 after a 20-year career in communications, public relations and management in senior positions largely in the public sector in BC and Saskatchewan.  

Sharlene is a founding member of both the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University’s public relations programs, where she has taught hundreds of public relations practitioners from across Canada. She is a life member of the Canadian Public Relations Society, was inducted into its College of Fellows in 2003, and is a recipient of the Society's Lamp of Service - Canada's most coveted public relations honor for an individual member.

Sharlene has held governance positions with national, provincial and local organizations. She has been on the boards of nine public and voluntary sector organizations, serving as the lead director (Chair or President) on four of them. In addition to currently serving as chair of Lymphoma Canada, Sharlene is a director on the board of the Victoria Airport Authority - Canada's 10th busiest airport. 

She comes to Lymphoma Canada as a result of her husband of 35 years being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2013.

Claudio Grossi - Vice Chair 
Toronto, Ontario
Managing Director of Finance, 407 International Inc.

Karen Gillespie- Treasurer
Delta, British Columbia
Director of Finance and Administration - HFBC Housing Foundation

Ryan Baxter

Ryan Baxter - Director
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Lawyer, McInnes Cooper

Ryan’s legal practice is primarily focused in the areas of health law and the regulation of professions, extending to administrative law and litigation matters. He is a member of the Advocates’ Society, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and the Canadian Bar Association.

Lucy Bonanno - Director
Toronto, Ontario
Senior Director of Patient Care at Hotel Dieu Hospital

Lucy Bonanno was appointed CEO of the fully-accredited, progressive healthcare organization, Geraldton District Hospital (GDH). Encompassing direct operations with values based leadership style on Patient and Family Centered Care at a strategic and governance level with the Board of Directors, physicians, staff, volunteers, and community partners. GDH provides service for the amalgamated community of Greenstone, Ontario, which includes; Beardmore, Caramat, Longlac, Nakina, and surrounding First Nation populations.  Lucy is a compassionate and community-oriented Healthcare Executive with a track record in strong communications, partnership building and driving results. Her history offers 25 years of experience in Ontario healthcare institutions, emphasizing high morale through team collaboration in organizational structure, policy development and long-term strategic planning.  Proven record of implementing initiatives in client and community satisfaction, physician-management relations and improved access-to-care. Lucy is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and holds a MBA and a MA in Leadership, along with being a Certified Healthcare Executive (CHE) and a Certified Association Executive (CAE). She also sits on the NOSM (Northern Ontario School of Medicine) Board of Directors and the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) Small, Rural & Northern Leadership Council.

James Hanson - Director
Victoria, British Columbia
Vice President, Operations and Support Services, Island Health

Dr Nathalie Johnson - Director
Montréal, QC
Physician, Division of hematology, Jewish General Hospital


Sarwar Khan - Director
Toronto, Ontario
Assistant Controller EOS Canada Inc.

Dr. John Kuruvilla - Director
Toronto, Ontario

Kathy Mannas

Kathy Mannas - Director
Richmond, British Columbia

As a fundraising professional for over 30 years, Kathy has spearheaded a myriad of successful fundraising endeavours including corporate sponsorships, government and community grants, third party fundraisers and special events for three health charities.  Her work has incorporated a heavy marketing component that has included designing promotional materials, organizing stakeholder conferences, and participating in media interviews

In 1998 Kathy was among the first fundraisers in Canada to receive accreditation as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).  In 2002 she was appointed to the Greater Vancouver Board of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners where she served for six years.  In that capacity she founded and rapidly expanded one of the first LEAVE A LEGACY™ programs in Canada. Today this partnership of charities and professional advisors has expanded to regions across the country to create public awareness on the importance of leaving charitable bequests. 

Most recently, Kathy worked for 15 years as a senior gift planner, major gift fundraiser and capital campaign manager for The Salvation Army, Canada’s largest non-governmental social service organization.   

Sean Pieris - Director
Milton, Ontario


Barbara Pollock - Director
Regina, Saskatchewan
Communications Consultant