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
Jean Nelson | Vice Chair  Ottawa, ON
Karen Gillespie | Treasurer  Vancouver, BC
Claudio Grossi Woodbridge, ON
Lucy Bonanno  Geraldton, ON
James Hanson  Victoria, BC
Garth Jerome  Toronto, ON
Dr. Nathalie Johnson Montréal, QC
Sarwar Azam Khan  Toronto, ON
Dr. John Kuruvilla  Toronto, ON
Barbara Pollock  Regina, SK
Sean Pieris Milton, ON

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.

Jean Nelson - Vice Chair
Ottawa, Ontario
Director of Governance and Legal Services, Canadian Medical Association

My currentrole is Director, Governance and Legal Services, Senior Legal Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer, Canadian Medical Association, providing advice to the CMA Board and CMA Staff in matters of corporate risk management and legal issues of interest to the association and membership. Topics include health law, privacy,and corporate governance. As Chief Privacy Officer for the CMA, I respond to inquiries and complaints from the membership and the public, provide staff training and contribute to CMA policy initiatives on privacy-related matters. Prior to this role, I was legal counsel with the Department of Justice, Indian Affairs and Northern Development. I obtained my civil and common law degrees from McGill University and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1998.

I am also on the Executive of the Canadian Bar Association, Privacy and Access to Information Section and Vice-Chair of the CBA Legislation and Law Reform Committee). In this capacity, I have contributed to CBA submissions to government and co-ordinated  CLE events (e.g public health information legislation, privacy in practice). I recently joined the Governance Committee of the Canadian National Institution for the Blind.

I am an avid cyclist, albeit on a cruiser style bike with the comfiest padded seat I could find!

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

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

Garth Jerome - Director
Toronto, Ontario
Planning and Development Consultant

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

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


Barbara Pollock - Director
Regina, Saskatchewan
Communications Consultant

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

Sean Pieris - Director
Milton, Ontario