our team

Staff

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    Amanda Jodoin Executive Director
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    Brenda Agnew Volunteer Director, PAL
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    Phoebe Balshin Marketing and Communications Associate

Amanda Jodoin, Executive Director

Brenda Agnew, Volunteer Director, PAL

Brenda is the proud mother of two boys, Chase and Maclain. Her son Maclain has Athetoid Cerebral Palsy and profound hearing loss, and wears bi-lateral cochlear implants. Since receiving her son’s diagnosis, she has been tireless in her efforts to find the best therapies and treatments to help Maclain. As with many other parents of children with neurological disorders, Brenda was saddened by the lack of research and available medical resources in this area. Upon learning about THREE TO BE, Brenda knew she wanted to be a part of something that would make a huge difference in the lives of thousands of children like Maclain. Brenda is also determined to connect with and assist as many other families as possible while they navigate their journey through the special needs world. She hopes to continue to provide information, resources, advocacy, peer support, and to work on creating new initiatives for families who have a child with a neurological disorder. Prior to beginning this new life with Maclain, Brenda was a part of the corporate world for over 20 years with positions in customer service, business development, client management and operational support. She holds a B.A from the University of Western Ontario. Currently she resides in Burlington with her husband Graham and their 2 sons. She plans to bring forward her experience, knowledge and insight, along with a personal commitment in her volunteer role for THREE TO BE.

Phoebe Balshin, Marketing and Communications Associate

Board of Directors

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    Ron Soreanu Chairman
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    Jodi Frankfort Director
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    Dana Florence Founder and Director

Ron Soreanu, Chairman

Jodi Frankfort, Director

Jodi is the proud mother of two beautiful children.  She is very honoured to be a part of THREE TO BE and feels so blessed to have an opportunity to help change the lives of precious children. In Jodi’s earlier years, before she was a wife and mother, she was an Early Childhood Educator. This made her realize how much she enjoyed teaching and watching her students grow and develop. In 2000, Jodi left teaching to start her own family and dedicated more time to the family business. Jodi’s son and daughter reminds her every day about love, patience and acceptance. She is a mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend who strives to be the best she can be. Jodi wants to continue to give her heart and commitment to THREE TO BE and focus on making a difference in the lives of children who need our assistance. She looks forward to entering a new chapter in her life knowing that change is upon us.

Dana Florence, Founder and Director

Dana Florence is the mother of triplets Taylor, Cole and Brody, who are the inspiration behind THREE TO BE.  Before becoming a mother, Dana was a primary school teacher with a passion for helping children to reach their full potential.  When her own three children were diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Dana’s unwavering tenacity and optimism for the discovery of treatments for neurological disorders moved her to become an advocate both for her children and all others living with neurological disorders in Canada and around the world.  Dana is passionate about developing the foundation to advance research, education and therapies in this area.  Dana founded THREE TO BE with the intention to make a difference in the lives of many children.  Dana holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and a Bachelor of Education Degree from York University.  She lives with her incredible three children in Toronto, Ontario.

Advisors

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    Dr. Samuel Weiss Scientific Advisor
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    Dr. Golda Milo-Manson Scientific Advisor
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    Dr. Paige Terrien-Church Scientific Advisor
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    Dr. Cindi Morsehead Scientific Advisor
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    Dr. David Kaplan Scientific Advisor
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    Dr. Freda Miller Chief Scientific Advisor
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    Maureen Luther Pediatric Developmental Physiotherapy Advisor
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    Tema Stein Pediatric Therapy Advisor & Parent Advocate
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    Jordan Ash Innovation Advisor

Dr. Samuel Weiss, Scientific Advisor

Dr. Samuel Weiss is Professor and Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Scientist in the Departments of Cell Biology & Anatomy and Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine.  He is the inaugural Director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, whose mission is to translate innovative research and education into advances in neurological and mental health care.  In 1978, Dr. Weiss received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry at McGill University and in 1983 completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry (Specialization: Neurobiology) at the University of Calgary.  Following post‑doctoral fellowships (1983-1988), funded by AHFMR and the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC), at the Centre de Pharmacologie-Endocrinologie, Montpellier, France, and at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont. Dr. Weiss was appointed Assistant Professor and MRC Scholar at The University of Calgary in 1988.

Two major discoveries are the hallmarks of Dr. Weiss’ research career.  In 1985, together with Dr. Fritz Sladeczek, Dr. Weiss discovered the metabotropic glutamate receptor – now a major target for pharmaceutical research and development for neurological disease therapies.  In 1992, Dr. Weiss discovered neural stem cells in the brains of adult mammals.

This research has lead to new approaches for brain cell replacement and repair.  Dr. Weiss sits on numerous national and international peer review committees, has authored many publications, holds key patents in the neural stem cell field and has founded three biotechnology companies.  In 2002, Dr. Weiss was awarded the Foundation IPSEN (France) prize in Neuronal Plasticity, in 2004 he received the Canadian Federation of Biological Societies Presidents’ Award in Life Sciences Research, in 2008 he was named recipient of a Gairdner International Award “for his seminal discovery of adult neural stem cells in the mammalian brain and its importance in nerve cell regeneration”, in 2009 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2010 he received the CCNP Innovations in Neuropsychopharmacology Award. Dr. Weiss is looking forward to working with THREE TO BE and being a part of their scientific advisory board.

Dr. Golda Milo-Manson, Scientific Advisor

Dr. Golda Milo-Manson is the Vice-President of Medicine and Academic Affairs at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She is the Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee and is a member of the Quality Council of the Board and the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee. Dr. Milo-Manson is a developmental paediatrician and the Chair of the medical education committee at Bloorview Kids Rehab.  Dr. Milo-Manson and is also the former Director of the Developmental Pediatric Subspecialty Training Program at the University of Toronto, which is housed at Bloorview.  Dr. Milo-Manson’s commitment to education has put Bloorview Kids Rehab on the map as providing the largest training program in developmental pediatrics in Canada. Dr. Milo-Manson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto and is the recipient of several teaching awards, including the Circle of Honour Education Award in 2005 and the Gerstein Teaching Award in 1998. Dr. Milo-Manson is very proud to be the Rehabilitative Scientific Advisor for THREE TO BE and is thrilled to be a part of a Foundation that aims to help children with neurological disorders.

Dr. Paige Terrien-Church, Scientific Advisor

Dr. Paige Terrien Church is an assistant professor in the Department of Paediatrics and the Clinical Director of the Neonatal Follow Up Clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.  She holds triple certification with the American Board of Pediatrics in Pediatrics, Neonatology, and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics.  Dr. Church is the first pediatrician in North America to complete this unique combined fellowship training in Neonatology and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics.  Dr. Church practices as a clinical Neonatologist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and is the clinical director of the Neonatal Follow Up Clinic.  She is also a consulting Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician at Bloorview Kids Rehab in the Spina Bifida/Spinal Cord Injury Clinic.  Dr. Church’s area of interest is the long-term outcomes of children with neurological disorders and was the first recipient of the Sydney S. Gellis Young Physician Award for excellence in the care of children with complex medical conditions.  Dr. Church is honored to be a part of Three to Be as the Developmental Scientific Advisor and excited to participate in a Foundation dedicated to the improvement of lives for children with neurological disorders.

Dr. Cindi Morsehead, Scientific Advisor

Dr. David Kaplan, Scientific Advisor

David Kaplan received his BA from Clark University in Worcester, MA, in 1978, and his PhD from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA in 1987. His PhD thesis work with Dr. Thomas Roberts at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute identified and characterized the regulatory subunit of the signal transducing protein PI-3 kinase. Dr. Kaplan performed his post-doctoral studies from 1988-1990 at the University of California, San Francisco with Dr. Harold Varmus, identifying novel substrates that interact with growth factor receptors.

In 1990, Dr. Kaplan established a laboratory at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, MD where, in collaboration with Luis Parada’s laboratory, he identified Trk as the receptor for nerve growth factor. In 1996, Dr. Kaplan relocated his laboratory to the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill where he was a professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, research head of the Brain Tumour Research Centre, and William Feindel Chair in Neuro-oncology.

In 2002, he became a senior scientist and head of Cancer Research at The Hospital for Sick Children and professor, Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Cancer and Neuroscience. His laboratory focuses upon examining signal transduction processes in neurons and neural tumour cells. Dr. Kaplan is looking forward to working with THREE TO BE and their mission to help children with neurological disorders.

Dr. Freda Miller, Chief Scientific Advisor

Dr. Freda Miller is Senior Scientist in the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology program at The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, a professor at the University of Toronto, and holds the Canada Research Chair in Developmental Neurobiology. She has authored more than 100 scientific papers, reviews and book chapters and has 13 patents (issued and pending).

Dr. Miller is best known for her studies of neuronal stem cells and of neuronal growth, survival and apoptosis. Major findings from her lab have provided evidence that mammalian dermis contains a multipotent stem cell that can be isolated and purified, that the p75 neurotrophin receptor is apoptotic in neurons, and that a p53 family member, truncated p73, plays an essential anti-apoptotic role in the nervous system.

Dr. Miller is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Secretary-Elect of the American Society for Neurosciences, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Research Scholar. She obtained her PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Calgary in 1984 and completed her post-doctoral research at the Scripps Research Foundation with Dr. F.E. Bloom. She accepted her first faculty position as an Alberta Heritage Foundation Scholar at the University of Alberta. Five years later Dr. Miller moved to the Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University as the Coordinator for the Centre for Neuronal Survival. She has held her current position in Toronto for the last five years. Dr. Miller is also a founder of Aegera Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company based in Montreal and Ottawa.  Dr. Miller is very proud to be the Scientific Advisor for THREE TO BE and firmly believes in the therapeutic potential of stem cells for children with neurological disorders.

Maureen Luther, Pediatric Developmental Physiotherapy Advisor

Maureen has her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto and her Master of Arts in Special Education. She has received certification in several infant assessment tools as well Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) and is a member of the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC).

Maureen has worked with children with developmental challenges all her professional career. She is presently a paediatric physiotherapist in the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic and in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center.

She has delivered numerous oral and poster presentations on topics related to prematurity in particular developmentally appropriate care for the Extremely Low Birthweight (ELBW) infant including positioning and feeding in the NICU and in Neonatal Follow-up Clinic. Maureen has recently published an article and an interactive Teaching CD related to feeding in the NICU.

Maureen is very passionate about providing the best care and opportunities to families and children with disabilities. She is very honoured to have been asked to participate in the Three to Be Foundation as the Developmental Physiotherapy Advisor.

Tema Stein, Pediatric Therapy Advisor & Parent Advocate

Tema Stein graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Physical Therapy degree. She received her DO (MP) – Doctorate in Osteopathy Manual Practice in 2001. She has spent most of her professional career working with the pediatric population. She has completed courses in neuro-developmental therapy, including advanced and baby courses; lower extremity and foot courses; seating courses and other manual therapy course She has served on various professional government and public advocacy organizations. She has taught numerous courses/workshops across the country, for universities, other therapists, osteopathic students and general audiences. Tema has over thirty-five years experience as a practicing therapist and department head at major pediatric facilities in Toronto and Vancouver. She is a partner at Footprints Therapy, which she founded in 1988.  Footprints is the largest and one of the most highly respected private practices in Canada, providing PT, OT, osteopathy, massage therapy and naturopathy for babies, children, adolescents, and, now, adults with a broad spectrum of needs. Tema is very excited to be a part of the THREE TO BE team and is hopeful that this organization will make a significant difference in the lives of many children and their families.

Jordan Ash, Innovation Advisor

Jordan Ash is a co-founder of Noospheer, a database technology designed for cross-disciplinary collaboration over the web. Noospheer’s goal is to provide researchers, activists, government, industry and enthusiasts with an open source means of data sharing, discovery and creation. Jordan is committed to realizing THREE TO BE’s vision as an organization, which will break paradigms and find solutions for the neurological disorders that affects millions of children worldwide.  Being one of the uncles of the triplets who inspired the creation of THREE TO BE, Jordan is deeply committed to advancement of the Foundation’s mission. Jordan holds a BA in Recorded Arts from the School of Audio Engineering at Middlesex University, London.