Board of Directors
Patricia H. Southern, FCPA, FCA (Chair)
Pat Southern is a chartered accountant who has held executive financial and administrative positions, including Chief Financial Officer, in several professional services firms, and in public and private companies. Currently, Pat is Chief Financial Officer at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. Pat has served in volunteer senior leadership positions, as treasurer, director and chair of the board, with a variety of non-profit agencies, professional associations and Trent University, making her an essential asset to the Parachute Board of Directors.
Donna Wilson (Vice-chair)
Injury prevention has been an integral part of Donna Wilson’s roles throughout her 17 years as an executive in sectors like financial services, health, sport & entertainment and workplace regulation. Donna resides in British Columbia and is the Vice president, People, Performance & Lower Mainland Laboratories at the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). In this role Donna holds responsibility for executive human resources leadership across PHSA, Workforce Scheduling, PHSA Clinical Data Analytics, Lower Mainland consolidated public laboratories and the Provincial Infection Control Network of BC (PICNet). Donna came to PHSA from LifeLabs, Canada’s largest private laboratory company, where she was the senior vice president, people, community and strategy. As SVP, People, Donna led the development of culture and talent across LifeLabs. Prior to joining LifeLabs, Donna led five operational areas at WorksafeBC as VP, Industry Services and Sustainability. From 2005 to 2010, she was the Executive VP, Workforce and Sustainability at the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC). In addition to her responsibilities for hiring and training a large organization of full and part-time employees and some 25,000 volunteers, Donna played a key role in leading the development of VANOC’s organizational culture, strategic direction and project leadership oversight. Donna holds a B.A. Psychology from Simon Fraser University (1979), an Executive Certificate from Queens (2000) and is a Chartered Director (McMasters University).
Steve Podborski (President and Chief Executive Officer)
Steve went into his role to lead Parachute from his role as Director, Wellness and Sports at TELUS. His tenure at TELUS began in 2003, in a consulting capacity to provide services to the then nascent VANOC. This developed into Steve becoming Director, Strategic Initiatives (2004) leading a world class team operating sponsorship activations with organizations including Formula 1, TELUS World Skins Game, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Montreal Alouettes, Edmonton Eskimos, Alpine Canada Alpin, Canadian Soccer Association, Snowboard Canada and Hockey Canada. Steve then became Director, Community Affairs (2009) contributing to TELUS being recognized as the World’s Most Philanthropic Corporation in 2010. As part of his increasing responsibilities at TELUS, Steve helped manage a $40M per year portfolio of giving to charities across Canada while driving results for Canadian kids in two major sports and health education programs: HEROS and 60 Minute Kids Club.
Steve Podborski is a two-time Olympian and first North American male to win an Olympic medal in downhill skiing, capturing a bronze at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. In 1982, Steve became the first and still only non-European male to win the World Cup downhill title and credits much of his unprecedented success to his ‘Crazy Canuck’ teammates. Since that time he has worked as an Olympic TV sport announcer for NBC and CBS and was Director, International Affairs for the successful bid for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Steve is in four sports Halls of Fame and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Steve was the Assistant Chef de Mission for the Canadian Olympic Team for the 2010 Games, the most successful Canadian Olympic team in Games history with 14 gold medal performances. He was Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2014 Olympic team in Sochi.
Sylvio is CEO of Media City, an Outdoor media company with offices across Canada. His career in advertising/media extends over 25 years having worked for J. Walter Thompson and co-founding an advertising sales company, Media Alternatives, which was subsequently acquired by Media City. Over the years, Sylvio and his team have won several Media Innovation awards and established a reputation for creativity and launching numerous media “firsts”. He experienced first hand the impact of sports injuries when his son, playing AA hockey, received two severe concussions. His son passed away at the age of 16 years old and Sylvio was determined to make a difference for others through Parachute.
David Todd Deveau, P.Eng., MBA, BEDS
David is a professional engineer and Canadian Registered Safety Professional with over 20 years of management and executive experience in the private and public sectors. In 2018, David joined the Inland Group of Companies as group Vice President Environment Health and Safety. The Inland Group provides a comprehensive array of environmental and operational aviation services across North America and in Europe. Previous to this position, David was in a regulatory role as Regional Director of Occupational Health and Safety with the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education. David also previously served as the Vice President Safety Quality and Environment for Jazz Aviation LP (Chorus Aviation) and held an executive post with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice. His career has centered around process improvement, quality management and health and safety, David has specialized expertise in the design and implementation of safety management systems (SMS) and is an advocate for risk and evidence based approaches to reducing injuries and accidents. David is the former chair of the Safety Subcommittee of the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) and of the Safety Council of the US-based Regional Airline Association (RAA). He also served as Canada’s aviation industry representative on the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee. He has presented frequently at safety forums across North America, Europe and Asia, and is a champion of just culture as a backdrop to improving safety performance and outcomes. David holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, a bachelor of environmental design studies degree and a masters in business administration. David lives with his wife and daughter near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
David Dunford, MBA, MPhil, BSc
David Dunford is an executive team leader and management consultant with 20 years of experience in banking and consulting. His passion is in designing and implementing transformational programs that change behaviours and actions, and as a result produce new and exceptional outcomes.
David leads business management for the Channel Strategy & Integration group at CIBC. Prior to CIBC, David was a Managing Principal at Capco and the Vice President Commercial Banking at Bank of Montreal, where he was responsible for sales force effectiveness and customer experience.
David has an MBA from INSEAD (France), an MPhil from the University of Cambridge (UK), and a BSc (Mechanical Engineering) from Queen’s University. David is married, with two boys who love being active and have passionate interests in soccer, sailing, and water polo.
Peter is a Canadian football offensive lineman who is currently a free agent living in Hamilton. He was most recently a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2007 to 2016
In his current capacity as Treasurer of the Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) , which represents the professional football players in the CFL with the objective of establishing fair and reasonable working conditions for the players. Much of what players take for granted today has been earned through hard-fought negotiations with the C.F.L.
In 2012, Peter Dyakowski was crowned the champion of the CBC game show Canada’s Smartest Person. Since then the television show boasts that Peter has become one of their favourite Canadians, quoting “Not only has he helped to re-define what smart looks like, he’s a really nice, down to earth guy”.
In 2014, the CFL veteran finished third during an appearance on Jeopardy. He has a Mensa-level IQ and is among the league’s most thoughtful and articulate interviewees.
Outside of his ongoing football career, Peter has been involved in pro-reading programs and several other educational initiatives and is one of the owners of the Oxford Learning Centre in Hamilton. He is also co-owner of Glimmis Canada which produces and distributes/sells pedestrian safety reflectors.
Peter is passionate about injury prevention with a focus on concussion and will bring a new perspective to the Board.
Karen Kinnear is a senior healthcare leader with 25 years of healthcare experience, including 15 years of director level leadership and management in Paediatric Academic Health Care. An innovative, tenacious and values driven leader with financial acumen, business and strategic planning skills and results oriented, Karen has led and managed the operations of some of world’s best paediatric clinical programs.
Karen obtained her MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in 2004. She joined SickKids in 1990 as a staff nurse in the paediatric cancer program. In 2001, Karen was appointed as a Clinical Director and has held a variety of operational management portfolios across the organization. In 2011, Karen was promoted to Executive Director of Critical Care Services. In June 2014 she was appointed to the role of Vice President, Clinical where she is responsible for a $100M clinical enterprise and with an increased scope and mandate whereby she now has executive level responsibilities for Ambulatory Services, Clinical Informatics and Technology Assisted Programs and Business Development, in additional to her current portfolio in critical care services.
Karen lives in Whitby with her husband Dave and their two school aged children. An avid hockey mom, Karen’s passion for keeping kids safe extends beyond her work experience.
Bruce Robinson, CPA, CMA
Bruce Robinson has worked in the Canadian sport and the not-for-profit industry for nearly 30 years, serving in a variety of management positions and currently works as the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, the home of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team. He has worked previously in television and video production and health administration.
Bruce is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Certified Management Accountant legacy designation, a graduate of Queen’s University (Bachelor of Arts – Music History) in Kingston Ontario and attended the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education program at the University of Toronto.
As part of his sport related duties, Bruce is a Co-Chair of the National Sport Federation Winter Sport Caucus, a member of the Federal Provincial and Territorial Working Group on Concussion and Head Injuries in Sport and serves on the Finance, Audit, and Risk Management Committee of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Bruce volunteers his time as a member of the Board of Directors for Canadian Mental Health Association – Vancouver Fraser Branch, BC/Yukon Division, St. John Ambulance, both located in Vancouver, and Parachute Canada. He provides governance and strategic planning training and support to not-for-profits in the lower mainland as a Knowledge Philanthropist for Vantage Point. He has also worked with the business management and operations program at BCIT as a mentor to 2 year students in an individual and group capacity.
Outside of his work, Bruce enjoys reading historical fiction, reading and learning about leadership, corporate finance, risk management and performance management.
Dr. Charles Tator, CM, MD, PhD, FRCS
Dr. Charles Tator is a brain surgeon who founded ThinkFirst Canada in 1992 and was President until 2007. In 2012, Dr. Tator joined the Board of Parachute, after its amalgamation with ThinkFirst. He is a professor of neurosurgery at the Toronto Western Hospital and University of Toronto, where he has held two research chairs. He is also a neuroscientist with a brain and spinal cord regeneration laboratory and has a PhD in neuropathology. He has published many articles on injury prevention with a focus on prevention of brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
In 2008, the University of Toronto Press published his edited book Catastrophic Injuries in Sports and Recreation, Causes and Prevention – a Canadian Study. In 2009 he reported in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences that spinal cord injuries in hockey have declined as a result of injury prevention programs. In 2000 he received the Order of Canada and in 2009 he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. In 2010 he received lifetime achievement awards from the Canadian Neurosurgical Society and the Canadian Paraplegic Association. In 2011 he received a lifetime achievement award from the American Spinal Injury Association for contributions to the field of research and patient management in spinal cord injury. He received the USA hockey excellence in safety award in 2012 for his work in preventing brain and spinal cord injuries in hockey. He is Director of the Canadian Sport Concussion Project at the Toronto Western Hospital.
Alan Wainer, BComm, CPA, CA CPA (Illinois)
Alan Wainer is a partner in Crowe Soberman’s Audit & Advisory Group, is co-leader of the Healthcare Group, and has been with the firm since 1984. Alan regularly contributes articles typically on Estate Planning and Retirement Residences to the firm’s blog and to the media.
Alan subscribes to Isadore Sharp’s business philosophy, which states “profits are regarded not as an end in itself…but as a reward for providing true value to your customers, helping employees grow and behaving ethically as a corporate citizen.”
Alan’s passion for education and his heritage has translated into the causes he is involved in outside the office. Currently, in addition to the Parachute Board, he sits on the Holocaust Education Week Committee, is on the Board of Governors and a member of the Tour for Humanity Committee for the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, and is a volunteer reader in the Family Centre at SickKids Hospital.