The ALS Society of Canada (ALS Canada) acknowledges with great admiration and gratitude the contributions of four members of the ALS Canada Board of Directors, whose terms are ending this year. Thank you, Laura Gay, Jude Groves, Patrick Nelson, and Dr. Michael Spivock, for your unwavering dedication, leadership, and guidance throughout your time with us.

Laura Gay

Bringing her expertise as a Chartered Professional Accountant and Partner at Stern Cohen Accountants, specializing in audit and tax guidance for non-profits and charitable organizations, Laura became an invaluable Board member since joining in 2017. In 2018, she was appointed Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, and we are grateful that she will continue in an advisory role. Her contributions were crucial during the challenging economic times throughout COVID-19 and as the organization continues to navigate a post-pandemic landscape.

Jude Groves

As a leader in health and safety within the transportation industry and serving as the Vice-President of Safety, Compliance, Injury Prevention, and Training for the Kenan Advantage Group, Jude brought his experience in leadership when he joined the organization in 2022. Jude’s commitment to community extends beyond his professional life; joining the organization was a meaningful way to honour his father who faced an ALS diagnosis and have an impact in supporting people affected by the disease and their families.

Patrick Nelson

Inspired by his mother’s legacy of volunteerism, who sadly passed away from ALS in 2014, Patrick brought his passion for advocacy to our Board in 2017, eventually serving as Chair from 2021 to 2022. As a Partner and Principal at Santis Health, his expertise in government relations and strategic communications has been pivotal in amplifying our advocacy efforts for equitable access to drugs and crucial funding for individuals and families affected by ALS. Patrick’s deep connection with the ALS community has profoundly influenced his commitment to our cause, driving meaningful change and support for those in need.

“Community events and advocacy days stand out the most, and I was privileged to meet our ALS community,” says Patrick. “Their courage and determination was always a stark reminder of why ALS Canada exists and why the work that we do is so important. Whether it be through research to end this disease, advocating for faster access to drugs, or making life easier for people living with ALS, this work is tremendously important.”

Dr. Michael (Mike) Spivock

Despite a background in public health and “having more degrees than a thermometer,” his father often teased, it was the feeling of helplessness while watching his father’s journey and tragically passing away from ALS in 2016 that inspired Michael to get involved with ALS Canada. Initially, joining as a member of the ALS Community Services Advisory Council in 2017 and eventually the Board in 2018. With an 18-year career in public service with the Canadian Federal Government, he has successfully engaged his colleagues in building awareness and leveraging employee giving programs to raise funds for the organization. Additionally, he has been involved in rallying MPPs to garner support for the Provincial ALS Program in Ontario.

“The ALS Day of Action at Queen’s Park in February 2024 was a highlight for me,” says Michael. “Not only was it a monumental day to be involved in, but it represented how far the organization has matured in its advocacy efforts. Being a part of ALS Canada taking its rightful place at the table, arriving with a clear and realistic request, speaking to MPPs about it, and seeing their reactions – I had a sense that whether or not we received everything we were asking for, it was a watershed moment for the organization.”

These departing Board members have been influential in moving our organization forward while ensuring we continue to uphold our mission and keep the person living with ALS at the centre of our work.

Thank you, Laura, Jude, Patrick, and Michael, for contributing to a world free of ALS.

Posted in: Update, Volunteers