With gratitude and appreciation, the ALS Society of Canada (ALS Canada) acknowledges the significant contributions of four Board members whose terms have come to an end. Thank you to Norma Beauchamp, Catherine Bélanger, Josette Melanson, and Jim Mitrakos for your leadership, insights, and dedication. 

Norma came to the volunteer Board three years ago bringing with her, her experience as the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Having held senior leadership experience in Canada and globally, including executive positions at Bayer Inc. and Sanofi Canada, Norma played an integral role in governance and recruitment. When asked what moved her to join the Board of Directors she shared that Tammy Moore, ALS Canada’s CEO, inspired her to join because of her passionate and caring nature. She is grateful for the ALS Canada experience and for the opportunity to learn more about ALS, the impact on families, and the need for innovative therapies. 

With a long history of community engagement and supporting various non-profit and charitable organizations, Catherine came to the Board in 2020 having been a champion for the ALS cause since 2015 when her late husband, the Hon. Mauril Bélanger was diagnosed with ALS shortly after being re-elected as MP for Ottawa—Vanier. Her time on the Board included work as part of the Advocacy Committee and supporting fundraising initiatives. Linking the immediate needs of the ALS community with ALS Canada’s long-term focus was something Catherine took great care in focusing on during her time with the Board. Having been an ALS caregiver, Catherine’s perspective and contributions to the Board have been invaluable.   

Josette, a strategic senior executive with cross-functional experience in finance and technology, contributed to the Board throughout her nine-year term in many ways including a previous role as Chair of the Board and Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee in addition to her work with the provincial ALS Societies. Josette is a decisive leader and brought with her an understanding for process that helped guide the Board in several decision-making opportunities. Her time with the Board included that of the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014. Joining the ALS Canada Board of Directors was a way for Josette to give back she says, “I learned how important developing a business strategy is and the alignment to operational plans.” And although she did not have a family member affected by ALS, she says, “I always focused our decisions on the person living with ALS and their caregivers. It’s been a rewarding experience to work with a professional organization and board.” 

With Jim’s CPA, CA experience he helped guide the organization in its financial processes, risk assessment and mitigation planning, and budgeting as part of the finance and audit committee. Jim joined the Board in September 2019 and brought with him his experience as the President and Chief Financial Officer of Modu-Loc Fence Rentals, LP. He came to the Board having known friends and work colleagues who had been touched by ALS. “I learned how truly committed and passionate the ALS Staff, Board, and volunteer community as a whole, are at living the notion of ‘ALS Doesn’t Stop Neither Will We,’” he says. “It was truly inspirational, driving me to want to do more and more to assist in doing all that I could, to change ALS forever.”  

Each of these departing Board members were influential in ensuring we continued to uphold our mission while always keeping the person living with ALS at the centre of our work. 

Thank you, Norma, Catherine, Josette, and Jim, for your many and varied contributions to create real and meaningful change for people affected by ALS. 

Posted in: Volunteers