June 20, 2022

RMHC Canada appoints five new members to its Board of Directors

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Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Canada is excited to announce the appointment of five new members to its Board of Directors. Together, their leadership, dedication and professional expertise will help RMHC better support its mission and vision across Canada – helping families with sick children stay close when it matters most.

On behalf of families with sick children across Canada, we are grateful for the generous partnership and leadership of this talented cohort of RMHC national mission champions.

Meet our newest Board members:

Michèle Boudria

Michèle Boudria, President & Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, is responsible for the business operations across more than 1,400 McDonald's restaurants from coast to coast to coast. As McDonald’s Canada’s first female President & CEO, Michèle started her career behind the front counter more than 35 years ago in Quebec. She is committed to using the organization’s scale to realize its purpose to feed and foster communities. Michèle previously served as Managing Director of McDonald’s Netherlands before returning home to lead the Canadian business in June 2022. Putting people first has always been a priority for Michèle. She is dedicated to giving back by supporting many charitable causes, including Ronald McDonald House Charities and local Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada and in the Netherlands.

“As a mother and long-time supporter of RMHC, I recognize the power that comes from keeping families together and supported through a network of care, when they need it most. When you support RMHC, you support thousands of Canadian families every year from coast to coast to coast.”

Gemma Pryor

Gemma is the Senior Director of the Canada Impact Team at McDonald’s Canada, responsible for strengthening and protecting McDonald’s reputation and license to operate across Canada. She also leads the work that brings McDonald’s purpose of feeding and fostering our communities to life to drive trust and business growth, which includes evolving the team to focus on Impact. Gemma brings over 15 years of experience in reputation management, including consultancy and big global brands.

“When I first visited a Ronald McDonald House I was in awe of the incredible impact the House, and the community within it, has on the families and children that call it home. It struck me that the label “House” doesn’t come close to doing justice to the amazing staff and volunteers that make the homes and rooms so very special. I am truly honoured to serve on the Board of Directors, and play even a small part in this frankly magical organization.”

Duane Ledgister

Duane has over 25 years of experience in the investment industry, working closely with high net worth & non-profit clients to address their unique needs and fulfill their expectations. Before joining CC&L Private Capital, Duane held roles at Barometer Capital Management and 1832 Asset Management.

Duane feels passionately about supporting his local community and has previously served on the foundation committee of Toronto’s Casey House and as a board member of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. Currently, in addition to his Board and Finance Committee roles at RMHC, Duane is a member of the Investment Committee of the Black Opportunity Fund and serves on the Advisory Board of WZMH Architects. 

Duane enjoys keeping active and travelling around the world whenever he has the opportunity. He is also passionate about collecting Canadian contemporary art. 

“Serving on the RMHC Canada Board allows me a way to make my small contribution to the positive outcomes for sick children and their families for years to come. I am thrilled to be a part of the Board.”

Katharine Smart

Dr. Katharine Smart is a pediatrician in Whitehorse, Yukon. Her work is centred on developing collaborative partnerships with community and government services to serve marginalized children using a model of social pediatrics. She works primarily with children who have experienced trauma and adverse childhood events, and she witnesses the broad and lasting impact these events have on children and their development daily. She is passionate about improving services for marginalized children in an effort to change their life trajectory. In addition to her community-based work, Dr. Smart enjoys acute care and provides on-call services to the hospital. Before moving to the Yukon, she was a pediatric emergency medicine physician at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.  
  
As president of the Canadian Medical Association — the national voice of the medical profession – Dr. Smart has cemented a reputation as a trusted, authoritative voice to advance key priorities for Canadian physicians. Her presidency has been underscored by some of the most difficult challenges health care workers have ever faced in Canada. She is one of the country’s leading health care experts, respected and lauded by colleagues across the country.  

Dr. Smart is the 10th woman to take on the presidency in the association’s 154-year history. She’s leading the profession at a key moment in time, as more women enter medicine than ever before and the need for health leadership is paramount.  

Susan Taves 

Susan has spent 30 years in public practice primarily as a partner at BDO Canada LLP. Her expertise includes finance, transactions, audit and risk, governance and executive leadership. In addition to the Board at RMHC Canada, Susan is an active Director on four Corporate Boards across the real estate, utility and banking sectors. Susan is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (1987), holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors (2015), and is a graduate of the University of Waterloo (1984). 

“As RMHC passes 40 years in Canada, it is a privilege to lend my support to an organization that has touched many of us and continues to be vital in supporting families through unpredictable medical journeys.”  

To learn more about RMHC Canada’s Board of Directors, click here.