Introducing the Heart and Stroke Young Leaders Committee

The next generation of philanthropic leaders are ready to make an impact now.
The Heart & Stroke Young Leaders committee at an event
Who we are

Formed in 2017, the Heart & Stroke Young Leaders Committee brings together a passionate group of philanthropists in their 20s and 30s. They shape what Heart & Stroke means for young professionals and support life-saving research.

The Committee organizes a variety of fundraising events in support of the Heart & Stroke and connects young professionals with prominent leaders across Canada.

Download our 2023 Year in Review report to learn more about our accomplishments. 

Upcoming events
  • Friday, March 22 – BonSHEpiel Curling Fundraiser @ Leaside Curling Club
  • Thursday, June 20 – Live Lawn and Prosper Lawnbowling Fundraiser @ Royal Canadian Yacht Club

Stay tuned for more to come! 

Stay connected

Keep updated and informed with the Young Leaders by following us on Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and X

Interested in joining the Committee? 

Please note that applications for 2024 are now closed. We will be seeking new members for 2025 in the Fall. 

Meet the current Young Leaders 

Michelle Hann

Michelle Hann, Chair

Michelle is the Director of Accounts & Creative Services at Creative Currency, sister agency of Enterprise Canada. She lost her father unexpectedly to a heart attack in 2017. Three of her grandparents also had experiences with heart complications, including her grandmother who overcame a quadruple bypass surgery and four other heart attacks before the fifth one took her life. These experiences pushed Michelle to become passionate about raising awareness of heart disease and advocating for healthy living. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, doing yoga and spending time with friends and family.

Emily McAughey

Emily McAughey, Vice Chair

Emily is an Associate Director of Business Transformation with a leading global media agency, working on strategic initiatives across all facets of the business. She has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dalhousie University and has recently completed her MBA at Ivey Business School. Emily is passionate about Heart & Stroke’s dedication to centering women and driving equity in heart and stroke research. She is honoured to continue her grandmother’s legacy, who has been a volunteer with Heart & Stroke over the past decade.

Nadia Bragagnolo

Nadia Bragagnolo 

Nadia is a senior clinical research coordinator at the Sunnybrook Research Institute. She received a Master's degree in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto for her work developing novel methods of cardiac MRI. During this time, she had the privilege of witnessing firsthand many patients' experiences, which ultimately inspired her involvement with Heart & Stroke. Originally from northern Ontario, she is a passionate advocate for improved healthcare in rural and Indigenous communities. Nadia also enjoys cooking, skiing, and running, having completed one full marathon to date with hopes for many more in the future.

Nicholas Grubic

Nicholas Grubic

Nicholas is a doctoral student in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (University of Toronto). He obtained his Master of Science in Epidemiology, Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences, and Certificate in Business, all from Queen’s University. His research focuses on cardiovascular epidemiology, sudden cardiac arrest, social determinants of health, and sports cardiology. Nicholas is also actively involved as a trainee member of various national cardiovascular groups, including the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Cardiovascular Network of Canada, and the Canadian Cardiovascular Research Collaboratory. In his free time, Nicholas enjoys staying active (through running, cycling, and skiing) and playing the brač.

Gillian Hurwitz

Gillian Hurwitz

Gillian is a project manager with Choosing Wisely Canada, the national voice for reducing unnecessary tests and treatments in Canada. Gillian has a background in health policy and implementation science, and has a master's in public health from Boston University. Gillian is looking forward to working with the Young Leaders Committee to help spread and scale their great work, and also as a way to honour her dad who passed away unexpectedly in 2022.

Nivitha Jeyakumar

Nivitha Jeyakumar

Nivitha is the Government Relations Lead for Canada at eBay. In 2020, she was diagnosed with a rare heart condition that prompted a significant reevaluation of her views on age and health. Nivitha is looking forward to working with the Young Leaders Committee to help spread awareness, support research, and advocate for individuals of all ages who are impacted by heart-related conditions.

Bianca Jozwiak

Bianca Jozwiak

Bianca is an intermediate graphic designer for Plan International Canada. As a creative and provisional member of the RGD, Bianca is always keen on advocating for better accessibility practices, diversity, equity and inclusion, and bringing youth voices to the forefront of advocacy and decision making. She is passionate about designing with empathy. Her goal while being on this committee is to fuel action that leads to awareness for prevention and social change for the betterment of society. In her spare time, she likes to dabble in all sorts of creative hobbies, some which include miniatures, rug tufting and baking croissants.

Laura Mantella

Laura Mantella

Laura Mantella is an Internal Medicine Resident at the University of Toronto, with expertise in the field of cardiovascular health. She earned her MD from Queen's University, as part of the MD/PhD Program. Her PhD research focused on the use of ultrasound in assessing heart disease and cardiovascular risk. Her research garnered widespread recognition and has been published in prestigious international journals and cited in clinical practice guidelines. In Laura’s free time, she enjoys hiking with her two dogs, making jewelry and sailing with her friends and family.

Marc McAdam

Marc McAdam

Marc is a director of process engineering at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. He has earned a Bachelor in Commerce and Finance at the University of Toronto, and completed his Masters of Business Administration at the Schulich School of Business.  He has had various family members and friends who have experienced strokes or heart conditions, which inspired his involvement with Heart & Stroke.  He is Jamaican-Chinese, captains a softball team, and enjoys swimming, reading and cooking in his leisure time.

Brittany Shales

Brittany Shales

Brittany is a commercial litigator at Babin Bessner Spry LLP where she acts for clients in a wide range of litigation matters involving commercial and shareholder disputes, securities and administrative law defence proceedings. Brittany obtained her law degree at the University of Calgary and previously worked as a criminal defence lawyer. She attended Queen’s University where she obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and Master of Arts in International Relations. In her free time, Brittany enjoys exploring new places, cooking for loved ones and spending time on the water. Her curiosity has led to experiences studying and working across Europe, the Middle East, United Kingdom and Southeast Asia. Brittany’s passion for advocacy led to her involvement with Heart & Stroke. She is focused on driving change and advocating for increased public access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs).