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Athletics Canada today unveiled the composition of the 2021-2022 Board of Directors, following this past weekend’s Annual General Meeting, including the election of a new Board Chair.
Helen Manning (Sutton West, Ont.) was elected Chair of the Athletics Canada Board, after spending the last two years as Vice Chair. Robert Demers (Dorval, Que.) was elected to the position of Vice Chair, having previously served the Board as Treasurer since 2018. Mihira Lakshman (Toronto, Ont.), Bianelle Legros (Montreal, Que.) and Rosey Edeh (Toronto, Ont.) were elected as Directors-at-Large, having previously been appointed to those roles.
Chris Smith (Halifax, N.S.) was appointed by the Board to the position of Treasurer. Bill MacMackin (Saint John, N.B.), who had been Chair of the Board since 2017, has been elected Past Chair for a period of one-year to ensure a smooth transition.
“I’d like to thank the members for their vote of confidence. I look forward to working with them as we get back to athletics post-COVID. Many thanks to Bill MacMackin for his time with the Board, particularly as Chair, a role he executed with integrity and respect. Along with our strong leadership team, Bill helped bring athletics in Canada to a better place,” said Helen Manning, Chair, Athletics Canada. “Diversity and Equity in all aspects of our organization has improved, but there is much more work to be done. We are committed to affecting real change in this area. This, along with strengthening domestic programs and sport development, will be a focus as we move forward.”
2021-2022 Athletics Canada Board of Directors
Chair – Helen Manning
Vice Chair – Robert Demers
Treasurer – Chris Smith
Athlete Representative – Charles Philibert-Thiboutot
Athlete Representative – Greg Stewart
Athlete Representative – Kate Van Buskirk
Director-at-Large – Rosey Edeh
Director-at-Large – Lynn Kanuka
Director-at-Large – Mihira Lakshman
Director-at-Large – Bianelle Legros
Director-at-Large – Grant Mitchell
Past Chair – Bill MacMackin
Ex-Officio – Abby Hoffman
Helen Manning has more than 40 years of experience in sports marketing, sponsorship, strategic planning, event execution, policy development, risk management and organizational structure. She has worked with large events throughout North America and has experience in working with a variety of broadcast partners on internally produced content and media. A track and field official since the 1970s, Manning was elected as President of the Canadian Federation of Sport Organizations for the Disabled in 1991 and served in that role in what would become the Canadian Paralympic Committee until 1997.
Robert Demers is an experienced senior executive in performance management and business process improvement. His career has included stops with Symcor Inc., ClinTrials BioRecherches, Kronos Canada, Natrel and Lloyds Bank of Canada. He has been on the Board of the Fédération Québécoise d’Athlétisme and has served as a volunteer coach with McGill Olympic Club and Club athlétique Les Pulsars. Demers has also competed in dozens of marathons.
Chris Smith is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Vice President of Finance of Nova Scotia Power. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Sport Nova Scotia, Sacred Heart School of Halifax and the Dalhousie University Faculty of Management. He is a past member of the Board of the Canadian Gas Association, the Symphony Nova Scotia Board and the Dalhousie University Board of Governors, where he also chaired the Audit Committee.

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