Virtual Event: Lessons from Another Pandemic
Melissa Koomey, Jaime Watt and Joanne Simons, moderated by Tim Kiladze
” How the HIV/AIDS Pandemic Can Shape a Recovery Response to COVID19 “
June 16, 2021
2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s first report of the disease now known as HIV/AIDS, and the beginning of the AIDS pandemic. Exactly 40 years later the entire world saw first-hand the devastating impact a new, unknown disease can have on people, communities and businesses and shape the way we interact with each other.
Join Canadian Club Toronto on June 16 as we engage in a conversation around how pandemics can pierce through politics, business, media, and public health to force inward reflection of who we want to be as a community and how leaders and citizens can build more compassionate spaces.
Vice President and General Manager, Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc.
Melissa Koomey is the Vice President and General Manager of Gilead Sciences, Canada, where she oversees the company’s work across therapeutic areas including HIV, viral hepatitis, oncology as well as COVID-19 in Canada. She has been with Gilead Sciences for nine years, previously as Vice President of the United States HIV Business Unit where she oversaw Gilead’s HIV treatment and prevention portfolio. Prior to Gilead, Melissa built a strong foundation of expertise in US and global commercial operations as well as communications and investor relations at companies including Pfizer and Novartis as well as smaller San Francisco Bay Area biotechnology company, FibroGen. Melissa is a member of the Board of Directors of BIOTECanada. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale College and received her Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Executive Chairman, Navigator and Founder, the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation
Jaime Watt is the Executive Chairman of Navigator and Founder of the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation. He specializes in complex public strategy issues, serving both domestic and international clients in the corporate, professional services, not-for-profit, and political leaders at all three levels of government across Canada.
Currently, Jaime chairs the board of OCAD University. As well, he serves on the board of the University Health Network, the Literary Review of Canada, CANFAR, and the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
He is a past president or chair of the Canadian Club of Toronto, the Albany Club, Casey House, Canadians for Equal Marriage, Canadian Human Rights Campaign and Canadian Human Rights Trust among others. Additionally, he is a past director or governor of many organizations including the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation.
He is an adjunct faculty member of the Directors Education Program, jointly developed and administered by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Deeply involved with efforts to promote equality and human rights issues, he was the inaugural recipient of Egale’s Lifetime Achievement Award and has been awarded the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals for service to the community.
A highly regarded speaker, Jaime appears often as a public affairs commentator in the media. He is a regular contributor to all CBC platforms across Canada. He also writes a weekly column for The Toronto Star.
CEO, Casey House
Joanne Simons is a senior health care leader and devoted advocate of healthy communities whose first passion is the not-for-profit sector. Joanne has been the Chief Executive Officer of Casey House since 2016, leading the transformation of the organization from a hospice to an HIV/AIDS specialty hospital to better serve a community that faces systemic barriers to accessing health care. Under Joanne’s leadership, Casey House was recognized as one of Canada’s top ten health charities by Maclean’s.
Over the past 20 years, Joanne has provided strategic guidance in areas of revenue development, public policy, clinical program development and organizational change in senior positions with The Arthritis Society, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and CauseForce. She has served on many Boards, including The Redwood Shelter and Hazel Burns Hospice and currently Street Haven, a shelter for women experiencing homelessness. Joanne is actively engaged in The Advanced Health Leadership Program at the Rotman School of Management.
Executive Director, Fife House
Nadine Sookermany (she/her) comes to this work as an educator, community activist, parent, partner and advocate for all things political (which of course, is always personal). She is the former Executive Director of Women’s Health Clinic, a community health center that delivers quality patient-centered care through a feminist lens in Winnipeg, Canada. She brings decades of senior leadership experience in the non-profit sector to her work in the area of community health, equity and accessibility. She holds a Women’s Studies and Political Science degree from the University of Manitoba, along with the completion of graduate courses at the University of Toronto ¬ Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE). She previously held the position of professor with the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate and Social Service programs at George Brown College in Toronto. She is incredibly passionate about her work in anti-violence, harm reduction, community-based health, and reproductive justice. Her intersectional, feminist lens rooted in anti-racism and anti-colonialism and passion has guided her work as an advocate and social justice leader for over 25 years.
Reporter and Columnist, The Globe and Mail
Tim Kiladze is a reporter and columnist for The Globe and Mail, where he spends most days covering Bay Street and financial markets. Tim is also a feature writer and has written personal essays on LGBT issues, including being gay on Bay Street and raising children born through surrogacy.
Tim graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University.