Our Team

A mission-driven team with the skills and experience to open the doors of Eli’s Place.

Our highly accomplished team includes an Executive Director with a proven track record in the development of innovative mental health programs; a committed Board of Directors bringing diverse and highly relevant skills and experiences to the table; and, a Professional Advisory Committee made up of pre-eminent healthcare leaders and practitioners in the area of mental illness.

Now is the time, with your support, to create Eli’s Place and change the future forever for young adults 18 to 35 years of age struggling with serious mental illness, young people like our son Eli.”

Meet our Board of Directors

David L. Cooper
Founding Director

David is a business owner with extensive corporate and non-profit experience. Founder of STUFF Canada, a non-profit created in 1999 to reduce homelessness and poverty in Toronto. 2004 recipient of the New Spirit of Community Award, Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, and the Peter F. Drucker Award for NFP Innovation in 2003.  David also co-authored, with his wife Deborah, a guide for parents who have lost children to suicide, entitled Bridge over the River Why.


Carol Cowan-Levine

Carol is a Registered Psychotherapist in private practice with extensive experience in the field of mental health. Her commitment to community has been reflected in the numerous Boards of Directors on which she has served–most recently as President of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) (2015-2017). Currently, she sits as an Honourary Member of the Board at Women’s College Hospital, a Member of the Advisory Board of the Child Development Institute, Chair of the Advisory Council of the Women’s College Hospital Foundation and the all-Ontario elected member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario. Carol remains a passionate advocate for excellence in healthcare.


Susan Rabkin

A passionate business leader and lawyer, with broad-based experience across diverse industries in the private sector, as well as board leadership roles in the post-secondary and child welfare public sectors.



Dr. Howard Hamer

Secretary and Communications Committee Chair

Has been a Family & Occupational Physician for many years. He is an experienced Board Member of the former Humber Memorial Hospital. He is past president of the Occupational & Environmental Medicine Association of Canada running their Board for 2 years. He was the Medical Director of the Function & Pain program at Altum Health, a division of the University Health Network. Presently he is semi-retired having closed his Family Practice in 2010. He now works part-time at various industries pursuing his interest in worker health and safety.


Zuzana Glatzova
Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair

Over 15 years’ experience in Finance; analysis, risk, and, control management. 5 years as a Corporate team captain for Princess Margaret Foundations’ One Walk; Field Service Finance Controller at Schneider Electric Canada.



Arla Hamer
Board Member, Models Committee Chair

Masters of Social Work with over thirty years’ experience in the field of mental health. Developed the Understanding Stigma Program, a project funded and evaluated by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and being implemented in sites across Canada.



Erin Johnston Board Member Eli's Place

Erin Johnston
Board and Finance Committee Member

Erin is a CA, CPA with over 12 years of experience in both Corporate and Operational finance roles, with the majority of her experience in corporate controllership roles at George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited. Erin is currently the finance lead for Loblaw Digital.




Prakash Narayanan
B.A., LL.B., LL.M.
Board Member, Governance & Nominating Committee Chair  

Corporate, commercial and regulatory lawyer with over 13 years of experience, currently as Director, Legal Services for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and previously at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.



Dr. Joel Shapiro
Board Member

Outpatient psychiatrist with the Medical Clinic for Person-Centred Psychotherapy; special interest in long-term psychotherapy and educating physicians about mental health.



Dr. Brenda J. Spiegler
PhD, CPsych, ABPP(cn)
Board Member

Past Director of Psychology, Hospital for Sick Children
25 years’ experience as a paediatric neuropsychologist, serving children with cancer and traumatic brain injury.  Board Member of POGO, a consortium of organizations treating childhood cancer.


Shannon_Craig_Eli's_Place_Board_MemberShannon Craig
Board Member

A career marketer who has helped leading brands and large high-tech disrupters including LEGO, FedEx, WIND Mobile and Kobo. In 2013, Shannon fulfilled a long-time desire to work in the charitable sector joining CanadaHelps to lead its marketing, product and customer care teams.


Lorne Zon
Ex-Officio Board Member

An experienced health care executive and consultant with national, provincial, regional, and community health and mental health organizations.  An Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health at York University.

Deborah Cooper
Board Member Emeritus

Recently retired from 30 years in the family office furniture business, Deborah was formerly a Toronto Public Health Nurse & Nurse Educator at Seneca College.  She has been a community volunteer and advocate for over 45 years. Becoming a suicide loss survivor following her son, Eli’s death in 2010, she is dedicated to the establishment of Eli’s Place.  Deborah is a Founding Board Member of Eli’s Place. She also co-authored, with her husband David, a guide for parents who have lost children to suicide, entitled Bridge over the River Why.

Meet our Executive Director

Ellis Katsof 
Executive Director

A highly accomplished visionary Executive, Ellis Katsof enthusiastically provides leadership to not-for-profit organizations that are in transition. Ellis, recently CEO of Pathstone Mental Health, brings 38 years of proven success to the leadership role with skills in strategic visioning and business planning, enhancing organizational effectiveness, financial management and influencing the external environment.

As an MSW, Ellis is a results-oriented, decisive leader with proven success in strategic thinking and innovation. He has a proven track record in development of innovative programs, union relationships, governance, building effective and dynamic teams, acquiring new funding and foundation management. Ellis is also the author of Life 3.0: Protirement NOT Retirement, an enlightening book that describes how Baby Boomers have reinvented retirement.


Meet our Professional Advisory:

Dr. Sidney Kennedy (FRCPC, FCAHS)

Dr. Sidney KennedyAn experienced psychiatrist expert in the study of depression and suicide prevention.

  • Holds the Arthur Sommer Chair in Suicide & Depression studies at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto
  • Focused on the delineation of depression into discernable categories to then facilitate more effective treatment
  • Researching to find biomarkers that identify risk factors for potential suicide behaviour
  • These biomarkers will lessen the risk of suicide and allow for a more effective treatment through prevention

We are fortunate to have such a renowned psychiatrist willing to help guide Eli’s Place as it begins its journey helping young adults with serious mental illness.

Karen Goldenberg (C.M.)

Karen Goldenberg

A foremost Canadian mental health care executive. An authority on mental health provision in Ontario.

  • Former CEO of JVS Toronto
  • Senior VP and acting CEO of the Addiction Research Foundation (now CAMH)
  • Senior advisor to the Minister of Health and Long Term Care.
  • Co-founder and Executive Director of COTA Rehab Services.
  • A Member of the Order of Canada 2014 for her work in rehabilitation

We are exceptionally blessed to have Karen Goldenberg on our Professional Advisory Council.


Daniel Hoffmann (BSW)

Daniel HoffmannDaniel Hoffman is a social worker who sees the societal advantage of organic farming at The Cutting Veg.

  • He cultivates personal, social, environmental and economic health through organic agriculture.
  • He promotes lifestyles that are healthy for families and the planet.

His expert counsel will be warmly welcomed in the creation of the farm planned for Eli’s Place in the coming months.

Dr. Anthony Levitt (FRCPC)

Dr. Anthony LevittA foremost expert in the field of mood disorders and brain science.

  • Headed the Mood Disorders Program at CAMH, McMaster University & Sunnybrook
  • Chief of Psychiatry Sunnybrook Hospital
  • Presently Chief of Brain Sciences Program at Sunnybrook
  • Chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Research focusing on the highly treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders that will also be the focus of the population for Eli’s Place.
  • Medical Director of the newly created Family Navigation Project helping locate mental health and addiction resources for families in need.

Dr. Levitt brings important and much-needed skills to our Professional Advisory Council.

Anne Marie MacDonald

Anne Marie MacDonaldA Senior Executive & leader in the field of Human Resources.

  • Extensive corporate experience focusing on organizational development, training, human resources and management consultant counsel to senior executives.
  • Executive Director/CEO of Hope and Me – Mood Disorders Association of Toronto
  • Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL), Certified Executive Coach, Bronze Kirkpatrick Certified Evaluation Professional, Distinguished Toastmaster, and York University Project Management graduate
  • An outstanding authority on peer support programs

A wonderful addition to the Professional Advisory Council.

Susan Meikle 

Susan Meikle Eli's Place Professional AdvisorSusan Meikle trained as an Occupational Therapist and has worked her entire
career in mental health. Currently she is the Executive Director of Toronto North
Support Services. Susan has a longstanding interest in, and commitment to,
developing mental health services for people from marginalized and underserved

Dr. Karen Minden (C.M., PhD)

Karen Minden Karen Minden is a senior advisor and consultant in the field of social entrepreneurship and philanthropy.

  • Expertise in youth & mental health
  • The Founding CEO of Pine River Institute and Pine River Foundation, an agency that treats adolescent addiction in Ontario
  • A broad foundation in research, public policy, philanthropy, and international relations
  • Appointed to the Order of Canada in 2010 and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012

She is a perfect match to help Eli’s Place as a senior advisor to Eli’s Place as it develops its Model of Care and early reputation as a rural residential facility for young adults with serious mental illness.

Dr. Joanna Henderson (PhD)

Dr Joanna Henderson PhotographA noted psychologist in the field of integrated services for youth and emerging adult mental health.

  • Executive Director of Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario of the Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH)
  • Senior Scientist in the Child, Youth, and Emerging Adult Program (CAMH)
  • Associate Professor at the University of Toronto

We are honoured to have Dr. Henderson on our Professional Advisory Council finding her advice invaluable.

Dr. Ari Zaretsky

Dr Ari Zaretsky PhotographA highly respected and world authority on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

  • Vice President of Education, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada
  • Full Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto
  • Chief of Psychiatry at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • A foremost educator in the field of CBT for bipolar disorder
  • Winner of the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario Program Excellence Award
  • Recipient of peer-reviewed research funding from the Canadian Institute of Health Research

Dr. Zaretsky has been a huge asset to our Professional Advisory Council.

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