Executive Committee

Heidi Bernhardt

President & Executive Director
Heidi is the mother of three young men with ADHD. She has a background in psychiatric nursing, was the Executive Director of the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance (CADDRA), a national not-for-profit organization of the leading clinicians and researchers in ADHD and is the founder of CADDAC. Heidi is currently the President and Executive Director of the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (CADDAC). In the past 24 years Heidi has helped build ADHD awareness; educate parents, educators, medical professionals, industry, the public and government about ADHD through her presentations, conferences, and media interviews; and has taken a leadership role in advocating for ADHD with governments.

Katherine Curry

Chair
Katherine is the mother of a son who was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD at an early age. As a result, Katherine’s time over recent years has been spent researching ADHD and ODD and successfully advocating for her son’s needs with both the Catholic and public school boards. She has provided advice in this regard to numerous parents of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD and who have encountered issues within the school system. In addition, Katherine has been practicing law for 19 years, and is currently the Vice President, Legal & Compliance, Woodbine Entertainment Group. Katherine brings to CADDAC a wealth of advocacy experience and legal expertise, and her primary focus is on addressing the educational and social needs of children with ADHD.

Ally Ladak

Vice Chair
Ally Ladak was recently appointed for a third consecutive term to serve on the selection committee, 2013 academic adjudicator, Valedictorian, science fair judge, and international professionals mentor.

He has a particular interest in the following areas: health care; hospital care; mental health; Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of stimulant medication in children and adolescents with ADHD; education; ADHD research; community-building, housing, poverty, and environmental issues; as well as the services and issues surrounding the disadvantaged. He has donated over 15 years of his time and experience, including current affiliations with Green Living Show, Jane’s Walk, Toronto Community foundation, Luminato, 2012 Ontario summer games, Playing for Keeps Ambassador, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Social Services Net, and The Arts and Culture Committee. Ally’s interests include technology for children with learning disabilities, education-related legislation, and children’s mental health.

Ally is passionate about de-stigmatizing and removing myths surrounding ADHD. Interests include educating teachers on new approaches to teaching children with ADHD/ADD. Ally’s goals are to promote awareness and provide support to others navigating the everyday challenges of ADHD, as well as address the importance of understanding individual behaviours, temperaments, and the learning styles of each ADHD student.

Cheryl Paige

Treasurer
Cheryl is personally and professionally familiar with ADHD and the effects it has on children and adolescents with respect to achievement and success in school and life. Cheryl has a Masters of Education in Special Education (U of T) and was a Principal for 12 years in Toronto District School Board. Cheryl has been a Special Education consultant, has chaired IPRCs and has been an advocate on behalf of children and adolescents with ADHD to principals, teachers and parents. As a principal, Cheryl and her staff won many national (Canada’s Outstanding Principal, Prime Minister’s Award, National Technology Awards), provincial (Premier’s Awards for Teaching Excellence) as well as TDSB Awards for Teaching Excellence.

Board Members

Karen MacMillan

Karen has a PhD in Counselling Psychology and has been a Registered Psychologist in Alberta for 12 years. Her focus has been with children and adolescents, as well as their families. She is a sessional instructor at both Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary. At Foothills Academy Society she is the Director in charge of Community Services. Their focus is on serving young people with LD and/or ADHD by providing a wide range of direct services (psycho-educational assessments, camps, counselling, tutoring, etc…), as well as educating families and relevant professionals.

Merle Langbord Levine

For the past 40 years Merle has taught both in the public and private sectors in the field of special education. Merle has been recognized by both professionals and parents as being very much interested and knowledgeable in helping to recognize students with ADHD and ADD and to help them meet with success in school. Long before ADD and ADHD were accepted by pediatricians and educators, Merle made his voice known and was considered a ‘maverick’ in his interest and ability to stand up for these children. Merle had the great privilege to study and work in conjunction with the early developers in this field such as Dr. Marcel Kinsbourne and Jim Swanson, PH.D in the 1970’s whilst they did many of the early studies in the field of ADHD and ADD at the Hospital for Sick Children. Merle’s Master of Education Thesis completed in 1992 was entitled, “The Affect of ADHD on the Mother”. It had a most favourable response. Merle continues to educate and participate wherever he can to help parents and professionals in all related fields to recognize the necessity to treat ADHD/ADD using both a holistic and remedial approach in teaching these students.

Committee Members

Matthew Turcotte

Matt was diagnosed with ADHD at 6 years of age and is something that he has struggled and battled with for years. He achieved a degree in Political Science from the University of Ottawa, and possesses experience in project management, sales and account management, and is currently building a broad knowledge base in digital marketing with a focus on content marketing, social media, market research and marketing strategy. He brings a variety of skills to the board, along with a driven, motivated and enthusiastic attitude who truly wants to make a difference in the lives of those with ADHD. More than anything, Matt knows and experiences every day the difficulties and challenges people with ADHD face.