Board of Directors 2023-24

(Officers and Directors listed below are all volunteers)

Officers and Executive Committee

  • Luai Aown, Treasurer, (Barrie), Retired Senior Manager, Honda Canada Mfg
  • Amy Hess-Fischl, Director, BC-ADM, CDCES, MS, RDN, LDN, Kovler Diabetes Centre (Univ. of Chicago)
  • Kait Diaz, Program Director (Alliston), [Exec Comm, ex-officio, non-voting]


  • Kathy MacFarlane, (Alliston), Retired Chemist, Baxter Corporation
  • Janet Budgell, Director, (Adjala), Nutritionist
  • Melinda Davie, Director
  • Gary Banting, Director
  • Annelind Wakegijig, Director
  • David Perryman, Director


  • Kait Diaz, Program Director

Advisory Board


  • Paul Nelson, retired SVP/CIO, Rogers (Oakville)
  • Robert D. Wagman, MD, FRCSC, Ophthalmology, (Toronto)


  • Peter Gordon, retired SVP, Honda of Canada Mfg., (Utopia)
  • Hart Holmstrom, retired SFBLF Founding Director (Alliston)
  • Art Kovats, retired VP and Director, SFBLF (Essa)
  • Doug Drysdale, Owner, Drysdale Tree Farms (Essa)
  • Stephen Minns, Plant Manager, Baxter (Alliston)
  • Ralph I. Jones, retired Sect/Treas and Director SFBLF (Alliston)
  • Sandie Macdonald, Mayor, Township of Essa (Essa)

SFBLF is inviting expressions of interest from experienced individuals who wish to help continue the outstanding success of the Foundation.

At present SFBLF is especially interested in hearing from volunteers with:

  1. the energy, experience and commitment to continue and enhance an effective marketing and awareness program for the Foundation in general and selected educational programs in particular.
    (for candidates resident in Ontario)
  2. the knowledge and experience to undertake support tasks relating to banking, payables, issuing of charitable receipts and thank you letters; on-going financial status reports to support decision-making; maintaining bookkeeper and auditor interfaces; and filing of required annual reports to Industry Canada and Revenue Canada/Charities Directorate;
    (for candidates resident in or near Alliston)

Board Member Roles

The SFBLF Board is both a governance and operating Board and requires a combination of members with commitment and collective experience  across a wide spectrum of needs: fundraising, marketing, diabetes advocacy and issues research, banking, accounting, maintaining positive relationships with diabetes researchers, healthcare providers and our many national and international partners.

All Board members are expected to help with fundraising and general advocacy on behalf of the  Foundation as well as on-going action to help ensure the sustainability of the Foundation.

Please submit your expression of interest along with a brief resume by email to with subject line ‘expression of interest’ or by regular mail c/o SFBLF Advisory Board, P.O. Box 137, Alliston, ON, L9R 1T9. Please include your email address and telephone number.

Brief background notes for interested volunteers

Our primary focus is on diabetes prevention through education, process innovation and issues research with an emphasis on youth. Helping youth and families to understand and reduce the risks of youth-onset Type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related complications in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes; helping to mitigate the in-school challenges faced by youth living with diabetes; and their often daunting transition from paediatric to adult healthcare are key priorities for action.

Program Delivery
SFBLF educational programs and research insights are delivered in three ways:

  1. At our Diabetes Management and Education Centre (DMEC) located in Alliston, Ontario, Canada at the historic 107-acre Banting Homestead Heritage Park (BHHP) birthplace of Sir Frederick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin and Canada’s first Nobel Laureate
  2. On our website at
  3. Through selective, proactive advocacy directed at key influencers and decision-makers in school systems, healthcare, diabetes research organizations, government ministries and agencies at all levels nationally and internationally; and through our Annual Symposium for healthcare providers, teachers and parents

Investments and Outcomes
SFBLF has raised and invested over $3 million CAD and provided the strategic leadership and management to restore and enhance the historic buildings and site infrastructure at the BHHP; develop and deliver programs; and design informative exhibits in support of our Mission. That total includes approximately $1 million CAD provided by the Town of New Tecumseth initially for purchase of the 107-acre property and early site infrastructure improvements. The Parks Department continues to provide site operational support for property and building maintenance.The result is a unique Canadian venue for the enjoyment of our communities, all Canadians and visitors worldwide. The collective capability honours and preserves the legacy of Sir Frederick Banting.

Visitors to our unique Diabetes Management and Education Centre (DMEC) have come from 10 Canadian provinces and territories, 26 US states and over 40 countries. Our Program Participation Hours now exceed 44,000.