MDAM Board Members
Jeremy Ruban - Chair and President of the Board
Jeremy works as an associate investment advisor at Richardson GMP advising clients on a variety of wealth management issues. A board member since 2016, he came to know the organization through the gala and his interest in improving community health and wellness.
Jeremy says it is a privilege to serve on the board and support the great work our staff and volunteers do on a daily basis. He also serves on the board and is actively involved in Grace Point church in Point Douglas. Married to a school psychologist and father of three young girls, which doesn't leave as much time for golf and hockey with friends, but he wouldn't trade it if he could.
Pamela Mann - Past Chair
Pam is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute and has worked as an investment advisor, helping clients manage investments for over 30 years. She has seen first hand how mental health impacts social and financial well being. She is past president of the Saskatchewan Orchid Society and a board member of the Women’s Health Research Foundation of Canada.
She has been a volunteer at MDAM since 2009 when she moved back to Winnipeg from Saskatoon. Pam is a great believer in mental health education and advocacy and has a personal goal to promote the teaching of coping skills, resiliency training, anti-bullying, conflict resolution and healthy decision making skills in schools province-wide. She firmly believes the key to a healthy socio-economic community begins by providing early mental health supports along with confidence building skills for all children.
Jim McCarthy - Secretary
Jim resides in the municipality of Springfield with his wife Darlene, is in his third year as a board member and is currently serving as the board secretary with MDAM. Jim's career with Manitoba Hydro spanned 35 , retiring as a manager. Jim was elected as the Reeve for the municipality of Springfield from 2010 - 2014.
As a graduate of the Canadian Institute of Management and Public Sector Management, Jim brings many skills in the area of management and governance. In addition Jim has been a Kinsmen for three decades and has been involved in the Andrew Dunn Walk since its inception 12 years ago. He is very involved in fundraising and risk management. Jim's life has been impacted by friends who have been challenged by mental health issues and he would like to assist where he can in making a difference.
Marilyn Sidhu - Member-at-large
Marilyn came to Canada over 30 years ago, was eager to learn the language and culture and volunteer her time to worthy causes. She soon volunteered with the White Guild at the Health Sciences Center as a candy striper and muffin shop clerk. Today Marilyn is a community Pharmacist with over 20 years of experience.
She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Winnipeg in 1994, and her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Manitoba in 1998. That same year, she began her career in retail Pharmacy with Shoppers Drug Mart in the Polo Park Mall. Over the next 7 years, she built her practice, and developed her business skills by taking on the Pharmacy Manager role at the Polo Park location, while volunteering with both the College of Pharmacist's Standards of Practice Committee, and The Manitoba Addictions Awareness Week Committee. She is passionate about supporting her community, and has made it her mission to bring awareness and support to organizations devoting their efforts to mental health, especially in support of women's mental health.
Lisa LaBossiere - Member-at-large
Lisa is a partner at the law firm of Myers LLP. She is member of the criminal department practicing primarily in the areas of Criminal Defence and Child Protection. Lisa began her career with Myers LLP in 2004, working in the criminal department as a summer student. She articled with the firm in 2006 and was called to the bar in 2007. Since beginning her practice in 2007 Lisa has appeared and advocated for clients in all levels of court in Manitoba and also the Supreme Court of Canada. Lisa sits on the Board of Directors for the Mood Disorder Association of Manitoba and is a member of the executive of the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association of Manitoba.
She also volunteers her time assisting students and lawyers with continuing legal education by speaking at conferences, the University of Manitoba as a guest lecturer and at the Law Society of Manitoba as a small group facilitator.
Mario Lebar - Member-at-large
Mario is a life-long Winnipegger, married, with 3 adult children, a chocolate Lab and a family cottage at Twin Lakes Beach. Mario is employed as the Chief Information Officer at the University of Manitoba, a role he has held since November 2015.
Mario has varied work experience across several sectors. At CN Rail for 5 years, The Canadian Wheat Board for 12 years, and for the past 8 years at the University of Manitoba. While he has worked on the business side, Mario has spent most of the past 20 years in information technology.
As a volunteer, Mario currently serves as a board member for the Canadian University Council of Chief Information Officers and has served on the Winnipeg Public Library Board.
Mario believes people’s mental health need to be understood, supported and funded in the same manner as their physical health needs because the impacts on individuals, families and society are just as profound.
Mario holds a Bachelors of Arts (Economics, 86), Bachelor of Laws (89) and an MBA (93), all from the University of Manitoba.
Tessa Vanderhart - Member-at-large
Tessa spent 15 years as a journalist and editor, working at CBC Manitoba, the Winnipeg Free Press, the Winnipeg Sun and the Manitoban. She is well-versed in MDAM’s services, having previously volunteered in peer support and group facilitation. Tessa recently returned to university to pursue a career in psychology. She hopes one day to provide assessment and treatment for clients with depression and anxiety as comorbidities, who may have fallen through the cracks.
Richard Whitfield - Member-at-large
Richard is a mental health advocate who understands that group peer support is an important part of the journey of mental health recovery. His involvement, first as a participant, and then as a group peer support facilitator at MDAM, underscores the impact that his lived experience with mental illness has to offer in today’s mental health conversations. Now retired and living near Riding Mountain National Park, he is a Community Affiliate with the Centre for Critical Studies of Rural Mental Health at Brandon University.
Joining the board fulfills his full circle commitment to support mental health initiatives with an organization that is dedicated to the same values and goals that he continues to support.
Sherry Punak-Murphy - Member-at-large
Sherry Punak-Murphy is a research biologist with the Canadian Department of National Defence at CFB Shilo and is an active city of Brandon lifelong resident. She is a passionate volunteer and has done so with various organizations over the years such as; Brandon Folk Music and Arts Society, Brandon Film Festival, Brandon's Toy Lending Library, New Era Parent Council. Most recently, Sherry created the not for profit organization; Bee City Brandon. She has done this with the support of the City of Brandon to promote education for the wellbeing of native pollinators and habitat.
From a personal perspective, mental health is an important issue that is near and dear to Sherry. She believes in mental health education and providing information to the public and individuals in order to maintain and assist individuals in crisis. She served as an executive member of Common Cause for Mental Health, a committee that brought together mental health workers and clients together to share information on the needs of mental health services in Westman. Sherry recently participated in a new training program for civilians at her workplace to be a mental health sentinel. Sherry is looking to be able to provide input into Mood Disorders of Manitoba board of directors as a representative of Westman and as a client and advocate for mental health issues.