Henry Armand Burris is a former professional football quarterback, who mostly played in the Canadian Football League (CFL) from 1998 to 2016. He won three Grey Cup championships, two with the Calgary Stampeders, 1998 and 2008, and one with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2016. Burris won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award in 2010 and 2015. At his time of retirement, Burris was third in all-time CFL passing yards and passing touchdowns. While in Canada, he was also a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Burris also spent time in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. Prior to his professional career, he played college football with the Temple Owls. Burris attended Temple (1993-96) set 20 school records during his four-year career and still owns the Owls single game marks for passing yards (445) and total offense (502), both set at Pitt in 1996. He finished University ranked second all-time in Big East Conference passing with 7,495 yards. Burris was also inducted into the Temple University Athletics Hall of Fame, Class of 2018. Burris attended Spiro High School in Spiro, Oklahoma, and won four varsity letters each in football, track, basketball, and baseball. In football, he was named the Oklahoma Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. Most importantly, Burris married his university sweetheart, Nicole. She was an All-American field lacrosse player while at Temple. Together, they have two boys, Armand and Barron.
Lisa has been the Executive Director of Skate Ontario since 2016. She led the organization through all operational aspects of the amalgamation process into the current single Section delivering province-wide programming. Prior to joining Skate Ontario, Lisa spent over 15 years with Canada’s largest multi-brand hospitality companies in leadership roles in the areas of organizational development, operations and training.
Lisa has an extensive volunteer and sport background including coaching from the club level to the World Championships and Olympic Games with the Canadian National Artistic Swimming Team. She is an Olympic, World Championships and Commonwealth Games medalist and former Ontario Female Athlete of the Year.
(she/her) Cynthia Appiah was standout shot put and hammer throw athlete at York University, before being introduced to bobsleigh in 2011. Cynthia enjoyed a standout rookie season on the World Cup where she pushed both two-time Olympic champion, Kaillie Humphries, to a gold and bronze medal, along with rookie pilot Alysia Rissling to her first ever World Cup bronze medal. An alternate brakeman for Team Canada at the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Cynthia is now pushing to make history as a pilot in monobob at the 2022 Olympic Games. Cynthia has been recognized by her peers at Bobsleigh Canada with the 2019 L. Lamont Gordon Award.
Skate Canada’s Chief Executive Officer, Debra Armstrong, is a lawyer by training. Prior to joining Skate Canada, she served as Chief Executive Officer of MBNA Canada Bank and then Senior Vice President at Toronto Dominion Bank following TD’s acquisition of MBNA. Debra has developed considerable experience in business transformations over the course of her career.
She has strong governance experience and is currently a member of the board of directors of Health Standards Organization as well as Ottawa’s Shaw Centre. In addition, Armstrong is a co-chair of the Winter Sport Caucus Group and serves on the Audit, Finance and Risk Management Committee of the Canadian Olympic Committee. She is a past member of the Board of Governors at Carleton University where she also Chaired its Audit and Finance Committee. Other past directorships include the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health and Volleyball Canada.
(they/their) Uzoma Asagwara is a former basketball player with the University of Winnipeg and the Canadian National Basketball team. They are currently an elected MLA in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and a leading activist and voice for social justice.
Anna completed a Master of Science from the University of Calgary under the supervision of Dr. David Smith. The focus of her thesis was on investigating maximal strength training for endurance athletes. She joined the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary in 2011 as a strength and physiology consultant. She worked in talent identification and strength and conditioning for Ski Jumping and as Lead, strength coach for Nordic (Biathlon, Cross-Country and Para-Nordic) national and development team athletes. After becoming a mom in 2017, Anna continued working with Para Nordic athletes and became strength and conditioning lead for Skate Canada. She worked very closely with Ravi Walia, Patrick Chan and Kaetlyn Osmond in the lead up to the 2018 Olympic Games. Anna focuses on building basic movement competencies and optimizing movement strategies to improve structural tolerance and develop strength and power in endurance and aesthetic sports. She also teaches the strength and conditioning component to the Advanced Coaching Diploma and is the lead anthropometrist for the Institute. Anna is a mother of 2, lover of all the sports and eater of all the foods.
(he/him) Baldé was a member of the Canadian figure skating team from 2007 to 2018 and was the 2008 Canadian Junior Champion. He retired as a competitor in 2018. Baldé is founder of Skate Global, and co-founder and President of the Figure Skating Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (FSDIA).
Ted is the Executive Director for skating in British Columbia. Ted has an extensive background and experience in event and video production, and live streaming, he assists both Skate Canada and the International Skating Union is these areas. Ted Barton is also a former ISU Singles and Pair Technical Specialist, as well as an ISU Data and Replay Operator.
Lisa has a diverse background in science, business, and athletics, holding a Master of Science degree from York University, an Exercise Physiology designation, and a 25+ year career in synchronized figure skating as a Team Canada athlete and consultant coach. In 2016, Lisa founded OneTeamMVMT; a globally-focused nonprofit organization aimed at filling some of the crucial gaps in synchronized skating – namely, the need for a more connected community, working together toward greater sport development & overall public awareness of the sport. Lisa is a keen learner who is passionate about self-growth and always looking for opportunities to use her experiences to help others achieve their goals and dreams.
(she/her) Alyson Charles is a 22-year-old Canadian short track speed skater, and member of the National Team since 2016. Originally from Montreal, QC, she made her World Cup debut in November 2018, right after her 20th birthday. Charles currently trains with the National Training Center and is based in Montreal, QC.
(he/him) Jesse Cockney is an Inuit cross-country skier who competed for Canada at both the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics.
Cockney was born in 1989 in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and started skiing when he was 3 years old. Skiing was an integral part of his family’s life. His father skied on the national junior team and won 2 Canada Games gold medals. His sister has also skied and won national competitions. When Cockney was 7, his family moved to Canmore, Alberta, where he was able to get involved in competitive cross-country skiing.
(she/her) Nina Condo is the owner and founder of NC Consulting. She has been involved in community development for 15 +years. Her education background in mental health and social work enables her to integrate both health and social practices, apply a gender equity lens as social change, cultural safety for successful integration, and best practices in working with diverse populations that leads to transformational change. She serves on various local non-for-profit organization boards as well as on the national gender- based violence strategy, representing the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance (CISSA) & MANSO- an initiative of the Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC). She is a board member of Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO), the Immigration Partnership Winnipeg (IPW), and various local committees. Nina’s life experience both in Canada and in Africa has inspired her to work with people of all walks of life to build stronger communities. Her passion for community development, advocacy and empowering Individuals and families have allowed her to mentor organizations and to work closely with diverse communities through policy recommendations, clinical consultation, program development and facilitation.
Stephanie Cowle has spent more than a decade working in the area of injury and trauma prevention. Stephanie is the Director of Knowledge Translation at Parachute, a national charity focused on preventing serious and fatal injuries through evidence-based solutions that advocate and educate. Stephanie leads Parachute’s national work to improve concussion prevention, recognition, and management, including the publication of the first-ever Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport. Stephanie has worked with 50 national sport bodies as well as government, health, and education stakeholders at national and provincial levels.
A NCCP Level 5 coach with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from the University of Montreal, Yvan Desjardins is also a Chartered Professional Coach with the Coaching Association of Canada. A member of the Quebec team, the national junior and senior teams, Yvan is a two-time national medalist.
With having participated in several international competitions including two Junior World Championships, Yvan
has coached many skaters on the national and international scene. Recipient of the award of excellence from Patinage Québec and Skate Canada as a competitive coach in 2016, he currently has 27 years of experience. Always looking at opportunities to exceed himself, Yvan manages
l’École Excellence with passion, determination, and vigor. This allows the athletes he meets to develop as a skater and a human being.
Lisa Dixon–Wells has been working in school systems across Canada since 1990. After completing her M.Ed in Educational Psychology (1997), Lisa’s focus has been on Bully Prevention and Mental Health. As the founder of the Dare to Care program, her work has focused on early prevention and intervention in schools but in 2017, Dare to Care expanded to work with Canadian amateur sports and in 2020 reached there 1,000,000th participant. In 2016, Dare to Care received the Government of Alberta Inspiration Award for Leadership in Bully Prevention.
Lisa is a former member of the Canadian National Swim Club and is a 14 time World Masters champion. Lisa was inducted into the University of Calgary’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
Meagan is a 3X Olympic Medalist, 7X Canadian Pairs Champion and 2X World Champion in Pairs Skating. In 2010 she completed her first certification with the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and became a Holistic Nutritionist. Although she didn’t work in the field as she was still competing at the International level, she continued to study with Alive Academy and got another certification in Vegetarian Sports Nutrition. Meagan has mentored numerous Canadian and International Skaters on wellness. She has a passion for helping figure skaters understand the importance of healthy nutrition and teaching and guiding them for their off-ice training, focusing on mindful movement and strengthening, and avoiding unnecessary pounding on the body.
NATALIE DURAND-BUSH, PHD
Dr. Natalie Durand-Bush is a sport psychology professor, scientist, and practitioner in the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa. She specializes in psychological skills training and assessment, mental health, and coaching psychology. Natalie is the Director of the SEWP LAB and the co-founder of the Canadian Centre for Mental Health and Sport (CCMHS) - a specialized Centre providing sport-centered mental health care, educational programs, and resources to competitive and high-performance athletes and coaches. As a Mental Performance Consultant for the past 25 years, Natalie has helped amateur and professional athletes and coaches of all ages, sports, and levels achieve their performance and well-being goals. A relentless advocate for the field of sport psychology, she has co-founded and chaired the Canadian Sport Psychology Association (CSPA) and has served as the Vice-President of the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP). Natalie is currently the Past President of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and is co-editing AASP’s forthcoming Essential Guide for Mental Performance Consultants. During her down time, Natalie enjoys downhill skiing, kayaking and cottaging with her family!
Georgia is a PhD student at the University of Calgary. She is currently working with Skate Canada to assist in the creating of the Body Positive Guidelines as part of her doctoral research program. With a past in figure skating, she feels privileged to work alongside Skate Canada to help foster an environment that promotes positive body image for everyone.
Georgia also works as a mental performance consultant for a boxing gym in Calgary while completing her necessary training hours to be certified with the Canadian Sport Psychology Association.
When not researching, Georgia can be found skiing, hiking, or spending time with her newly adopted dog Spot.
2021 Ice Summit Host
DR. JUDY GOSS
Judy Goss, PhD is a Mental Performance Consultant, who works with National and Olympic Team members in Ontario including athletes from Skate Canada, Wrestling Canada, Volleyball Canada, Swim Ontario and Freestyle Ontario. Judy received her PhD in Sport Psychology from the University of Maryland and is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant by the Association of Applied Sport Psychology.
Judy has worked with Skate Canada since 2006. Her work with athletes and coaches focuses on performance enhancement, performing under pressure and building resiliency. She takes an educational approach so that athletes and coaches understand the theoretical concepts as well as developing the skills and strategies to integrate into their daily training and competitive experiences.
Lisa joined the Skate Canada: Alberta-NWT-Nunavut Section as Executive Director in 2018 and has close to 15 years of management experience in the non-profit sector. She has been recognized as having a strong background in organizational governance, grant procurement and management, project and financial management, strategic planning, stakeholder relationships, and developing member resources and training.
Although many years in management were involved in the Agriculture sector, Lisa’s strong network of Government and Non-Government stakeholders, means she is no stranger to the sport and non-profit sectors.
Having lived in rural Alberta most of her life, Lisa has sat on numerous boards, organizations, and committees over the years. As a result, she recognizes how critically important volunteers are at all levels to the quality of life and the success of any organization and community. She is grateful for the commitment, time, and passion each volunteer brings to support and better the places they live and play in.
Brian founded PBHE over 20 years ago and is the inventor behind many of the unique tools now used around the world by figure skating technicians who want to provide accurate, consistent services to their clients. Brian is a fitter machinist by trade and has brought necessary technical knowledge into the world of figure skating to increase equipment awareness and expectations. As a result of his expert insight and determination to move the sport forward, he has worked with world class skaters, coaches, skating federations, and manufacturers to resolve equipment issues, test new products, improve quality control, and share his knowledge and methods.
DR. GRETCHEN KERR
Dr. Gretchen Kerr is a world-renowned kinesiology and physical education scholar and expert on the treatment of youth and women in sport. She is currently vice-dean, programs and innovation at University of Toronto School of Graduate studies and has been named dean of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education (KPE).
Dr. Kerr’s research on the treatment of women and youth in sport is widely acknowledged to have had a tangible and lasting impact on Canada’s sports landscape, particularly through her collaborations with organizations such as the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Canadian Centre for Ethics and Sport and the Coaching Association of Canada.
Karyn Kibsey is the Manager of Training and Education for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. The Canadian Centre’s goal is to reduce the incidence of missing and sexually exploited children by providing programs and services to Canadians. It operates Cybertip.ca – Canada’s tipline to report the online sexual exploitation of children. Karyn works with professionals in sport, education, child serving-organizations, and child protection to provide insights into issues of child sexual abuse and exploitation, misconduct, policies and procedures to protect children, emerging issues and trends impacting youth, and the online safety of children.
Amy has worked at Skate Canada for over 10 years, starting her journey in events, Member Services and transitioning into her Safe Sport Coordinator role about 6 years ago. Amy coordinates and provides support in the areas of safety, compliance, insurance, and reporting. She has great respect for our coaches and our club/school volunteers as some come with little to no experience when it comes to safe sport topics/issues. Her passion and commitment is to offer continuous education, tools and resources to them to become great safe sport leaders for our children and youth.
Nicole is a member of Skate Canada’s Board of Directors, Membership Policy Committee, Sections Coordinating Committee, and chair of the Officials Assignment and Promotion Committee. Nicole is also an active official with qualifications as an ISU Judge in Singles, Pairs and Dance, and an International Referee in Singles, Pairs, and Ice Dance.
MARY ELLEN McDONALD
Mary Ellen McDonald, Senior Director Operations, has been with Skate Canada for 3 years and is trained as a CPA CA. She has considerable experience in finance, IT, procurement and mergers & acquisitions. Prior to joining Skate Canada she worked in various industries and completed national and international company acquisitions in both the manufacturing and airport environment. She served on the Skate Canada Board of Directors for six years and was the Chair FERM and Membership Policy Committee. Prior to serving on the national board she was active at the Skate Canada Manitoba Section level. Mary Ellen is on the Board of Directors for H.O.P.E. Ottawa serving as the Vice President.
Paulette grew up as a competitive figure skater and skated internationally as a professional skater after completing her Masters of Engineering at the University of Toronto. Paulette is now a Professional Engineer and is grateful to be able to combine her passions at PBHE. She provides a unique technical point of view while understanding the skating skills and techniques. Paulette has been with PBHE for over 10 years and has been a vital part of developing, testing, manufacturing, and presenting PBHE’s tools, methods, and knowledge.
Jonathan Mills is a results-driven National and International Certified Figure Skating Coach with a specialism in on ice harness training. Over his 12 year coaching career, his accomplishments include coaching on the ISU Jr. Grand Prix Circuit and Jr. Worlds. Jonathan believes in the values of hard work and dedication which he attributes to his time as a competitive skater in Senior Singles and Junior Pairs. Jonathan opened The Rotation Room, with co-founder Yeonhee Park in 2020, with the goal of providing high-quality training opportunities for coaches and their skaters. Jonathan is an innovator in this space and is excited to be a part of the Skate Canada Ice Summit 2021 to help educate the community on the benefits of off ice training and harness equipment.
Ye-Bin Mok is an American Skater who now lives, performs, and coaches in the UK. Ye-Bin won medals on the Junior Grand Prix and finished 5th at the 2003 Junior World Championships. She finished as high as 6th at the US Championships before retiring due to injuries and personal struggles. She performed with Holiday on Ice for many years before settling in the UK and coaching in Sheffield. Ye-Bin skated this winter on ITV’s Dancing On Ice and like so many of us, has been coaching through zoom for the past year. Ye-Bin has a passion for ballet, music, and movement.
NCCP World/Olympic Coach
Over the course of Brian’s skating career, he earned many medals and titles including two-time Olympic silver medalist, eight-time Canadian Champion, 1987 World Champion, first man to land a triple axel at an Olympic Games and an Emmy award for his role in Carmen on Ice. As a coach, Brian is leading a very successful career with having athletes on podiums at various domestic and international competitions. Coach of 2010 Olympic champion, Yuna Kim, 2014 and 2018 Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, and 2018 Olympic bronze medalist, Javier Fernández, Brian is also a principal Skating Director at the Toronto Cricket Skating Club and officer of the Order of Canada.
Jeff Partrick has been with Skate Canada for over 21 years and involved in the sport for over 44 years. Jeff has led the professionalization of coaching, the creation and implementation of long-term athlete development philosophies into Skate Canada programming, has been focused on driving Skate Canada’s Skate for Life strategy and is currently involved with developing Skate Canada’s 2022-2026 strategic plan. Jeff also leads the project management team for planning the Ice Summit.
Jeff has been a national and international level skater, coach, volunteer official, and a member of Skate Canada’s National Board of Directors as an Athlete Representative and as an Elected Director. He has an MBA from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Arts from Brandon University.
Catherine graduated from the Canadian Theatre School and was a coach and creativity leader in development for Cirque Du Soleil for five years. She had a leading role in a French Children’s Show called “Bonjour Madame Croque Cerise” for many years. Catherine was introduced to figure skating when she worked with Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, on their performance energy, musicality, and interpretation of movements. Working with Catherine in 2013 on their short program to La Boheme, led Meagan and Eric to winning their first World medal. Catherine has since worked with many Canadian and International Ice Dancers in Montreal and is now a certified performance coach as well as a classical pianist.
Kelly completed a Bachelor of Human Kinetics (Co-op) from the University of Windsor and a Master of Kinesiology from the University of Calgary. She joined the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary in 2003 as an Exercise Physiology Technician, supporting national team athletes through monitoring, testing and physiological interventions in both training and competition. As the lead of Exercise Physiology, Kelly provides technical support to staff and is responsible for quality assurance of all data collection, and advancement and development of physiological protocols for athlete testing and monitoring. Her role also requires her to liaise with the Research and Innovation Lead and Directors on research conducted in the laboratory and the training environment.
Kelly is also the sport physiology advisor for Skate Canada where she works to elevate the sport science of the sport. Leading up to the 2018 Olympic Games, she worked very closely with Ravi Walia, Patrick Chan, and Kaetlyn Osmond. In her spare time, Kelly is usually found at the rink, cheering for her two sons, playing hockey herself or coaching power skating. She is also an instructor/examiner for the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CSEP). Kelly is the CSI Calgary’s resident baker for the staff.
Kim Ryan Lewis
President/Designer of Spinergy
Kim has been coaching in the Pacific Northwest and internationally for over 40 years. Specializing in all levels of spins and spin board technique. She is a favorite presenter with iCoachSkating.com
I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As an athlete I competed at Canadians 7 times (Novice-Senior) before turning professional and skating on cruise ships for seven years. I began coaching in Medicine Hat, AB in 2009 with my wife Vicki Schultz (Bryan) where I served as the Skating Director of Cypress School of Skating. In 2015 we moved our family to Regina where I accepted the position of High Performance Director (Technical Director) for Skate Canada Saskatchewan. I have been a part of the National Pairs Initiative (NPI) and the National Mentorship Program (NMP) and currently sit on the Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) as well as the Membership Policy Committee (MPC) of Skate Canada. Vicki and I have a daughter who is a competitive skater and a son who plays high level hockey and figure skates for fun.
(she/her) Renee Sonnenberg is a proud bilingual Métis Canadian who resides in Grande Prairie Alberta. She is the Analytics Lead and Assistant to the Women’s National Team Program for Curling Canada. Sonnenberg competed in 9 national curling championships, and coached at 2 Olympics and 4 World championships. She is a former high school math teacher, and is Mom to 16-year-old son Cortland and wife to Les.
(she/her) Salimata Soro is the Director of Human Resources, Employability and Immigration at the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM). Originally from the Ivory Coast, Salimata immigrated to Manitoba 10 years ago. She has over 7 years of experience in workshop development on diversity and conflict resolution. She has also created several employability programs for various sectors. She has an MBA with a specialization in Human Resources/Leadership, as well as diplomas in conflict resolution, career management & development. Salimata further holds a diploma in immigration consulting, is engaged in the Francophone community, and sits on numerous committees and working groups. Salimata is one of the collaborators working with NC Consulting.
Professional in strategic communications and reputation management, Fanny-Ève Tapp has been an official for over 15 years. She is a Canadian level singles judge and a pair judge challenge level, a singles and pairs section level referee, and a technical controller and technical specialist in singles at the section level. She is also a training facilitator and mentor for the next generation of officials. Over the years, she has been involved in various events and development committees, both at Patinage Québec and Skate Canada. This year, she is completing her third term on the Board of Directors of Patinage Québec. Committed to promoting her sport, she has also been a figure skating analyst for competition broadcasts on RDS.
President/Designer of Champion Harnesses/Electric Spinners/Cords & Seminars, specializing in vestibular rotation. Sheila has been coaching
for over 30 years and is a PSA Master Rated Coach & Award Winning Coach with iCoachSkating.com. She also presented at several international seminars worldwide.
In 2002, Stéphanie was the Novice Ladies Canadian Champion. After competing at the junior level, she moved on to other professional interests. Stéphanie is based in Montreal where she teaches contemporary dance and yoga, and she feels these two professions feed off each other in perfect harmony. Stéphanie has been working with Canadian and International figure skaters for years in the Montreal area. She loves to challenge skaters with new movements and energies and take them out of their comfort zone and into a new World.
Quebec team member for 6 years and member of the Skate Canada Junior National Pair team, Stéphanie has participated in several international competitions during her career.
With a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences, she has now passed on her passion for skating at all levels for almost 17 years. A certified NCCP National Coach, Stéphanie specializes in teaching pairs skating. Last spring, as the pandemic struck, she worked closely with the ISU and developed a unique off-ice Keep Training Seminar specifically for pair skating development. Stéphanie has been instrumental on the National Coaches’ Committee, and several project groups including the LTD 3.0 refresh and NCCP Provincial Coach. Stéphanie is committed to the development and growing interest of pair skating across Canada.
Ravi is a well-established Canadian coach based out of Edmonton, Alberta. He is well-known for coaching Kaetlyn Osmond to her 2018 World Title, 2018 Olympic Bronze Medal and 3 Canadian National Titles. In 1993 Ravi won the Junior Men’s Title of Canada and in 1995 won the Canadian Bronze Medal in the Senior event. Ravi was technically advanced for his time, landing rarely seen quad toe-loops. Ravi has twice won Skate Canada’s Competitive Coach of the Year and he serves as an ISU Technical Specialist.