Parachute Board of Directors

Normand Côté (Chair)

Normand Côté is an executive with 38 years of banking and consulting experience in both line banking and various staff functions. His last position at BMO Financial Group (Bank of Montreal) was as head of employee relations and he had the dual challenge of protecting the legal and legislative rights of both employees and the bank across North America and abroad. He managed teams in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago and Milwaukee. He is a certified ADR mediator and labour arbitrator and a professionally trained executive coach. Normand Côté also possesses extensive experience in commercial and personal lending, staffing, training and compensation. He played a leading role for over 20 years at the Canadian Bankers Association by representing the banking industry and all federally regulated employers at numerous parliamentary and senatorial committee hearings and at the United Nations’ International Labour Organization in Geneva acting as the Canadian employer spokesperson, delegation head and employer chair for all 180 member-states.

Normand Côté currently is an executive providing consulting support to executives going through career transition or requiring executive coaching for the firm of Optimum Talent. He is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in November 2012. Among many others, his current or past activities, include:

  • Chairman of the Canadian Employers Council
  • Member of the Advisory Board to the Canadian Minister of Labour
  • Ministerial appointee as governor of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety
  • Board of directors - Safe Communities Canada
  • Chairman of board of directors - Workplace Safety & Prevention Services.

Steve Podborski (President and Chief Executive Officer)

Steve went into his role to lead Parachute from his role as Director, Wellness and Sports at TELUS. His tenure at TELUS began in 2003, in a consulting capacity to provide services to the then nascent VANOC. This developed into Steve becoming Director, Strategic Initiatives (2004) leading a world class team operating sponsorship activations with organizations including Formula 1, TELUS World Skins Game, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Montreal Alouettes, Edmonton Eskimos, Alpine Canada Alpin, Canadian Soccer Association, Snowboard Canada and Hockey Canada. Steve then became Director, Community Affairs (2009) contributing to TELUS being recognized as the World’s Most Philanthropic Corporation in 2010. As part of his increasing responsibilities at TELUS, Steve helped manage a $40M per year portfolio of giving to charities across Canada while driving results for Canadian kids in two major sports and health education programs: HEROS and 60 Minute Kids Club. 

Steve Podborski is a two-time Olympian and first North American male to win an Olympic medal in downhill skiing, capturing a bronze at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. In 1982, Steve became the first and still only non-European male to win the World Cup downhill title and credits much of his unprecedented success to his ‘Crazy Canuck’ teammates. Since that time he has worked as an Olympic TV sport announcer for NBC and CBS and was Director, International Affairs for the successful bid for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Steve is in four sports Halls of Fame and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Steve was the Assistant Chef de Mission for the Canadian Olympic Team for the 2010 Games, the most successful Canadian Olympic team in Games history with 14 gold medal performances. He was Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2014 Olympic team in Sochi.

Patricia H. Southern, FCPA, FCA (Vice-Chair)

Pat Southern is a chartered accountant who has held executive financial and administrative positions, including Chief Financial Officer, in several professional services firms, and in public and private companies.  Currently, Pat is Chief Financial Officer at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. Pat has served in volunteer senior leadership positions, as treasurer, director and chair of the board, with a variety of non-profit agencies, professional associations and Trent University, making her an essential asset to the Parachute Board of Directors. 

David Todd Deveau, P.Eng., MBA, BEDS

David is a professional engineer with 20 years of management and executive experience in the private and public sectors. In 2017, David joined the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education as Regional Director of Occupational Health and Safety. He also served previously with Nova Scotia’s Department of Justice. His career has centered around process improvement, quality management and safety, including workplace health and safety. As former Vice President of Safety Quality and Environment for Jazz Aviation LP (Chorus Aviation), David was responsible for the design, implementation and operation of the safety management system (SMS) of one of Canada’s busiest and most complex airlines. David is the former chair of both the Safety Subcommittee of the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) and of the Safety Council of the US-based Regional Airline Association (RAA). He also served as the aviation industry representative on the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee. He has presented frequently at safety forums across North America, Europe and Asia, and is a proud champion of evidence based risk management and just culture as a backdrop to improving safety performance and outcomes. David holds a bachelor’s degree  in industrial engineering, a bachelor of environmental design studies degree and a masters in business administration. A member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, he makes his home with his wife and daughter near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

David Dunford, MBA, MPhil, BSc

David Dunford is an executive team leader and management consultant with 20 years of experience in banking and consulting. His passion is in designing and implementing transformational programs that change behaviours and actions, and as a result produce new and exceptional outcomes.

David leads business management for the Channel Strategy & Integration group at CIBC.  Prior to CIBC, David was a Managing Principal at Capco and the Vice President Commercial Banking at Bank of Montreal, where he was responsible for sales force effectiveness and customer experience.

David has an MBA from INSEAD (France), an MPhil from the University of Cambridge (UK), and a BSc (Mechanical Engineering) from Queen’s University.  David is married, with two boys who love being active and have passionate interests in soccer, sailing, and water polo.

Karen Kinnear

Karen Kinnear is a senior healthcare leader with 25 years of healthcare experience, including 15 years of director level leadership and management in Paediatric Academic Health Care.  An innovative, tenacious and values driven leader with financial acumen, business and strategic planning skills and results oriented, Karen has led and managed the operations of some of world’s  best paediatric clinical programs. 

Karen obtained her MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in 2004.  She joined SickKids in 1990 as a staff nurse in the paediatric cancer program.  In 2001, Karen was appointed as a Clinical Director and has held a variety of operational management portfolios across the organization.  In 2011, Karen was promoted to Executive Director of Critical Care Services. In June 2014 she was appointed to the role of Vice President, Clinical where she is responsible for a $100M clinical enterprise and with an increased scope and mandate whereby she now has executive level responsibilities for Ambulatory Services, Clinical Informatics and Technology Assisted Programs and Business Development, in additional to her current portfolio in critical care services.
 
Karen lives in Whitby with her husband Dave and their two school aged children.  An avid hockey mom, Karen’s passion for keeping kids safe extends beyond her work experience.

Edward (Ned) Levitt

Ned Levitt is a partner practising franchise and distribution law at the Toronto offices of Dickinson Wright LLP. He became involved in the area of injury prevention because, as the father of an 18-year-old daughter who lost her life to injury, Ned is acutely aware of the importance of young people learning to take smart risks. Ned was formerly a member and chair of the SMARTRISK board, until joining Parachute in 2012.

Dr. Ash Singhal, BSc, MSc, MD, FRCSC

Dr. Ash Singhal is a Pediatric Neurosurgeon at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, and for 7 years has been the Medical Director of the BC Pediatric Trauma Program. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Singhal obtained his BSc from Queen’s University, and subsequently completed his medical training (MD) at the University of Alberta, Neurosurgical Residency at the University of Toronto, and subsequently a Fellowship in Pediatric Neurosurgery at British Columbia Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Singhal has policy and education experience as an Examination Chair for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, and policy, administration, and research experience in Pediatric Trauma.

Dr. Charles Tator, CM, MD, PhD, FRCS

Dr. Charles Tator is a brain surgeon who founded ThinkFirst Canada in 1992 and was President until 2007.  In 2012, Dr. Tator joined the Board of Parachute, after its amalgamation with ThinkFirst.  He is a professor of neurosurgery at the Toronto Western Hospital and University of Toronto, where he has held two research chairs.  He is also a neuroscientist with a brain and spinal cord regeneration laboratory and has a PhD in neuropathology.  He has published many articles on injury prevention with a focus on prevention of brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. 

In 2008, the University of Toronto Press published his edited book Catastrophic Injuries in Sports and Recreation, Causes and Prevention – a Canadian Study.  In 2009 he reported in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences that spinal cord injuries in hockey have declined as a result of injury prevention programs.  In 2000 he received the Order of Canada and in 2009 he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.  In 2010 he received lifetime achievement awards from the Canadian Neurosurgical Society and the Canadian Paraplegic Association.  In 2011 he received a lifetime achievement award from the American Spinal Injury Association for contributions to the field of research and patient management in spinal cord injury.  He received the USA hockey excellence in safety award in 2012 for his work in preventing brain and spinal cord injuries in hockey.  He is Director of the Canadian Sport Concussion Project at the Toronto Western Hospital.

Donna Wilson

Donna Wilson is the SVP, People at LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services.

Prior to joining LifeLabs, Donna was VP, Industry Services and Sustainability at WorkSafeBC responsible for leading five operational areas. Prior to joining WorkSafeBC, from 2005 to 2010, she was the Executive VP, Workforce and Sustainability at the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC). In addition to her responsibilities for hiring and training a large organization of full and part-time employees and some 25,000 volunteers, Donna played a key role in leading the development of VANOC’s organizational culture, strategic direction and project leadership oversight. Throughout her career, Donna also held progressively more senior roles at Vancity Credit Union, BC Hydro, Canadian Airlines International and the BC Nurses Union.

As SVP, People, Donna leads the development of culture and talent across LifeLabs.  Partnering with the CEO and the executive team, as SVP, People, Donna leads the strategy for cultural and talent development across the growing organization.  Functionally, Donna leads a full range of Human Resources, Labour Relations and Environment, Health and Safety business lines including Talent Acquisition, Organizational Effectiveness, Total Rewards, Payroll & Systems, and HR Business Services.

Donna holds a B.A. Psychology from Simon Fraser University (1979), an Executive Certificate from Queens (2000) and is a Chartered Director (McMasters 2012).