Article Index


Board of Directors

Our board is comprised of seniors, individuals from organizations that serve or represent seniors, service providers, including police, individuals in government, and academics. The board is nominated from the membership once a year and meets monthly. As a working board, members serve on one or more special committees.

For any inquiry, contact  the CNPEA Executive Director: Bénédicte Schoepflin


Board of Directors

Marie-Ève Bédard, Drummondville, Québecmebedard profile pic
Marie-Ève ​​Bédard holds a doctorate (Ph.D.) in gerontology from the University of Sherbrooke. She is a principal researcher at the Collegial Center for Expertise in Gerontology (CCEG) at Cégep de Drummondville.Her research expertise includes: populations in vulnerable situations, including LGBT+ older adults; mistreatment and bullying of older adults; domestic violence among older adults; social participation of older adults, including defense of rights and intergenerationality; quality living environments for older adults.She has led and leads several action-research projects, including: Healthier, Safer, Welcoming and Inclusive Private Residences with a Serious Game Aiming to Prevent and Counter Mistreatment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Older Adults (LGBT+) (2020-2022) ; Violence within elderly couples living at home during confinement: strengthening the feeling of security through a better understanding of these situations, and the production, distribution and evaluation of awareness-raising video clips (2021-2023); Promoting practices to prevent or counter the stigmatization of older adults with dementia in their community and promoting their inclusion (2021-2023).Marie-Ève ​​is a social gerontologist whose work contributes to the health — physical, mental and financial — well-being, quality of life and safety of older adults, both in Quebec and internationally


Judy Beranger, Torbay, Newfoundland and Labradorjudy beranger
Judy M. Beranger is an educator, counsellor, mediator, and author. She is Vice-Chairperson of SeniorsNL, President of Family Mediation Canada and a Past President of the Elder Mediation International Network, (EMIN). She is a nationally Family Comprehensive certified advanced Mediator and Nationally and internationally Advanced certified Elder Mediator.  She is passionate about the importance of reducing ageism in our society and as a result reducing the likelihood of abuse and neglect. Judy has chaired nine world summits on Mediation with age-related issues. She was part of the development of the recently released International "Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults" Document. In 2012 Judy authored a report for Justice Canada: Exploring the Role of Elder Mediation in the Prevention of Elder Abuse. Judy is the recipient of several National Leadership Awards and an International Award for her global work in pioneering the specialty of Mediation with age-related issues.

david burnes croppedDavid Burnes, Toronto, Ontario
PhD, Canada Research Chair in Older Adult Mistreatment Prevention
Professor, University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
Co-Founder of RISE (Community-Based Response Intervention for Older Adults At Risk of or Experiencing Mistreatment or Self-Neglect)
Affiliate Scientist, Baycrest, Rotman Research Institute
Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse Board
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"I joined the board of CNPEA because I am passionate about the well-being of older adults and working toward solutions that support those who are at risk of or experiencing mistreatment. I believe that CNPEA has the capacity to make powerful changes in Canada toward a society in which older adults can live safely and with dignity."


Claire Checkland, Stittsville, Ontarioclaire checkland
Claire is a passionate, results-oriented health advocate with 20 years of experience in government and stakeholder relations and policy analysis for national not-for-profit health organizations including the Canadian AIDS Society, Canadian Cancer Society and the Mental Health Commission of Canada. She is currently the Executive Director of the Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health where she has helped the organization achieve sustainability and grow their membership to more than 2,000 individuals and organizations. Claire has a successful track record engaging varied stakeholders in progress towards common health and social goals and has an ability to identify and implement new, innovative approaches to organizational priority issues. She is adept at facilitating the establishment of sustained, meaningful relationships with community, stakeholders and government officials. Claire has an undergraduate-honours degree in Psychology as well as a Diploma of Social Sciences. She lives in Stittsville, Ontario with her husband and two sons. 

Sean Fitch, Markham, Ontario
Sean is currently Secretary of the Boardsean fitch
Sean has over 10 years of experience in marketing and communications, having held progressive roles in agencies, higher education, non-profits and healthcare. He is currently Director of Marketing at Canadian Addiction Treatment Centres (CATC), Canada's largest accredited provider of treatment and recovery services for substance use disorder and addictive behaviours. Having entered the seniors' space at Canadian Association of Retired Persons in 2019, and then joining CanAge as Director of Marketing and Communications, Sean has a vested passion for issues affecting older Canadians. He worked for several years in collaboration with CNPEA on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day initiatives, building momentum year over year and engaging policymakers, members of the public and the broader sector on protecting older adults' rights. He is a compassionate communicator and business leader, bringing a person-centered lens to communications that drive people to care and take action. When he's not working, he can be found walking his dog, playing strategy board games with friends or thrifting for vintage clothing.

Marta Hajek, Toronto, Ontariomartahajek sep2019 crop
As CEO for Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario, Marta has been working diligently with the Ontario government to build a stronger presence in the community; to advance the priorities of the Ontario Strategy to Combat Abuse and to build sustainable partnerships with agencies and other like-minded stakeholders supporting older adults. EAPO’s strategic approaches aim to improve the quality of life of older adult Canadians, by helping build community capacity to address their growing complexity of needs and to provide ongoing support to the families and caregivers to those at-risk of abuse and harm. In April 2023, as part of the delegation of the Canadian Coalition Against Ageism (CCAA), Marta attended the UN's Open Ended Working Group on Aging (OEWGA13), advocating for the declaration of a UN convention on the rights of older persons. Marta is currently serving her 3rd term appointment to the Ontario Securities Commission’s Senior Experts Advisory Committee.

Sandra Hirst, Calgary, Alberta
Sandra is currently Chair of the Boardsandra hirst sept2019
Sandra P. Hirst RN, PhD, GNC(C) has held a number of leadership positions in gerontology including president of the Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association; president of the Canadian Association on Gerontology, and president of the Alberta Association of Gerontology. Sandra has completed a three-year appointment from the Prime Minister to sit on the National Seniors Council. She currently sits on the Board of the IFA. Her areas of research and related scholarship focus on abuse and neglect of older adults, and the experiences of older adults who reside in long term care facilities. In 2012, she received the Jeanne Mance Award from the Canadian Nurses Association, the highest honour that a registered nurse can receive from her peers.


Andrew Iaboni, Markham, Ontario
Andrew is currently Treasurer of the Boardandrew iaboni
Andrew Iaboni brings 20 years of financial leadership experience to the Board. Andrew holds a CPA designation and received a Bachelor of Commerce and Major in Economics from the University of Toronto. Andrew is currently working in the real estate industry for a private equity owned global property management company and servers as Global Vice President, Corporate Finance.


Dr. Rose Joudi, Calgary, Albertaimg rosejoudi cropped
Rose Joudi, BSc (Psych), BA Psych (Hons), MSc Psych (Hons) and Ph.D. (Psych) is an Aging and Ethnic Diversity Consultant with more than 15 years of academic and research experience in the Psychology of Aging. Rose has worked with various stakeholders focusing on supporting the needs of vulnerable, marginalized and ethnically diverse populations. As a person who is from a visible minority and bilingual in English and Arabic, Rose believes that understanding the diverse backgrounds and needs of our older adults should be part of any well-being approach. She finds it imperative that professionals are encouraged and supported in using culturally competent strategies as well as holistic approaches when working with older adults. Rose is passionate about enhancing quality of life of older persons, protecting them from exploitation, supporting coping and resilience strategies that promote successful ageing, and ensuring that diversity is acknowledged in professional and community settings. 

Ken Kuhn, Port Moody, British Columbiaken kuhn
Ken went to UBC & U of Oregon to receive his MBA & MSc degrees, and taught business courses in the Coquitlam School District, BCIT, & UBC. Ken retired from teaching about twelve years ago.Ken spends his retirement life “paying it forward” on seniors’ issues as Executive Director of the Tri-Cities Seniors’ Action Society (TCSAS) & Coordinator of the New Horizons Grants received by the TCSAS. Ken has written three successful NHSP grants over the last three years as well as a UBCM Age-Friendly grant for the City of Port Moody. As ED of TCSAS, Ken has organized several free events for seniors such as: Age-Friendly Tri-Cities, WorldFest—A Seniors’ Celebration of Cultures, the Elder Abuse & Wellness Forum, and Pathways to Better Health Forum.Ken is also a Regional Mentor for Fraser Valley West for the BC Association of Community Response Networks to promote Awareness of Adult Abuse. His network area includes the Lower Mainland communities of the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody), Maple Ridge, New Westminster, and Burnaby. Ken frequently offers workshops in adult abuse awareness in the Lower Mainland.Ken promotes immunization awareness for seniors in workshops and media through an educational grant from Sanofi-Pasteur Ken has a passion for seniors’ issues: abuse awareness and prevention, advocating for healthy aging, and keeping seniors connected in their communities. 

Jodi Lee-White, Fredericton, New Brunswick     
Jodi is currently Vice Chair of the Board2016 headshot jodileewhite cropped
After starting out in private practice, Jodi undertook various roles in her professional association with exposure to a wide variety of legal issues. In 2014, she returned to her roots in estate planning, starting a mobile legal practice preparing Wills, Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives. Through her practice and her participation in various professional groups, it became increasingly clear that greater efforts needed to be made to prevent the mistreatment and abuse of older adults, particularly those with disabilities and vulnerabilities.  She presents regularly to professionals and the public on estate planning topics, encouraging everyone over the age of majority to have valid and up-to-date Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney with sufficient checks and balances to ensure their long-term care, autonomy and dignity is respected.


Denise Lemire, Orléans, Ontariophoto denise lemire 2022
Having obtained a master's degree in sociology from the University of Ottawa, Denise Lemire has carried out and directed a multitude of research in the fields of health, social services, and education. Denise has worked in the Francophonie for more than 40 years as a researcher, consultant, president of organizations, member of boards of directors, active community volunteer. In recent years, Denise has assumed the management of grants for organizations and artists. In April 2015, Denise became the Executive Director of the Fédération des aînés et retraités francophones de l’Ontario (FARFO). She is currently a representative of the Centre Pauline-Charron, center for active living, on the board of directors of FARFO Régionale Ottawa (as well as the Roundtable of Seniors of the City of Ottawa). She sits on the board of directors of the provincial FARFO and chairs the new Réseau de prévention de la maltraitance des aîné.e.s francophones de l’Ontario (RPMAFO). Since October 2021, Denise has been representing the Seniors Sector on the Board of Directors of the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario. At the national level, Denise is in her fourth year on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA/RCPMTA), where she brings her expertise at the Francophone level, including the creation of the Table francophone pour contrer les mauvais traitements chez les personnes aînées; she is also part of the Core Management Team of a 5-year project STOP-GBV - Promising Practices to End Gender-Based Violence Against Women 55 and over. She is the recipient of the Prix Claudette-Boyer – Citizen of the Year 2023 offered by ACFO-Ottawa.

Lisa Manuel, Toronto, Ontariolisa manuel 2018
Lisa has been working in the social services field for over 25 years. Her first and continuing passion is working with seniors. She has worked in a variety of capacities as a staff person doing outreach and providing counselling supports to older people experiencing abuse.  She has also worked as a manager supporting a team who provides prevention and intervention supports in this area, developing new programming such as an elder abuse consultation team and a safe haven for older people experiencing abuse (Pat's Place). Lisa is interested in deepening connections between the domestic violence and elder abuse fields and has worked at this intersection as a manager.  As a trained researcher, she has participated on several research initiatives in elder abuse. As a Director of Clinical Services, she has a solid experience interacting with government officials and elected MPPs to advocate for the need for a comprehensive funded approach to working with community dwelling older adults who experience abuse.

Michele Markham, Edmonton, Albertamichelemarkham profilepic
Michele Markham is a Registered Social Worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers and holds a Bachelor Degree in Human Service Administration. For the past six years she has worked at Sage Seniors Association in Edmonton as the Manager of the Seniors’ Safe House, a shelter for older adults needing safety from abuse. Michele participates on the management committee of the Seniors Protection Partnership, is a member of the Diverse Voices conference planning committee and co-chair of the Elder Abuse Consultation Team. In addition to working at Sage, Michele is a member of the MacEwan University School of Social Work Advisory Council, is a Public Member of the Mental Health Review Panel, and is past Chair of the Board of Directors of the George Spady Society. In addition to working in the field of social work for nearly 30 years, she has more than 20 years of experience with Board Governance and has facilitated numerous board development workshops as part of the Board Development program with the Alberta Government.


Greg Noseworthy, St John's, Newfoundlandgregnoseworthy profilepic 2020
Born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Greg Noseworthy has always taken an approach to understanding and addressing senior and elder issues within NL. While at law school and preparing for his eventual call to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador, Greg directed his energy to seniors issues within the law. Since then he has maintained a focussed law practice in senior issues, primarily by preventing elder abuse in the legal and non-legal worlds. This also includes his full-time work with a non-profit access to justice group that allows him to work with retired groups, 50+ clubs, and other senior and elder focussed organisations across Newfoundland and Labrador. Even as 28 year old Greg is quick to note that everyone in society focus on this issue as it is the only form of discrimination, prejudice, and abuse that affects all persons regardless of race, religion, sexuality, or other characteristics. With this mindset, Greg continues to actively participate in all opportunities to prevent elder abuse. This includes working with Seniors NL, the NL Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and participating in government reviews of the provincial Adult Protection Act, among other committees and organisations. As a young man in one of the oldest provinces in the country, Greg recognises the needs of an aging population. Whether it be the physical, mental, emotional, financial, or other unique needs of the elder population, Greg has consistently geared his career to finding ways to make “golden years” truly golden.

Amy Peirone, Kingsville, Ontario amy peirone pic cropped
Having recently completed her Ph.D. in Sociology with a Specialization in Social Justice, Dr. Amy Peirone is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research expertise is in research methodology and the study of various forms of violence. Amy’s current research explores the distinct types of intimate partner violence (IPV) experienced by males and females in Canada and the multi-level factors related to these abusive experiences. In addition to her postdoctoral research, Amy is currently an Instructor at St. Clair College, where she teaches Criminology as well as Law, Power, and Social Justice. Other roles that Amy has taken on include Co-Director for the University of Windsor’s Health Research Centre for the Study of Violence Against Women, Coordinator for the Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee Windsor-Essex, and Amy is a long-standing member of the Board of Directors at St. Leonard’s House Windsor, a halfway house for federal offenders. 


Honorary member
Elizabeth Podnieks, Toronto, OntarioScreen Shot 2015 03 06 at 10.45.23 AM
Elizabeth is one of the founding members of three key organizations in this area: Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ONPEA), CNPEA~RCPMTA, and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA). She has served on the Executive for all three bodies and has actively promoted the value of Networks at all levels.

She was the architect of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) in 2003 and Chair of the WEAAD Steering Committee.

For nearly a quarter century, Elizabeth has conducted research and published extensively in the area of abuse and neglect, as well as having supported the efforts of others. She has presented at numerous conferences, workshops, scientific and educational meetings at both the national and international level.

She received the Order of Canada for her work in the area of abuse prevention, including the first Canadian incidence study in 1989. On June 14th, 2012, she also received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of her lifetime commitment and efforts. Elizabeth was recently elected honorary director of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. (United States)

She has been the source of passion and imagination on numerous initiatives in this area. She generated the project "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) in Cyberspace" working with national and international partners to harness social media in raising awareness of senior abuse.

Elizabeth received the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) National Rosalie Wolf Award 2013 and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA)International Rosalie Wolf Award for 2013, becoming the first person to be the recipient of two Rosalie Wolf awards in the same year.


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