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Meet The Rethinkers

Our Team

MJ DeCoteau

MJ is the Founder + Executive Director at Rethink Breast Cancer where she is responsible for the overall direction, management, fundraising strategy and creative vision of an increasingly bigger and bolder Rethink. While she’s won numerous “trailblazer” awards for her work at Rethink and is known for modernizing the breast cancer campaign, MJ also has a cat-loving, Jane Austen-reading, ’40s musical-watching side. She loves winter snuggled up at home with her husband and daughter, but always the adventurer, has an Arctic expedition on her bucket list.

Tania Kwong

Tania is the Director of Marketing + Communications at Rethink Breast Cancer where she oversees content, communications and marketing campaigns that educate and help spread awareness. Prior to joining Rethink, Tania was the award-winning editor-in-chief of Glow, Canada’s national beauty and health magazine. Her work has also been featured in magazines like Fashion, Sotheby’s Insight and Maison Birks 1869. When she’s not in the office, she’s likely chasing around her two daughters and dreaming up desserts to bake.

Instagram: @taniakwong

Maura Young

Maura is the Finance + HR Director where she keeps the finances on track and manages all things internal for Rethink Breast Cancer. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 Maura first became aware of Rethink through its Support Saturday program and when a vacancy arose happily joined the staff in 2007. Outside of Rethink Maura is mom to two teenagers Evelyn and Aidan, loves spending time with friends and family, doing pilates and judging synchronized swimming.

Ashley Herod

Ashley is the Director of Partnerships + Sponsorships at Rethink Breast Cancer, where she is responsible for building strategic relationships with sponsors and corporate partners, partnering with like-minded brands to drive revenue through programs and events. Ashley brings 20 years of experience in business development, strategic partnerships, marketing and communications to Rethink and is grateful for the opportunity to work with such an incredible team and trailblazing organization. In her personal time, Ashley can be found skiing, biking, SUP paddling and climbing trees with her amazing daughter, Siri – born before the Apple app!

Shawna Ginsberg

Shawna is the Senior Manager of Support + Education at Rethink Breast Cancer. For the past six years, she has provided leadership and used her clinical expertise to create and administer support and educational programs that have a national reach and global interest. Prior to Rethink Breast Cancer, Shawna worked in outreach and advocacy with children, youth and families at Kids Help Phone and Bereaved Families of Ontario. When Shawna is not rethinking breast cancer she is baking, hunting for vintage treasure or spending time at her cottage with friends and family.

Shauna Krajacich

Shauna is the Digital Marketing Manager for Rethink Breast Cancer where she helps drive digital engagement and strategy. Before joining the Rethink team, she worked with charities across North America to provide them with innovative, strategic digital marketing and fundraising campaigns. She strives to continue this work with Rethink, delivering content that reflects the vibrant energy and unique needs of those we support in new and creative ways. Shauna spends her spare time traipsing through the isles of local vintage shops, rediscovering her love of dance at studios across the city and dreaming up new locations for her next adventure.

Alexandra Hourigan

Alex is the Events Manager for Rethink Breast Cancer where she helps plan our amazing events for this important cause. Before joining Rethink, she worked in Holt Renfrew’s marketing department and helped launch little sister brand hr2. Finding herself getting involved with anything event-related she could, both at work and at play, she decided to make the switch from marketing and join the Rethink events team. Alex is always on the hunt for the perfect sangria on Toronto’s sunny patios and travels the world as much as possible…trying to beat her record of 10 countries in one year!

Nicole Aarssen

Nicole is the Social Media Strategist at Rethink Breast Cancer, where she posts, tweets, grams and supports all social and digital things Rethink. She got her start in the organization as an intern while studying for her Masters of Professional Communication, which inspired her to enter the non-profit world. She was thrilled to later officially join the amazing Rethink team. She enjoys travelling, cooking, dancing and yoga.

Instagram: @nicoleaarssen

Carrie Milne

Carrie is the Volunteer and Donor Relations Specialist at Rethink Breast Cancer. Carrie is passionate about volunteer work, frequently lending her time to a number of organizations in Toronto. She is thrilled to bring this passion to Rethink Breast Cancer where she hopes to engage and grow Rethink’s volunteer network. When she’s not working, Carrie spends her time with her family, including her two young children, Layla and Memphis, volunteering for many causes that she cares about and dreaming of her second home in Cape Town, South Africa.  

Emily Piercell

Emily is the Programs Coordinator at Rethink Breast Cancer, where she helps plan and execute Rethink’s educational and support programs. She also manages the Give-A-Care line and regularly contributes to the Rethink blog. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, Emily was introduced to Rethink through the summer retreat, Stretch Heal Grow, where she fell in love with the organization. Outside of Rethink, Emily is trying to figure out life after cancer by volunteering, being a running coach at the Running Room and training for her next half marathon.

Paulina Perzynska

Paulina is the Designer at Rethink Breast Cancer where she uses her design skills to bring visual life to Rethink’s one-of-a-kind resources. She comes from an editorial design background & has designed everything from fashion & youth magazines to horse racing publications (for real). An animal fanatic, she spends her free time with her bossy dachshund Sofie – and Sofie’s boyfriend Bryan (who’s actually Paulina’s fiancé, but don’t tell Sofie that). In 5 years she plans to be managing Rethink’s global branding & designing award-winning awareness & advocacy campaigns… perhaps from a cliff-side house in Cape Town where the sun (almost always) shines.

Instagram: @mynameispea

Stacey Robinson

Stacey is the Director of Partnerships + Sponsorships at Rethink Breast Cancer where she builds relationships with a wide array of brands and companies in order to raise the important funds used to create and evolve Rethink’s programs and events. Before joining the amazing and inspiring Rethink team, Stacey headed up the partnership department at NXNE, Canada’s largest music festival, where she worked directly with top tier brands to create best in class branded experiences. Previous to that, Stacey spent 5 years building Advertising Week Canada, and was responsible for overall business strategy, sponsorship solicitation and activation as well as overseeing all event logistics.

(Currently on leave)

photography by: Alicia Thurston

Scientific Advisory Committee

Dr. Anil Abraham Joy, Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta. Medical Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute. Medical Director (Edmonton), Alberta Cancer Research/CBCF Tumor Bank. Provincial Chair, Alberta Breast Cancer Program

Dr. Christine Brezden-Masley, Medical Oncologist and the Division Head of Hematology / Oncology at St. Michael’s Hospital and Head of the Oncology Clinical Research

Dr. Daniel Rayson, Associate Professor, Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine. Director, Atlantic Clinical Cancer Research Unit (ACCRU). Medical Oncologist, QEII Cancer Care Program. Vice-Chair of the Development Board, Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute

Dr. Jory Simpson, Division of General Surgery, assistant Medical Director of the CIBC Breast Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital and a lecturer in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto

Dr. Katia Tonkin, Professor, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta. Medical Oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Alberta

Dr. Stephen Chia, Medical Oncologist and chair – Provincial Breast Tumour Group, BC Cancer Agency

Dr. Sunil Verma, Associate Professor, University of Toronto and a Medical Oncologist at the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Advisory Board

The MBC Advisory Board was created to help empower Canadians living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) by providing patient-focused insights on issues related to those affected by and concerned about MBC. This board brings together the lived experience and knowledge of women living with MCB, women who have had early-stage breast cancer, and caregivers. Learn more about the MBC Advisory Board here.

(Chair) Judit Saunders

(Chair) Tasha Westerman

Carmen Powell

Deborah Bridgman

Laura Rice

Nathalie Baudais

Shannon McGinty

Vesna Zic-Cote

Board of Directors

(Chair) John Tobin, LLB, Partner at Torys LLP

Alison Gordon, Chief Executive Officer, 48North

Christine Brezden-Masley, Medical Oncologist; Division Head of Hematology / Oncology at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto

Eva Salem, Vice President of Strategic Marketing, Canadian Tire

Amanda Alvaro, Co-Founder, Pomp + Circumstance

Jordon Bortolotti, EVP at Studio 71 LP

R3 Advisory Committee

The R3 is a dynamic group of young professionals dedicated to volunteering their time, talents, and energy. As a group of motivated, community-minded, and philanthropic young professionals, the R3 members help raise Rethink’s visibility as well as identify and connect resources to the organization.  They are passionate leaders, supporting young people dealing with breast cancer.

Adrienne Love, Torys LLP

Ainslie Parsons, Bereskin & Parr LLP, RYWN

AJ Goodman, Corporate Communications Professional

Christine Wilson, Sun Life Financial

Dory Kashin, Event Planning Consultant, RYWN

Emma Stainton, Associate Director of Client Relations at Black Creek Investment Management

Emma Watham, Creative and Art Director at John St.

Fotini Iconomopoulos, Management Consultant

Jen Schenkel, Multidisciplinary Artist

Laura Carinci, Marketing at Knixwear

Lauren McPhillips, Editor at This Renegade Love

Meredyth Williams, Marketing at DS Group

Michalina Szulc, Director of Program Management at RBC

Natasha Peterson, Arts & Culture

Silvana Langley, Development Manager, RYWN

Tasha Westerman, Director, People Services at Long View Systems

Veronica Waterson MacDonnell, Brand Strategist at Twitter