Our Board of Trustees
Dr. Eric Jackman - Founding Chair
Frederic (Eric) L.R. Jackman, C.M., O.Ont., C.D., Ph.D., C.Psych., LL.D., a businessman and psychologist serves as founding chair and trustee of The Psychology Foundation of Canada. Eric was educated at the Universities of British Columbia, Toronto and Chicago. Dr. Jackman is President of Invicta Investment Incorporated and Chairman of the Jackman Foundation. He is the Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Windsor and past President of the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Empire Club of Canada, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Toronto Branch, as well as being the immediate past Chair of the Atlantic Council of Canada. For his work to improve his community and Canada, Dr. Jackman has received the CMHA C.M. Hincks National Award for Mental Health, Canada’s 125th Anniversary Commemorative Medal, Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Order of Ontario and two honourary doctorates.
Harriet Lewis - President
Harriet Lewis B.A.,M.A., LL.B.completed both her Honours Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English at York. She went on to earn an LL.B. from the University of Toronto and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1977. After a number of years in private practice, Harriet returned to York in 1988 when she took up the post of a University Counsel. In addition, in June 1998, Harriet was appointed University Secretary. As such, she is the Secretary of the Board of Governors and its committees, as well as the Secretary of Senate, its Executive Committee and Sub-Committee on Honorary Degrees and Ceremonials. In her capacity as University Secretary and General Counsel, she is a member of the University Executive Committee, the President's Priorities Committee and several other administrative committees, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the York University Development Corporation. Her office also oversees the licensing of the University's names and marks and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Office. Harriet has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Universities Reciprocal Insurance Exchange and is a past President of the Canadian Association of University Solicitors. She currently also serves on the Board of the Starfish Greathearts Foundation and the North York Harvest Food Bank.
Cathy Backman - Past President
Cathy Backman M.B.A. is a former senior banking executive with TD Bank Financial Group with significant expertise in risk management a and retail strategy and execution. Most recently, she was the Senior Vice President, Retail Strategy & Solutions Group at TD Canada Trust where she led the Head Office of the retail branch network until 2010.
During her 27 year career with TD, she assumed a leadership role in a number of the Bank's diversity and corporate employee experience programs. Cathy spearheaded the Bank's initiative to make its culture and environment more supportive of work - life balance challenges by creating and chairing it's Flexible Work Arrangement Committee. Additionally, she chaired a committee to improve the customer experience for "People With Disabilities". As a result, TD was the first bank to have a website dedicated to accessible customer service, an external advisory committee and a fully accessible ABM network. Cathy received her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Business Administration from Queen's University and has served on the Corporate Advisory Board of Children's Miracle Network since 2005.
Harriet Stairs - Non-Executive Chair
Harriet Stairs B.A. was the Executive Vice President, Human Resources at the Bank of Montreal until 2001, and since that time, has consulted in the human resources field. She was the Chair of the Kids Have Stress Too!® (KHST!) Committee – KHST! is a program developed by The Psychology Foundation of Canada. In addition to this volunteer work, she in on the executive committee of the Shaw Festival Board, Co-Chair of The Portage Drug Rehabilitation Program of Ontario, Vice Chairman of the York Club and a Governor Emeritus of McGill University.
In addition, Mrs. Stairs is past President of "Smile" Theatre Company, dedicated to bringing live, professional theatre to seniors in Ontario. She is also a past member of the Ryerson University Board, the Strategic Management Association Board, as well as the Conference Board Council on Education.
Nancy Shepherd - Treasurer
Nancy Shepherd CPA,CA
Mary Lou Gossage - Chair, External Relations
Mary Lou Goassage, B.A, is a partner in Weave Communications, a marketing and communications company. She began her career at Ogilvy and Mather, has held senior management positions in several other major advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi and DDB Needham and provided marketing consulting services to several banks and investment companies and technology start-ups. Mary Lou served as a director of First Three Years, the Ontario Freestyle Skiing Association and the Ontario Ski Council. Mary Lou has a Hons BA from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Reva A. Gerstein - Past President
Dr. Reva Appleby Gerstein, C.C., O.Ont., LL.D, D. Litt., Ph.D., C.Psych. was educated as a psychologist at the University of Toronto before the Second World War and was one of the early female graduates with a Ph.D. in psychology. She was also the first woman Chancellor of the University of Western Ontario from 1992 to 1996 and has been a pioneer in the role of women on the boards of major corporations. Her over 50-year career as a psychologist, educator, community leader, member of the business community and humanitarian has contributed in an extraordinary way to Canadian society. A pioneer in Canadian mental health, Dr. Gerstein created two institutions, the Gerstein Crisis Centre and the Hinck's Treatment Centre for Adolescents, in addition to initiating "Mental Health Week". She is also a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association.
Her many honours have included:
1974: Made a Member of the Order of Canada, promoted to Officer in 1979 and promoted to Companion in 1997.
1988: Awarded the Order of Ontario.
1993: Awarded an honourary Doctor of Laws (psychologist, community and university service) from York University.
1996: Awarded an honourary degree from the University of Toronto.