Mike Bedard

Mike lives in Toronto with his wife Ann has two children, Scott and Kelly. Professionally, Mike is a personal trainer and the founder of Forever Active, a boutique gym that specializes in physical training and fitness rehabilitation of adults over 50. Mike enjoys running participating in over 23 marathons, golfing, going to the movies, reading non-fiction, great food and fine wine.

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Mike Bedard

My name is Michael Bedard and I am extremely happy, honored and proud to be part of the True Patriot Love Expedition: Himalayas 2018. I live in Toronto with my wonderful wife Ann to whom I have been married for 31 years. We are fortunate to have two lovely children, Scott who is 30 and lives in London England and Kelly who is 28 and lives in Toronto.

Professionally, I am a personal trainer and am the founder of Forever Active (www.forever-active.com), which is a boutique gym that specializes in physical training and fitness rehabilitation of adults over 50.

I was privileged in 2014 to travel with True Patriot Love to Europe with my son to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landing. Visiting the sacred battle fields of the first and second world wars, listening to historical accounts by professor Terry Copp, the military perspectives from Retired Chief of Defence General Rick Hillier and meeting and hearing firsthand accounts from World War Two and Afghanistan veterans was an extremely moving and memorable experience. A greater appreciation and respect for our soldiers and the sacrifices they have made to protect our freedom and liberties was gained and will never be forgotten.

On a personal level I enjoy running, with over 23 marathons completed, which includes running one in each province. I also enjoy golfing, going to the movies, reading non-fiction, great food and fine wine.

I am looking forward to the personal challenge of our expedition but also meeting and developing camaraderie and new friendships with our fellow teammates.

To donate to Mike, click here.

Bronwen Evans

Ms. Bronwen Evans is a Founding Director and CEO of True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL), which has been raising record funds to support military families through its signature Tribute Dinners since its inception in 2009.

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Bronwen Evans

Ms. Bronwen Evans is a Founding Director and CEO of the True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL), which has been raising record funds to support military families through its signature Tribute Dinners since its inception in 2009. Under her leadership since 2012, TPL has successfully spearheaded expeditions to the Himalayas, North Pole, and Antarctica, partnering prominent business leaders with wounded veterans. She also led the successful bid and raised the required seed funding to secure Prince Harry’s Invictus Games for Toronto in 2017.

Previous to her role with TPL, Ms. Evans was the Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Medcan, the largest executive health clinic in North America, where she became the company’s first Chief Privacy Officer. Prior to joining Medcan,
Ms. Evans successfully ran her own communications and public affairs consulting firm for five years with a roster of clients from the energy, healthcare, legal, and government sectors.

Prior to her time in business, Ms. Evans was the Chief of Staff to the Ontario Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, where she advised on taxation and spending policies while leading the development and communication of the 2001 Provincial Budget. In addition, Ms. Evans served as Chief of Staff to the Attorney General, and a senior advisor to the Minister of Community and Social Services, and the Minister of Health.

Ms. Evans currently serves as a Director of the National Ballet of Canada, and a Governor of Kingsway College School. She previously served as a Director on the Boards of the 2016 Orlando Invictus Games, The Canadian Club and Youth Without Shelter. Ms. Evans is a recipient of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), which honours significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

Eric Fleming

Eric Fleming is a former Artillery soldier and current Aviation Systems technician in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Domestically, Eric deployed to fight forest fires in Kamloops B.C., provided alpine security for the G8 summit in Kananaskis AB. Internationally, Eric completed two six-month tours to Bosnia and one nine-month tour to Afghanistan, all within the first six years of my career.

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Eric Fleming

I am Eric Fleming, a former Artillery soldier and current Aviation Systems technician in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Domestically I deployed to fight forest fires in Kamloops B.C., provided alpine security for the G8 summit in Kananaskis AB while internationally I completed two six-month tours to Bosnia and one nine-month tour to Afghanistan, all within the first six years of my career. I have an amazing wife of 15 years who raised our three children while supporting me through my 18 years of service, and now we are focusing on my transition to civilian life.

To donate to Eric, click here

Shaun Francis

Shaun Francis serves as the Chair of the Board for True Patriot Love, which he founded in 2009 to benefit Canada’s military families. Shaun is the Chair of New York City’s EHE, the recognized American leader in preventive medicine, and the Chair and CEO of Toronto’s Medcan. Established more than 25 years ago, Medcan is a global leader in assessing their clients’ overall well-being and inspiring them to "live well."

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Shaun Francis

Shaun Francis serves as the Chair of the Board for True Patriot Love, which he founded in 2009 to benefit Canada’s military families. Shaun is the Chair of New York City’s EHE, the recognized American leader in preventive medicine, and the Chair and CEO of Toronto’s Medcan. Established more than 25 years ago, Medcan is a global leader in assessing their clients’ overall well-being and inspiring them to “live well.” In 2016 Medcan was featured in the National Post as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. Prior to his roles at EHE and Medcan, Shaun was one of the founding employees and Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Dallas-based Broadlane, Inc., a leading business process outsourcer for over 900 American hospitals. In 2010, Broadlane was sold to MedAssets for US$850MM. Prior to joining Broadlane, Shaun also worked for Morgan Stanley’s New York and Toronto investment banking division, where he managed equity, debt and mergers and acquisitions transactions.

Shaun also serves on the boards of the Invictus Games Canada (he chaired its bid committee), the Fraser Institute, and the advisory board of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). He previously served on the boards of Toronto Pearson Airport, Upper Canada College and was the Chair of the Ontario Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and the PC Ontario Fund.  In 2013, he was asked by Canada’s Minister of Veterans Affairs to chair the Veteran Transition Advisory Council (VTAC). The Council was comprised of Canadian business leaders and assisted the minister in drafting strategic recommendations for the transition of service personnel to the private sector.

In 2009, Shaun was selected by a national panel and featured in The Globe and Mail as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, an award which recognizes a new generation of top achievers in business, the professions, academia and public service. In 2010, Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Walter Natynczyk, awarded Shaun the military’s highest recognition for a civilian, the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service. In 2011, Shaun was the convocation speaker at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario where he received his Honorary Doctor of Laws from Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay.  In 2012, he was selected by Toronto Life as one of Toronto’s top 50 most influential people. In 2013, he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by Senator Linda Frum and the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Steven Blaney, for his community service. In 2014, he was awarded the Veterans Affairs Commendation by Minister Julian Fantino for contributing in an exemplary manner to the care and well-being of Veterans. In 2015, he was recognized by Toronto’s Junior Achievement chapter with their Bold Thinkers Inspiring Leaders award for taking risks and challenging convention. In 2016, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross by Canada’s Governor General.

Shaun enjoys endurance sports and, in 2012, co-led the True Patriot Love Expedition to Everest Base Camp and the summit of Island Peak, a 6,189 metre Himalayan Peak adjacent to Mount Everest. The expedition featured 12 injured Canadian soldiers, raising funds and awareness for the True Patriot Love Foundation and injured Veterans. It was the subject of a national prime-time documentary named “March to the Top” airing on the CBC in February 2013. In 2014, Shaun co-led another True Patriot Love Expedition to the Magnetic North Pole, which was also the subject of a national prime-time documentary on the History Channel. In 2017, Shaun completed his third True Patriot Love Expedition retracing the route of Canadian explorer George Douglas in the Northwest Territories to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary as a nation. In 2018, Shaun will return to Nepal with several ill and injured soldiers to retrace the path of Sir Edmund Hillary to Everest Base Camp, 65 years after his first successful summit, with his son Peter Hillary.

Shaun earned his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science with honours and merit from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, after he received a nomination from President Reagan to attend as a Canadian. While there, he also earned a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Canadian Army.

Shaun is married to Stacy Francis and is father to Robert, William, and Christopher. Born and raised in Canada, he has lived with his family in both the United States, the United Kingdom and France, and has travelled extensively throughout the world.

To donate to Shaun, click here.

Twitter: @Shaun_Francis
Instagram: s_c_francis

 

William Francis

William Francis is currently attending Ardingly College in London, England and will be in the lower 6th form next year, graduating in 2019.

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William Francis

William Francis, 16,  is currently attending Ardingly College in London, England and will be in the lower 6th form next year, graduating in 2019. William enjoys playing tennis and skiing as well as discussing politics, music (Drake especially), the NBA and current events. William is fluent in both French and English.

Trevor Holt

Trevor has enjoyed a busy career in the Canadian Armed Forces, deploying on three tours to Afghanistan and the Ukraine. In his current position in the military, Trevor instructs future Infantry Sergeants. When not working, Trevor spends as much time as he can white water kayaking, climbing and has just started to learn how to ski. Trevor has had the opportunity to kayak as far away as Thailand and have hit most major rivers in Canada.

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Trevor Holt

I was born in Guelph, Ontario on December 18, 1980 to Stuart and Diane Holt, and I have a sister Amanda born 6 years after me.

I have enjoyed a busy career, deploying on three tours to Afghanistan and one to Ukraine. My first tour was to Kabul in 2005. My second tour was to Kandahar in 2006 where I was involved in OP MADUSA. My third tour was back to Kandahar in 2010 where I was wounded on 17 May. In my current position in the military, I instruct future Infantry Sergeants. When not working, I spend as much time as I can white water kayaking, climbing and have just started to learn how to ski. I have had the opportunity to kayak as far away as Thailand and have hit most rivers in Canada. I’m lucky enough to be living 20 minutes away from the Ottawa River, one of the most famous kayak locations in Canada.

To donate to Trevor, click here

Thomas Jedrej

With over two decades of Private Wealth Management expertise, Thomas has been actively focused on providing comprehensive financial management and solutions to high net worth families, trusts and charitable organizations. Thomas has demonstrated a commitment to continuous education and has earned professional designations of CFP, CIM, FCSI, CIWM, FMA and Family Enterprise Advisor.

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Thomas Jedrej

With over two decades of Private Wealth Management expertise, Thomas has been actively focused on providing comprehensive financial management and solutions to high net worth families, trusts and charitable organizations. Thomas has demonstrated a commitment to continuous education and has earned professional designations of CFP, CIM, FCSI, CIWM, FMA and Family Enterprise Advisor. Thomas has also competed Governing for Nonprofit Excellence Program through Harvard Business School and is a graduate of the Directors Education Program (DEP67) offered through ICD/Rotman School of Management.

Thomas serves as Chair of The Arthritis Society (Ontario) and is a member of The Arthritis National Board, Governance Nomination and Revenue Development Committees. Thomas also serves as a member of Ontario Shores for Mental Health Foundation Board and Chairs the Investment & Finance Committee.

Born in Warsaw, Poland, Thomas immigrated to Canada with his parents in 1988. Since 2003, Thomas lives in Oakville with his wife and two sons, aged 16 and 12, both of whom are competitive freestyle snowboarder and skier. As a retired Certified Master Scuba Diver Trainer, Thomas used to teach scuba diving for a number of years, and now in his spare time, he enjoys skiing, golfing and traveling.

To donate to Thomas, click here

Scott Kress

Scott’s accomplishments as a leadership training instructor are only surpassed by his successes on the side of the world’s most famous mountains. Having worked with Pecos River, Aon Consulting and Outward Bound, Scott was also the 51st Canadian to summit Mount Everest and even more significantly the 17th Canadian to climb the 7 Summits. Scott has taught leadership and team development for the EMBA and MBA programs at the Rotman School of Management, Odette School of Business, and the University of Edinburgh.

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Scott Kress

Scott accomplishments as a leadership training instructor are only surpassed by his successes on the side of the worlds most famous mountains. Having worked with Pecos River, Aon Consulting and Outward Bound, Scott was also the 51st Canadian to summit Mount Everest and even more significantly the 17th Canadian to climb the 7 Summits.Years of experience, two undergraduate degrees and a Masters in Leadership and Training provide Scott with unique qualifications to design and deliver some of the most innovative corporate experiential based training available today.

Scott has one goal: to assist teams, leaders, and individuals in reaching their peak performance. This is accomplished through combining the latest team and leadership theory with cutting edge experiential training to create one of the most effective training programs available today.Scott has taught leadership and team development for the EMBA and MBA programs at the Rotman School of Management, Odette School of Business, and the University of Edinburgh.

Brian MacEachern

Brian was born in New Waterford, Cape Breton, NS. In 1997, Brian graduated with a diploma in Law and Security. He applied to the Canadian Armed Forces full time and in late 1999, he was accepted and posted to Gagetown, NB. Brian deployed overseas to Africa in 2000 and Afghanistan in 2004.

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Brian MacEachern

My name is Brian MacEachern and I am 42 years old. I was born in New Waterford, Cape Breton, NS on August 2nd, 1975. I am married to Jennifer Pyke MacEachern and we have three children, Danny 24, Jema 7, and Leala 6. My parents split up when I was very young and my mother remarried. Growing up in Cape Breton was difficult, during my school years I was bullied a lot. When I was 12, my family moved to Halifax, NS. I turned to sports to help me get away from being bullied. When I reached high school, I continued with sports playing competitive rugby, as well as a new interest in music. I started playing in a band and thought that was my calling. I graduated in 1995 from Auburn Drive Hight School. My band was playing around the city, but I was not happy, so I decided to leave and move back to Cape Breton with my father, under the conditions of going back to school and joining the army reserves.

In 1997, I graduated with a diploma in Law and Security and wanted to be an RCMP officer, so the following year I enrolled in Cape Breton University. At the time, I was still active in rugby and made the University’s rugby team as a starter. I also applied to the Canadian Armed Forces full time because my grades were falling, and I wanted to gain more experience before writing the RCMP test. In late 1999, I was accepted and posted to Gagetown, NB. I deployed overseas to Africa in 2000, Afghanistan in 2004 2007.

To donate to Brian, click here.

Megan McDonald

Megan is the Manager of Expedition Fundraising at True Patriot Love Foundation. She began her career at the Canadian Cancer Society where she was responsible for external engagement, including corporate development, marketing and Relay for Life. Following that she spent some time as a Senior development staff person at the MS Society of Canada where she was responsible for developing and executing all corporate and cultivation events on a national scale.

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Megan McDonald

Megan is the Manager of Expedition Fundraising at True Patriot Love Foundation. She began her career at the Canadian Cancer Society where she was responsible for external engagement, including corporate development, marketing and Relay for Life. Following that she spent some time as a Senior development staff person at the MS Society of Canada where she was responsible for developing and executing all corporate and cultivation events on a national scale. Megan recently completed her MBA from Queen’s university and is actively involved in alumni activities. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading and exploring all that the Toronto restaurant scene has to offer.

To donate to Megan, click here.

Melissa Mertens

Melissa is a mother, wife, registered nurse, Veteran, perpetual student, travel enthusiast, adventurer, and creator. Melisa was medically released after completing 17 years as a Nursing Officer in July 2016. She currently runs her own Mary Brown’s Famous Chicken and Taters Franchise in Upper Tantallon, NS.

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Melissa Mertens

My name is Melissa Mertens. I am a mother, wife, registered nurse, veteran, perpetual student, travel enthusiast, adventurer, and creator (aka, I am crafty and like trying new activities). I have a wonderful husband who is still serving in the CAF, and a 6 year old son. I was medically released after completing 17 years as a Nursing Officer in July 2016. I deployed to Afghanistan three times between 2006 – 2010. I currently run my own Mary Brown’s Famous Chicken and Taters Franchise in Upper Tantallon, NS. I also work as an RN at a local hospital and I am completing a MBA from Athtabasca University. In whatever spare time I get, I like to run, volunteer, read, knit or sleep! I look forward to meeting the civilian mentors to share information and experiences, and hope to push myself out of my comfort zone on the expedition.

To donate to Melissa, click here.

Sheila Miller

Sheila has lived, raised her family, and operated several business in St John’s, Newfoundland for 30 years, including two English childcare centers as well as a bilingual childcare center. She maintains rental properties in Newfoundland as well as the United states. Over the years Sheila has actively served on committees and boards advocating on childcare issues.

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Sheila Miller

I have lived, raised my family and operated several business in St John’s, Newfoundland for 30 years, including two English childcare centers as well as our first bilingual childcare center. I also maintain rental properties in Newfoundland as well as the United states.

Over the years I have been publicly active serving on committees and boards advocating on childcare issues.

In 2011, I ran as a candidate in the provincial election for the Liberal party of Newfoundland and Labrador and remain very involved in politics both Federally and Provincially.

My fun job as a personal trainer, running and teaching boot camp is very rewarding. I enjoy challenges, meeting new people and helping people succeed in achieving their personal fitness goals.

I look forward to meeting our team on November 16th

To donate to Sheila, click here.

Dave Mullen

Dave is a leading executive in the private equity industry with over 30 years’ experience in the financial sector. He spent the majority of his career as CEO and Head of Private Equity for the Americas at HSBC and in 2011 Dave led the spinout of both the US and Canadian subsidiaries of HSBC Capital to create Graycliff and Fulcrum Partners. Dave continues his leadership as a founding Managing Director at Graycliff Partners, a New York City based middle market private equity firm.

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Dave Mullen

Dave is a leading executive in the private equity industry with over 30 years experience in the financial sector. He spent the majority of his career as CEO and Head of Private Equity for the Americas at HSBC and in 2011 Dave led the spinout of both the US and Canadian subsidiaries of HSBC Capital to create Graycliff and Fulcrum Partners. Dave continues his leadership as a founding Managing Director at Graycliff Partners, a New York City based middle market private equity firm. In 2014, Dave joined Highland West Capital, a Vancouver-based private equity/home office, where he and his partners continue to invest in private Canadian companies.

Dave is a graduate of both the University of British Columbia and the University of Western Ontario. He is past Chair for the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and lends his time to a number of company and philanthropic boards.

Dave spends his time between Vancouver, Whistler and Palm Springs, and enjoys travelling to globe. An outdoors enthusiast, Dave is an avid skier, cyclist and golfer. He and his wife Georgia have been married for over 30 years and have two children (Jacqueline and Shane) and two Labs (Mocha and Pepper).

To donate to Dave, click here.

Stephane Pichette

With a strict upbringing and dedication to Scouts Canada, Royal Air Cadets, Army Reserve, Army Regular Force, and the Royal Canadian Air Force, Stephane’s destiny was clear. Starting at the age of 17, he was involved with the Oka crisis and later deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in ‘93, ‘96, and again in ‘99. In 2001 Stephane transferred to the RCAF as a technician on the CF-188 fighter.

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Stephane Pichette

In 1973, a military man was born in St-Jean, Quebec. With a strict upbringing and dedication to Scouts Canada, Royal Air Cadets, Army Reserve, Army Regular Force, and the Royal Canadian Air Force, my destiny was clear. Starting at the age of 17, I was involved with the Oka crisis and later deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in ‘93, ‘96, and again in ‘99. Silently, the little Boy Scout was broken. In 2001 I transferred to the RCAF as a technician on the CF-188 fighter. Several years had passed with a internal volcano boiling deep inside and my actions were burning those around me. Despite any counselling I had received, my behavioural and control issues worsened as the years passed. 11 years later in 2011, I was presented the opportunity to deploy into as hostile environment. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I didn’t deploy. Emotions got the best of me. I started to feel bad about myself and ended up having major depression, without really understanding why. In the following years, two other war zone missions were offered to me, but my anxiety got the best of me and affected those opportunities. It was in 2015 when my volcano erupted. I was diagnosed with Severe PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder and Hyper Anxiety. I lost all self-esteem, pride and my goals were unclear. Being a solider from the 90’s, we were told that pain and suffering was only a release of weakness. It was an age where injuries were frowned upon and you would never consider sharing your mental triggers. I will be released from the Canadian Armed Forces in the near future as a result of my conditions. I can no longer be deployed to a war torn country. 28 years proudly wearing the uniform, to wake up one day to learn I can no longer serve my country. Needless to say, this has come as a shock.

Fortunately, things are slowing changing.  Through education, testimony, mental health, awareness, and peer support there are several organizations looking to support members that are mentally injured. The most important thing I’ve learned is acceptance. Unfortunately, the stigma is still present amongst hundreds of people, military or civilian that are still suffering in solitude. Most are embarrassed to be judged and some end up committing the worst. Since my diagnosis, I’m working hard to succeed and find that healing. It continues to be a roller coaster of emotions and an upward battle. I’m super excited to participate in this expedition for a few reasons. Firstly, because of the cause. True Patriot Love is working to help raise funds and awareness about mental health. Secondly, because I need to overcome this challenge and prove to myself and others that we are not useless. We are simply affected by a mental health problem. And thirdly, because sometimes you need to climb to the top to have a better view of the world and feel happiness. The team that works with me and the undeniable support of my spouse Stephanie and my kids, Matis and Livia, have a significant impact on my life. Without their patience and support, I believe my battle would be completely different. Today, I’m not talking about my injuries with pride, but I’m proud to be able to talk about them without shame. One word I live by is HOPE, there is always hope.

To donate to Stephane, click here.

Yolanda Pickett

Yolanda Pickett grew up in Labrador City Newfoundland. She joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2002 as a medical technician. As a single mother of a beautiful 9 year old daughter, Yolanda is dedicated to becoming a positive role model. Yolanda enjoys spending time with her family and friends, outdoor activities, working out and continues to challenge herself both personally and professionally.

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Yolanda Pickett

Yolanda Pickett grew up in Labrador City Newfoundland. Joined the Canadian Forces in 2002 as a medical technician, during that time she completed tours in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Norway. In 2012 Yolanda broadened her education and became a perioperative LPN. As a single mother of a beautiful 9 year old daughter, Yolanda is dedicated to becoming a positive role model. Yolanda enjoys spending time with her family and friends, outdoor activities, working out and continues to challenge herself both personally and professionally.

To donate to Yolanda, click here.

Chris Power

Chris Power was born and raised in Newfoundland. He spent 16 years as an Officer in the Canadian Army and has a BA in Politics with a Minor in Military Psychology and Leadership from the Royal Military College of Canada. Chris was medically released from the CAF in November 2017, and is pursuing a career as a Professional Coach, Trainer and Speaker.

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Chris Power

Chris Power was born and raised in Newfoundland. He spent 16 years as an Officer in the Canadian Army and has a BA in Politics with a Minor in Military Psychology and Leadership from the Royal Military College of Canada. His military career has taken him to Afghanistan, Kuwait, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, and Isolated locations in Northern Canada. Chris was medically released from the CAF in November 2017, and is pursuing a career as a Professional Coach, Trainer and Speaker. Chris lives in Toronto with this wife Elise.

To donate to Chris, click here.

Warren Robertson

Warren is a photographer and video producer who has carved out a living in eastern Canada by exploring and capturing images of wildlife from some of the most remote parts of our country. Warren's inspiration for creative content is just as strong as his thirst for adventure.

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Warren Robertson

Warren is a photographer and video producer who has carved out a living in eastern Canada by exploring and capturing images of wildlife from some of the most remote parts of our country. He has worked in some truly wild places such as the Yukon Territories, Northwest Territories, Nunavik, Newfoundland, British Columbia and Alaska. Warren’s inspiration for creative content is just as strong as his thirst for adventure.

To donate to Warren, click here.

Ben Rusonik

Ben is the Vice President of Marketing for Milborne Real Estate, specializing in new condominium development. Ben has been with Miborne since 1999. He has over 22 years of experience in the condominium industry, working with developers, realtors and purchasers of all demographics, levels of knowledge and budgets.

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Ben Rusonik

Ben is the Vice President of Marketing for Milborne Real Estate, specializing in new condominium development. Ben has been with Miborne since 1999. He has over 22 years of experience in the condominium industry, working with developers, realtors and purchasers of all demographics, levels of knowledge and budgets. His strong industry and market knowledge allows him to contribute to the planning and development of a project from its inception. Ben is a superior relationship manager who works collaboratively to ensure success.

Ben is an active hockey player, while his wife Ellie can frequently be found on the volleyball court – indoor and beach. Ever since mountain biking on their first date in 1998, they’ve been playing outdoors together. As avid adventure travelers the love to bike, hike, ski, play tennis, scuba dive, and surf, and are always up to trying something new. They love to explore the far reaching corners of the globe, learning about different cultures, history, enjoying the food, exploring big cities and small villages, and escaping off the beaten path.

Supporting a cause or initiative through fundraising and/or volunteering has always been important to both Ben and Ellie, values that were instilled in them by their parents from a very young age. They are inspired by the work of True Patriot Love and as proud Canadians look forward to combining their passions as part of the Expedition Himalayas 2018 team.

To donate to Ben, click here.

Ellie Rusonik

Ellie is an accomplished development professional and dynamic leader with nearly 20 years of experience in fundraising and marketing. She is the Director of Marketing and Development with Geneva Centre for Autism, a Toronto based agency providing programs and services for individuals living with autism spectrum disorder and their families.

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Ellie Rusonik

Ellie is an accomplished development professional and dynamic leader with nearly 20 years of experience in fundraising and marketing. She is the Director of Marketing and Development with Geneva Centre for Autism, a Toronto based agency providing programs and services for individuals living with autism spectrum disorder and their families. Prior to that, she spent over 16 years with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. As a fundraising strategist and expert relationship manager, Ellie develops and implements approaches for stewarding and cultivating individual, foundation an corporate donors and has developed creative partnerships that generate significant revenue and positive, mission-driver impact.

Ellie can frequently be found on the volleyball court – indoor and beach. Ever since mountain biking on their first date in 1998, Ellie and her husband Ben have been playing outdoors together. As avid adventure travelers they love to bike, hike, ski, play tennis, scuba dive, and surf, and are always up to trying something new. They love to explore the far reaching corners of the globe leaving about different cultures, history, enjoying the food, exploring big cities and small villages, and escaping off the beaten path.

Supporting a cause of initiative through fundraising and/or volunteering has always been important to both Ellie and Ben, values that were instilled in them by their parents from a very young age. They are inspired by the work of True Patriot Love and as proud Canadians look forward to combining their passions as part of the Expedition Himalayas 2018 team.

To donate to Ellie, click here.

Henry Silberman

Henry Silberman is 62 years old, married, with 3 children, 2 grandchildren and more grandkids on the way. Born in Israel, Henry came to Canada when he was 12 years old, and was raised in Canada. He received a B.Com from the University of Toronto. Henry in the CEO of Bennett Canada, a private family business, manufacturing Paint brushes and Paint rollers in Canada.

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Henry Silberman

Henry Silberman is 62 years old, married, with 3 married children, with 2 grandchildren and more on the way. Born in Israel, Henry came to Canada when he was 12 years old, and was raised in Canada. He received a B.Com from the University of Toronto. Henry in the CEO of Bennett Canada, a private family business, manufacturing Paint brushes and Paint rollers in Canada. Henry enjoys the outdoors and travelling, and the daily challenges of life. Henry has the greatest respect and admiration for those who served and are serving their nation protecting our freedoms.

To donate to Henry, click here.

Kelly Scanlan

Kelly joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2007 as an Infantry soldier with the Army Reserves. When she was eighteen, she began training to deploy to Afghanistan and was injured in a training accident. Despite this, she deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 for eight months.

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Kelly Scanlan

Kelly joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2007 as an Infantry soldier with the Army Reserves. When she was eighteen, she began training to deploy to Afghanistan and was injured in a training accident. Despite this, she deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 for eight months. When she returned home, Kelly struggled with physical and mental injuries for several years and the negative impact they had on her life. Recently, Kelly has begun to see great strides in her recovery and was recently hired as a Firefighter by the Milton Fire Department. Outside of work, Kelly volunteers with several other non-profits and Veteran organizations.

To donate to Kelly, click here.

Markus Besemann

Since 2008 Markus has lead the implementation of the CF Physical Rehabilitation Program and is the advisor to the Surgeon General in physical rehabilitation. His primary areas of interest are sports medicine, wilderness medicine, pain management and mind-body medicine. He has been the expedition doctor for the TPL expeditions to Island Peak Nepal, the Magnetic North Pole, Vinson Massif Antarctica and MEDCAN Kilimanjaro.

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Markus Besemann

Since 2008 Markus has lead the implementation of the CF Physical Rehabilitation Program and is the advisor to the Surgeon General in physical rehabilitation. His primary areas of interest are sports medicine, wilderness medicine, pain management and mind-body medicine. He has been the expedition doctor for the True Patriot Love expeditions to Island Peak Nepal (2012), the Magnetic North Pole (2014), Vinson Massif Antarctica (2016) and MEDCAN Kilimanjaro (2017). In 2014, he was awarded the AMSUS (Association of Military Surgeons of the United States) rehabilitation award, the first Canadian to ever receive such. He currently volunteers his time and expertise for Project Trauma Support which receives funding from the True Patriot Love Foundation.

Tom Torokvei

Tom is an entrepreneur and private investor in Toronto. He is President of Barnwood Developments Inc., a private holding company that invests in real estate, aviation, and several other private equity interests.

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Tom Torokvei

Tom is an entrepreneur and private investor in Toronto. He is President of Barnwood Developments Inc., a private holding company that invests in real estate, aviation, and several other private equity interests. He is also the President of Elevated Aviation Services, a private aircraft charter company based out of Barrie, ON. Prior to this, Tom was in the real estate development business, commercial real estate, and worked in sales for the family business right out of school.

Tom studied business at Seneca College in Toronto, and also at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.

In his spare time, Tom is an avid private pilot, skier, a lover of all things fast and motorized, and a travel and adventure enthusiast.

To donate to Tom, click here.

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