Board of Directors
ACE's Board of Directors is comprised of 15 members, seven of whom must be age 55 or older. Board members are elected by the ACE membership. The elections take place at the annual general meeting which is held each year in the fall. ACE Board members come from a wide variety of backgrounds where everyone shares an interest in and commitment to the legal issues of older adults.
Our current directors are:
- Timothy Banks, Chair: Timothy is a lawyer at a national business law firm in Toronto, who was called to the Ontario Bar in 2002. Tim joined the Board of ACE in 2009. He serves on the Board's Publications Committee and Priorities and Planning Committee. Tim's history with ACE began in law school when he volunteered through a placement with Pro Bono Students Canada. Tim also completed a work term at Parkdale Community Legal Services during his legal studies.
- Suzanne Cohen, Treasurer: Suzanne is a Project Controller for a public company in the renewable energy sector. She is a professional accountant designated with the CMA designation. Suzanne joined the Board of ACE in 2009. She serves on the Executive Committee, Personnel Committee, and Finance & Bequest Committee. Suzanne’s interest in joining ACE stems from her personal goal to give back to her great community.
- Heather Conklin, Secretary: Heather attended Osgoode Hall Law School, graduating in June 2011. While she was a student, Heather developed a strong commitment to the community legal clinic system in Ontario, taking part in the Parkdale Community Legal Services clinical intensive program. Heather completed her articling term at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, and was called to the bar of Ontario in June 2012. She is currently employed with an administrative oversight body in Toronto doing investigative work. Heather joined the Board of Directors of ACE in 2012 and is excited for the opportunity to stay connected with the vital role ACE plays in the advancement of elder law in Ontario.
- Elaine Atchison: Elaine Atchison is a former psychogeriatric nurse, patient advocate with the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office and Treatment Decisions Consultant with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. Most recently, she retired as a Program Coordinator at the Capacity Assessment Office, Ministry of the Attorney General. Elaine has had numerous occasions in her various roles to consult with ACE and co-present with ACE staff to professional groups and others.
- Stacey Ferguson: Stacey is an audit manager with a mid-sized accounting firm in Toronto specializing in mutual funds and junior mining companies. She received her Chartered Accountants designation in 2009. Stacey joined the Board of Directors of ACE in 2012. Stacey has always had an interest in law and is excited to join the ACE board to give back to her great community.
- Alexander Henderson, Vice-Chair: Alex is a lawyer in Toronto with a boutique law firm. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1978. He has been a lecturer, at continuing legal education seminars, for the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario), Law Society of Upper Canada and Osgoode Hall Law School. Alex first joined the Board of ACE in 1993. He is a past Chair of the Board and currently serves on a number of Committees, including the ACE Special Lecture Committee. Alex has found work on the Board interesting and at times challenging given the changing legal environment in Ontario.
- Dr. Andre Hurtubise: From 1998 to 2008, Andre was the Co-Chair of the Curriculum Design Work Group of Initiative #2; a Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia. He has a special interest in the care of the elderly, palliative care and rehabilitatve medicine. Andre is a medical graduate of the University of Ottawa and received a Certificate in Health Law from the Osgoode Hall Law School in 2011. Andre is a member of the Ontario Long-Term Care Physicians Association Board of Directors and he is also a Board Member of Health Quality Ontario. He joined the ACE Board in 2011.
- Dr. Abbyann Lynch: Abbyann is the founder and Director of Ethics in Health Care Associates, a Toronto consulting group. Her particular focus is on service within the regulated health care professional groups, as well as within the long-term care community. Abbyann joined the ACE Board in 2007 and is a member of the Priorities and Planning Committee. Abbyann also serves on the Boards of the Toronto Grace Health Centre and SPRINT (Senior Peoples Resources in North Toronto). She has been awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.
- Dr. Rosemary Meier: Rosemary is a retired geriatric psychiatrist, currently on Staff of St Joseph's Health Centre. She is glad to be able to make a contribution by serving on ACE's Board as she has long appreciated ACE's work and innovativeness. Rosemary is also the Ontario Psychiatric Association's representative on the Public Guardian and Trustee's Guardianship Committee and a member of the Ontario Consent and Capacity Board and the Family Service Toronto Elder Abuse Consultation Team, in additin to being a consulting psychiatrist to the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) and Community Outreach Programs in Addiction (COPA).
- Christine Mounsteven: Christine is a retired Professor at George Brown College in the Community Services Division where her focus was addictions and mental health counselling. She has been a member of the Board since 2008 and sits on the Publishing and Nominating Committees. Christine is the past President of Canadian Pensioners Concerned – Ontario Division and she continues to attend the Ontario Seniors Secretariat Liaison Committee as a representative of Canadian Pensioners Concerned.
- Lyndsay O'Callaghan, Vice-Chair: Lyndsay has had her own business as a freelance title searcher for thirty years. She became interested in ACE and its work while being an advocate for elderly friends and relatives. She joined the board in 2012.
- Sybila Valdivieso: Sybila is a public sector lawyer. Her interest in the work of ACE flows from the clinical education she received while at law school, an experience that was both rewarding and eye-opening. She first joined the Board of ACE in 2007. She is a past chair of the Board and currently serves on a number of committees. She has a special interest on the link between gender, aging and poverty.
All the staff provide direct client services although each has a primary area of responsibility. The lawyers include an Executive Director who, along with the Office Manager, is responsible for the operational management of the clinic. Two of the lawyers are primarily responsible for the client intake service and any litigation. Our research lawyer is mainly responsible for conducting legal research, as well as maintaining the ACE publications and website. One lawyer is an "Institutional Advocate" who is responsible for providing legal services to clients who need advice or assistance regarding long-term care homes, hospitals, psychiatric facilities and other institutional settings.
The three support staff include an Office Manager who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office. Two intake/support workers do the initial client intake work, the administrative duties, as well as a wide range of other tasks that are necessary to deliver the range of legal services available from ACE.
Judith Wahl, Executive Director
Judith Wahl has been the Executive Director at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly since its inception in 1984. She has an Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto and an LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1979. Judith has been very active in advocating for the rights of older adults and in the development of elder law as an area of practice. As Executive Director, she has been central to the development of ACE as the first legal clinic focusing on elder law issues in Canada. Judith was the Chair of the Canadian Bar Association's Elder Law Section (2007-2009) and she was recently awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013).
Based on her experiences representing clients, Judith often represents ACE in government consultations on issues of policy development and law reform affecting older adults. She was a member of the committee that recommended the passage of the Advocacy Act, Substitute Decisions Act and Health Care Consent Act. She assisted the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group in staging two national consultations on elder abuse issues. She has contributed to submissions prepared by ACE on such issues as retirement home regulation, long-term care reform, health consent and advance care planning, elder abuse prevention, home care reform, hospital discharge legal issues and privacy of health information.
Judith has considerable experience training and teaching not only seniors but the family and friends of seniors, social workers, health practitioners and other service providers about the legal rights of older adults. She is a frequent speaker at local, provincial and national conferences on elder law issues. She previously taught a law and aging course in the Masters of Social Work program at the University of Toronto.
For additional information about Judith’s accomplishments, please see her CV.
Rita Chrolavicius graduated from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1983. Rita started working at ACE as a litigation lawyer in 1989.
Jane E. Meadus
Jane Meadus is a staff lawyer and the Institutional Advocate at ACE. She represents clients in long-term care homes, hospitals, psychiatric facilities and care homes (retirement homes) with respect to related legal issues. Jane has a B.A. Anthropology from McMaster University, an LL.B. from the University of Ottawa and was called to the bar in Ontario in 1993. Jane practiced in the private bar until joining the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly in 1995.
Jane is the author of Chapter 9: Medical Issues, Housing Costs and Special Care Arrangements: Practical Considerations in the loose-leaf service Financial & Estate Planning for the Mature Client. She is a contributing author to Long-Term Care Facilities in Ontario: The Advocate's Manual published by the ACE. Jane is a regular speaker at educational seminars and before various groups.
Jane is a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law Studies.
Lisa received a B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied political science and psychology, an LL.B. from Dalhousie University and an LL.M. (health law) from Osgoode Law School.
Lisa was called to the Bar in 2002. She has since worked at a small civil litigation firm dedicated to social justice issues, a provincial organization dedicated to promoting the rights of psychiatric patients and consumer-survivors and a Legal Aid Ontario specialty clinic working with children. She also worked overseas for seven months assisting asylum seekers and refugees at a non-governmental organization in Durban, South Africa. Lisa was ACE's Research Lawyer from 2008 until 2010. She volunteered as a Certified Ombudsman with the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman in Oregon before returning to ACE in 2013.
Graham Webb has been a Staff Litigation Lawyer with ACE since May 1995. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1983, was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1985, and obtained an LL.M. (Tax) from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2001. Before joining ACE, he was engaged in private practice for ten years in Barrie, Ontario, in a general practice with emphasis on civil and criminal litigation. He has appeared in civil and criminal matters at all levels of courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court, and a wide range of administrative tribunals on jury and non-jury trials, appeals and administrative hearings. He gives frequent legal education presentations on elder law issues to older adults and service providers, including police, health-care professionals and other lawyers. Graham is a part-time evening instructor in Gerontology at Ryerson University, and has won an award from the Continuing Education Students' Association at Ryerson for excellence in teaching.
Tammy has been a support staff member at ACE since 1985. She is the first contact that a caller has when getting in touch with ACE. In addition to providing general information, Tammy refers the intake calls to either an outside resource centre or one of the ACE lawyers. She is also responsible for the production of correspondence and litigation documentation, as well as the organization of ACE's public legal education sessions. Tammy has gained a wealth of information over the years and is an invaluable resource to both older adults and ACE.
Maleksultan Kaba joined ACE as the Office Manager in 2006. She graduated with a combined honours degree in Political Science and Religious Studies from the University of Western Ontario in 1996.
Maleksultan brings a diverse work experience to ACE as she has worked in corporate, not-for-profit, academic and international sectors. Before ACE, she worked at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Head Office and Kearsley's Travel in Tanzania, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Royal Bank of Canada, Wellington Insurance, the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries and the University of Toronto.
Maleksultan is deeply involved with her community and the community at large as a volunteer.