About the Sandra Schmirler Foundation
For more than 20 years, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation has raised funds to save the lives of babies born too soon, too small or too sick.
Since 2001, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation has raised almost $8 million for more than 100 hospitals, in every province and territory, to purchase life-saving equipment for thousands of premature and critically ill babies and their families. It is the only foundation that gives to Canadian Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs).
But the work the foundation does isn’t just about equipment and machines. The Sandra Schmirler Foundation has transformed the lives of thousands of families.
Giving critically ill newborns the chance to grow up to be champions like Sandra is an important way the Sandra Schmirler Foundation ensures Sandra’s courage and character live on.
Board of directors
Janet is a dynamic, self-motivated individual who enjoys working in a fast-paced, high-energy environment. A resident of Mississauga, ON, Janet is the Director of Curling and Head Professional at the Mississauga Golf & Country Club. Janet’s experience as a Curling Coach includes being a Hot Shots Curling Instructor, an Adult and Youth Curling Instructor for the World Curling Federation and a Curling Competition Development Coach with Curling Canada. Janet is curling competitively as a senior.
Nick began his career as a Chartered Accountant before moving to work in the non-profit sector where he has focused his work for 35 years. Nick’s passion is to guide non-profits through change to achieve growth and success. His expertise is strategic planning, team building and mentoring, major gifts and campaigns, stakeholder engagement, finance and communications. In his non-profit career he has raised over $700 million! He is originally from the UK but has lived all over Canada. He is currently living in Halifax, NS.
A resident of Regina, SK Bernadette is an active curler and volunteer. She has chaired several high-profile curling events and volunteered on several boards of directors including Curl Regina, Canadian Curling Association and the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame. Bernadette has both a B.A. in Economics and Administration from University of Regina and has completed her corporate directors’ course and received her ICD.D. She is a principle in Scoreco Consulting specializing in business consulting.
Craig is a Senior Financial Executive in Toronto, ON with a proven track record related to strategically leading financing and risk management activities in challenging environments. He is an effective manager of complex projects involving strategic changes. A solid team player who effectively leads people in a global environment to meet overall company objectives.
Spirit of Sandra Scholarship Program Mentor
Cathy “O” is one of Manitoba’s most decorated curlers and was named the fifth greatest curler in history in a TSN poll in 2019. She is a two-time world champion and five-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts Champion. She also has 10 Grand Slam of Curling victories. Cathy has been the mentor of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation’s Spirit of Sandra Scholarship program since its inception in 2013. She is currently the head coach of USA’s Team Christensen and, along with her husband, Mike, is a business owner in Winnipeg, MB.
Spirit of Sandra Scholarship Program Mentor
Lisa is an Olympian and a World Champion curler with strong leadership, teamwork and interpersonal skills. Lisa is a three-time Scottie Tournament of Hearts Champion and 10-time Grand Slam of Curling champion. She is a skilled communicator with over a dozen years of experience working and volunteering in government, private sector and non-profit organizations. Lisa is also a certified Coach and High-Performance Coaching Consultant with Curling Canada. Lisa currently resides in Ottawa, ON.
Past Chair of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, Ian has played a key role in the growth of the Foundation. Ian has had executive positions with Capital One Financial Corp., Tangerine Bank and Technisys. His skills in financial services and corporate development combined with his love of curling and technology makes him an excellent leader in driving change and pushing our limits. Ian lives in Toronto, ON.
A former university administrator, Julie is currently a Professor of Sociology at Western University in London, Ontario. She was the founding Chair of the Southwestern Ontario Women’s Curling Cashspiel; a bonspiel that showcased competitive women’s curling and raised funds to support breast cancer research and care. She started curling when she was 12 years old and is a two-time medalist at the National Senior Women’s Curling Championships, representing both Ontario and Nova Scotia.
Kerry was born and raised in Yellowknife and works for the Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Justice as a Senior Finance Officer. Kerry has represented the NWT at numerous curling national events such as juniors, mixed and the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Kerry is also involved in coaching the junior program at the Yellowknife Curling Club.
Kyle is a two-time recipient of the Spirit of Sandra Scholarship and a three-time provincial champion curler in his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador. He is currently working towards his Masters of Education degree at Mount Saint Vincent University following completion of a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Science in Applied Math at Memorial University. Kyle is a Math, Science and Technology teacher and lives in Stephenville, NL.
Mark is recently retired from his role as the Regina Office Managing Partner of KPMG. In conjunction with his 40-year career with KPMG Mark has maintained a 40-year involvement with his community. He has previously served in various capacities including Chair on the Boards of Regina Downtown, Regina Globe Theatre, Queen City Kinsmen Club, Economic Development Regina Inc. and Wascana Country Club. He was also the Finance Chair for the 2018 Memorial Cup, the Sponsorship Chair for the 1998 Scott Tournament of Hearts and Finance Chair for Kinsmen Telemiracle, 14.
Tara Lee Popil
Tara is a wife to Dean and mom to Madelyn and Emerson. Tara was born and raised in Nipawin, Saskatchewan and made Regina her home in 1993. Tara has her Bachelor of Physical Activity Studies from the University of Regina as well as the Canadian Society Exercise Physiology Certified Personal Trainer. Tara has worked in the Public Health Sector for her entire 24-year career with 22 years as an Exercise Therapist working with children with special needs. Tara is Sandra Schmirler’s first cousin and represents a voice on behalf of Sandra’s family to the decisions made by the Sandra Schmirler Foundation Board of Directors.
Curtis Fairhurst is a Senior Geologist in the Energy industry with a passion for community and sport. Curtis was the first President of the newly amalgamated Curling Alberta and joins the Foundation with over 10 years of governance and leadership experience supporting the sport of Curling. He and his wife are raising 2 young boys in Calgary AB and enjoy as much time
outside as possible.
A resident of Fonthill, ON, Peter has 25+ years of experience in fundraising, including senior management roles in post-secondary education and in health care. His primary focus has been on analyzing the lifecycle of donor engagement, recognizing that connections start with the earliest awareness a potential donor has for a charity. He is co-author of the Globe and Mail
bestselling business book ‘Excellence in Fundraising in Canada’. His past work with hospital foundations brings an important perspective to the Board of Directors. Peter is a former competitor at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships, is a fan of winter sports and welcomes major snow falls so he can snowshoe!
Derek is the President and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada. He was on the Board of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Canada for 7 years where he served as Vice-Chair of the National Strategic Planning Committee. Derek is a curler and a massive curling fan who has been to many Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Sara and Jenna England (Sandra’s Daughters)
Third, Team Schmirler
Second, Team Schmirler
Lead, Team Schmirler
Atina Ford Johnston
Alternate, Team Schmirler
Coach, Team Schmirler
Senior Producer, TSN
Director of Operations
Brenda has worked for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation for 10 years. She has over 25 years experience working with charities and non-profit organizations including national sport organizations. Brenda is passionate about helping the Foundation reach its potential to help as babies as possible who are born too soon, too small or too sick.
Program & Financial Services Manager
Tanya has worked for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation for 5 years. She has endless volunteer experience in youth sports and educational fields while raising three children. Tanya was previously employed at the Red Cross in their fractionation department. Tanya was born in Biggar, SK and she feels that sharing hometowns with the Foundation’s namesake adds a special connection to an already rewarding career.
Digital Content Manager