Role of the Board of Directors
Directors of The Foundation have responsibilities akin to those of corporate directors and expectations concerning due diligence, standard of care and conflict of interest parallel to those of other boards. The Board is responsible for the entity as a whole, its image, its finances, its property and its future. Overall strategic direction is provided through the Board to the Management Committee responsible for Foundation operations. Directors are volunteers and do not receive compensation. Professor Bonnie Patterson is currently Board chair.
Board of Directors
Roberta Bondar, O.C. O.Ont. MD PhD FRCP FRSC ICD.D
January 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of Dr. Roberta Bondar’s space journey aboard Discovery as the world’s first neurologist and Canada’s first woman in space. Globally recognized for her pioneering contribution to space medicine research, for over a decade she researched new connections between recovery from unusual environments and neurological illnesses such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease.
Diverse in her careers from scientist, physician, astronaut, and landscape photographer to author, environmental educator and entrepreneur, Dr. Bondar has earned a reputation as a leading speaker and consultant within the corporate, educational, medical and scientific communities. She holds medical licenses in New Mexico and Ontario and is a Canadian Board Certified Neurologist with a subspecialty in Neuro-ophthalmology.
The Ontario Government appointed her to Chair the Working Committee on Environmental Education in 2007 to strengthen conservation and the environment in the curriculum of elementary and high schools.
When UNESCO designated 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth, Dr. Roberta Bondar was named Honorary Patron for Canada and served from 2008-2010. She has worked with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to promote their fourth Global Environment Outlook – environment for development (GEO 4). Dr. Bondar has been a member of the Board of the Science & Technology Museum of Canada, the Ontario Premier’s Council and currently serves on the National Police Services Advisory Council and as a Director of Com Dev International. She is an honorary member on boards of several not-for-profit organizations.
Reflective of the cross discipline thought leader of its founder, The Roberta Bondar Foundation is dedicated to education and advancing knowledge of the environment in a way that stimulates interest, excitement, creativity and responsibility by infusing art in science and science in art.
Joan Hamilton, BA BEd
Joan Hamilton is an experienced teacher and educational leader having served more than 30 years as an educator in Ontario. Her experience includes 15 years as an accomplished administrator in the Peel District School Board. A recently retired principal of the Roberta Bondar Public School in Brampton, Ontario, she was principal at the school from day one when it opened its doors in August 2005. Joan was the principal behind Peel District School Board’s first year-round Kindergarten to Grade 8 school, launching the largest implementation in Canada of year-round schooling. In this successful innovation, instead of one long break in the summer, the five week earlier start was spread out over the school year one month’s summer vacation was taken, along with a two week holiday in October, an additional week in the December holiday break period, and additional weeks added to each of the Family Day weekend in February and March Break. Among other innovations, while principal, her school was first to pilot the successful school-based Bondar Challenge for The Roberta Bondar Foundation.
In addition to receiving the Education Champion Award in the Peel District in 2006, Joan Hamilton has also received other local awards. Among them are The Woman in Action Award, from the Punjabi Community Health Service and The Women of Achievement Award from Zonta Club of Brampton-Caledon. In 2013 she was selected as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals in a national program sponsored by The Learning Partnership. It is noteworthy that principals for this award are nominated by school staff, students and peers, a testament to the high regard within which she is held by her entire school community. Winners were selected on the basis of student mentoring, creating safe and supportive learning environments, promoting community engagement and supporting innovative visions. As one of 51 outstanding educators from across Canada, Hamilton participated in an executive leadership training program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She continues to mentor new principals on a part-time basis for the Peel District School Board.
Joan is a graduate of Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, ON and the University of Toronto.
Elaine M. Paterson, BHSc
Elaine Paterson exemplifies volunteerism.
She began her career through volunteer work with her church, her children’s schools and neighbourhood groups. Today, she holds senior-level volunteer positions with the Girl Guides and The North York General Hospital Foundation. At the heart of her rise to these top-post positions and her distinguished history of volunteerism is her tireless drive to make a difference.
Ms. Paterson’s commitment to Girl Guides was formed in her youth as a member of the movement she would ultimately come to lead. Her volunteer career with Girl Guides has spanned over 33 years, and numerous roles, leading up to distinction as Chief Commissioner, Girl Guides of Canada, its most senior position (1997-2000). Her many responsibilities with Girl Guides have taken her across Canada and around the globe. She is currently a member of the board of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and is also Chair of its Fund Development Committee.
She is the recipient of the Gold Maple Leaf, awarded by the Girl Guides for exceptional service. She has also been awarded the Queen’s Jubilee medal for her outstanding and exemplary service.
Ms. Paterson has been a member of The North York General Hospital Foundation Board of Governors since 200l, and was elected Chair in 2009. With its focus on fundraising activities, the Foundation’s mission is to help facilitate the delivery of the best possible health care to the community.
The Roberta Bondar Foundation is honoured by this highly accomplished and dedicated woman’s membership on its Board of Directors.
Bonnie M. Patterson, C.M. O.Ont. MLS LLD ICD.D
Professor Bonnie Patterson is the Past President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities and a Professor in Business at Trent University. She also holds a Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Academic Leadership at Ryerson University, Toronto. She has received highest honours for her exceptional leadership in the postsecondary community. Her business acumen and problem solving skills have benefited organizations in developing public private partnerships in a number of areas. The Roberta Bondar Foundation welcomes the depth that her multi-faceted professional attributes add to its Board.
Prof. Patterson served as President & Vice Chancellor of Trent University from 1998 to 2009. She also served earlier in her career as Dean of Business at Ryerson, chaired and taught at its School of Administration and Information Management and began her academic career at Western University of Ontario.
Professor Patterson serves on the Board of Metrolinx (a transit and transportation Agency of the Government of Ontario); is a Trustee of the Canadian Associates of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (CABIOS); and a Founding Board Member of the International Institute for Environmental Studies, a collaboration between Trent University/Nanjing University & 12 global university partners.
While Trent President, Patterson served as one of four Canadian university presidents on the Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and served on their Audit & Risk Committee. She has served as Chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; as a director on the board of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre for nine years, including two as its Chair and four as Chair of its finance committee; and on the Advisory Board of the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation.
In addition, Prof. Patterson served on the founding Board of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and participated in a number of provincial advisory committees including the Biotechnology Commercialization Centre Fund; Health Industries Advisory Committee; and the Centres of Excellence, Ontario Technology Fund.
In 2006, she was recognized by the Women’s Executive Network with a Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada award in the Trailblazers and Trendsetters category. In 2010 Prof. Patterson was appointed to the Order of Ontario and as a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions as a leader in postsecondary education. She holds several honorary doctorates from Ontario universities.
Betty I. Roots, BSc PhD DSc FRSC
Dr. Betty Roots brings an invaluable combination of academic leadership in the sciences and award-winning photographic talent to her dual roles as a director of The Foundation and a judge of the Bondar Challenge. She is Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto where formerly she was Associate Dean (Sciences) at Erindale College and subsequently Chair of the Department of Zoology.
A distinguished scientist, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1989, and made a Life Member in 2014.
She was awarded both the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to scholarship and the arts in Canada.
A keen photographer, Dr. Roots has twice been President of the Toronto Camera Club and is an accredited judge of the Greater Toronto Council of Camera Clubs. She is the recipient of several awards for her photographs including a Silver Medal from the Photographic Society of America.
Some of her photographs appear in Special Places: The Changing Ecosystems of the Toronto Region, published to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Institute in 1999. This book, of which she is Editor-in-Chief, was short-listed for the Toronto Book award in 2000.
After retirement, Dr. Roots taught an inter-university field course, Photography for Ecologists for several years with a colleague, Ellie Larsen. She and Prof. Larsen are authors of, and took all of the photographs for Flower Guide for Holiday Weekends in Eastern Canada and Northeastern U.S.A., published in 2005 in both English and French editions.
Whenever possible, Dr. Roots combines photography with another interest, travel.
Advisory Board Members
Marilyn Burns – Executive Director of Marketing & Communications, Recruitment & Admissions, Trent University
Don Cumming – Director, University Communications, Carleton University
Anthony Keating – Campaign Director, Major Gifts, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
Wendy McCann – Director of Strategic Communications & Media, Council of Ontario Universities
Ingrid Perry – President & CEO, McKenzie Health Foundation
Tom Trbovich – Principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group, private sector strategy, public policy and government affairs consulting