Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Our leadership team is committed to upholding the highest standards of accountability and efficiency in all aspects of our work. Many of our leader volunteers have personal ties to our work at WaterStone Foundation. All bring their passion, determination and expertise to ensure WaterStone Foundation fulfills its mandate.  

Board of Directors

Kim Duffy

Kim is the Co-Founder and Board Chair of WaterStone Foundation. Her passion and drive to help individuals and families resulted from her family’s journey with a loved one struggling with an eating disorder. 

Kim has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, primarily working in the U.S. and U.K. in health insurance. Returning to Canada in 2001, her focus was raising her four children and chasing them in their numerous activities.

She has been active in the eating disorder community since 2011. She is a member of the Eating Disorder Association of Canada and the Academy of Eating Disorders. She completed Rotman’s Not-for-Profit Essential Governance Program in 2015 and U of T Not-for-Profit Leadership. Kim is a graduate of Purdue University.

In addition to her activism in the eating disorder community, she has held numerous volunteer positions over the years, including the Hospital for Sick Children’s Women’s Auxiliary, Appleby College, Kingsway College School, and the Etobicoke Dolphins Hockey Organization. 

Kim loves to travel to visit her children and to go for long walks with her Great Dane.

Joanne Peters

Joanne  is a law graduate of the University of Toronto. She was a Senior Legal Counsel at the Ontario Securities Commission for 15 years. Before that, Joanne practised corporate, commercial and securities law at Fraser and Beatty.

In addition to being on the Board of WaterStone Foundation, Joanne is Vice-Chair of  the Board of the Oakville Community Foundation and is on the Board of Start2Finish Canada. Joanne has been involved with fund raisers for many charities, including the Oakville Trafalgar Hospital Gala and she co-chaired Empty Bowls helping raise almost $100,000 at each event for Home Suite Hope.  She has two successful adult daughters and lives with her husband in Oakville.

Donna Simpson

Donna is the Vice-Chair of the Fundraising Committee and a member of the Financial Aid Committee for WaterStone Foundation. She earned her Bachelor of Science (Specialist in Zoology) and Bachelor of Education at University of Toronto.  She also completed an additional Honour Specialist in Biology and in Guidance. Donna taught Biology and Science full-time at Father Henry Carr Secondary School before starting her own private tutoring business for students of all ages. She currently substitute teaches Science and Math at Upper Canada College. Prior to WaterStone, she was involved with fundraising and advancement at Kingsway College School (KCS) and Upper Canada College (UCC), most notably chairing the BBC committee at UCC. She has also co-chaired several Gala fund-raising events at KCS and Beaver Valley Ski Club. Her intuitive insight and solid ethical compass make her a valued addition to the WaterStone team.

Lora Gernon

Lora is the founder and president of Profit Business Consulting Inc. where she advises companies on strategic planning in sales, marketing, partner and talent optimization. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Waterloo. Her experience is based on 17 years as a key executive at Microsoft, followed by several years of consulting for a wide-range of companies, with a proven track record. Lora advises various companies on strategy and growth.

NextGen Committee

Kathryn Green – Chair

Kathryn is a recent Queen’s Graduate and is now pursuing her studies in holistic nutrition. Kathryn first became active in the eating disorder community in 2020 after battling her journey with anorexia nervosa. Now recovered,
Kathryn runs a health and wellness Instagram page where she opened up about her past struggles and focuses on topics like eating disorder recovery and the importance of having a healthy relationship with food and your body.
Kathryn joined WaterStone as a volunteer in September 2021. She is currently helping to create content for WaterStone’s Instagram page and working with the team to bring awareness of WaterStone to universities. In addition to volunteering with WaterStone and being a full-time student, Kathryn works in social media &
marketing and volunteers at Sick Kids Hospital.

Gabriela Ash – Member

Gabriela Ash is currently pursuing her studies in early childhood education and works as an early childhood educator at a day care. Gabriela became part of the eating disorder community in 2015 when she was first diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Throughout her recovery, she has continued to be open about her struggles and the effects it has had on her life. Now recovered, Gabriela is honoured to be a part of the NextGen committee to continue to raise support and awareness against eating disorders. Gabriela has a background in advocacy, from advocating for adoption and mental health, Gabriela is driven to continue to advocate for issues that are close to her heart. Gabriela also runs her own health and wellness Instagram where she emphasizes the importance of a healthy mind, body, and skin connection. Her previous experience with Waterstone includes being a keynote
speaker at a recent fundraising event.

Francesca Hawkes – Member

Frankie has a background in both science and business and holds an MBA from Dalhousie University. She enjoys a challenge and is passionate about driving positive social and environmental change within corporations,
communities, and greater society. Her previous experience with WaterStone includes managing the Instagram and Facebook pages to support a fundraising campaign. She is excited to take on an expanded role with the organization as a member of the newly developed Next Gen Committee, helping to expand WaterStone’s reach by engaging and educating younger generations on the topic of eating disorders and the WaterStone Foundation as a resource to receive help. Frankie works as a Consultant at Deloitte and enjoys being in nature, exploring local markets, and spending time with friends and family.

Rachael Taylor – Member

Rachael Taylor Hannah is the founder of Taylor Hannah Curation, a Gen-Z driven home product line dedicated to demanding the spaces we live in reflect our lifestyles and values. Rachael launched Taylor Hannah Curation in her
final year at Queen’s University where she studied Global Development. Central to Rachael’s life is a desire to break the stigma and misconceptions surrounding eating disorders. From battling an eating disorder in 2013 to
now being on the NextGen Committee, she is driven to contribute to positioning WaterStone as the forerunner in raising awareness surrounding eating disorders and offering support to those struggling.

Ashley Thistlewaite – Member

Ashley joins the WaterStone NextGen Committee as a current Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology student. After recovering from a ten-year battle with anorexia nervosa, Ashley went on to study Psychology at Western University. After completing her degree in 2015, Ashley worked in the venture capital space. After a few years of resisting what she now sees as her calling, Ashley leaned into pursuing further education with the goal of assisting others struggling with eating disorders and mental health. Ashley understands what it is like to live not only with mental illness but to also carry the weight of the labels, loneliness, shame, and stigma that accompanies these diagnoses. Having worked with many highly qualified practitioners over the years, Ashley believes in the innate capacity of individuals to heal. It is her hope that she will one day go on to provide the same space and light for others struggling that was offered to her during her most challenging days.


Sandra Palmaro

Sandra has spent more than 25 years in leadership positions in the corporate, not for profit, and education sectors. After 14 years with Microsoft Canada, Sandra held leadership roles at SickKids Foundation, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and, most recently, at Wilfrid Laurier University. Sandra served on the Board of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada for 8 years, including 3 years as National Board Chair, and on the Governing Council of the Health Charities Coalition of Canada for 2 years.  Sandra holds a Master of Arts in Global Leadership degree from Royal Roads University and completed the Directors Education Program (ICD.D) at Rotman School of Management in 2015.
Sandra has been involved with WaterStone Foundation since its inception.  

Dr. Melissa Lieberman

Dr. Melissa Lieberman is a registered clinical psychologist working with children, adolescents and their families.  She has worked for over 20 years in both private practice and in several hospitals within the greater Toronto area.  Dr. Lieberman developed and lead the “COPE” program at the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC), delivering specialized care for children under the age of 13 with eating disorders.  Dr. Melissa Lieberman provides assessment, consultation and treatment for a wide range of psychological issues including; eating disorders, anxiety disorders, depression, divorce, loss, and other emotional difficulties which can limit quality of life during childhood and adolescence.  Dr. Melissa Lieberman received her Ph.D. at Concordia University in Montreal.  She was the recipient of the Governor General Gold Medal Award for her research in the area of peer pressure, cliques and the development of eating difficulties in teens. She is passionate about working with children, teens and their families and providing them with the best care possible.  

Dr. Gillian Kirsh

Dr. Kirsh is a licensed Clinical Psychologist registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. She works with children, adolescents, adults, and families specializing in eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and psychoeducational assessments. She works in the Eating Disorders Program at North York General Hospital (NYGH, since 2004) and trained in several hospital-based ED programs in Ontario. She was previously on staff at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinic at NGYH. Dr. Kirsh completed her pre-doctoral internship training at SickKids, where she focused on research on adolescents with eating disorders, assessment and treatment of anxiety, and psychoeducational assessments for children with learning disabilities/ADHD. In 2006, Dr. Kirsh completed a post-doctoral internship at SickKids, where she conducted research and community outreach in the prevention of eating disorders.