Eric Windeler is a father and full-time advocate for youth mental health. Jack.org is the legacy of his son Jack Windeler who in March 2010, as a first-year student at Queenʼs University, tragically and unexpectedly died by suicide.
Eric started Jack.org with his wife Sandra Hanington and their closest friends in May 2010. Since then, Eric has put aside his business interests and leads Jack.org full-time. Eric works tirelessly to inspire discussion about mental health, especially among young people.
In 2013, Eric received the Champion of Mental Health award from CAMIHI and the QE Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2015, Eric was honoured by Queen's University, receiving an honorary degree (LLD) recognizing his work in the field of mental health. In 2017, Eric and Sandra Hanington received the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) from the office of the Governor General. Most recently, Eric was selected as one of the 150 camh Difference Makers for mental health in Canada. Eric is also recipient of the 2018 Queen’s Alumni Humanitarian of the Year Award. Eric sits on the board of FRAYME, a global youth mental health best practices non-profit.
After a year as Interim Director of Operations, I am excited to transition to a role focussed on a number of special projects and to continue to work with the amazing and evergrowing team at Jack.org.
Prior to joining Jack.org, I graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an LLB and have worked as a corporate lawyer, both on Bay Street and at a chocolate factory. Twelve years ago, I stepped away from a legal career to try my hand as an entrepreneur. I co-founded a health and wellness company which delivered expert led, digital content to over 15 million people across North America. In 2008, I was named one of Profit Magazines Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs. I am passionate about destigmatizing mental illness and promoting resiliency and serve on the board of the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario and Partners for Mental Health.
When I am not in the office, I can be found on my road bike with friends or on the dock in cottage county with my husband and 3 kids.
As Director of Operations, Adrienne runs Jack.org’s day-to-day operations, oversees programming, manages finance and human resources, and supports the organization’s growth and strategic development. Prior to joining Jack.org, Adrienne spent time in the private sector in operations management and fundraising consulting. Adrienne holds her Honours BA in History from Concordia University and her Masters in History from the University of Toronto, and has expertise in project management, strategic development and human resources.
As Director of Programs & Evaluation, I oversee the design, delivery, and evaluation of Jack.org's programs. I am also responsible for our ongoing formative research and for ensuring that we're consistently aligned with evidence based practices. I hold a BA in Health Studies from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Public Health focusing on Social Inequities from Simon Fraser University. Before Jack.org, I worked in Vancouver and New Orleans in child mental health policy research, youth sexual health programming, and high school suicide prevention -- so I've been encouraging tough conversations with students for a really long time.
Since the summer of 2014, I've been lucky enough to have a front row seat to our incredible growth and programmatic developments. I'm so excited to see where the future will take us, and to continue to be a part of such a wonderful team.
As Content and Communications Manager, I help tell the Jack.org story, and make sure that each young person in our Chapters and at our events across the country has as strong a platform, and as loud a megaphone, as humanly possible. I use all the communications tools at my disposal to amplify the work done by Jack.org, and ensure that our youth leaders can continue to transform the way we (all of us) think about mental health.
I come to Jack.org with a hybrid background of arts and digital strategy, having spent a decade in the arts and culture sector as a producer and communicator. I spear-headed the first-ever digital platform for the Koffler Centre of the Arts, and led mobile-based initiatives that helped bring thoughtful conversation and artistic practice to curious Canadians.
Through my work in digital strategy, I have become a champion of digital ethics and bring with me a consideration for how social media and online communications help and hinder the mental health of Canada's youth. I work to ensure that all of Jack.org's online communications practices are respectful, community-based, honest, and impactful.
I am honoured to be a part of this organization, one that is fundamentally changing the national conversation around mental health and empowering young people (the leaders of today, not tomorrow) to get to work and make real change. #5in5 #NoMoreSilence
Michelle is the Project Manager for Be There, an engaging web-based resource that illuminates how we can be there for our loved ones when they struggle with their mental health.
Michelle holds a degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Ottawa and an MBA in Health Services Management from McMaster University. Her passion for health equality is the driving force behind her work on health-related projects in Canada and abroad including affordable housing models, provision of clean drinking water, health worker education and LGBTQ+ rights. She loves to learn, create and live life in the great outdoors.
As Program Manager, I play a key role in ensuring all Jack Talks are well supported to have the greatest positive impact in the school environments we visit. This happens through training and coaching our dynamic speakers to effectively increase mental health knowledge and shift attitudes while embracing their unique styles and stories.
I graduated from the Honours BBA program at Wilfrid Laurier University, with Distinction, in 2011. Since then, I discovered my passion for working with others and changing the world through an array of powerful experiences. Everything from moving to the Philippines to help empower persons with disabilities, to inspiring youth and educators across Canada as a motivational speaker, to facilitating life-changing experiences abroad. In working with young people, I’ve discovered how important mental health is and how critical it can be to open up a safe space for dialogue.
In my spare time I can usually be found having good times with my best friends from high school, playing with my dog, and enjoying the latest sitcoms. I’m a corny joke enthusiast, beach volleyball lover, and shameless optimist.
As the Program Manager overseeing Jack Chapters, Alex supports youth mental health advocates who are taking action to transform their communities. By building strong connections with ambitious young people, all-star teaching staff, key organizations and community service providers, Alex helps ensure that our Chapter program is as useful, accessible and impactful as it possibly can be for young people all across Canada.
Alex completed a Masters of Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship in 2012, and has since worked to develop programs and events at several youth-focused organizations. Prior to joining the Jack.org team, Alex worked for WE Day and spent the majority of her time in chilly arenas rubbing elbows with performers and keynote speakers.
As the Major Gifts Lead, I help build connections with Jack.org's donors and supporters.
After completing my BA in Political Science and Communications at Carleton University, I worked as a political staffer in Ottawa. I've also had the opportunity to volunteer with some amazing community agencies, as a crisis counsellor, a street outreach worker, and a facilitator for several youth leadership conferences. When I'm not working or volunteering, you can usually find me immersed in the latest political news, eating take-out sushi, or taking a walk in a nearby park - sometimes all three at once.
I'm so excited to make the move to Toronto and join Jack.org's growing team as they empower youth to support better mental health.
As Jack.org's Major Events Lead, I work to make sure that all our events are a remarkable experience for everyone involved and always evolve so we can continue to support the transformational work of our youth leaders.
After completing my BA in Marketing Management, I worked in the advertising industry before moving to Cambodia to pursue a career in the non-profit sector. I have since had the opportunity to work with several unique and dynamic teams supporting men's heath, as well as programs providing support to ill children and their families. With a passion for healthy living, I knew I wanted to join a team that's changing the way we think about mental health.
When I am not working or volunteering, I might be found re-charging with Netflix, battling it out on the ball hockey floor, or on a quest for the city's best gluten free cupcake.
As Community Fundraising Lead, I work to ensure Jack.org receives the funds necessary to support its programs and network of student leaders who are making positive and sustainable change to youth mental health in Canada. My goal is to help our generous Jack.org supporters make an impact in an engaging and meaningful way.
After finishing my Bachelors of Fine Arts, Specialized Honours degree from York University, and the Fundraising Management program at Ryerson University, I started working in nonprofit organizations right away. I have spent the majority of my fundraising career working to fund mental health care, research and awareness. I am beyond thrilled to be working with the spectacular team at Jack.org.
In my free time you can usually find me snuggling my cats Alfie and Fynn, doing something active, or most likely eating. I love to cook, bake and find new restaurants in the city that I love and have always called home!
As Grant Writer I support Jack.org’s Major Gifts Lead in seeking and building rewarding partnerships with grant makers.
I have a degree in International Development from University of Toronto, and field experience as a program assistant with a microfinance organization in Sri Lanka, and as a sexual health advisor for a women’s education initiative in India.
Locally I have worn many hats, including working as a political science research assistant at the University of Toronto, providing administrative and donor management support for the Ontario New Democratic Party, developing content and copy for UOSSM Canada, and volunteering as Logistics Director for Not Just Tourists (a volunteer-run organization that delivers surplus medical supplies to clinics in need around the world). I also volunteer as a crisis line counsellor with a sexual assault clinic.
As Program Lead, I’m responsible for running our national Jack Summit as well as supporting each of our regional summits in communities across Canada. I also have the privilege of working with our network representatives and ensuring their voices are heard both internally for program design and externally in mental health advocacy efforts across the globe. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of such an amazing team and to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing young people across the country!
I have a BA (Hons.) in Global Development Studies from Queen’s University and a Master of Public Health specializing in social and behavioural health sciences from the University of Toronto. When I’m not working, you can find me managing my cat’s Instagram account, wandering the city with friends in search of Toronto’s best pizza, and re-watching old seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.
My name is Pratik Nair and I am the Evaluation and Knowledge Translation Lead here at Jack.org. In this capacity, I conduct evaluations, analysis, and produce deliverables (reports, presentations) to inform our Jack.org programs. In addition, I’m consistently updating our evidence base with the latest research so we’re keeping abreast with science and best practice. My approach to this kind of work involves informing practice with theory, and reimagining theory in light of practice.
I hold a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Toronto and have conducted evaluations on programs and policy for children’s television, health services in Ontario municipalities, and harm reduction services in South America. After initial experience founding and managing a mental health education campaign, I found myself drawn to an uncharted field of health promotion, where much further work was to be done to educate, destigmatize, and advocate.
Outside of work you can find me being active, reading, or cheering on your Toronto Maple Leafs.
I am a Chapter Coordinator supporting the Jack.org youth network across Canada, assisting in youth-led advocacy initiatives to change the culture surrounding mental health. I absolutely love what I do as I get to talk to and develop relationships with so many different creative and passionate youth.
In my previous positions I’ve utilized my social work background to partner with youth in promoting racial justice, access to higher education and the importance of recreation. I recently completed my Masters of Social Work at Ryerson University. I’m passionate about engaging youth in self-led advocacy and developing community-based approaches to bring about social justice.
When I am not working alongside youth, I am playing beside them! I play quarterback in Toronto’s only LGBTQ flag football league. I love being active and am happy to try any sport or game at least once! I really enjoy bringing folks together to try new activities; I’ve especially enjoyed teaching my Canadian friends some games from my childhood like wiffleball. If you don’t know what that is be sure to contact me and I can get you going in the next game!
My role with Jack.org is to support student-led initiatives through our Jack Chapter program at high schools and universities in Southern Ontario and Western Canada.
I first got started with Jack.org when I attended the Jack Summit in 2015. Soon after I joined the Jack Talks program and began a chapter at my university. I have since graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a degree in Child and Youth Study, where I also had the privilege of being class valedictorian. Now I am beyond excited to continue working with Jack.org as a Chapter Coordinator!
When I'm not busy challenging the stigma surrounding mental health you can find me drinking excessive amounts of coffee, re-watching Friends, travelling to cool places and swing dancing.
As a Chapter Coordinator, I support the young leaders engaged in our Jack Chapter program at high schools, colleges, and universities in Ontario and Québec.
I graduated with a BA in Sociology from Carleton University. Since then, I’ve worked in early childhood education, support services for youth with food allergies and with students who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. Volunteering with Special Olympics Ontario and Ronald McDonald House also allowed me to meet and work with a wide variety of people from all walks of life. All these experiences have been nothing but inspirational and have led me to want to continue working with inspiring young leaders in Canada who are trying to break the stigma surrounding mental health in their communities!
In my spare time, you can find me relaxing with Heather’s latest pick, taking in any type of live music or exploring everything Toronto has to offer!
As Talks Coordinator, I support Jack Talks speakers across Canada through coordination and training, as well as helping with the overall growth of the Talks Program.
Throughout my university experience, I realized the importance of addressing the stigma surrounding mental health, especially in an environment where youth face a variety of external pressures and stress. I began to educate myself on mental health and mental illness and noticed how others also wanted to learn more and talk about these issues. After completing a B.A. in Political Science and History from McGill University, I volunteered with the Halton Multicultural Council, providing support and resources for new immigrants in the community. I was also very fortunate to travel to various countries with friends and family, collecting incredible memories and stories along the way!
I knew that I wanted to follow a career in the non-profit sector and began by working with different organizations that focused on addressing social issues. During this time, I developed a passion for learning more about local issues and, after attending a Jack Talk, I knew that this was an organization I wanted to be a part of.
I love spending time with close friends and family exploring the sights and tastes of Toronto and can often be found with a coffee…or slice of pizza in hand!
Jessie Brar was a Jack Talks speaker for the 2016-2017 year, before transitioning to her role as a Talks Coordinator. As a Talks Coordinator, Jessie supports the growth of the Talks Program by helping with training, coordination and program logistics.
Jessie graduated from Queen's University with a Bachelor's of Psychology in 2016. She is an active public speaker and mental health advocate. She is passionate about mental health and youth leadership. Jessie is consistently working with many organizations such as the Central Ontario Leadership Seminar, The Mental Health Spotlight and Jack.org to help youth develop their voice.
Through her own lived experience, she learned the importance of having mental health conversations and found her passion working in this space. Prior to Jack.org, Jessie worked as a writer for mental health columns at The Tempest, Brown Girl Magazine, The Collaborative for South Asian Mental Health at CAMH and many more. She can now be found in the Jack.org office working hard, playing with the office dogs and handing out snacks.
As Jack.org’s Development Coordinator, I support the fundraising side of the organization as well as the communication and partnership initiatives that develop and strengthen our position in the mental health awareness space!
I'm an east coast girl who now calls this big city home. After graduating with a degree in Business – Marketing from St. Francis Xavier University (got the gold ring to prove it!), I spent some time in the for-profit sector before deciding that non-profit is where I belong. I am so excited to be supporting an organization that is growing so rapidly, and leaving amazing change in its wake!
When I’m not coordinating here at Jack.org, you can find me hanging outside (between the months of May-Oct), listening to a good podcast, or singing a tune!
As the Communications Coordinator, it’s my job to amplify the voice of our amazing network of 2,500+ young leaders, and spread the word on all the rad things they’re accomplishing (no small task, they’re accomplishing a lot!). I also handle anything and everything SOCIAL MEDIA! That means: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, MySpace, Friendster, Google Plus, Digg etc.
I studied a Bachelor of Writing at the University of Canberra (yes, that’s a real degree you can take and it’s awesome). Thank goodness it was a real degree because it’s led me on a wild adventure to Canada, and in turn to Jack.org. Jack is such a warm and inviting place to be (the polar opposite of your ridiculous Canadian winters, pun intended), and I couldn’t be happier here.
When I’m not working I enjoy lounging, listening to an almost inappropriate amount of music and pretending to be having the worst time as my girlfriend ‘forces’ me to watch Grey’s Anatomy. I also love to read and write (you know, the basics).
As Summit Coordinator, I help plan the national Jack Summit, and I support the development and growth of Regional Summits by guiding community organizers through the planning and coordinating process. My goal is to make the coordinating process for these organizers as smooth and enjoyable as possible - positive planning makes for a successful event! I'm looking forward to helping grow the National Summit, and supporting coordinators in planning even more Regional Summits.
I have a B.Sc (Hons.) in Conservation Biology and Psychology from the University of Toronto. I'm particularly interested in the concept of applying behavioural psychology to encourage folks to collaboratively build positive communities around values such as sustainability and mental health. Throughout my university career, I was involved in several initiatives that strove to de-stigmatize mental health on campus - I had many conversations with students about simple ways to prioritize daily wellness and health such as trying out a fitness class or doing arts and crafts!
Outside of work you can find me at a fitness class, dancing, or reading!
As the Administrative Coordinator, Margaret supports all Jack.org staff and makes sure the office is running smoothly. She has worked for several small, innovative organizations in the not-for-profit sector, and is delighted to be working to help improve the mental health of Canada’s youth.