Special Olympics Canada Announces New Appointments to National Board of Directors

TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Special Olympics Canada (SOC) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Board of Directors Chair and President, Vice-Chair, Secretary and four new Directors at its Annual General Meeting this past weekend. These appointments replace retiring members Bev Hammond and Martin Fingerhut.  SOC would like to thank Ms. Hammond and Mr. Fingerhut for their dedication and invaluable contributions over the years.  Special Olympics Canada is extremely grateful for their involvement and impact to the movement in Canada as it has greatly benefited from their passion, commitment and leadership.  Special Olympics Canada would like to welcome incoming Board Members Matoula Charitsis, Jamie Salé, Mike Trojan and Niyousha Zarinpour and officially introduce Mike Lamontagne, Stewart Johnston and Jake Bullen as the new Chair and President, Vice-President and Secretary, respectively.

Incoming Chair Mike Lamontagne has been with the Special Olympics Canada Board of Directors since 2009 and currently serves as the Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Etratech Enterprises, a Canadian company specializing in the design, development and manufacture of advanced electronic controls for leading OEM’s around the world. He previously served on the Board of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton-Wentworth, holding the position of 2nd Vice- President. Stewart Johnston and Jake Bullen both joined the Special Olympics Canada Board of Directors in 2013 and Special Olympics is thrilled to welcome them both into Officer positions as Vice-Chair and Secretary, respectively. Johnston is the President of TSN, while Bullen is a Partner at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.

Matoula Charitsis is the President of McLaren Global Sports Solutions Inc., a globally recognized sport consulting firm based in Canada. She specializes in business development within McLaren and liaises with a number of sport organizations managing contracts, organizational and stakeholder relationships with the company and its clients. Charitsis has over 10 years of fundraising experience, due to her previous role working as a Director of External Relationship with the University of Western Ontario (UWO). Charitsis comes to SOC with a Master’s of Business degree (eMBA) from the Ivey School of Business, and a Master’s in Public Administration from UWO.

Jamie Salé is a former Canadian pairs figure skater and both the 2002 Olympic Champion and the 2001 World Champion.  During their 2001-2002 season, Salé and her pairs partner David Pelletier made skating history and won a total of 15 Championships, including the World title and the 2002 Olympic Gold Medal at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has been awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy for Canadian Athlete of the Year and has been inducted into both the Skate Canada Hall of Fame and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.  Salé has been a long-standing supporter of the Special Olympics Movement, originating from her family’s involvement in local programs in their hometown of Red Deer, Alberta. Salé currently sits on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Alberta and is co-chair of Special Olympics Canada’s Champions Network.

Mike Trojan recently concluded a 35 year career in Local Government Administration, retiring as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Niagara Region in May 2013. Prior to assuming this role, Trojan was the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer and the Region’s Treasurer and Director of Corporate Services. Throughout his career, he has been actively involved with professional and municipal associations including serving on the Board of Directors for the Niagara Chapter of the Society of Management Accountants, the Municipal Finance Officers Association of Ontario, ONE Financing Corporation and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, among others. Trojan has been involved as a coach and volunteer in a variety of youth sporting activities, including with Special Olympics. Most recently, he and his wife Jane started a Special Olympics Golf program for North Niagara.

Niyousha Zarinpour is the current Managing Director and Head of the Global Subsidiaries Group for Citi Canada. As the head of this portfolio, Zarinpour is responsible for Citi’s relationships with Canadian affiliates of over 450 multinational corporate and investment banking clients, leading a team of bankers based in Toronto, Calgary and Montreal. Prior to her current position, Zarinpour was a relationship banker in Citi’s Corporate and Investment Bank, covering Canadian multinational clients in industries including auto, aviation, industrial and mining in Toronto, from 2002 to 2005, and in Montreal from 1998 to 2002. In addition Zarinpour plays an active role in Citi’s cultural and community activities, as the founding co-chair of the Citi Women’s Network in Toronto and the co-chair of the company’s United Way campaign committee.

Special Olympics Canada is delighted to officially welcome Matoula Charitsis, Jamie Salé, Mike Trojan and Niyousha Zarinpour to the Special Olympics Canada Board of Directors and congratulate Mike Lamontagne, Stewart Johnston and Jake Bullen on their new Board positions.


Established in 1969, the Canadian chapter of this international movement is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through the transformative power and joy of sport. Operating out of sport clubs in 12 provincial and territorial Chapters, this grassroots movement reaches beyond the sphere of sport to empower individuals, change attitudes and build communities. From two-year-olds to mature adults, more than 38,000 athletes with an intellectual disability are registered in Special Olympics year-round programs across Canada. They are supported by more than 17,000 volunteers, including more than 13,000 trained coaches.

For more information, visit www.specialolympics.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@SpecialOCanada).

CONTACT: Bill Wilson 
         Director, Marketing & Communications
         Special Olympics Canada
         416-927-9050 ext. 4383

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