Shane is an accomplished business executive who, for 25 years, has been inspiring teams to think outside the box and drive sustainable growth. His people-first approach, combined with his experience in strategy, sales, marketing, and innovation, has driven success in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.
Shane most recently served as the vice-president of social enterprise and strategic partnerships for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, where he established a business-to-business services division, leveraged technology-based innovation, and championed strategic partnerships to diversify revenue streams and drive growth.
He previously served as the vice-president of social enterprise for the Canadian Hearing Society, where he introduced a structured sales approach to drive growth of hearing health care and assistive technology. Prior to his not-for-profit work, Shane honed his skills in the consumer packaged goods (Kraft Foods, Borden, Georgia-Pacific) and pharmaceutical industries (Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mylan).
Shane holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Schulich school of business at York University and an undergraduate degree from Western University.
Passionate about helping people live the lives they choose; he believes that balance in life is critical for our physical and mental well-being. In his spare time, Shane enjoys playing sports (albeit, more recreational now), spending time with family and friends, volunteering at a large animal rescue facility, and (optimistically/naively) cheering for Toronto sports teams.
Micheal Pietrus is a Director with Opening Minds and Director of Mental Health First Aid Canada at the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). He has led the Commission’s anti-stigma initiative, Opening Minds, since its inception in 2009. Under his leadership, Opening Minds became the largest systematic effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness in Canadian history.
In 2015, Michael was recognized for his work when Opening Minds received the Innovator Award at the 7th Together Against Stigma Conference in San Francisco. He has presented on his team’s research and anti-stigma and training programs at conferences around the world, including Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Micheal is a co-founder and co-chair of the Global Anti-stigma Alliance, which is composed of more than 20 international organizations working to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
He was appointed to the World Health Organization’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Mental Health, Brain Health and Substance Use. STAG reports directly to the Director-General of WHO. Its mandate is to advise WHO on overall global policies and strategies.
The mind-body connection is nothing new for Mireille Cyr, Manager of Client Development for Opening Minds, a branch of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC); she began her career as a physiotherapist. “People can’t simply be divided up. Our physical wellness hinges on our mental health, and vice-versa.”
It’s this holistic view that led Mireille to make a mid-life career change in 2015, diving head-first into business development for The Working Mind (TWM) and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) when the courses were little-known, and even less understood. Today, MHFA and TWM combined have trained close to one million people in Canada; these courses help participants recognize and safely support someone experiencing a mental health crisis – until professional help can be engaged.
Mireille led TWM and MHFA’s exponential growth for five years from 2015-2020 before embarking on a three-year interchange at the Canadian Innovation Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, a program of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada, where she also led its exponential growth. She has returned to the MHCC where she continues to lead the growth of the training programs.
Mireille is extremely proud of the progress that has been made to date in mental health but acknowledges there is still a great deal of work to be done. “When it comes to mental health at work, we must be very honest about what kind of culture we’re propagating. Self-care isn’t the solution if the root causes of a person’s mental health problems are untenable workload, harassment, or poor management. We must draw a line around acceptable workplace practices and stay true to those boundaries.”
Prior to embarking on a career in mental health, Mireille worked in the areas of homecare and accreditation.
A graduate of the University of Ottawa, BSC (PT) and M.H.A, she is a current board member of Kids Up Front Ottawa and a former board member of the Centre Psychosocial. She is also the mother of two adult children.