• Guiding Principles

    Guiding Principles

About Us

Paying Forward the Human-Animal Bond since 1998

Meet Our Team


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Christina's professional background within the public and private sectors and her extensive communications design and implementation experience couldn't have been a better fit. Christina is skilled in content development and, through several successful campaigns, has acquired considerable knowledge of the best practices involved in creating and marketing content for various audiences. Christina joined the Foundation to utilize her professional expertise to benefit a cause that is very dear to her heart. Befittingly she is a devoted pet parent, avid animal lover, and strongly believes in the value of the bond between people and their pets. Giving her time and talents is not limited to CFAS. Instead, she gives generously to other worthy charities, such as the Ottawa Humane Society.  This talented lady holds a Master of Arts degree with a Specialization in Organizational Communication and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a Minor in Psychology from the University of Ottawa.

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Rubina is a mother of three children and the owner of three elderly dogs she rescued. She has professionally worked as a Chemist, Science Educator, Property Manager, and Store Manager for an outreach mission. She devotes considerable time to volunteering at her children's school and operating community-based programs such as homework clubs. Until five years ago, she was the co-owner of a not-for-profit Labrador and golden retriever dog rescue organization called Save-A-Lab. 

Rubina and her husband rescued over 50 Labs and Golden Retrievers over the years and successfully placed them in good, stable, and loving homes. Many of the dogs they rescued had been abused and required substantial rehabilitation. 

Rubina came on board with the Foundation because it allows her to combine her love of animals with her desire to make a difference in the lives of others.

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Estée has loved animals since she was very young.  This passion was encouraged by her parents, who ensured she always had several cat and dog companions and supported her transition to vegetarianism at the age of 12. 

Upon entering university, Estée discovered her second passion: bioethics.  In 2019, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in bioethics from the University of Toronto.  In 2022, she completed her Master’s in Bioethics from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health at the Berman Institute of Bioethics.  Estée’s interests in bioethics are wide-ranging, but her particular focus has been on health equity, mental health, and animal welfare standards, as reflected in Estee’s master’s thesis “Are the Animals Actually Alright?  The Failures of Current Animal Welfare Labels in Canada and Suggestions for Change.” 

Estée’s passion for bioethics extends beyond academia.  She currently serves as a research ethics and compliance specialist at Ethica CRO, a contract research organization that places a premium on protecting human research participants.  In her role, she applies her academic knowledge to ensure ethical standards are met in every research project.  Outside of work, Estée finds solace in the company of her beloved Siamese cat Billy, indulges in writing, enjoys dressing up, and cherishes moments with her friends and family. 

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Kim’s love of dogs began with her first rescue dog when she was a teenager.  She has never been without their remarkable presence in her life since then. 

Kim’s professional background in artificial intelligence and knowledge management, particularly in identifying valuable expertise accumulated by professionals through extensive experience. Her mission in life is to ensure this valuable, hard-won knowledge is preserved and shared widely across space and time.

Kim has worked in the private, public and (currently) academic sectors.  Her current research focuses on the phenomenon of fake news.   Kim joined the Foundation to support the Animal-Assisted Human Services (AAHS) community and emerging industry sector. 

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​Joanne is the Founder and CEO of the Foundation. She is a passionate servant leader and has been a devoted disability advocate for more than 30 years. 

Joanne also has expertise in humane education, with hands-on experience in the Animal-Assisted Human Services Industry Sector.  

Her professional designations include a Bachelor's Degree in Counselling, a professional designation in Emotional Intelligence (EI) Consulting, and post-secondary project and voluntary sector management.

Joanne is a humanitarian and animal advocate for most of her life. Based on Joanne's lived experiences, she defines the human-animal bond as 'love just for being.' Why? Because she believes that true love changes everything for the better. 

Her journey has also taught her that innovation is the result of fearing less and loving more. 

​Photo Credit:  Winchester resident Joanne Moss, left, receives the Caring Canadian Award from Gov-Gen. David Johnston on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in Ottawa. MCpl Vincent Carbonneau/Submitted.

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Paola is a grateful mom of three, nonna to one (soon to be two). Her family has been graced with two wonderful rescue dogs, Coty and Jessie, both magical mixes. Jessie,   who had a knack for opening doors and hearts, served as a greeter/bodyguard in Solstice, Paola's medieval gift shop.
 
Paola is recognized for her integrity and influential role as a leader, partner, coach, and communicator, creating solid relationships and building trust among all stakeholders. Paola brings to CF4AASS extensive managerial and consulting experience in change enablement, operations, business process optimization, digital transformation, quality systems, and organizational development from several international firms. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work from McGill University and a Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine's Graziadio School of Business and   Management. Her volunteer board experience includes serving five years as a director on multi-phase condominium boards and two years on a coalition board. Paola also completed governance training conducted by Women in Governance in collaboration with the Institute for the governance of private and public organizations. 

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For the past 18 years, Dr. Gillian Leithman has spent time in corporate Canada teaching employees soft skills and managerial training at Concordia University, where she is an adjunct professor in the John Molson School of Business. Her flagship workshop, What's Next? which focuses on pre-retirement planning, has been delivered to companies such as the RCMP, Exxon Mobil, Telus, The Montreal Gazette, Concordia University, Bell Canada, FedEx, and Moody's Canada, to name a few. She also has her own retirement coaching practice. Gillian holds an honours undergraduate degree in Psychology, a Master of Science in Management, and a Ph.D. in Management and Psychology. Her research focuses on aging workers, knowledge-sharing cultures, age-friendly organizations and the retirement transition. Her commentary has been featured in the Montreal Gazette, CBC's Cross-Country Check-up, The Wall Street Journal, The National Post, The Canadian HR Reporter, The Financial Post, Forbes, Next Avenue, and Conversation Canada. Gillian is the founder of Rewire to Retire and Life Skills Toolbox.