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Catherine Potechin, Chair of the Board of Directors of Diabetes Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of Laura Syron as President & CEO of Diabetes Canada, effective June 29, 2020.

“We are delighted to welcome such an accomplished and experienced leader,” says Ms. Potechin. “Laura is a transformational not-for-profit executive who brings broad and deep experience in all aspects of not-for-profit leadership.  Her track record of success on both the mission and fundraising sides of the business at some of Canada’s top charitable organizations makes her ideally suited to lead Diabetes Canada into the future.”

Laura has gained rich experience through the intentional pursuit of diverse and sought-after roles in the charitable health sector. Beginning her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble, Laura went on to serve as Vice President, Research, Advocacy and Health Promotion at the Heart & Stroke Foundation, where she helped establish Canada’s first Research Centre for Stroke Recovery and led the program that placed the first wave of AEDs across Ontario. Laura then moved to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation as its Vice President of Community Programs where she led a diverse portfolio of fundraising programs. Most recently, Laura was Chief Development Officer at the Arthritis Society, the largest charitable funder of cutting-edge arthritis research in Canada and a leader in proactive advocacy, innovative information and support that delivers better health outcomes for people living with arthritis.

“I am honoured to be joining Diabetes Canada as President and CEO, and am looking forward to getting to know the staff, volunteers, donors, health care professionals, and partners who are critical to its success,” said Ms. Syron. “We are living through a complicated time where the landscape for Canadian charities has changed rapidly. But the work of Diabetes Canada, on behalf of the one in three Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes (which includes me), has never been more relevant and essential.”

Laura is an alumnus of the University of Toronto and the University of Texas and has received numerous awards including 2015 Marketer of the Year - Not for Profit, the Rick Gallop Award for Pioneering Leadership and the Project Pegasus Award for Strategic Leadership.

Laura takes over from Russell Williams, who has served as President since the retirement of former CEO Dr. Jan Hux in February of 2020. “Diabetes Canada is grateful to Russell Williams for his dedicated leadership through a time of great uncertainty during the COVID-19 epidemic,” says Potechin. “We look forward to his continued contributions as he resumes his role of Senior Vice-President, Mission.”

With one in three Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes and our healthcare system faced with $30 billion in direct healthcare costs, the diabetes burden in Canada is large and growing. Now, more than ever, Diabetes Canada is committed to its mission of supporting Canadians affected by diabetes while we work to end the diabetes epidemic.

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Region: National