Board Member2021-05-10T10:43:40-04:00

Concerned Friends Board of Directors

Miranda Priestman – President
Miranda is a Registered Nurse. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and Bachelor of Science nursing degree from the University of Toronto with a specialization in neuroscience from George Brown College. After working with residents and having family members in long term care she became interested in helping to advocate for the elderly and contribute positive systemic change.

Laurie Nicol – Vice President/Treasurer
Laurie is a Certified Association Executive with over 30 years’ leadership experience in the non-profit sector. Founded upon her personal experience with parents struggling for dignity and adequate levels of care in a long-term care facility she decided to channel her passion for advocacy to support an organization that is addressing the need for improving conditions in long-term care homes.

Gerda Kaegi – Secretary
Gerda, Professor Emerita, Ryerson University, Politics and Public Administration was a co-founder and the first coordinator of the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies in Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Management. She has worked with all levels of government, citizen groups and non-profit organizations to improve long-term care in Canada. Gerda’s interest and engagement with LTC began in 1985 when she was asked to join the first advisory committee of the Metropolitan Toronto Homes for the Aged.

Kathleen Knowlton-Krueger – Membership Coordinator
Kathy is a graduate CCW from Humber College with an extensive career in Social Services, where she was an advocate for children and their families, private counselor and Community College teacher. She is currently the Administrator for the Community Services Bureau of a Police Service. Her advocacy skills were of benefit when caring for her own parents over a period of twenty years. Throughout this journey, Kathy experienced, firsthand, the many stumbling blocks, inadequacies in care and gaps in services for the elderly.  Her passion for preserving the dignity and overall, well being of the vulnerable population brought her to Concerned Friends.

Hayley Shaughnessy – Communications Coordinator
Hayley is a communications professional. She holds a post-graduate certificate in public relations from Humber College and General Arts BA from Wilfrid Laurier University. She was drawn to senior’s advocacy after listening to the experience of changing home dynamics for her grandparents. Her first job was serving meals at a senior’s home in Peterborough and has since then grown an interest in giving back and caring for our older population.

Alnur Kassim-Lakha
Alnur is a real estate private equity investor. He attended New York University’s Stern School of Business for his undergraduate degree, where he majored in finance and accounting, with a concentration in real estate. Alnur has a passion for service and has extensive experience in the non-for-profit sector and is spearheading Concerned Friends’ youth engagement initiatives.

Valerie Luttrell
With training in Social Work, Gerontology, and Dementia, Valerie has worked with seniors in long-term care as a volunteer, as a Lifestyle Director and as a caring family member. She initiated a local group in Newmarket, Ontario, to encourage community members to help residents, LTC’s and Seniors at large. She has brought her passion to Concerned Friends with the hope of making a difference.

Mary Kate Saragosa
Mary Kate has been inspired to take action in the health and long-term care sector both personally and professionally through experiences with her family and throughout her career.  Research opportunities in collaboration with health care organizations led to an M.Sc. degree in Rural Planning and Development at the University of Guelph.  Mary Kate held executive roles as a strategic and operational leader in quality and risk management, within the home and long-term care sectors.  An inclusive and collaborative leader, she also held management roles within the regulatory and advocacy industries, representing stakeholder interests towards the improvement of public policy for better outcomes.