Concerned Friends Board of Directors
Laurie Nicol – President
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.
Miranda Priestman – Past 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.
Alnur Kassim-Lakha – Treasurer
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.
Kathleen Knowlton-Krueger – Secretary
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.
Mary Kate Saragosa – Policy and Advocacy Committee Chair
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.
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.