Board Of Directors
Regan P. Watts
For more than 20 years, Regan Watts has served the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors in corporate affairs, strategy, innovation, communications, and regulatory affairs. This experience spans a variety of industry verticals including information technology, financial services, consumer products, healthcare, infrastructure, transportation, mining, critical minerals, and industrial manufacturing.
He is the founder of Fratton Park Inc., an advisory firm providing public affairs, ESG, corporate social responsibility, innovation, and market development services. At Fratton Park, Regan has delivered results for a variety of organizations including Fortune 500 multinationals, resource-based industrials, tech scale-ups and start-ups, life sciences manufacturers, and food producers.
From 2017 – 2019, Regan was as a member of IBM Canada’s senior leadership team where he led Innovation, Corporate Citizenship and Government Affairs. Prior to joining IBM, Regan served on the Executive Committee of Lafarge Canada Inc. In this role, he led corporate communications, public and regulatory affairs, and corporate social responsibility.
Prior to joining the private sector, Regan had an extensive career in public service, serving in leadership roles in the Government of Canada across four federal departments. From 2006 – 2012, he served at Finance Canada, Transport Canada, Health Canada, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.
In 2012, Regan was awarded Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his public service. In 2023, he was recognized for his continued community and public service and was awarded both the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the King’s Coronation pins.
A frequent commenter on public issues, Regan’s writing has been published in the Globe and Mail, National Post, CBC News, and Policy Options. Regan is also the author of the award-winning children’s book, Adventures of Brushalot: Tale of the Tooth Fairy.
An active volunteer, Regan serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in Toronto. He also serves as Executive Director of the Advisory Board for the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government at St. Francis Xavier University.
A resident of Toronto, Regan holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western.
Rochelle Direnfeld served the Ontario public for over 30 years as an assistant crown attorney, deputy crown attorney, crown counsel and finally as a deputy director in the Criminal Law Division of the Ministry of the Attorney General. Rochelle retired from public service at the end of 2023. During her career, Rochelle prosecuted a wide variety of Criminal Code cases in the Ontario Court of Justice, Superior Court of Justice, and the Ontario Court of Appeal. Rochelle focussed a large part of her career on youth criminal justice, developing policy as well as training and lecturing crowns, the defence bar, the judiciary, and the police. Rochelle is also committed to battling hate motivated offences and has sat on the Attorney General’s Hate Crime Working Group since 2018. Rochelle graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1988 and was called to the Ontario bar in 1990. Prior to joining the Boost Board of Directors, Rochelle was a member of the Adventure Place (now Lumenus) Board of Directors for over 10 years, serving as chair for 2 years. Rochelle and her husband are parents to 5 adult children (including spouses) and one furry child.
Daniela DeGasperis is a philanthropist who is focused on working with children’s charities. Born in Toronto, Ms. DeGasperis graduated from Humber College in Business Administration. She then founded an outdoor advertising company, Danmark Advertising, expanding that business into general media and communications. In 2012, Ms. DeGasperis joined the committee for the Butterfly Ball®, the main fundraising event of Boost CYAC, taking over the leadership of the committee in 2014. In addition to continuing to chair this committee she was appointed to the Boost CYAC Board of Directors. Ms. DeGasperis also works on the committee for Best Buddies. She is a proud mother of two young children.
Julie Robertson CPA, CA, joined Boost CYAC’s Board of Directors in 2018. She is currently the Vice-President Finance and Capital Projects at Centerra Gold Inc. which has it’s head office in Toronto. Julie also serves as the Chair of CPA Canada & the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) joint Mining Industry Task Force on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Prior to joining Centerra, Julie held the position of Vice-President and Controller at Barrick Gold Corporation. She began her career and obtained her designation with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and spent several years working for Nortel Networks prior joining Barrick Gold. Julie also has three young children that keep her busy at home.
Jennifer is an Assistant Crown Attorney at the Downtown Toronto Crown Attorney’s Office and has held that position since 2006. Jennifer has been assigned to the specialized child abuse team at the Toronto Crown’s Office since 2013. The bulk of her prosecutions are focused on child abuse cases and internet child exploitation related offences. Jennifer obtained her law school degree from the University of Windsor and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Jennifer completed her articles at the Ontario Court of Appeal. She subsequently obtained her Masters of Law degree at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The focus of her thesis was in the area of International Public Law. In addition to her work on the child abuse team, Jennifer also prosecutes homicide matters and represents the Crown Attorney at Ontario Review Board hearings. She provides training and lectures for police officers at the CYAC and has presented via various webinars in the area of child abuse.
Dr. Rahim Valani
Sybil E. Veenman
Boost Fundraising Advisory Board