Board of Directors


The Honourable Peter MacKay, Chair

Peter MacKay is a Partner in the Baker & McKenzie Toronto office. Prior to joining the Firm, Peter MacKay, PC, QC (Privy Council and Queen’s Counsel), served in the Parliament of Canada for over 18 years and in a ministerial post in the Canadian government for nine years since the Conservative Party formed a government in 2006. Most recently, he served as Canada’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, a position to which he was appointed in 2013. Prior to this post, Mr. MacKay served as the Minister of National Defence for six years and held joint cabinet positions as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for 18 months.

From 1992 to 1997, Mr. MacKay served as a Crown prosecutor in Nova Scotia, and spent time in private practice and in Germany as lawyer at Thyssen Henchel. He is the founder of the highly regarded Halifax International Security Forum, which he hosted beginning in 2009.


Trent Mell, Chair

Trent is President and Head of Mining with PearTree Securities, a Toronto-based exempt market dealer. PearTree works with mining and oil & gas companies to finance Canadian exploration and development activities.

Trent is a mining executive and capital markets professional with over 15 years of industry experience. He has worked for global producers and junior miners and has experience at all stages of the mining lifecycle. Trent has worked in various capacities with Barrick Gold, AuRico Gold and others and most recently served as President & CEO of Falco Resources. Prior to entering the mining industry, he was a securities lawyer with Stikeman Elliott LLP.

Born and raised in Quebec, Trent holds a B.A., B.C.L., LL.B., LL.M. and MBA. He has two young children, is a runner and an occasional guest lecturer at Canadian universities. Prior to joining the Boost CYAC Board, he served as a director of the Canada Sports Friendship Exchange Programs. In 1991, he was awarded a citizenship medal by the Government of Canada for community service.


Daniela DeGasperis, Vice Chair

Vice Chair
Daniela De Gasperis is a philanthropist who is focused on working with children’s charities.

Born in Toronto, the 39 year old Ms. De Gasperis graduated from Humber College in Business Administration. She then founded an outdoor advertising company, Danmark Advertising, expanding that business into general media and communications.

Five years ago, Ms. De Gasperis joined the committee for the Butterfly Ball®, the main fundraising event of Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (Boost CYAC), taking over the leadership of the committee in 2014. In addition to continuing to chair this committee as the event heads towards its 20th anniversary in 2017, she has been appointed to the Boost CYAC Board of Directors.

Ms. De Gasperis also works on the committee for Best Buddies.

She is married to Robert De Gasperis, President of Metrus Properties and has two young children.

Tamara Costa, Secretary

Tamara has a professional background in strategic marketing, branding and communications, and joined the Board of Directors at Boost CYAC in 2011. She is also a member of several committees including the Communications and Butterfly Ball® Committees. She is a graduate of McGill University and is Director of Marketing & Communications at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Tamara is an active volunteer in her local community and as a mother of two young children, she is pleased to further the important work being accomplished at Boost CYAC.

Larry C. Murray, Past Chair

Past Chair
Having retired as a tax partner in the Toronto office of KPMG LLP (and its predecessor firms), Larry is currently a tax consultant, specializing in the income tax area mainly relating to matters impacting financial institutions and non-profit entities. Larry received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto in 1966 and received his Chartered Accountant designation (CPA) in 1969; in 1991 he was awarded the Fellow Chartered Accountant designation (FCPA).

Larry has been involved in the not-for-profit sector since the mid 70’s both as a professional advisor and as a volunteer. In addition to Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, he is currently a director of The Lillian Meighen and Don Wright Foundation, and Catholic Health Sponsors of Ontario. As well, Larry sits on the Board of Governors of Catholic Missions in Canada.


Mark Daniel

Mark joined Boost’s Board of Directors in 2011. He is also a Board member at AuRico Gold where he chairs the Human Resources Committee. Mark is a volunteer consultant with Management Advisory Service, providing complimentary consulting in corporate governance to non-profits in the Greater Toronto Area. In addition to his Board and volunteer work, Mark consults to Boards and senior management on organization design and effectiveness, executive recruitment and development, compensation and performance improvement. Prior to his retirement, Mark was the Vice President, Human Resources at CVRD Inco and previously spent 15 years at the Conference Board of Canada. Mark received his BA degree from the University of Maryland and his PhD in Economics in 1974 from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Lana DePatie

Dr. Lana Dépatie, Ph.D., C.Psych. is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. She completed her education at McGill University where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Psychiatry and a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral residency at the Alberta Children’s Hospital where she trained extensively in the area of child maltreatment. Upon completion of her residency, Dr. Dépatie held a position at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in the Child Abuse Service for two years before moving to Toronto. She currently holds a position as a psychologist in the Suspected Child Abuse & Neglect (SCAN) program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and is the director of her own private practice where she offers a range of psychological services. Dr. Dépatie has been working in the field of child maltreatment for over a decade. She has been an invited speaker at both national and international conferences and she has published in peer-reviewed journals on topics such as child maltreatment and psychopathology. Dr. Dépatie has been qualified as an expert witness by both Alberta and Ontario provincial courts based on her work with families involved with child protection agencies.

Inspector Pauline Gray


Mary Juric

Mary Juric, MSW., RSW, has served as the Director of Service at the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto since February 2007. She has a BSW degree from Ryerson University and a MSW degree from Carleton University. Since 1982, Mary has held a number of positions in child welfare.

In her current role, Mary represents the Society on a number of interagency committees and she has worked on a number of provincial projects and initiatives for the Provincial Directors of Service Network Group in association with the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS).

An important aspect of her life is family – she resides in Caledon, Ontario with her husband and two adult children.

Andrea Lekushoff

A leader in the Canadian public relations industry, Andrea Lekushoff has more than two decades of experience as a communications strategist and trusted advisor for some of the world’s most respected brands. As an agency leader and hands-on advisor to her clients, Andrea has deep experience working across a range of industry sectors and she has counselled clients on all aspects of PR including executive visibility, reputation and thought leadership. A sought-after speaker and presenter for industry and business groups, she is also a regular guest contributor for media. Passionate about entrepreneurship, and the professional advancement of women, Andrea sits on the boards for YPO Toronto, Women of Influence and Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre.

Mahesh Prajapat

Mahesh has over 25 years of experience in service to children and families and in field of child welfare. He has led agency wide initiatives on leadership, organizational performance, and Supervision.

As well as holding progressive positions in a child welfare setting,  he has also acted as the Manager for Training and Development  and is a clinical panel member of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. He is a strong advocate for children and families, invested in diversity, equity and inclusion principles and has worked to form important community partnerships. Mahesh holds a BSW from Lakehead University and a MSW from the University of Toronto

As well as being committed to his profession he is equally committed to his family and enjoys spending time with his wife and two teenage boys.

Sybil E. Veenman

Sybil joined Boost CYAC’s Board of Directors in 2016. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of IAMGOLD Corporation and of Noront Resources Ltd, publicly listed companies engaged in the mining industry. Prior to becoming a corporate director, Sybil was Senior Vice-President and General Counsel and a member of the executive leadership team at Barrick Gold Corporation, a large international gold mining company. Sybil obtained her law degree from the University of Toronto and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. She has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors, Director Education Program and obtained the ICD.D designation from the Institute.