Laura Bhoi – Chief Executive Officer
Laura joined Renascent in the role of Chief Executive Officer in September 2016. As a passionate leader of addiction and mental health care services, Laura is committed to working with the Renascent team in helping people affected by addictions achieve a life of physical, mental and spiritual health.
Prior to working at Renascent, Laura held senior executive roles at Toronto-based addiction treatment centre, Bellwood Health Services, including the position of President from 2009 until 2015. Laura’s career also encompasses marketing management in the private sector and working with the hospital sector for the Ontario Ministry of Health. Laura earned a B.A. in Psychology (Honours) at Queen’s University, an MBA in Health Services Management at McMaster University and a Certificate in Addiction Studies, also at McMaster. She is a member of the Board of Directors, York Region and South Simcoe, Canadian Mental Health Association.
“It is a privilege to work with the Renascent team, offering much needed quality treatment to the thousands of people in our communities struggling with addiction. With over 50 years of experience, and over 50,000 people helped, Renascent has played a historic role in breaking down barriers and helping Canadians find recovery from this disease. Today and in the future, we are committed to bringing the best treatment to those who need it.”
Laura has a track record of driving quality excellence and client-centred care, and fostering an environment of community engagement. She believes strongly in the power of people to come together to beat addiction, and create pathways to recovery and renewed health and hope.
Tania Archer – Director, Business Development and Philanthropy
Tania is responsible for overseeing Renascent’s business development and philanthropy teams, she works to develop and support business goals and fosters key relationships with our stakeholders, and partners within our community. Tania also oversees our client care access and engagement team, the initial point of contact and entry for all those seeking Renascent’s services.
“My goal is to foster a person-centric approach to achieve Renascent’s mission and to uphold excellence in all of our interactions with clients, donors, and partners to deliver life-saving care to members of our communities impacted by drug and alcohol addiction. They reach out to us at the most vulnerable point in their lives — we take that trust seriously and honour it every step of the way.”
Tania began her career at Renascent in 2011 as Alumni Care Manager, after achieving her certificate in Addictions and Community Services. Prior to joining us, Tania worked in sales and marketing for one of the world’s largest brands for nearly 20 years.
Connie Ennis – Director, Finance and Administration
Connie brings over 15 years of management and leadership experience in Finance and Accounting roles from a variety of sectors including investment and finance, insurance, and the provincial government. As the Director of Finance and Administration, Connie is responsible for leading the finance, human resources, and IT functions to ensure sound administration, reporting, and planning. Her team is the administrative glue that holds the operations and business development sides of the business together.
“I am pleased to join the team at Renascent as I am passionate about being of service. As a child, I saw the passion with which my family brought to their service of others, I watched as they started programs that benefited children and youth, as a place that they could be cared for and complete their education. Seeing that at a young age started a fire within me, and I have sought to bring similar value to my community through my work. I would like to use my skills to ensure that Renascent remains at the forefront in their industry and continue to achieve the success through the many lives that this organization has saved.”
Connie joined Renascent in December 2020. She is a registered CPA in Ontario and has attained her MBA in Finance.
Michael Lochran – Director, Programs & Operations
Michael Lochran managed our Renascent Madison Avenue Centre for nearly five years, following two years of being an addictions counsellor at the centre.
“It takes courage to enter treatment and step out of the painful, yet familiar chains of active addiction. Renascent is a home for men and women who have made a decision that their life as they have been living it is no longer acceptable. It is beautiful to see the glimmer of hope appear in the eyes of an addict who has begun to believe the miracle of recovery is possible for them as well. I feel privileged to be able to participate in creating a safe, supportive, and encouraging environment for men to assume responsibility for their lives and become husbands, fathers, sons, and members of society they can be proud of.”
Prior to coming to Renascent, Michael worked as a chef in fine dining restaurants and had a passion for training and mentoring young men and women entering the culinary industry.
Dr. Vera Tarman – Medical Director
Dr. Tarman, MD, FCFP, ABAM, is a Medical Director at Renascent. As an addiction specialist, she also works as consultant for Salvation Army’s The Homestead and The Harbourlight treatment programs. She has worked in the field of addiction medicine since 1992 and is committed to her patients’ care and full recovery.
Dr. Matthew Stefanoff – Medical Director, Renascent Paul J. Sullivan Centre
Dr. Matthew Stefanoff’s interest in addiction medicine began in medical school when he worked at an Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) clinic and noted the inter-professional collaboration among pharmacists, social workers, therapists, counsellors, and physicians to help their clients. Having worked at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health as a program assistant in the Emergency Department, Dr. Stefanoff saw first-hand the acute phase of addiction management, from intoxication to withdrawal management, along with the social struggles often associated with the illness.
After completing his residency at the University of Toronto in family and community medicine based at Scarborough General Hospital, Dr. Stefanoff worked at an OAT clinic in Oshawa where he also started a family practice. Having seen many clients struggling with alcohol and opioids transform their lives, Dr. Stefanoff is interested in expanding the use of anti-craving medication prescriptions to primary care.
Dr. Dale Ryan – Medical Director, Renascent Madison Avenue Centre
Dr. Ryan is an accomplished physician who brings a high level of expertise in Inner City Health, Addiction Medicine, and the current Opioid Crisis to his role at Renascent. Having completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Toronto, Dr. Ryan has worked as a physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and at AMS, as well as in several other Opioid Agonist Treatment clinics in the Greater Toronto Area. He was also a Hospitalist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and later assumed a role at the Toronto South Detention Centre, where he saw firsthand the potential forensic consequences of individuals struggling with substance abuse.
Currently, Dr. Ryan also serves as an Investigating Coroner for the Office of the Chief Coroner for the Province of Ontario and provides a highly sought-after perspective on substance abuse.
Glen Adams – Manager, Client Care Access and Engagement
In 2016, Glen became the Manager of Client Care Access and Engagement. He provides clinical supervision and oversees the daily operations pertaining to client screening, intake, and comprehensive assessments of clients seeking to enter inpatient treatment, as well as providing support for business development initiatives.
“The most fundamental of all questions is whether clients are suffering from a disease? The answer unequivocally is yes! At Renascent, we instill this knowledge in each and every client, which allows them to discern that there is required management involved. It also helps to alleviate the incredible guilt and shame that is associated with addiction, as a great deal of the symptoms appear as bad behaviour. They have first hand experience that if they do not manage their disease, their disease will manage them. We hand them the tools to ensure this need not happen ever again.”
Glen came to Renascent as a student intern in 2009. After completing his placement, he filled the role as Alumni Manager until becoming a Counsellor at the Renascent Paul J. Sullivan Centre in Brooklin, ON. During this time, Glen continued with his education and certifications, becoming an International Certified Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counsellor and a Registered Psychotherapist specializing in concurrent disorders.
Kevin Amisson – Manager, Renascent Paul J. Sullivan Centre
Kevin came to us from Salvation Army Harbourlight where he held positions as Intensive Treatment Counsellor and Discharge Planning & Aftercare Counsellor, and also facilitated the “For Life Group,” a concurrent disorder support group.
“My goal is to provide client-centred care for all clients that enter Renascent for treatment and to ensure that all clients are treated with respect and dignity.”
He also worked at the Salvation Army Men’s Homeless Shelter – The Gateway as an Addiction Counsellor, where he started the “Let’s Talk About Life” support group for homeless men struggling with addiction.
Sunil Boodhai MSW (RSW), BEd. – Manager, Outpatient and Family Programs
Before coming to Renascent, Sunil was a front-line counsellor with Warden Woods Community Centre’s Substance Use Outreach Program. He was deeply touched by how often his clients would express great concern for how their addiction was affecting their family members. This resonated with Sunil on both a human and a personal level; members of Sunil’s family have experienced their own struggles with addiction.
Sunil’s experience with his Warden Woods clients led him to look for an environment in which he could work with families impacted by addiction. His search led him to Renascent.
“Walking into Renascent, it literally felt like magic. Discovering that my own lived experience with the addicts in my life could be useful, realizing that family members had a place here where their own needs could be met, and that I would be able to hear them and help them, gave me such a feeling of comfort and peace. This is the place for me.”
Sunil did his undergraduate work and MSW at Ryerson University, as well as a Humanities degree and Bachelor of Education degree at York University. He has been working as an addictions counsellor for over 12 years.
Laura Cavanagh – Clinical Consultation
Laura Cavanagh has been working and teaching in the field of psychology for more than 20 years. She is a professor of Psychology and the Academic Coordinator of the Behavioural Sciences program at Seneca College. She has co-authored three textbooks in psychology and, in collaboration with our Director of Programs and Operations, Michael Lochran, and the Renascent team, she is the co-author of the upcoming book on addiction and addiction treatment, Hope Against Hope. A Registered Psychotherapist, Laura has extensive experience in clinical practice with various special populations, including children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, teens in foster care, and individuals with complex needs. In her current practice, she provides clinical consultation and client support to Renascent.
Jessica Maronski, Manager, Renascent Graham Munro Centre
Jessica has been an advocate for individuals living with mental health and addictions for over nine years. Jessica joined Renascent’s Leadership Team as Manager of the Renascent Graham Munro Centre, (a women’s centre) in August 2021. Actively working with individuals as a Canadian Certified Counsellor and Registered Psychotherapist since June of 2013, Jessica’s tireless efforts in helping Renascent clients find purpose in their lives, and healing from the root causes of their addiction, has been her passion. Jessica has been a dedicated presence with Renascent for over nine years; stepping into various roles within the organization, including Navigator of Programs during Renascent’s accreditation process, Primary-Care Counsellor, assisting with various primary medical conferences, and serving on various committees. Currently, as leader of a compassionate, and knowledgeable team of Counsellors and Registered Psychotherapists at Renascent Graham Munro Centre, Jessica is focused on supporting the staff in providing compassionate, evidence-based treatment approaches to best serve clients in their healing process.
“I eagerly work alongside a compassionate and client-centred team, with the ultimate goal of delivering evidence-based, therapeutic modalities to help the clients we serve early in their recovery. Helping others is the commonly expressed passion of everyone working for this organization, which is why I am excited to be a part of Renascent. My goal is to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and offer a safe space that promotes healing and self-love.”
Alessandro Motta – Manager of Program Quality Measurement and Improvement
Alessandro joined Renascent in 2015 as a volunteer and later transitioned to a full-time counsellor role at the organization’s Client Care Access and Engagement Centre, while concurrently studying addictions and mental health at Ryerson University.
Alessandro later led Renascent’s innovative Virtual Intensive Treatment Program (VITP) from June 2020, until he became Manager of Program Quality Measurement and Improvement in November 2022. In his current role, Alessandro leads an array of strategic initiatives at Renascent and works with Renascent’s leadership teams and stakeholders to improve the organization’s processes, programs, services, and culture to achieve long-term success stemming from customer feedback and measurement.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to support many of Renascent’s strategic priorities in my new role; through building and strengthening our program data collection processes, measurement, and analysis across the organization. This will allow Renascent to be even more effective with its quality improvement initiatives and support its evidence-based and evidence-informed treatment approach.”
Christina Selvaggio – Manager, Philanthropy
Christina has been involved with Renascent since 2017, and quickly transitioned to Manager of Philanthropy in the fall of 2020. Now, Christina leads the fund development team in its mission to support and deliver barrier-free access to addiction services. Christina developed a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector, growing up with philanthropy routed at the core of family values.
Christina has been fundraising since she was 5 years old, driving focus to social change through various fundraising activities and events. Christina is a founding member of her local Parish Youth Group; she collaborated to build various youth-focused programs that supported transitional-aged youth in finding healing through a rooted connection to the community through spirituality. Working on this program’s development was one of Christina’s first experiences with community building, and gave her a deep appreciation for how nonprofits seek to improve the quality of life, one dollar at a time.
Christina has over 10 years’ of fundraising experience working in the nonprofit sector before coming to Renascent. She has worked in the social service sector and health-care sector working building and executing the strategic development of targeted donor groups.
Her priorities include creating sustainable and stewardship-focused relationships that will support individual access to barrier-free programs and services. Christina is currently in the final stage of obtaining her CFRE designation.
When Christina isn’t working, she is volunteering in the community, practicing mindfulness and yoga meditation, and spending time with her fur-baby Luna.
“We are all fundraisers – all committed to helping others lives their best lives, one fundraiser, at a time.”
Abshir Stock Yusuf – Manager, Renascent Madison Avenue Centre
Abshir brings his infectious passion for evidence based 12-step treatment and an inexhaustible ability to bring people and organizations together to meet the needs of our clients. During his time as a member of the Renascent Madison Avenue Centre counselling team, Abshir strengthened Renascent’s relationships with other community service providers and was instrumental in connecting clients with safe supportive housing, mental health resources, and the recovery community through active engagement with alumni and contacts.
“I’m truly grateful for this opportunity to support and guide the members of the Renascent Madison Avenue Centre. I’m excited and honoured to take on this new role and continue to provide the unequivocal services and programs that Renascent offers its clients as well as their loved ones. My goal is to remove barriers to ensure equitable access to Renascent’s services for all of Toronto’s communities. My respect and admiration for all that we do here at Renascent has continued to grow since my arrival in September 2016, and I’m sure that it will continue to grow exponentially while serving in this new capacity.”