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 Punanai 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. Mark Weiss – Medical Director
Dr. Mark Weiss, M.D., MCFP (AM), joined Renascent in the role of Medical Director in December 2019, as part of Renascent’s expanded medical response to the increasingly complex medical and mental health needs in the communities we serve. Dr. Weiss provides clinical and leadership services across Renascent, and oversees medical care at our Paul J. Sullivan Treatment Centre in Brooklin, Ontario.
Dr. Weiss comes to Renascent with over 20 years of specialization in Addiction Medicine, including impressive leadership experience within specialized inpatient addiction treatment settings, with prior roles including Chief of Addiction Medicine at Homewood Health Centre, and Medical Director at Bellwood Health Services.
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 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, 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.
Stephanie Austin – Manager, Human Resources
Stephanie came to Renascent with a love of guiding and assisting employees to realize their full professional potential. She brings over 20 years of Human Resources experience working within the Health Care, Logistics, and Insurance industries. As part of the Senior Leadership Team, she manages all aspects of Human Resources for the entire organization.
“I support employees who feel their role within Renascent is a blessing, a calling, and their reason for getting up in the morning. I am constantly amazed by everyone’s steadfast commitment to the people we serve. Over my career, I have never felt so grateful; it is a true privilege to work with such a team and life-changing organization that lives up to Dr. Martin Luther King’s message: ‘All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.’”
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.
Prabhi Gill – Manager, Alumni Care
Prabhi has been with Renascent since 2015, beginning her journey as a placement student at the Munro Centre and becoming a full-time counsellor not long after. Prabhi also earned her Addiction Community Service Worker Diploma and Registered Psychotherapist license. In the last 5 years, Prabhi has been directly involved with special projects such as seminars and education talks for addiction studies students. Prabhi currently sits on the Diversity Steering Committee, having been one of the pioneers in establishing a diversity and inclusion committee. She has also held representative roles on the Health & Safety and E-QIP Committees. Prabhi is an addictions and mental health advocate for the Sikh/East Indian community; her work is grounded in roots of self-care, communication, and promoting a healthy lifestyle through a holistic approach. Prabhi hopes to build an Alumni Program that is inclusive and open for all.
“There’s a lot of courage, willingness and action required to sustain changes after completing a treatment program. “What now?” is a question many have once they leave our treatment centres; my goal is to turn that question into “This is why.” With strong leadership skills, I look forward to promoting active engagement, a sense of community, and the importance of giving back through every event, meeting, and conversation. I want every Renascent Alumni to know that not only is recovery possible and limitless… it’s FUN!”
Gail Power – Manager, Graham Munro Centre
A long-time friend of Renascent, Gail came to us in 2012 as Human Resources Manager. Shortly after her arrival, she became the Acting Manager of the Graham Munro Centre, Renascent’s residential treatment centre for women, and was then appointed House Manager.
“Women have unique needs in recovery, and our women’s centre is dedicated to meeting those needs. Here women are counselled by women, in a safe, healing environment. Witnessing these women learn, change and grow is an absolute privilege.”
Gail holds an Addictions Counselling Certificate from George Brown College as well as Project Management Profession (PMP) certification.
Prior to joining Renascent, Gail worked as a Project Management Professional in the consumer goods industry.
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 Yusuf – Manager, Punanai 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 Punanai 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 Punanai team. 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.”
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.