History of CANAAF
In August 2008, Julie Powers and Jim Makris met at an alopecia area support group picnic in the Greater Toronto Area. The concept emerged about moving from a support group to creating a formalized charitable organization within which the support group could be one function but not the exclusive activity of the organization.
Further meetings and discussions resulted in the first formal meeting of the executive as it was then comprised in February 2009. Three members were able to attend (Julie Powers, Colleen Butler and Jim Makris). In March 2009, the first meeting of the full Board of CANAAF took place.
Today, the Board is comprised of six people with varying professional backgrounds that act as the officers and directors of CANAAF.
The desire to lend a helping hand and the goals of the group have always remained the same; namely, to assist all of those affected by Alopecia Areata.
Canaaf Board Members
Bio: Colleen Butler is a lawyer and practices law in Simcoe County. She has experience working with a number of charitable organizations and brings this experience to CANAAF.
She is a founding member of CANAAF and believes it is important to have a Canadian organization to provide support to individuals with alopecia areata. She was diagnosed with alopecia areata when she was 25 years old and was surprised to learn that there was little in the way of support groups in Canada. Her goal is to provide support groups throughout Canada to those living with alopecia areata and to raise awareness.
Position: Vice President
Bio: Julie has worked in many areas, including events coordinating. She has been a support group leader for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation since 2007, and is a founding member of CANAAF. Having dealt with alopecia areata patients and their families, Julie saw the need for support, education and awareness, and began running events and meetings to promote acceptance within, and as a community together.
Position: Social Media Coordinator and External Liaison
Bio: Jana was diagnosed with alopecia at the age of 14, and slowly progressed to universalis over the course of a decade. She is educated and works as an archivist. As one of three new Board members living outside of the Greater Toronto Area, Jana is looking forward to assisting in the active expansion of the organization across the country. She is also excited to take on the Board roles of Social Media Coordinator and External Liaison, both of which will benefit from her participation in the on-line alopecia community where she has made invaluable connections with alopecians around the world.