Board of Directors


Members of the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay’s Board of Directors, elected from across the district, guide the organization’s efforts to improve service and care, educate the communities we serve and mobilize support for the disease. To learn more, please contact administration@alzheimerthunderbay.ca

Laraine Tapak - President
Eva Jones - Past President
Kathryn Lyzun - Vice-President
Ted Davis - Treasurer
Dr. Peter Debakker
Michael Harris
Dr. Ken Jacobson
Tania Pynn

Laraine Tapak, President

Laraine’s association with Alzheimer's disease began 23 years ago when she began to assist her mom in the care of her dad who suffered with Alzheimer’s disease.   As a result she became involved with the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay and served for seven years in a variety of capacities (President, Secretary, Chair of Major Gift, Policy, Nominating, committees/task forces).  She was then appointed to the Provincial Alzheimer Group and served at the provincial level for three years, as well as on the Alzheimer Society of Ontario Shared Values Task Force.  For the past six years she has served on the Board of the Alzheimer Society of Ontario (and in the capacity as Secretary for three years).

Laraine has a great passion for the needs of persons affected by Alzheimer's disease, as her dad passed away in 2001 and three years later her mom was diagnosed with the disease. Laraine is a consummate reader about the disease, has attended Alzheimer Canada conferences, and has participated in the Alzheimer Society of Ontario’s general meetings.  She has spoken locally to school classes and forums on her experience as a caregiver and her work for the Society.

Throughout her 40 years as a professional librarian Laraine has chaired national & provincial college library groups, and continued to volunteer on numerous committees, boards, and organizations.  She has been recognized for her library and college leadership with three very distinguished awards – Outstanding Ontario Academic Librarian, Outstanding Canadian College Librarian and an Ontario College Award for Leadership, Innovation & Partnership.  She is a clear, logical thinker with vision.  She enjoys challenges, innovation and hard work.  She is truly committed to the work of the Alzheimer movement and looks forward to the day when we will no longer be needed.

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Eva Jones, Past President

Eva, now retired, worked in the office of Tom Jones Corporation doing their payroll. She is married to John Jones and they have four children. She is very involved in their school lives and extra curricular activities. She volunteered at the school, attended football, soccer, baseball, hockey, basketball and volleyball games, track and field events and dance recitals. She chaperoned many trips with her children’s’ teams and enjoyed every minute of it. She sat on the advisory board of the Fitness Centre at Confederation College. She volunteers at the Manor House Day Program and has served as Chair of the Advisory Committee for Alzheimer Services over the past year. 

She became interested in Alzheimer’s disease when her Mother became ill. Along with her three brothers she cared for her Mother until she became a resident of Pioneer Ridge. Her Mother-in-law also has Alzheimer's disease. Eva was the Honourary Chair of the Alzheimer Society’s Walk for Memories for three years. She will lend her input on the Board from a caregiver’s perspective and she has a strong desire to help others.  Eva was Vice-President for two years before assuming the Presidency in 2009.  Eva was president from 2009 to 2012.  She is now the past president. 

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Ted Davis, Treasurer

A longtime resident of Thunder Bay, Ted Davis has over 30 years of experience in owning and managing a public accounting firm.  He has also had many opportunities to assist clients and organizations with both financial and strategic planning. Ted is committed to many philanthropic causes and has a rich history of volunteerism in our community spending many years with the George Jeffries Children’s’ Treatment Centre, the United Way and the Choices project for the Ministry of Children’s and Social Services.  His passion for strong governance has led him to share his experience with Boards of Directors to introduce the Carver Governance Model.  He also has experience working with government funders and clients to improve person-centred services for persons with disabilities.   

Ted hopes to bring his knowledge and skills from his accounting background; his participation in system redesign for service delivery for persons with a developmental disability; along with his experience making presentations to senior government officials to our Board.  Ted believes the Alzheimer Society is a vital community service and feels honoured to assist in any way he can as he has experienced through friends and associates the support provided by the Society for persons with dementia and their family members.  

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Dr. Peter Debakker

Peter is a local geriatrician working with the St. Joseph’s Care Group.  He uses the services of the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay on almost a daily basis as a resource for his patients and their caregivers.  Peter is grateful for the Society’s work, and wanted to become involved as a Member of the Board.  He studied mechanical engineering at the University of British Columbia and then studied medicine at McMaster University.  He then returned to UBC to complete his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in geriatrics.  After being away from Thunder Bay for sixteen years, Peter has recently moved back with his wife and three children.

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Michael Harris

Michael is a lifelong resident of Thunder Bay, and attended Lakehead University for History and Political Science before being accepted into Osgoode Hall for Law.  Michael is now a lawyer and partner at McIvor Harris Roddy.  Michael has practiced law for fifteen years in a variety of areas but more recently has focused on civil litigation.  Michael returned to law school as a mature student and with his wife and children in tow after a career in the automotive industry.  Michael continues to show his strong commitment to his community through his volunteerism.  He was a member of the Research Ethics Team at the Regional Health Sciences Centre from 2000 to 2010; a member of the Board of Directors for Crime Stoppers from 2002 to 2005; a member of the Thunder Bay Law Association from 1999 to 2009, and President in 2008; and is a current member of the Law Day Mock Trial Committee.  He also screened applications and interviewed candidates for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in both 2006 and 2007.

Michael became all too aware of Alzheimer's disease after his father was diagnosed and subsequently passed away in the fall of 2010.  Michael’s mother took advantage of the services and support provided by the Society and found them to be very valuable. 

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Dr. Ken Jacobson

Ken was born in Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) and after completing his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Toronto returned to Thunder Bay where he held his own practice until he retired.  Ken has been married to Nancy, a retired teacher, for over 45 years and has two children, Julie and Brad.  Ken also has a keen interest in psychology which led him to pursue part-time studies at Lakehead University in 1991.  A life-long interest in the study and care of our aging population also led him to Confederation College where he received a diploma in Gerontology, after which he went on to study Social Work at Lakehead University.  

Ken has served on numerous Board of Directors and committees over the years, highlights including the Ontario Nordic Ski Club and the YTFL Foundation – Healthy Smiles for Seniors.  He also served on the Board of the Canadian Mental Health Association for nine years, where he was made aware of the various special populations in our world that require some assistance to lead a happy, meaningful life.

Ken has been a volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay over the past few years, providing support for education and also through his band “The Un-Called Four”.

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Kathryn Lyzun 

Kathryn has a strong background in journalism and communications and is probably best known for her behind the scenes work on health promotion campaigns like Prostate Man, and communications initiatives for Regional Cancer Care and the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute.  Kathryn is currently a Communications and Issues Management Coordinator with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, but also continues to maintain connections with local media and regularly contributes to The Walleye magazine. 

Kathryn holds an Honours degree in Journalism from Carleton University and numerous post graduate credentials and articles.   Kathryn’s strong background in strategic communications, public relations and marketing are strong assets to bring to our board.  Kathryn also has a profound connection to our cause in that both she and her husband have family members living with Alzheimer’s disease; in fact they chose to make a donation to the Alzheimer Society in celebration of their own wedding a few years ago.  

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Tania Pynn

Originally from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Tania moved to Thunder Bay 19 years ago to join her husband Dr. Bruce Pynn.  She is excited to bring her skills to assist the Society reach its objectives through her role on the Board.  Tania has held several leadership positions within the healthcare field over the past few years, and throughout her career trajectory has shown a strong passion and dedication to working with seniors.  She brings to this position 20 years of health care experience in a variety of settings including teaching experience at the University level.  She also holds a Nursing degree along with a Master’s degree in Health Studies Administration. 

During her time as Manager of Integrated Seniors’ Services with St Joseph’s Care Group Tania worked collaboratively with the Alzheimer Society on a number of initiatives and in her current teaching position, which focuses on Aging in Canada.  Tania also has a very personal connection to Alzheimer’s disease as her mother passed away after a journey of seven years with dementia in December of last year, and so Tania has said our cause is dear to her heart on both a personal and professional level.

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Last Updated: 11/08/2017