Announcing’s new President & CEO

June 2022

Introducing’s new President & CEO: Rowena Pinto 

Rowena is an experienced leader, adept at strategic visioning with proven transformational expertise within the health, youth, and community-serving sectors. She is a recognized leader in government relations, program administration, communications and marketing, brand management, and fund development. She started her career in the federal public service and has held senior positions in the Canadian Cancer Society and UNICEF Canada. She is passionate about child and youth mental health and well-being and enabling youth to have a voice in decision-making. She holds a Masters in Public Policy and Public Administration from Concordia University.

“I’m thrilled to be able to bring my passion for the health and well-being of youth and experience in advocacy, strategy, partnership building, and stakeholder engagement to the mission of Working with youth and amplifying their voices has been a focus throughout my career, and I have seen first-hand the positive results that can be achieved when young people are given the platform, resources, and tools to make change. As we enter a pivotal time for youth mental health, post pandemic, I could not be more excited to work with’s Board, Founders, staff, and youth network to further elevate the organization’s work.”

Eric Windeler with cyan map of canada

A message from Eric, Founder & Executive Director,

It’s hard to believe that it has already been over 12 years since the lives of myself and my co-founder and wife Sandra Hanington, and our family, changed forever when we lost our dear son Jack to suicide. As was detailed in our transition announcement back in February, we have spent countless hours since 2010 working hard to develop into the national charity that it is today. We are so grateful for all of the progress we have been able to make, and for our full-time staff of over 75 and the ~3,000 amazing young leaders who volunteer in the network, making change in the realm of youth mental health every day. We’re also incredibly proud and grateful for our amazing community of wonderful supporters.

I am immensely thankful to Paul and the Board of Directors for their support of my transition to the Founder role and for their very thoughtful approach to the process, concluding in the search for our new President & CEO. I have full confidence that they have made an exceptional choice in bringing Rowena Pinto to the helm and am excited for all of her contributions to come. Rowena’s multifaceted experience in the nonprofit sector as well as in the spheres of health, advocacy, and youth engagement make her the perfect fit to take on this leadership role at

As I have mentioned previously, my passion for remains, and I look forward to stepping into my role as Founder and continuing to support the organization. As Rowena takes over the organizational leadership and execution of our mission, I will focus on ambassadorial activities and supporting Rowena and the team in any way that I can.

Again, thank you to our incredible Board, staff, youth network, and every single supporter for all that you have done to build the foundations of and allow us to make an astounding impact in the youth mental health space. I look forward with excitement and great optimism to all that we have yet to do as an organization.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at

In gratitude,

Eric WIndeler's Signature

Eric Windeler
Founder & Executive Director,

Paul Kurdyak's greyscale face

A message from Dr. Paul Kurdyak, Board Chair,

On behalf of’s Board of Directors as well as co-Founders Eric Windeler and Sandra Hanington, I am thrilled to announce Rowena Pinto as the new President & CEO of Rowena will be succeeding Eric Windeler as he transitions from his role as’s founding Executive Director to a Founder role in which he will continue to support the organization for years to come. The Board and Executive Leadership Team are exceedingly confident in Rowena’s leadership experience in the space as well as her fit for the role. We could not be more excited and honoured to welcome Rowena to 

In case you missed it, back in February Eric and I announced plans for his transition to the Founder role—you can read all of the details regarding this process at This type of transition can be an intimidating one for any organization, so the Board has been taking a thoughtful approach to the process for over a year, in line with best practices for these transitions in founder-led charities. After an extremely thorough recruitment process and amongst a very impressive pool of candidates, we are unanimously confident that Rowena is uniquely suited to this critical role, and we are excited for her to step into her role as President & CEO on August 2, 2022.

I shared my deep gratitude in February, but want to again take the opportunity to thank Eric and Sandra for the efforts they have dedicated to turning the personal tragedy of losing their son Jack into an unparalleled national youth mental health movement. As a senior psychiatrist at CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), I cannot say enough about the critical role of in engaging youth in the vital topic of mental health and supporting youth leadership in peer-to-peer programming towards increasing knowledge, reducing stigma and shame, and improving

help-seeking across the country. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Eric for all of his tireless work in pursuit of these goals as Founder & Executive Director. We are grateful that he will remain involved and look forward to working collectively to do the most good.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me via Emma Kerr at

With gratitude for the work of Eric and the entire team and youth network of, and a warm welcome to Rowena.

Paul Kurdyak's signature

Dr. Paul Kurdyak
Board Chair,