Advisors and Mentors Supporting AGE-WELL Startup Affiliates

AGE-WELL is fortunate to have the support of experienced mentors who, through their leadership and experience in technology and aging have made an impact in the lives of older adults and caregivers.

Michael Tamblyn

Rakuten Kobo President and CEO Michael Tamblyn is AGE-WELL’s Chief Entrepreneur. In his volunteer capacity as AGE-WELL’s Chief Entrepreneur he will help to nurture AGE-WELL’s spirit of innovation through mentorship and guidance of emerging innovators.

Michael Tamblyn is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Rakuten Kobo. Driving growth, profitability and international expansion in a fiercely competitive market, he combines a passion for reading with a deep focus on the hardware and software experiences that can make a customer’s reading life better.

Phil Vlach

From 2017-2019, Phil served as Vice President, Information Technology, at Amica Senior Lifestyles, responsible for transforming the company’s applications, infrastructure, and operations, while building their cybersecurity and analytics programs from the ground up. Phil successfully achieved ambitious objectives across 30 sites and 7,000 staff and residents, through strong leadership and collaboration with stakeholders, partners, and suppliers.

With 25 years of experience leading innovative technology projects, Phil Vlach has delivered end-to-end solutions for health care, seniors, telecom, and software organizations. Phil’s particular strength is applying technology in the real world to solve real business issues that improve top and bottom line metrics. His approach blends creativity, practicality, and user-centricity to yield optimal fit-for-purpose business and technology outcomes. As a trusted advisor to Executive teams and Boards, Phil counsels leadership teams on technology strategy, solution delivery, market approach, operations, and staffing.

Yael Benvenisti

Dr. Yael Benvenisti is the CEO of Mediterranean Towers Ventures which invests  in early-stage technology companies developing disruptive solutions for aging.  Yael is a business and policy consultant to companies and governmental entities on issues related to seniors’ health and quality of life. She is the chairperson of Technologies for Ageing Well at The Society of Electrical and Electronic Engineers in Israel, and is a board member of the Israel Gerontology Society.Yael is a licensed Physical Therapist, and formerly managed the paramedical department at a retirement community chain.

Cheryl Miller

Cheryl Miller is the Provincial Program Manager for the Enhancing Care for Ontario Care Partners program at Sinai Health in Toronto. Cheryl’s 25 year career spans public, private and not-for-profit sectors in Canada and the US and includes health planning, database consulting, technology project management and health program management. Cheryl considers herself a Passion Capitalist with a personal mission to make a difference in the lives of older adults by finding new ways to leverage technology to improve health and community service access, efficiency and impact. Cheryl has a solid reputation for leading successful collaborative health technology projects with a wide network of community partners including Trillium Health Partners, University of Toronto, UHN, Toronto Public Library, AstraZeneca, eSolutionsGroup, and TECH Coaches. Cheryl’s recent projects have focused on building digital health literacy to improve the overall health and well-being of caregivers of a person living with dementia.

Christopher Bint

Chris is the Chief Learning Officer and Founder at Tech Coaches, an educational company focused on helping people understand technology. For over a decade, Chris has been a technology educator, with roots grounded in applied research conducted at Sheridan College’s Centre for Elder Research. In 2008, Chris Co-Founded Elder Technology Assistance Group (ETAG), a registered Canadian charity devoted to supporting technology use for seniors 55+. His 10,000+ hours of experience as a teacher of older adult students in the non-profit sector led Chris to starting Tech Coaches, as a mechanism to boost digital literacy for many more people, communities, and organizations.

Sheena Jaffer

Cumulatively, Sheena brings over 25 years of senior management experience from the non-profit, academic and corporate sectors. This includes operations, strategic planning and visioning, resource development/fund-raising, donor management, high profile and large scale special event management, public relations, marketing, customer service, staff & volunteer development/motivation, change management, policy implementation and grassroots advocacy.

Before moving to Edmonton in 2018, Sheena directed  DC Fund$, a federally funded Alternative Financing Program (AFP) offered as one of the services through the Assistive Technology Program for the District of Columbia, which is one of 56 programs in the US. DC Fund$ offers low interest loans to persons with disabilities and seniors to purchase assistive devices and services that contribute towards full participation in activities of their choice in the community. There are 39 statewide AFP’s across USA.

Dr. Kelly Tremblay

Dr. Tremblay mentored students at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business’ Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. Her company developed a smartphone accessibility app called iHEARu to map noise levels so people with sensory impairment could locate ear-friendly places. Dr. Tremblay is an invited contributor to the World Health Organization, including the World Report on Ageing and Health, and co-authored the WHO Guidelines on Integrated Care for Older People. Dr. Tremblay is a Board Trustee for the Hearing Loss Association of America, the largest consumer advocacy group serving people with hearing loss. Approximately 1 in 3 seniors have disabling hearing loss that interferes with their ability to communicate with friends, family, colleagues and healthcare providers. She is also a mentor to women who have enrolled in the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association mentorship program.

Pierre Parulekar

Pierre has 25 years of experience in all aspects of software development management and leading many types of technical teams. He led the development of software products from concept to delivery at the Ontario Telemedicine Network, enabling the rapid growth of OTN over a 10 year period. His focus is the transformation of pain points , business vision and technology into impactful solutions and products. He consults with teams looking to sharpen their product definitions, roadmaps and business models. Pierre has recently had personal experiences as a caregiver and looks forward to exchanging insights with the community.

AGE-WELL Older Adult and Caregiver Committee

Our OACAC participates in startup insights panels and provides input on the funding and support we provide.
Contact if you are interested in an introduction to a mentor.