About the CCA

The Canadian Celiac Association / L’Association canadienne de la maladie coeliaque is a volunteer-based, federally registered charitable organization with its national office in Mississauga, Ontario. It was founded in 1972 with financial assistance from the Kaufman Foundation. The association was started by two women from Kitchener, Ontario, who, from personal experience with celiac disease, recognized vital needs of people suffering from the disease.

The initial objectives were to provide information on sources of gluten-free food, to foster research and to encourage mutual support among celiacs. Today the association serves people with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis through 28 affiliated chapters and 30 satellite groups across Canada.

The C.C.A. is governed by an elected national board of directors with regional representation across Canada. The Board develops policies and strategies for the association and provides leadership and guidance to chapters. Chapters are charitable organizations each of which is governed by an elected executive committee. The national office is staffed by two full-time and two part-time people.

Professional Advisory Council

The purpose of the Professional Advisory Council (PAC) is to advise and assist the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) in its mandate of promoting the welfare of persons with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, and to increase awareness among the public, governments, and health care professionals of these disorders.

The Professional Advisory Council also advises the association on the direction of funding for research and encourages support for the Association in furthering its goals.

The PAC is responsible for developing and recommending policies and programs related to the medical, nutritional research, and educational aspects of the Association, and setting appropriate standards. It is accountable to the CCA for all matters in this regard.


Anne Wraggett


Originally from southern Ontario, Anne Wraggett has lived in Victoria, B.C. since 1998. She obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and then returned to university a decade later to become an accountant. After working for a variety of organizations, she is now Director of Finance and co-manager of a long-term care facility. She became active in the Victoria Chapter in 2001, serving as secretary and then president before chairing the organizing committee for the 2008 CCA national conference held in Victoria. On the CCA National Board of Directors since 2012, Anne juggles her volunteer work with the CCA, her full-time job, and a home life with her husband, 2 cats, and a garden.

Leo Turner


Leo Turner, CPA, CGA has served on the CCA Board as Treasurer since 2013. He is also a longtime volunteer with the Halton-Peel Chapter in southern Ontario, which he joined after being diagnosed in 2003. Leo obtained his professional accounting designation in 1989 and is currently a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. He retired several years ago after a long career in commercial financing with Bank of Montreal. A native of Montreal, and still a loyal Habs fan, Leo currently resides in Mississauga with his wife Denise. He has three grown children, and one, recently arrived, granddaughter. Golf and travelling are the leisure actives he enjoys most.

Treena Duncan


Treena lives in Surrey, BC, and joined the CCA board in 2014 and became the Secretary of the board in 2015. She was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2012. She is married with two teenaged children. Both her son and daughter were diagnosed with celiac disease in 2012. She is excited to be part of the CCA board and is passionate about its work. Professionally, Treena works for the United Church of Canada as Personnel Minister. Most of her work focuses in the area of staff supervision, conflict resolution, board/committee development, communication, policy interpretation and leadership development. Treena enjoys this challenging and multifaceted role. In a volunteer capacity, Treena serves on the British Columbia Highland Dance Association board as secretary, and recently completed her term as secretary of the White Spot Pipe Band Executive. In her spare time, Treena supports her children in their chosen activities (Highland Dance, Bagpipes, Guitar/Singing, Soccer), and enjoys playing the piano, reading and travelling.


Mark Johnson


Mark Johnson lives in Ottawa and has served on the CCA Board of Directors since 2011. Mark works on the CCA’s awareness, revenue and education initiatives, and as such is involved with such tasks as writing, editing, internal communication, media relations, member support, advertising, and social media. Mark also serves as president of the CCA’s Ottawa Chapter. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Waterloo, and master’s degrees from the University of Ottawa (communication) and Carleton University (political management). Mark was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005. He is a federal public servant, is married with two dogs, and in his spare time enjoys travelling, learning, reading, and playing board/card games.

Dr. Manisha Verma


Manisha is a family doctor at a diverse urban family health team, residing in Toronto, ON. She joined the board in June 2014 and was recently diagnosed with celiac disease. Her interests within the CCA include education (specifically of other health professionals), advocacy, and community awareness. She completed an Honours BSc. at McMaster University in 2006, her MD at the University of Toronto in 2010, and her Family Medicine Residency at the University of Toronto in 2012. She is also an adjunct lecturer with the Department of Family & Community Medicine at U of T, educating medical students and residents in a variety of settings. In her free time she enjoys travelling, music, and discovering great food (gluten free of course)!

David Congram


David’s career has been in the financial services sector, primarily in insurance. He has a background in strategic planning and Board memberships. He is an Actuary by profession, having recently served on the executive of the International Actuarial Association. As a celiac from Toronto he looks forward to contributing to the Board.



Lauren Rigato


Lauren joined the board in June 2015 and currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario. Her professional background includes experience in marketing, digital, and design in several senior management positions including at the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) and most recently with the Ottawa Senators NHL team as the Director of Digital Sales and Marketing. Lauren is keen to contribute to the future success of the CCA.


Renée Coleman


Renée lives in Kamloops BC and joined the board in 2016. She is married with 2 grown children and her faithful friend Oakley, the family golden retriever. Diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2013 Renée soon found her passion advocating for those with Celiac disease, and along with her position as a Director with the Board, she’s also currently the Chapter President for Kamloops. When not volunteering Renée enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with her family fishing, camping, hiking and capturing memories from behind the lens of her camera.


Julie Greene


Julie Greene is an Account Director at Ray Agency in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador. She has experience in traditional and digital marketing and has worked on accounts like Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism, Cooke Aquaculture, Air Labrador and Newfoundland Power to name a few. Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2013, Julie joined the CCA Board on the Awareness committee in May 2016. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her daughter Kate, hiking with her dogs, playing piano and travelling. She looks forward to contributing to the success of the board!


Jennifer Stebbing


Jennifer Stebbing is a lawyer practicing at Vanguard Law Group exclusively in the areas of Estate Planning and Real Estate. Prior to joining Vanguard, Jennifer worked at Butcher Litigation and was a candidate in the most recent federal election. Jennifer has experience practicing in estate litigation as well as general litigation. Jennifer is a current board member of the Halton County Law Association and Hamilton Tax Payers Coalition. Jennifer enjoys being in the outdoors and volunteering in the community and looks forward to working with the CCA Board.


Heather Yeo


It brings us incredible sadness to inform you of the loss of Heather Yeo, a member of the CCA board of directors and the chair of the Council of CCA Chapter Presidents. Heather passed away during the night of April 8, soon after returning from a trip to Asia to visit her son and shortly after her 71st birthday.

Heather lived in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba but was indeed a presence right across the country. She served for years on the board of directors of the CCA’s Manitoba Chapter, worked with support groups outside of Winnipeg, and she joined the national board in 2014, serving at all times with distinction and enthusiasm.

Heather was always highly community-minded and motivated to help others wherever she could. She was a schoolteacher at Portage Collegiate for 15 years and continued her passion for teaching with the CCA, helping countless newly diagnosed individuals trying to find their way with the gluten-free diet.

Upon joining the national board in 2014, she immersed herself in areas of particular importance for her – education, awareness and continuing to build strong relations between the national organization and our Chapters across the country. Heather committed an incredible amount of time to the CCA, and kept in regular touch with our Chapter presidents, listening to their concerns, discussing the work of the CCA, and bringing their feedback to the national board.

Heather was thoughtful, analytical, kind, and polite, but never afraid to speak her mind. She excelled in her role with the Council of Presidents, successfully chairing phone meetings of around 25 people, and she leaves huge shoes to fill. All of us at the CCA will dearly miss her and things will not be the same without her calm and collaborative spirit at the board table. She was fun both inside and outside of the board meetings, and was always up for a good discussion or debate about travelling, politics and, of course, education!

Apart from volunteering with the CCA, Heather also canvassed for Heart and Stroke and volunteered at the Portage Animal Welfare Society. In her free time, Heather enjoyed gardening, baking, and travelling with Brian to visit their two children abroad. She truly loved to travel and, at our in-person board meeting in March, had been talking about her trip to see her son in Hong Kong. While we were extremely sad to learn of her passing, we are happy that she was able to make that trip that she was so looking forward to.

Heather always strived to set a positive example for us all to follow. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family, friends and all who knew her. Her passing is a loss for so many people and she will not be forgotten.

Anne Wraggett, April 15, 2017

Staff Team

Executive Director: Melissa Secord

Manager, Education and Special Projects: Sue Newell

Manager, National Membership: Jacqueline Petrie

Information and Administration: Lisa Triggs

Coordinator, Accounting: Claudia Francis