Sail Canada Introduces New Chair, Kate Maclennan, and Board of Directors for 2023-2024

November 1, 2023

On Monday, Sail Canada introduced its new Chair, Kate MacLennan, of Alberta, as well as the new Board of Directors for 2023-2024, following the Annual General Meeting that was held virtually last week.

Fiona Cochrane from British Columbia has also been elected to the Sail Canada board, while Valérie Lavigne from Québec was re-elected for a second term. They will join current directors at large Barbara Pike, Torstein Braaten, Kelly Lyon, and Zac Baum, as well as Athlete Directors Rob Hemming and Mariah Millen.

Kate MacLennan has been a member of the Sail Canada Board of Directors for the past six years and a part of the organization’s Governance and Human Resources Committees. A lawyer and partner at her law firm, she is also a long-time sailor and racer, having sailed at the club, intercollegiate, provincial, and national level as a youth, in addition to having been a sailing instructor and learning facilitator. With her sister being Olympic medalist Rosie MacLennan, she is aware of issues that high performance athletes face.

“I am delighted to be taking on the role as Chair for Sail Canada after serving six years on the Board of Directors,” said Kate MacLennan.

“I would also like to welcome Fiona Cochrane to the Board and congratulate Valerie Lavigne on being re-elected. As well, thank you to Hugh McGugan, who has spent numerous hours over the past ten years volunteering his time as a member of the Board of Directors for six years and as our Chair for the past four years.”

Fiona Cochrane is a senior government official in British Columbia with Infrastructure BC. A Chartered Professional Accountant, she has a strong background in financial analysis, risk management, contracts, governance, and stakeholder relations. She is also a lifelong sailor. As a youth, she raced on the Ontario Sailing Team and was a sailing instructor, and she continues to enjoy sailing, racing, and cruising on the west coast.

Valérie Lavigne, a chiropractor, was the first female commodore with the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht club before joining the Sail Canada Board of Directors in 2020. In her first term on the Sail Canada Board of Directors, she has been a member of the Strategic Planning, Governance and Audit committees. She is an avid racer, is involved in her club’s sailing school and is raising a family of sailors.

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