Board of Directors

The Toronto Swim Club is governed by a Board of Directors each of whom is elected for a two year term.  The Annual General Meeting takes place in the Fall of each year.  Every Board member has a portfolio. 

The Board can be reached at: board@torontoswimclub.com

Byron MacDonald (President)

Byron has been Head Coach of the very successful University of Toronto Varsity Team for more than 30 years.  In the early 1980’s, Byron saw a need for a high performance swim club in downtown Toronto and formed a   club that would eventually become the Toronto Swim Club.  A few years later, Byron joined the Board of TSC and has remained an active member ever since.

Byron coaches the senior age swimmers of TSC.  His accolades as a coach are many-- including more than 70 swimmers who have been on international teams and Olympic teams.   He has coached numerous medal winners, including a 1992 Olympic Bronze Medalist and more recently Kylie Masse’s coach, who won a Bronze Medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and became the world record holder in the 100 Backstroke at the 2017 World Championships.

Byron's coaching draws on his personal international swimming career where he won numerous medals including two Commonwealth Gold Medals, and a 6th place finish in the 100 meter butterfly at the 1972 Olympics Summer Games (Munich).  Byron is also the "voice of swimming" having commentated television swim coverage for seven Olympic and other Games --winning two Gemini Awards for his work.

Ula Ubani (Vice President)

Ula Ubani is Chief Ethics and Conduct Officer for BMO Financial Group, providing guidance and oversight on ethical and conduct management activities across the bank.  Ula is a recognized leader with 20 years of industry experience in roles such as International Financial Institutions, Risk Management, Investor Relations and Sustainability. Ula is a supporter of youth wellness initiatives through her various board and volunteer engagements and has an MBA from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Ula’s daughter has been swimming for TSC since 2014.  While not a swimmer herself, Ula appreciates the value of the sport in developing confidence and discipline in children. As swimming became a more integral part of her daughter’s life, Ula contributed to the club in various ways including as a group parent, meet official, and most recently a board member. 

Helena Tigert (Secretary)

Helena works in banking as the VP of Financial Institution Partnerships at Visa Canada.  She has over 20 years of marketing, sales, and product management experience across financial services (Visa) and consumer packaged goods industries (P&G and Nestle).  Most of her work at Visa currently is focused on digitizing payments and improving customer experiences.  Helena has an MBA from the Ivey School of Business (Western) and a BA from McGill University.

Over the years, particularly in a marketing context, Helena has worked closely with many Canadian athletes and sports organizations through Olympic and NHL sponsorship programs.  This includes working directly with sports broadcasters, ad agencies, and social media platforms.     

Helena has two daughters who swim with TSC - Leah (Junior National) and Sophie (Youth Festival). 

Katherine Browne (Treasurer)

Katherine has been an active swim mom for 10 years now, volunteering on deck and off in many roles, and has been a member of TSC for over 6 years.  She has two kids, Eric and Tara Antonen, and both swim for TSC (Tara in N2 and Eric with the Varsity Team at U of T)  Since joining the club, the family has benefited from the welcoming, supportive nature of the TSC members, coaches and staff.

Katherine has a degree in Economics and MBA, both from Western, and is a CPA.  She has worked for over 20 years in the Media/Entertainment industry.  

Katherine believes that competitive swimming has been an incredible experience for her kids; socially, physically and mentally.  It has taught them how to be disciplined with their time in order to succeed in school, improve in their sport and still make time for their friends and family; important life skills.  TSC has been a wonderful community and, as such, Katherine is looking forward to being able to contribute to the club’s success through the Treasurer role again this year.

Kevin Lewis O’Neill (Coach Liaison / Swim Program)

Kevin's son swims for the Toronto Swim Club (Youth Festival) and plays water polo year-round for the Golden Jets. Kevin swam competitively and played water polo in the United States from a young age through university, starting all four years and serving as team captain for Fordham University’s NCAA Division I Water Polo team.

A graduate of Harvard and Stanford, he is Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion and Director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto. A cultural anthropologist, his research focuses on religion and politics in Central America, with a growing percentage of his time dedicated to providing expert testimony (pro bono) for U.S. asylum seekers in Trump America.

Joe Murray (Strategic Planning)

Joe has two boys swimming with TSC, Calum in N2 and Rafe in S1. He's loved watching them learn discipline as well as strokes, have fun making good friends, and relax into the excitement of performing well under pressure. He hopes to give back by helping to make TSC a great club providing a wonderful experience for all its swimmers.

Joe has an undergraduate degree in Systems Design Engineering and a doctorate in political philosophy. As President of JMA Consulting for 20 years, he and his staff have provided Constituency Relationship Management strategy and software services to non-profit organizations in North America and overseas. He is a co-author of Using CiviCRM, the leading book on open source software used by over 10,000 organizations around the world to manage donations, memberships, event registrations, volunteers, grants, human resources and other critical functions. 

Joe has served as a director on the boards of 10 non-profits over the last 30 years. As a director, he has been responsible for or contributed significantly to board activities in the areas of governance, policy, communications, fundraising, and human resources. 

Growing up in the 70's and 80's Joe broke a few national age group swimming records and won a relay medal at Nationals. In the last couple of years he's regularly ranked in the top 3 in Canada for his Master's swimming age group.

Jay Parker (Fundraising)

Jay Parker is the proud parent of two TSC swimmers, Isabella in J3 and Libby in the Academy, this is their third year of involvement in the club. His family was drawn to TSC for the exceptional coaching and swimmer performance program, and has continued with the club because of the measured and steady development plans that the coaches put into place for each group.

During the working day, he runs a DDMLighting Inc., a private lighting system design and supply firm, focusing on the high-end residential and commercial projects in the North American and the Caribbean markets. The majority of the firms work is in the Golden Horseshoe, working with major design and architecture firms.

Jay holds an Honours B.A. in Political Science from Queens University, and studied Japanese at Kwansei Gakuin University during his undergrad. After graduation, he spent 15 years working in the aerospace industry in Canada and Japan for Bombardier, and for Aviva Insurance here in Toronto.  

While at Queens, Jay played varsity Rugby for the perennial OUA champion Gaels. From an early age, he was an avid skier, and still races today on the Ontario Masters Inter-club circuit. As well, he participates in the odd triathlon with his father and holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Vivian Zhao (member at large)

Vivian works in the Controllership office at Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. Her responsibilities include leading financial system access controls; advisory and training to staff and management team on corporate financial management policies and guidelines. Vivian holds an MA from York and an MBA from McGill. She served as a board member for East York East Toronto Family Resources (EYET) from 2009 to 2013.

Vivian’s daughter Grace joined TSC this year (J2). Growing up in a coastal town, Vivian loved swimming as a child. Her version of safe swim was racing with her sister to the shark net and back, and “freestyle” bodysurfing amongst post-typhoon waves with her father. Through swimming, she has learned the life lessons of good judgement, resilience, and optimism.

TSC is turning 25 this year and Vivian is proud to be part of a community that continues to bring up great swimmers and great human beings in the years to come.

David Pickwoad (member at large)

David works at Dentons Canada, a national law firm, as Chief Client Officer and a member of the National Management Committee, where he leverages his broad experience from the client side to lead the firm’s profile-building and client development activities. David started his career in the steel industry and worked in corporate finance before practicing law. Prior to joining Dentons, David was Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Hudson’s Bay Company. David’s eldest daughter Georgia (Y1) is in her second year swimming with TSC.