MLSE LaunchPad Team

Tanya Mruck

Executive Director

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Tanya Mruck

Executive Director


If you had a billboard at Yonge & Dundas, what would it say?

Don’t believe the hype.

Favourite athlete? 

I’ve never really looked up to professional athletes.  When I was in elementary school it was my mom.  She played on her work softball team and was really good.  Not many of my friend’s moms played team sports so I thought she was super cool.  In high school it was Cheryl Pounder.  At the time she was the youngest member of Team Canada and I got to play with her on the school team.  She was so much more skilled than everyone but always a class act. Now I love Olympic athletes.  The stories of grit and resilience to achieve goals without money being the primary driver.  

Favorite quote from a sport movie?

Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack...

Bridgette Estrela

Director, Programs & Partnerships

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Bridgette Estrela

Director, Programs & Partnerships


If you had a billboard at Yonge & Dundas, what would it say? 

Keep it between the mustard and the mayonnaise.

Interesting fact about you?

I used to be on TV but I didn’t have the same agent as Drake.

Career Highlight?

Running my first community event with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Regent Park Athletic grounds and opening day at MLSE Launchpad.

 
 

Marika Warner

Director, Research & Evaluation

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Marika Warner

Director, Research & Evaluation


What inspires you?

Happy kids.

What common advice should people ignore?

To have a 5 year plan. Often serendipity leads to somewhere you never could have imagined.

If you could live somewhere else in the world, where would it be?

New Orleans for the incredible culture.

Justin Bobb

Director, Sport Programming

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Justin Bobb

Director, Sport Programming


Favourite athlete? Why?

Kobe Bryant… relentless pursuit of excellence and the art of trash talk!

Favourite sport moment?

Joe Carter’s walk-off homerun in 1993.

What inspires you?

My family.

Lisa Wiele

Manager, Partnerships & Development

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Lisa Wiele

Manager, Partnerships & Development


Favourite athlete? Why?

Serena Williams. Everything about her.

What is the book you’ve gifted most? 

The Talent Code

What inspires you?

Effort & Courage. People who may not have the natural talent but work hard everyday to be better. Girls who aren’t intimated to compete against boys in sports. The last few hundred people to cross the finish line of a marathon. These things inspire me a lot.

Bryan Heal

Manager, Research & Evaluation

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Bryan Heal

Manager, Research & Evaluation


Favourite Athlete? Why?

Roger Federer - kicks a$$ with class

Favourite Sport Movie? (Or quote from that movie)

Cool Runnings!

What common advice should people ignore?

Ignore the “Don’t Talk to Strangers” line. Most people have something awesome about them if you get to know them.

Kavan Kerr

Operations Coordinator

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Kavan Kerr

Operations Coordinator


Favourite sport movie? (or quote from that movie)

Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up. “Rocky Balboa”

Favourite sport moment?

Joe Carter hitting a three-run walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series to give the Blue Jays back-to-back championships.

What's your favourite pregame meal?

Chicken and rice wrap

Tarik El-Tyeb

Manager, Sport Programming

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Tarik El-Tyeb

Manager, Sport Programming


Favorite sport movie?

Invictus

Favourite sport moment?

Raptors v Nets game 7 in 2014 that was the loudest crowd or arena I have ever been a part of, even though we lost the game It was an incredible game and atmosphere.

If you could live somewhere else in the world, where would it be?

This is a tough question because I love living in Toronto. If I had to choose, I would say San Francisco, I have visited a few times and always had a great time…the California climate helps.

Bess Lennox

Manager, Sport Programming

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Bess Lennox

Manager, Sport Programming


Favourite athlete? Why?

Growing up, my favourite athlete was Stacey Dales (current reporter on the NFL Network and former WNBA player). Stacey is the highest ever drafted Canadian to the WNBA (3rd) and a tireless advocate for women in sport.

Favourite movie quote?

If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.- A League of Their Own

What inspires you?

This incredible world that we are so lucky to be a part of and all of the people in it.

Patrick O’Connell

Coordinator, Sport Programming

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Patrick O’Connell

Coordinator, Sport Programming


Favourite athlete? Why?

John Tavares. Toronto born superstar choosing to play for his hometown team. Enough said.

Favourite sport moment?

Crosby’s golden goal in 2010. I still get goosebumps whenever I see the replay.

If you could live somewhere else in the world, where would it be?

Barcelona, Spain. The beaches, food, history, and architecture are amazing and the city has such a laid back vibe.

Letecia Rose

Coordinator, Partnerships

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Letecia Rose

Coordinator, Partnerships


Favourite athlete? Why?

Serena Williams. She is constantly pushing boundaries, crushing competitions and redefining what an elite athlete should look, speak and dress like.

What book have you gifted most?

The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma. I have purchased and given it away seven times. It is a short, sweet and inspirational book that teaches reader that anyone that dedicates their time to daily improvements can be a genius in any aspect of their life.

Favourite movie?

The Mighty Ducks: D3. Best movie ever. No explanation needed.

Gyasi Moffett

Coordinator, Community Engagement

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Gyasi Moffett

Coordinator, Community Engagement


If you had a billboard at Yonge & Dundas, what would it say? 

Got Juice?

What inspires you? 

Working with youth to better themselves.

What is the book you’ve gifted most?

The Alchemist  

Gillian White

Director, Knowledge Translation

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Gillian White

Director, Knowledge Translation


Favourite athlete? Why?

Is it cliché to say Roger Federer? He just embodies power and grace in every way a person can – on and off the court. Plus, he’s Swiss so he has access to fondue and chocolate.

What is the book you’ve gifted most?

Jack London “Call of the Wild”

If you could live somewhere else in the world, where would it be?

Aspen, Colorado – love me some ski hills and back country livin’.

Iain Crerar

Coordinator, Partnerships

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Iain Crerar

Coordinator, Partnerships


Favourite Sport Movie? (Or quote from that movie)

I think this applies to life, not just the golf swing...

“Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing... Somethin' we was born with... Somethin' that's ours and ours alone... Somethin' that can't be taught to ya or learned... Somethin' that got to be remembered...” – The Legend of Bagger Vance.

What is the book you've gifted most?

Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris. A compilation of tools, tactics, and habits from dozens of the worlds top performers; really interesting to see how people approach the little things in life.

Favourite Sport Moment?

Kawhi's buzzer beater against the 76ers to advance to Round 3. What. A. Moment. 

Tharsheka Natkunam

Coordinator, Programs

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Tharsheka Natkunam

Coordinator, Programs


If you had a billboard at Yonge & Dundas, what would it say?

If it ain’t spicy then it got to go.

Favourite sport moment?

Sydney Crosby’s over time game winning goal in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

What inspires you?

My family inspires me.

Jackie Robinson

Coordinator, Research & Evaluation

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Jackie Robinson

Coordinator, Research & Evaluation


Favourite athlete? why?

Jackie Robinson (for mostly name reasons – yes I was named after THE Jackie Robinson).

Favourite sport movie? (or quote from that movie)

Miracle. “One game. If we played them 10 times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight.”  

Favourite sport moment?

My personal favourite sport moment - Winning my 2nd OUA Lacrosse championship as an undefeated team with Trent University, and then getting to return two years to coach the same team to a bronze medal. My favourite moment in all of sports – the golden goal from the 2002 Olympics.

Amanda Bellissimo

Coordinator, Administration & Member Services

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Amanda Bellissimo

Coordinator, Administration & Member Services


Favourite sport moment? 

Raptors winning the Eastern Conference finals, I teared up.

What inspires you?

Working with youth and being able to leave an impact small or big in their life.

If you could live somewhere else in the world, where would it be?

Florence, Italy