Board of Directors

The Foundation is guided by talented and passionate individuals from all walks of life. We are very grateful for their expertise in advancing our mission of assisting low vision persons by providing access to innovative products and services that can support them in leading inclusive and normal lives.

Conrad Lewis

Conrad Lewis

Vitality, eagerness and aggression fuel Conrad’s fierce intellect and inherent leadership and attract him to competitive pursuits which more often than not he dominates as much for the joy of challenging himself than anything else. In the spirit of inspiration and the pursuit of excellence, arguments can be the norm with Conrad as he eagerly nourishes his high functioning imagination and intellect. Conrad’s current objectives include seeing the Foundation, which he founded and will serve as chairman, grow to serve legally blind and low vision individuals. The Lewis Vision Improvement Foundation, a registered Canadian charity, will help to fulfil Conrad’s vision and mission to ensure that some of society’s most vulnerable are able to lead normal lives. Before this, Conrad’s 30+ year career achievements included executive level leadership roles in marketing and technology with multi-billion dollar company’s Newbridge Networks (now Alcatel-Lucent) and Mitel Corp where he oversaw large teams in research and development as well as marketing. Conrad serves as Vice-Chairman of eSight Corp which he founded in 2006. He is a Professional Engineer and holds multiple patents, enjoys reading and long walks with his dog Charlie.

Donna Price

Donna Price

Donna’s inquisitive and spirited truth-seeking energy supported her life journey along a dynamic road of self-learning and development. Donna’s open-minded and freedom loving nature resisted extended stays in conventional learning institutions and prompted her to pursue challenging opportunities to which she could fully apply her formidable learning capacity and intellect as well as her leadership and high energy. Donna’s 30+ year career included senior roles in one of Canada’s leading national law firm where she worked alongside brilliant legal minds to implement complex business transactions as well as a fiduciary role at Newbridge Networks (now Alcatel Lucent) where she served as Assistant Secretary and provided governance and transactional advisory support to the leaders of various start-up technology companies. Donna is a business consultant and advises companies on various aspects of corporate governance and corporate transactions serving as President of Casumpec Consulting. She is a life-long sports enthusiast and has generously shared her leadership in competitive coaching and leading youth in competitive sports programs. Most recently she co-founded a veteran women’s soccer team that participated in the 2013 World Masters Games and a veteran women’s softball team that will compete at the 2017 World Masters Games. Donna relishes solo time at an art studio where she quietly creates unique fused glass pieces. She thoroughly enjoys co-parenting her family dog Tanner.

John Granda

John Granda

Dr. John’s intrinsic energy and enthusiasm are hard to miss as he carries out his Doctor of Optometry duties to the families of the greater Ottawa area. Early in his career, Dr. John was fascinated by how much human performance is influenced by a person’s vision performance. The new science of Sports Vision was is in its infancy and he embraced it with vigor. For over two decades, he has helped various athletes (baseball, hockey, auto racing) from recreation to professional levels to realize their top performance by improving their vision skills. Part way through this journey, the founder of a new start-up company asked the challenging question: “If the performance athlete can be made to intake and process vision information quicker and with more accuracy, can we regain functional vision in the visually impaired?” Dr. John was pleased to share his knowledge and experience as a vision performance advisor alongside the dedicated eSight team as they developed a life-changing solution for persons with low vision. Dr Granda is currently working on a project to make vision skills training more available, accessible and affordable to the general public. Outside of his work in vision enhancement, Dr. John enjoys the great outdoors where he cruises back roads, bikes, hikes or takes long walks to fuel his ever active mind.

Rob Hilkes

Rob Hilkes

Rob applies his innately curious and inquisitive nature with exceptional skill in severing the covert value that resides within complex inventions so that market opportunities may be realized and civilization may be enhanced. Rob has held various roles in the technology sector over the past 25 years which have utilized and intensified his strategic and tactical insights enabling him to provide increasingly valuable contributions on new product functions and/or features as well as new product roadmaps and the customer/partner relationships necessary for commercial success. Rob fostered his particular interest in assistive technology for the low vision population by acquiring Sight Enhancement Systems which develops and provides cameras and calculators to assist thousands of school children with low vision. Rob serves Sight Enhancement Systems as President. He channels artistic expression outward through long term membership in FOAM (a classic rock band) supporting fellow bandmates with flute and saxophone accompaniment as well as vocals. Rob volunteers his leadership to local youth by leading various initiatives which orient youth to the responsibilities of care and compassion of fellow citizens. The family cottage provides a safe harbor for reflection as well as the pursuit of more physical dynamics like biking, swimming and sailing to fuel Rob’s quiet intensity. Rob is a professional Engineer and hopes to one day harvest his secret passion for cabinetry to create unique and appealing cabinets.

Pat Kelly

Pat Kelly

Patrick (Pat) Kelly entered Canada in the early 1970’s and set about with his entrepreneurial temperament,  which is a mixture of irrepressible stubbornness, a hot temper, a kindliness and tolerance for human frailties as well as personal charm and warmth, seeking opportunities  for the betterment of himself as well as Canadian society.  Pat’s entrepreneurial temperament together with that of fellow Irish colleague Larry Bradley, lead to the formation of Bradley Kelly Construction and the Heart & Crown, a chain of Ottawa’s most well-loved Irish pubs, in the 1980’s.  Pat applied his passion for sport and rugged competition to gaelic football and lent his hand in catalyzing the formation of the Ottawa Gaels, a gaelic football club which is active to this day.

Pat has served and presently serves as a director to several non-profit and philanthropic causes including St. Patrick’s Home Foundation, Ottawa Irish Chamber of Commerce, Irish Society of the National Capital Region and Saint Brigid’s Centre.  The Kelly home offers warmth, welcome and support where Pat serves as a generous host to many gatherings of friends and/or family and in his true publican form ensures that guests always experience a full cup.

Pat is the recipient of many awards and acknowledgements for his social contributions and community leadership which were exemplified in 2012 when Pat was awarded the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from the President of Ireland. The award recognized Pat’s many contributions to Irish society and culture in particular hosting numerous fellow Irish visiting Canada, supporting seniors as well as the introduction of gaelic sports programs in Canada. Pat now fuels his irrepressible energy on the sidelines for many sports venues where his passion for competition and the human spirit thrive alongside Pat’s shadow-coaching!

Julia Lewis

Julia Lewis

Julia applied her strength of will and spirit of tenacity and optimism to garner achievements in her professional field and lead a life of joy and self-sufficiency despite profound vision loss. Julia’s spirit saw what her eyes could not and her persistent outlook supported her in academic as well as career achievements. Through her 30 year career as a new product and function pioneer, Julia founded a volunteer Association, supported a high tech start- up company, held multiple board Chair positions and is currently the Director, Integrated Risk Management at Ryerson University. Julia earned a reputation as a skilled and thoughtful lead collaborator, building consensus among diverse stakeholders, community and business leaders, regulatory and lobbying bodies and volunteers to advance solution focused strategies, innovations and pivotal partnerships. With cultivating the creative capacity of people as a leadership attribute, Julia succeeded in establishing a smart risk enterprise portfolio, a leading Centre of expertise in knowledge fusion, a sustainable organizational culture of shared responsibility for community care and achieved regulatory reforms for barrier free research, innovation and accessibility.

Julia‘s intelligence and optimism galvanizes people facing adverse circumstances from vision loss urging them to embrace challenges and bring about change in their lives. Julia represents the character that inspired her brother Conrad to create intelligent eyewear and served as a client advisor throughout the evolution of the innovative eyewear that sprouted from that inspiration. Julia embraces the opportunity to support the purpose of the Foundation to provide support to others with vision loss to lead normal and fulfilling lives.

Dan Mathers

Dan Mathers

Dan’s character exemplifies his passion for the creation and transformation of ideas into successful business ventures and he has devoted much of his energy to supporting business ventures from the ground up. Throughout his career and to the present day, Dan utilizes his proficient communication skills to coach and mentor executives and management in the technology sector on investment and strategic development to build teams and fulfil objectives. As a professional Engineer and leader, he has proven his skill in turning intellectual property into useful products and services that investors and markets will support. Dan served as founding CEO of eSight and held CEO and senior vice-president positions in other prominent Ottawa technology companies. Dan’s engaging personality and business acumen appeals to all stakeholders in the business ecosystem. Dan is an experienced business leader and shares his expertise in investment strategy development to executives and senior management leaders through IronSpan Executives. He is also an avid sailor, golfer, and is studying classical guitar.

Kevin Rankin

Kevin Rankin

Those fortunate enough to work under Kevin’s enthusiastic and generous leadership often draw parallels to a favorite teacher. Kevin in a seasoned Chief Executive Officer having served at Tropic Networks , Fidus Systems and eSight Corp. where he gained recognition for his skill in people development and leadership as demonstrated by his ability to consistently inspire employees to exceed their own performance expectations. Kevin’s trustworthy and reliable nature, as well as his abiding faith in his convictions, inspires those around him. Kevin is a professional Engineer whose entrepreneurial and spiritual nature provided him with opportunities to advance his leadership and managerial responsibilities early in his career through unique engagements where knowledge and integrity were essential qualities. Kevin personifies these qualities in his daily living. He expanded his business knowledge through service as a corporate director at small to medium sized technology companies. Kevin fuels his tremendous energy reserves through active participation in running, biking and skiing and enjoys contemplative reflection and relaxation at his family cottage.

Pauline Melenhorst

Pauline Melenhorst

Pauline’s calm and stable demeanor as well as her warm and easy laughter motivates those around her to immediately feel comfortable. Beneath the warm exterior, an intelligent and extremely capable professional has guided many through the intricacies of financial management and accounting in a disarmingly competent manner. Pauline has worked in a diverse group of industry sectors including professional services, manufacturing, high technology and not for profit and supported small and medium sized businesses in both domestic and international markets. Pauline is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. She is an accomplished amateur athlete and pursued competitive sports throughout her life until the physical demands began to wreak havoc on her knee joints. In turn, Pauline became a very accomplished amateur golfer and continues to pursue an active lifestyle that incorporates fitness into her daily living regime.