Vanier Institute Team

Tel.: 613-228-8500
General inquiries:

Nora Spinks (ext. 214)
Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer at the Vanier Institute, Nora works with individuals and organizations that study, serve and support families to mobilize knowledge and enhance the national understanding of families in Canada. A well-known keynote speaker and author, Nora is a sought-after guest on television and radio, where she regularly provides the “family lens” to issues of importance to Canadians. more


Nathan Battams (ext. 218)
Communications Manager

As the Vanier Institute’s Communications Manager, Nathan has been working with a growing network of contributors, research partners and collaborators across Canada since 2012 to produce a variety of diverse digital and print resources about families and family life in Canada. more



Lucie Legault (ext. 211)
Administration and Office Management

Lucie is the Vanier Institute’s longest-serving employee, having joined the staff team in 1982. Lucie is likely your first contact with the Institute whether you call or visit the office in Ottawa, whether you speak English or French, whether you are making a contribution or a purchase, and whether you are contacting us from Canada or elsewhere around the world. more



Sara MacNaull (ext. 219)
Program Director

Sara joined the Vanier Institute in December 2007. As the Program Director, she manages a variety of research and knowledge mobilization projects, networks and partnerships. She facilitates the engagement of Vanier Alumni Network members, providing a platform for retired Vanier Institute Board members and executives emeriti to continue to make a contribution to the Vanier Institute’s success. more


Colonel (retd) Russell Mann, OMM, MSM, MBA, CD
Senior Advisor, 613-406-8501

Russ joined the Vanier Institute in 2016, where he currently contributes as a Senior Advisor. With Russ’s 35-plus years of service in Canada’s Armed Forces, he and his family have lived most aspects of the military lifestyle, including transition as a Veteran into life in a small community on the outskirts of Ottawa. more


Denyse Marion
Graphic Design

Denyse has been working with the Vanier Institute since August 2012. As part of the publications team, she is responsible for the design and production of print and electronic materials, such as reports, infographics and newsletters. She undertook an overhaul of the Vanier Institute brand, which has been implemented over the past few years. Denyse holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University and the designation of Registered Graphic Designer, and has worked in the graphic design profession since 1984.


Gaby Novoa

Gaby joined the Vanier Institute in January 2017. As a member of the communications team, she works toward fostering greater public understanding of the diversity of family experiences in Canada. She shares stories and research highlighting the social, cultural and economic landscapes within the country and their significance for families and family life. Gaby holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in Communication and Cultural Studies with a minor in Diversity and the Contemporary World. more

Veronica Schami (ext. 302)
Editing, Translation and Publication Production

Veronica has been working with Vanier Institute since February 2012. As a member of the publications team, she manages the editing, translation and proofreading of all print and online publications, such as Transition, newsletters, media releases and more. She also co-designed and manages the Vanier Institute’s website alongside the program team. Veronica holds a BA in Humanistic Studies from McGill University, and has worked in publishing and communications since 1987.


Lynne Steele
Governance and CEO Support

Lynne was born and raised in Canada. Educated in Business Administration through the Open University in the Netherlands, followed by post-graduate diplomas in Human Resources and International Development, Lynne brings a depth and breadth of experience in a variety of sectors. Among other initiatives, working with Air Canada, within the political arena and in her own business have afforded Lynne the opportunity of growing and developing her level of expertise in a variety of capacities. Her constant relocations and international moves have enabled her to grow and strengthen relationships from coast-to-coast-to-coast in Canada and abroad. more

In addition to these core team members, the Vanier Institute is proud to work with diverse partners, contributors, interns, students and others from our extensive network of people who study, serve and support families in Canada.