AthletesCAN doubles full-time staff, introduces four new team members

New Team Members - Photos of Lindsay Smith, Kristin Henry, Jacob Morris and Ava Iannou

TORONTO – AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is proud to welcome four new team members to the organization – including a summer intern and three full-time staff.

Accomplished Multisport Games leader Lindsay Smith has been named Manager, Athlete Projects and Operations for the 2023-24 year, serving the role currently held by Alicia Renaud-Paquin, during her upcoming parental leave. Former national team rower Kristin Henry and experienced Canadian sport system marketer Jacob Morris have been selected as AthletesCAN’s new Coordinator, Operations and Coordinator, Digital Media and Communications, respectively, while recent Sport Management graduate Ava Iannou will serve as Intern, Marketing and Communications over the summer months.

“We are excited to welcome Lindsay, Kristin, Jacob and Ava to our staff, and wish congratulations to Alicia and her family. Our newly-expanded team gives us the best opportunity to continue advocating for the voices of national team athletes across the Canadian sport system following the recently-announced governance reforms and raising the awareness level of AthletesCAN among our 6,000-plus prospective members.”

Erin Willson - AthletesCAN President

Henry will report to Smith and Renaud-Paquin, while Morris and Iannou will report to Alan Hudes, Manager, Communications and Sport Partnerships. Henry and Morris began in their roles on May 15, with Smith starting on May 23. Iannou will kick off her internship on June 5.

All four roles are funded by Sport Canada, with Iannou’s internship supported by the Canada Summer Jobs Program.

The new additions double AthletesCAN’s full-time staff for the second consecutive year, continuing to deliver on the organization’s Strategic Plan and its priorities of Awareness, Insight and Activation – through direct engagement with and providing support to Canada’s national team athletes.


Photo - Lindsay Smith

Lindsay Smith

Manager, Athlete Projects & Operations (2023-24)

Lindsay Smith (she/her) is the Manager of Athlete Projects and Operations at AthletesCAN for the 2023-24 year. Smith will be responsible for overseeing direct interaction with AthletesCAN members, committees, staff, corporate and system partners and the Board of Directors to build and leverage athlete-driven data and insights to create impactful change. She will also oversee all governance and operations processes on behalf of the organization.

Prior to joining AthletesCAN, Smith specialized in national and international Multisport Games, having held various sport operations roles at organizations including the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games and the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. Lindsay was also a member of Team Ontario Mission Staff for the PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games where she prepared athletes in the lead up to and supported athletes during their time at the Games. 

Photo - Kristin Henry

Kristin Henry

Coordinator, Operations

Kristin Henry (she/her) is the Coordinator, Operations at AthletesCAN. She will be responsible for the general operation and administrative processes within AthletesCAN, as well as data management and collecting perspectives to help support Canadian national team athletes.

Prior to joining AthletesCAN, Henry was a national team athlete with Rowing Canada Aviron for seven years and competed at multiple World Championships, World Cups and the Pan American Games. Since retiring from high performance sport, she has been working as an administrator for a private counselling practice, as well as a local rowing organization. Henry has maintained a connection to the rowing world and this has fueled her passion to help support both current and future national team athletes. She is currently a member of Rowing Canada Aviron’s Governance and Policy Committee that was formed in the fall of 2022. Henry also volunteers with the Simon Fraser University rowing team and is helping rebuild a high-performance program following the impact of the pandemic.

Henry holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Certificate of Forensic Studies from Simon Fraser University, and a Certificate of Law from Queen’s University.

Photo - Jacob Morris

Jacob Morris

Coordinator, Digital Media & Communications

Jacob Morris (he/him) is the Coordinator of Digital Media and Communications at AthletesCAN. In this role, Morris is responsible for growing and engaging AthletesCAN’s membership with creative digital content across their various media platforms. His portfolio also includes growing AthleteCAN’s media impact and maintaining the organization’s online presence.

Prior to joining AthletesCAN, Morris worked in the Communications and Public Relations Department of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC). While at the COC, he led the overhaul of Team Canada’s corporate executive social media accounts, positioning them as thought leaders in the sport space. Morris also helped the COC launch Team Canada’s first ever all-digital media guide at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, enabling a user-focused, eco-friendly alternative to the traditional printed media guide. For several years, Morris ran his own Communications Agency, Mile 27 PR, which focused on serving National Sport Organizations and community-based businesses with their communication strategies. Morris also volunteers with the Grindstone Award Foundation, helping assist girls from low-income families with the high costs associated with playing hockey.

Morris holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, and an Advanced Diploma in Sport Management from Humber College, where he completed a capstone project entitled Making Social Media a Priority for Sport Organizations. He is currently completing a Master of Arts in Applied Health Sciences (Sport Management) at Brock University.

Photo - Ava Iannou

Ava Iannou

Intern, Marketing & Communications

Ava Iannou (she/her) is the Marketing and Communications Intern with AthletesCAN for Summer 2023.

Iannou is a recent graduate of Brock University’s Sport Management program (with Honours), and a former member of the Badgers varsity golf team. With a bilingual skillset, Iannou’s experience in the Canadian Sport System includes working as an Official Languages Lead for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. She has also held various roles in social media marketing and communications for the Brock Badgers, as well as game operations for the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

About AthletesCAN

AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is the only fully independent and most inclusive athlete organization in the country and the first organization of its kind in the world.  As the voice of over 6,000 current and recently retired Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN membership spans 68 sports across the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan/Parapan American, and Commonwealth Games, and those currently funded by Sport Canada competing at Senior World Championships.

AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture, through educational resources, support, training and professional development.  

Follow us on social @AthletesCAN and Join #TheCollective today.

For more information, please contact: 

Alan Hudes
Manager, Communications and Sport Partnerships
613-526-4025 Ext. 224
[email protected]