(709) 221-1288 info@nlbia.ca
Cletus Flaherty

Cletus Flaherty


Originally from Holyrood, Cletus graduated with a B. Sc from Memorial University of Newfoundland where he also served as the MUN Students’ Union Vice-President and President. Following his time at Memorial, Cletus graduated with his law degree at the University of New Brunswick in 2010. While at UNB, Cletus served as the Vice-President and President of the Law Students’ Society, was awarded the Law Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador Centennial Scholarship and was a member of the UNB Sopinka Cup Competitive Moot Team.

Since being called to the Bar in 2011, Cletus has established a litigation practice focusing on personal injury, employment and labour law. In his practice he has had the privilege to assist injury victims and workers who have sustained brain injury.

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith

Vice President

Originally from Grand Falls-Windsor, Jennifer Smith, PEng, has her PhD and Master’s in Ocean &
Naval Architectural Engineering from Memorial University. She is also an alumnus of Dalhousie
University (2008) and Acadia University (2005).
                                                                                                                                                                                        From 2008-2020, Jennifer worked in human factors and marine simulation research within the
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University. More recently, in January 2021
she joined the School of Maritime Studies at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial
University as an Instructor (Research) where she teaches and supervises graduate students in the
Maritime Studies (Safety: The Human Element) program.
In 2018, Jennifer suffered a cerebellar stroke due to neck trauma from undiagnosed whiplash from
an accident. The quick thinking of her husband in getting her to the hospital and the diligent efforts
of the doctors and nurses helped minimize the damage to her brain. Jennifer’s brain injury (an
ischaemic stroke) affected her vision, hearing, balance, ability to walk, and weakened her left side
(arm and hand). During the demanding 4-months of physical rehabilitation, her husband was her
primary caregiver, where she re-learned how to walk, strengthen her left side, improved her
weakened left eye, got her driver’s license re-instate and eventually eased back to work (however in
hindsight, this was probably too soon as it took her longer to recognize her cognitive limitations and
mental health issues). Four years later, many of the effects of her stroke are invisible (e.g., chronic
fatigue, migraines, tinnitus, photosensitivity, and anxiety). Despite these lingering issues, Jennifer
was able to return to her work as a researcher in 2019 and finish her PhD in 2020. While it has taken
time for her and her husband to come to terms with the fact that their everyday life is different than
before, they are grateful for the support they received and are fortunate for the silver linings they’ve
found throughout their journey.
Jennifer joined the NL Brain Injury Association on Oct 4, 2022, to help the organization with their
mission to bring awareness to brain injuries, support individuals with brain injuries, and advocate
for improved mental health services and supports for caregivers and families.
James Johnston

James Johnston


Jim was born and raised in St.John’s, Newfoundland and has served on multiple Boards over the years both here and in Windsor, Ontario. In the spirit of volunteerism, he is currently serving on four boards and also a Director with his Liberal Riding Association.
His current board involvement is as a board member of management for Lavrock Camp, board Member and Treasurer for Gospel Folk, director and treasurer for NLBIA board of directors and his church board.
Jim is also involved in many other organizations on an as needed basis. As treasurer Jim is dedicated to ensuring accuracy and transparency of NLBIA. 
Theresa Myrick

Theresa Myrick



– Stella Maris High School, Trepassey
– College of the North Atlantic, clerk/Accounting
– ICS, Montreal, Business Management Diploma


– Fishery Products International (22 years), various roles – accounting, payroll, secretary to Plant Manager and Personnel Officer.
– Women in Resource Development (15 years) administration and finance.

Volunteer work:
– Girl Guides of Canada, Leader and Treasurer:
– 4H leader and coordinator
– Director Trepassey Recreation
– Board member, Trepassey Rural Development Board:

– Member, tourism and culture committee, Irish Loop Zone Board
– Volunteer with Terry Fox Foundation, NL Chapter
Patsy Corcoran

Patsy Corcoran


Patsy lives in St. John’s, NL. Born and raised in Riverhead, St. Marys Bay, Patsy looked forward to moving out and exploring other places. After finishing highschool she moved to Toronto. I found the job I loved doing payroll and accounting at the head office of Sam the Record Man and then on to G4S Cash Services Corporate office where I spent 10 years managing their payroll department. September 19, 2009 Patsy awoke with the worst headache of her life and was rushed to the Health Science Centre. A brain aneurysm had ruptured! “I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I survived. The years since that time have been difficult but get easier with each passing year. I am what is considered high functioning. I have no physical attributes to my condition.” All of Patsy’s issues or deficits are unseen which can make it harder for others to understand. No longer able to work, she still seeks purpose in life. “One of the main reasons I have joined the NLBIA is to raise awareness and help others find their way through brain injury.” In addition to being on the Board of Directors, Patsy is also one of our Ambassadors.

Walter Lush

Walter Lush


WALTER LUSH transforms intricate challenges into achievements and milestones as a result of his vigor, tenacity and strategic planning.  He has a deepening passion for family/global unity, particularly when affected by traumatic events.  Against this backdrop, Walter has a proven track record of successfully completing difficult work assignments while motivating organizations and demonstrating inspirational leadership.  Respected as a credible maritime manager, Walter has created productive teams of key people who have completed complex tasks, even when confronted with adversity.       

Currently, as an experienced manager in the transportation industry, and Ships Captain/Pilot, Walter has an extensive background in policy, budgeting, vendor negotiations, developing personal relationships, decision-making, strategic planning, and procedure development.  He is now spearheading a project and business plan for Caribbean cruises which entails a thorough nautical experience theme package.

Previously, the scope of Walter’s qualifications and experience comprises background in both the maritime public and private sector.  This includes assignments with various private companies, the Department of National Defense (Naval Reserves), and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans under the federal government. Earlier he was an advocate of health and wellness while volunteering as a fitness/aerobics instructor which involved specialized classes for participants who had cardiac incidences.  His diverse experience and background will be an asset when fundraising for the NL (Newfoundland and Labrador) Brain Injury Association. 

Walter holds an MMM (Masters of Maritime Management), BMS (Bachelors of Maritime Studies), and a Diploma of Nautical Science from the Memorial University of NL.  Walter serves on several boards and committees such as OHS (Occupational Health and Safety), and the board of directors of the NL Brain Injury Association.

Nick Mercer

Nick Mercer


In 2003, Nick had been doing his Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) at the University of Victoria (UVic) in British Columbia, and decided to start triathlons. He had been playing water polo for nine years and upon graduation from Queen’s University in Kingston in 2002, he, along with two friends, biked across Canada – which was a natural fit. He was on a bike ride with three or four friends when he swerved to avoid an oncoming rider, crashed into a tree and shattered his helmet, resulting in a two week-coma, and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Nick had to learn to walk, speak coherently, and adjust to my double vision – which he’s  had since his bike crash. Fast forward to 2015 and Nick decided to start his own podcast, Concussion Talk. On Concussion Talk, Nick uses his experience with brain injury to interview experts in the field and educate his listeners about all things brain injury.

Jailen Spurrell


Jailen grew up in Labrador West and is now living in St. John’s to pursue further education. She is passionate about community health and wellness from a holistic approach, as she believes all aspects of living (employment, education, housing, recreation, food security, health, etc.) contribute to ones health and overall wellbeing. Jailen graduated from Robertson College in December of 2021 with a diploma in Community Support Work, and has also completed several certificates in a broad range of topics. Jailen aspires to promote brain health/ overall community wellness and aims to begin studies at Memorial University this fall. She is eager to connect with the NLBIA community and is appreciative of the opportunity to be working with an organization that works to promote brain health.

Philip Warren

Philip Warren

Past President

Born and raised in St. John’s and still living in St. John’s. Graduated from MUN Bachelor of Commerce 1996 and Dalhousie Law School in  2000 and practicing law since 2001. Former Chair of the Canada Pension Plan Disability Review Tribunal, former President of the Parkinson’s Society Canada, and past director with the Independent Living Resource Centre.