Kelly Zwartouw - President
Vancouver, British Columbia
Kelly trained to become a CIMI in 2013 with Sylvie Hétu, and has previously served on the IAIM Canada board from 2016 to 2020 as a Communications Director and Chapter Representative. Kelly also worked closely with the IAIM trainers to help coordinate and promote trainings in the Vancouver area.
Kelly is a Communications Consultant who worked at a number of prestigious public relations agencies in London, UK, before moving to Canada. She took a few years out of consulting to be a stay-at-home mom where she discovered the wonders of infant massage and the work of IAIM. Kelly has returned to consultancy part-time working with companies and non-profit organizations including the Family Place Partnership in Vancouver.
Kelly is fascinated by the wide range of benefits that infant massage brings to babies, parents, siblings, and its positive ripple effect on the wider community.
Sylvie Hétu - Chapter Representative
Sylvie is a mother of three grown children. She has been involved with IAIM since 1983 as an Instructor and 1989 as an international Trainer. She has pioneered infant massage in Canada, as well as in over 25 countries around the world, on all continents. Sylvie was the international President of the IAIM for 12 years and has been a member of the IAIM International Educational Committee for 18 years. Sylvie is now a member of the Trainer Leadership Committee (TLC).
Sylvie has a diploma in nutrition from Maisonneuve College (1976) and a BSc degree in Education from Montréal University (1980). Sylvie is also a qualified Steiner-teacher trained with l’Institut Rudolf Steiner au Québec (1998). She has taught primary school, as well biology and nutrition lessons to teenagers, and is an international lecturer on parenting and education.
Besides doing trainings, she currently works at the Montreal Steiner Schools as a human resources consultant, and gives talks about education for parents, educators and teachers.
Sylvie is also the co-founder of the Massage in Schools Programme (2000) for a child to child and family approach. Sylvie also writes, and is the author of The Song of the Child (2004), co-author of Touch in Schools: a Revolutionary Strategy to Replace Bullying by Respect and to Reduce Violence (2010), author of On Meurt et puis après (2016), has a published chapter (The Myth of Early Stimulation for Babies) in the book Too Much Too Soon (2011), is the author of the IAIM Fairy Tale and co-author of Dans l’au-delà, la suite (2021).
She is passionate about creating bridges between ancient traditions and modern knowledge.
Wanda Cox - Secretary
Wanda Cox fell in love with Infant Massage after taking a class with her first son in 1997. She trained as a birth doula in 1999 and has been expanding the ways she serves families ever since, including becoming a Certified Infant Massage Instructor in 2011. She is also a childbirth educator, postpartum doula, lactation educator and birth doula trainer. She has a BA in Psychology and is looking forward to becoming a IAIM Trainer to further expand access to families and share the art of nurturing touch.
Wanda has six kids in total and recently enjoyed the thrill of welcoming her first grandchild who is reaping the many benefits of Infant Massage!
Françoise Lefebvre - Board Director
Françoise has always been passionate about babies, and the IAIM Infant Massage Instructor Training was a logical continuation of her passion. Françoise has been an IAIM international trainer since 1997 and a Certified Infant Massage Instructor since 1988. As well as teaching parent and baby classes, Françoise also teaches IAIM Infant Massage Instructor training sessions across Canada, Belgium and Switzerland, and has taught and mentored thousands of students for IAIM.
Françoise has been a member of the IAIM, Canada - AIMB, Canada® Board from 2004 to 2015 and with this experience now offers guidance and support to the current Board. She was also a board director for the Quebec section of IAIM on many occasions since its creation in 1988, and an active member during the merger of the Canadian chapter and the Quebec section of the IAIM to the “Canada Chapter,” as it is now known. She assumed the presidency of the Quebec section and the Canada chapter for long periods on numerous occasions and was an advisor to the board of directors.
In addition to specializing in child development, Françoise has more than 55 years of expertise observing infant communication patterns. She holds a subspecialty as a Newborn Behavior Observation System Specialist from the Brazelton Institute (Boston, 2014), as well as a diploma in fine arts, with a specialty in ceramics (Alberta College of Art and Design 1984). Art that she has since taught, providing her with the opportunity to observe the benefits of touch in people with disabilities and dementia.
Mother of three adult daughters, one of whom has suffered from learning disabilities, she developed the "Attention" program which helps practitioners to have a better understanding of the learning and memorization process to better help children with learning disabilities. She also developed the “Discovering my baby’s full potential” program which, in short, is based on observing the baby, their skills and identifying the stimulation they need as a result.
Françoise has written numerous articles for various parenting and education magazines. She is also the proud grandmother of two grandchildren.
Wendy Flecker - Board Director
Wendy, mother of two and recently a grandmother, discovered her passion for infant massage in 1992, by attending IAIM classes with her daughter.
With a 30-year career as a Family and Community Support Worker at a Community Health Centre, Wendy is passionate about the health and well-being of parents and infants.
Certified as a Birth Doula, Prenatal Educator, and Newborn Behavioral Observation Specialist from the Brazelton Institute, her expertise includes a specialization in infant mental health. In 2017, Wendy became a certified infant massage instructor under the guidance of Francoise Lefebvre.
International travel plays a significant role in Wendy’s life. In 2019, she and her husband relocated to Myanmar for a year. There she contributed to the well-being of women and infants at a women’s safe house. They hope to return one day.
Wendy lives in Kingston, Ontario with her husband Karl, spending her down time playing with her granddaughter, knitting, exercising, reovating, and planning their next global adventures.
Azzah Abdulsamad, RECE - Board Director
Azzah is the newest member of the IAIM Canada board. She joins us from Hamilton, Ontario, and brings with her a vast range of experience working in early childhood education. She is currently working as an EarlyON Facilitator with Today's Family and has been with the organization since 2008. Azzah has a diploma in Montessori for teaching children and worked for four years in a private school. Azzah certified as an infant massage instructor with Françoise Lefebvre seven years ago and is looking forward to serving the Canadian Chapter.
Azzah is a mother of three grown up and adopted children, as well as nine grandchildren. She graduated from the University of Damascus with a major in psychology and education.