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Oakville Lives: Dr. Brenda Jane Zimmerman (Ellis)

Dr. Brenda Jane Zimmerman
Dr. Brenda Jane Zimmerman

Brenda Jane Ellis (Dr. Brenda Zimmerman) June 15, 1956 - December 16, 2014 who was the cherished wife of Alan Ellis. She was deeply loved by her children Stephanie (Alex), Gillian (Greg), step-children Roz (Todd), Matt (Renée), Matthew (Matthew), Catherine (Neil) and Sarah, niece Emily and nephew Marc and grandchildren Christianne, Lauren, Josée, Brennan, Nathan and Aimée.

She will be profoundly missed by her family members Ron and Nancy Plunkett, Ross (Linda) Plunkett, Carol Anne (Neil) Armstrong, Jody (Bob) Kinsey and her many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her late husband (Bryan Hayday) and Alan's elder son Jeremy.

Dr. Brenda Zimmerman was a Professor of Strategic Management at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto. She was the founder and director of the Health Industry Management Program for MBA students. She was also an associate faculty member for the Social Innovation Generation at the University of Waterloo.

During 2000-2003, she joined McGill's Faculty of Management as an Associate Professor and had a joint appointment with the Faculty of Medicine. Her primary research applied complexity science to management and leadership issues in organizations, especially healthcare or not-for-profit organizations, experiencing high levels of uncertainty and turbulence.

She was a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences chronic disease expert panel on Health System Transformation, sits on a committee of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, advised the Canadian Public Health Agency and was the Chair of Patient Safety and Quality for Mount Sinai Hospital.

She wrote many articles, book chapters and a co-authored book on the topic of complexity and management in health-care, Edgeware: Complexity resources for Healthcare Leaders. Her co-authored book, Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed is a Canadian best seller published in 2006 and published in Japan in 2008 and Korea in 2009.

In 2006 she was awarded the Athena award in recognition of her community contributions and mentoring of women to reach their full potential. In 2009, she was awarded the Teacher Excellence Award for the Schulich School of Business.

Family and friends are welcome to attend the visitation at Maple Grove United Church (346 Maple Grove Drive, Oakville) on Monday, December 22nd from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 6:00- 9:00 p.m.

The funeral will also be held at Maple Grove United Church on Tuesday, December 23rd at 1:00 p.m. Reception to follow the service. A memorial service will be held in January at York University.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the Schulich School of Business or the Hospital for Sick Children would be greatly appreciated. Email condolences through