Our Mission

To be a Canadian led, Global Human Connection Movement that generates a stronger and healthier society by igniting greater social connection.

Our Vision:

The vision of The GenWell Project is to make the world a happier and healthier place by educating, empowering, and catalyzing people around the importance of proactive, face-to-face social connection, for their own health, happiness and well-being, and for the betterment of society more broadly.

Our Values:

Authentic, Collaborative, Inspiring, Creative, Fun, Inclusive

Our Goals


To educate Canadians and raise greater consciousness about the importance of human connection through health promotion and knowledge exchange


To empower Canadians by revolutionizing our understanding of the importance of human connection through social health research


To catalyze policy and intervention development to support governments, business, non-profit organizations, neighbourhoods, families, and individuals

Our Team

Pete Bombaci

Founder, Executive Director

Pete is the founder of The GenWell Project and is proud to be leading a movement that he truly believes can make the world a happier and healthier place. The idea, in the making for over a decade before it’s launch in 2016, was inspired by the events witnessed during the summer blackout back in 2003. Kindness, generosity, empathy and most importantly, human connection.

Formerly the Canadian Country Director for Movember Canada, Pete led an amazing team of people responsible for raising $142 million dollars over five years, and putting a much needed lens back on men’s health.

Having spent time in the for profit and not for profit worlds, Pete believes that there is a great opportunity to combine the interests of business, schools, government, foundations and individuals in the solution to the disconnected world that we find ourselves in today.

You can find out more about Pete on his LinkedIn profile here.

You can connect with Pete at pete@GenWellproject.org

Kimberly Moreira

Operations Manager

Kim is the Operations Manager for The GenWell Project. She has an extensive background in theatre and event management, focusing on musical and festival production.  Kim is passionate about youth arts education and programming, believing strongly in the arts’ ability to nurture and foster healthy relationships with oneself and others.

She is excited to join the GenWell team and be part of a community focused on interpersonal and widespread social engagement, working towards healing and connecting in societies across the globe.

Find her on linked in here!

Jamie Deans

Director, Public Discussion (PR)

Jamie has been leading the PR and Communications for The GenWell Project for nearly four years and is excited to be part of the solution to the social isolation, disconnection and loneliness that we face in Canada and around the world today. As an expert in the public relations arena after a long career at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in Toronto, Canada, Jamie is pleased to be working on a project that is on a mission to make the world a happier and healthier place one face to face conversation at a time.

By day Jamie and his wife Ivette are the proud parents to four great children and together they have played a role in helping support The GenWell Project in their own community.

You can find out more about Jamie on his LinkedIn profile here.

You can connect with Jamie at Jamie@GenWellproject.org.

Jay Bertram

Jay Bertram

Chief Development Officer

A natural leader of people throughout his life, Jay has been leading advertising agencies and growing client’s businesses for over 30 years in Europe, Canada, and Latin America.

Most recently Jay led the National Advertising Benevolent Society, founded in 1983, NABS is a unique charity specifically designed to support the health and well-being of all individuals in the media, marketing, and communications industry in Canada.  The results and people supported reached record numbers. Huge strides were made in less than 3 years where now nabs-bec is the charity of choice of the Canadian marketing communications industry.

It was during Jay’s time as Managing Director of nabs that he met Pete and learned about GenWell. The light went on. Rather than having companies and charities spending money, resources, and time on reacting to employee issues, a more proactive and better approach was to work with leadership teams and their employees to prevent and reduce employee issues. ‘Fire prevention versus fire fighting’. The supporting data from around the globe and financial benefit is irrefutable.

I’m excited to be joining Pete and The GenWell Project as the Chief Business Development Officer and help professional service firms build healthier, happier, more productive work forces by unleashing the power of human connection.

Andrew Laufer

Creative Designer

Andrew Laufer is a “WHY” person combined with a storyteller, explorer, creative addict, designer, and Human Connection Catalyst.

He is a curious creative with twenty years of experience in strategic branding, art direction, and design, for some of the largest CPG, retail, and entertainment brands.

Andrew has been a part of the GENWELL mission long before they posted their first event. As Creative Director, he believes in the power of GENWELL’s purpose. At the core, Human Connection is the exchange of energy among people who are giving attention to one another. It has the power to expand the moment, spark change, and build a happier healthier society one face-to-face interaction at a time.

You can find out more about Andrew on his Linkedin profile here. https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewlaufer/

You can connect with Andrew at a.laufer@bylauft.com

Mikayla Stranges

Social Media Manager

Mikayla is the Social Media Manager for The GenWell Project. She is passionate about social health, human connection, and making the world a happier and more connected place. Mikayla is a recent graduate of the George Brown College Sport and Event Marketing program. She has extensive experience in event management and planning and has enjoyed working in the non-profit and for-profit industries to gain transferable skills she can apply anywhere.

She is elated to be working on The GenWell Project to make the organizations’ vision come to life and to work towards a more connected world.

Find her on LinkedIn here.

Jessica Fowler

Jessica Fowler

Community Advisor

Jessica Fowler has been a leading ambassador of The GenWell Project from its inception. Jessica met Pete years ago when she overheard him at a restaurant speaking passionately about social connection to a friend. From that day forward, she has supported the spread of this message and has advised The GenWell Project on campaigns, academic pursuits and corporate partnerships. 

As a professor at Humber College, she is dedicated to ensuring her students and the Humber community as a whole understand the impact that social health has in all areas of our life and in contrast the lack thereof. Working with students and faculty she hopes to spread the message and be a catalyst for conversations and connections across the campus. 

She truly believes that though everyone has a unique story, we are all in this together and a stronger sense of unity, is better for everyone. 

Jessica Fowler

Maya Hibbeln

Content Researcher

Growing up in the era of tweets, alerts, and notifications, Maya was instantly drawn to the vision of The GenWell Project. As a fan of face-to-face connection, she is pleased to be a part of this project that looks to bring people together, and that prioritizes human connection and compassion.

With over five years in research, Maya recently completed her Masters at the University of Edinburgh in the realm of sport and politics and now advises on a variety of research topics. She now supports GenWell on helping to stay up-to-date on new areas related to social isolation, disconnection and loneliness.

In her free time, Maya enjoys the power that food and sport have in creating connection. Specifically, her love of pasta making, swimming, and crafting, inspires her to put down her phone and reach out to friends.

Jessica Fowler

Shelly Elsliger

GenWell Human Connection Ambassador

Shelly is the President of Linked-Express and a globally recognized LinkedIn Trainer and Social Connection Maker. Shelly coaches and inspires professionals, and teams to maximize their networking potential via social connection and the power of social reciprocity. Shelly uses LinkedIn as a tool to develop global virtual relationships; a steppingstone to building deeper, and more meaningful, relationships offline. Shelly encourages professionals to put relationship-building first since that is key to having a happier, more fulfilling, and more successful experience on LinkedIn. She is also the Founder of the #decidetobekind movement; a global mission to spread awareness and trigger global action around bullying on LinkedIn.

Shelly is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF), recognized as a Woman you Need to Know by the National Women Speakers Association, a Women of Achievement, a Forbes and Thrive Global Writer, Woman of Inspiration Winner 2019, a higher education professional, and a trusted speaker for LinkedIn Canada. She is also a leader in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); driven to create a solid and equitable foundation and culture, so all people feel accepted, valued, & worthy.

Shelly has always been drawn to the mission of the Genwell project. From her first conversation with Pete, she knew she wanted to be involved and help spread the important message, about the value of human connection, around like confetti. Human connection fosters a sense of belonging; every single person needs a seat at the table and nobody should ever have to eat alone. 

Shelly looks forward to joining Pete for a monthly Sit at the Table session that will encourage Connection, Coffee, and Community-building

Shelly lives in Nova Scotia. She is a curler, animal welfare advocate, and firewalker!

Jessica Fowler

Neila Harkat

French Translation Coordinator

For a message to be received, it must be sent and communicated. Language is one of the main communication tools our humanity possesses to connect, that is where resides the importance of translation.

Naila is the French Translation Coordinator at GenWell Project. She translates social media posts, announcements and other online content that permits the GenWell community to broaden its influence on the francophone community. Passionate of arts and human interactions, writing and translating come naturally to her.

She has worked for other non-profit organization with a philanthropic message, and for bigger companies or individuals. Her versatility and her ability to switch in a second from one or two languages gave her the opportunity to start her career as a freelance, all the while completing her Bachelor’s in Translation and Spanish studies at the Université de Montréal.

You can connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neila-harkat/

Interns and Project Volunteers

The GenWell Project is proud to have provided students from Universities and Colleges across Canada the opportunity to do project work or intern on the Human Connection Movement. We will be forever grateful to these students for their sharing their knowledge, enthusiasm, and support with The GenWell Project. Many have stayed on to become ongoing volunteers for the movement and every student will always be part of The GenWell Project family. Grateful.

Institute for Social Connection

The GenWell Project and Institute for Social Connection are proudly working together to build happier and a healthier Canada through health promotion, social health research, and social policy development. The GenWell Project’s Scientific Advisory board consists of research scientists and clinicians from the Institute of Social Connection, which provides scientific direction for our health promotion and culture change efforts.

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