Ed Smith & Edeva Smith

Underscoring everything that Aisha Francis does is her love for people and her passion to live a purpose-infused life. Aisha is a seasoned professional with twenty-five years of diverse leadership and business experience across the private, corporate and non-profit sectors. Called upon as a thought-leader, creative visionary and prolific speaker, Aisha is also an author who has the gift of connecting narratives, experiences and ideas seamlessly with structure and strategy to energize, motivate and inspire purpose-driven action and achievement.

In 2014, Aisha founded Project: Restore FIBI (Families Impacted By Incarceration), an organization that is pioneering a ‘family-first, family-focused’ approach to address the traumatic and collateral effects of incarceration. Aisha brought critical ingenuity into the sector prompting movement towards best practices informed by lived experiences and grassroots leadership, the advancement of Canadian research and scholarship, and ongoing policy review, analysis and development.

Aisha is currently at the helm of KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives as its Executive Director. KAIROS brings together many in faithful action for justice and human rights, globally through programs that focus on ecological, gender and migrant justice and Indigenous rights.

Aisha is also recognized as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women for 2020 and even with all her achievements to date, she is most honoured in her roles as mother of her six phenomenal children and Gigi (aka grandma) of two.

Jessica Hardy-Henry is Legal Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel and Board Secretariat at Toronto Metropolitan University. She provides legal and strategic advice in a variety of areas, including policy, corporate and commercial law, privacy, practicum, and information technology.

Jessica is actively involved in her community, and in addition to serving as Vice Chair of Eva’s Board of Directors, she volunteers with a variety of organizations in the city, including the Black Female Lawyers Network, Law in Action Within Schools, and Black Future Lawyers.

Prior to joining Toronto Metropolitan University, Jessica worked as a corporate lawyer in private practice and also in-house at an international law firm. She received her Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration (Organizational Studies) from Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business at York University, and is also a proud alumni of the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University, where she completed her Bachelor of Commerce (Law and Business).

Corporate Banking
CIBC

“Giving back is something that I’ve always believed in. I was privileged to be raised in a loving and stable family and have been in a position to give the same to my two beautiful daughters. Unfortunately, too many youths find themselves in hostile environments with no one to turn to for guidance and often leave home and end up on the streets. Eva’s offers shelter and provides them with the support they desperately need to help them get back on their feet and lead a fulfilling life. I’ve heard many stories from youths that have passed through Eva’s and they are always so inspiring. I wanted to be a part of this amazing organization and help where I could.”

Lawyer
Torkin Manes LLP

“Everyone needs support at some point in their lives. Some lean on family, others on their friends or mentors. Eva’s is a wonderful organization that supports the unsupported by not only providing shelter to at risk youths, but also giving individualized and focused attention to aid them in their journey to becoming successful and reaching their goals.”

Vice President, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion + Corporate Social Responsibility + Sustainability
Hays Specialist Recruitment Canada

Consultant, Equity & Human Rights
City Of Toronto

Employment Lawyer
McDonald HR Law

Michelle Wagner is a passionate leader serving small to medium sized organizations and start ups.  After spending almost two decades in both for- and non-profit sectors proving strategic oversight in finance, human resources, and operations, she truly sees the opportunities, risks, and the human connections needed to drive change.  Michelle has successfully spearheaded several initiatives including leading organizations to becoming data-driven entities, introducing cyber and privacy governance and incident response preparedness, and helping companies stabilize and grow financially.  She connects brilliant minds to foster collaboration and creativity that still results in disciplined, measurable decision making.  Currently, as the Director of Finance and Operations at the IFSE Institute, a non-profit company providing financial services education, Michelle oversees the finances and operations of a fast-growing organization navigating change.  Previously, as Director of Finance and Administration at Fighting Blindness Canada, she spearheaded initiatives to add new funding streams and transition to new ERPs allowing for enhanced data mining and fundraising opportunities.  Michelle is a Chartered Professional Accountant and holds a BA in Arts (Economics) from York University.

Gerald W. Schwartz
Louise Smith, Executive Director
Founder, Eva Smith
Learn more about our Founder Eva Maud Smith

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