Edeva Smith & Marcus 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).

Ogenna Maduekwe is an Associate Vice President, Finance at Equality Fund. She provides leadership in the areas of reporting, forecasting, risk management, treasury and financial operations etc.

Ogenna Maduekwe is an Innovative Senior Finance leader with over ten years of managerial experience having worked for both publicly traded and private organizations. She has strong skills and extensive experience in financial reporting, operational, accounting, internal controls, budgeting, forecasting, and cash management.

Prior to joining Equality Funds, she worked in the real estate and senior housing sectors where she led system upgrades and implementations as a subject matter expert. She is a strategic thinker and is known for business process re-engineering and improvements.

After earning her Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation from CPA Canada, she earned her Executive MBA from IE Business School, Spain. Ogenna currently serves on the board of two non-profit organizations which gives her the opportunity to support her community.

Ogenna has a passion for mentoring others, especially young adults and new immigrants. Though Ogenna only speaks two languages, she appreciates listening to different languages. In her spare time, she loves to read and watch international shows and movies.

Yasmin Kassam is a Senior Advisor, Strategy at Ontario Health where she provides strategic insight and direction for projects across the enterprise. Yasmin has previously held roles in healthcare in a wide variety of organizations, spanning both municipal and provincial scope including the former Toronto Central LHIN, Ontario Hospital Association, the Ontario Ministry of Health, and the former Ministry of Community and Social Services. Prior to engaging in public sector work, Yasmin was a Consultant with the Deloitte healthcare team in Toronto.

Complementing her extensive work experience in the healthcare sector, Yasmin received her Master of Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology, and completed the CIHR Public Health Policy program, at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Yasmin is also a proud alumni of Wellesley College in Boston, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Neuroscience and Peace & Justice Studies.

Outside of work, you can find her spending time with her family and friends, trying to perfect the chocolate chip cookie, and exploring the GTA.

Brian brings a refined approach to value creation at the intersection of business and technology.  He brings experience from leading global consultancies (Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, Accenture) across several industries from financial services, consumer goods, to the public sector.  Brian’s project experiences have created competency in strategy development, capability assessments, building business cases, defining operating models, and creating execution roadmaps.

Brian is now working to scale growth at Owl.co, a venture-backed fintech start-up leveraging an AI-powered technology platform that detects insurance fraud and uncovers evidence at scale, without bias.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Law and Business & Economics) from the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University.  Outside of work, Brian is passionate about politics and the impacts of public policy on the lives of citizens.

Rick Headrick is president of Capital International Asset Management (Canada), Inc., part of Capital Group. He has 22 years of industry experience and has been with Capital Group for two years. Prior to joining Capital, Rick was president of Sun Life Global Investments, Canada. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce and law from the University of Saskatchewan. He also holds the Certified Financial Planner™ and is a member of the Ontario Bar. Rick is based in Toronto.

Over the course of two decades, Mariana has been a driving force behind change, innovation, and strategic positioning, cultivating excellence in organizations through the introduction of disruptive technology and the implementation of impact and outcome measurement strategies. Starting October 10, she takes on the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Kids Help Phone.

With a career spanning Policy Advisor, Chief Information Officer, Senior VP Transformation and Strategy, and Chief Advisor for eHealth at Health Canada roles. Her international experience includes roles as a Partner at Accenture Inc. and as a Technical Officer at the World Health Organization in Geneva. As Chief Operating Officer at the Ontario Trillium Foundation, she spearheaded a complete overhaul, implementing the largest evidence- and outcomes-based granting methodology.

Mariana holds a Master’s in Health Science from the University of Toronto and is an Adjunct Faculty at the University’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Committed to mentoring, she volunteers and holds board positions in charities.

Originally from Argentina, Mariana, who came to Canada as a teen fleeing a military regime, is passionate about social justice, human rights, and equity.

Theresa Donkor is a criminal defence lawyer at Rudnicki & Company, with a focus on appeals from conviction and sentence at all court levels. She also defends clients at trial, advises complainants in sexual assault proceedings, and represents lawyers and paralegals in professional disciplinary proceedings. Theresa earned her law degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Prior to practising criminal law, she provided specialized legal and strategic advice to emerging and high growth companies at a prominent Bay Street law firm.

Racial justice is at the core of Theresa’s practice. She has advocated for lower sentences to account for systemic anti-Black racism, the need to account for disproportionately harsh jail conditions faced by racialized prisoners, and the importance of cultural competence when representing Black defendants.

Outside of her practice, Theresa is a mentor for the Black Law Students Association of Canada, a moot coach for Lincoln Alexander School of Law, a member of The Advocates’ Society’s Young Advocates Standing Committee, and she speaks regularly to the media, on panels, and at conferences on issues of social justice, racial justice, and criminal law.

Nicoda Foster is strongly committed to addressing underlying causes of inequity that affect the most vulnerable in our society. She has demonstrated her commitment through her career, research, and volunteer activities. Over the years, Nicoda has held several progressive administrative roles with organizations such as Ryerson University’s Future Skills Centre where she managed funding agreements with over 70 project partners, Sinai Health System where she led the development of the Geriatrics program’s evaluation and research infrastructure, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario where she supported the uptake of their world renowned best practice guidelines in nursing practice, and Cancer Care Ontario where she provided leadership in the publication of their yearly report, the Cancer System Quality Index. Currently, she is the Managing Director of the Sustainable Development Goals Institutional Strategic Initiative at the University of Toronto.

Nicoda received her Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management from the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs and Policy Management at Carleton University and a Masters of Public Health from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She completed her Doctoral Degree in Health Studies at McMaster University.

She is also an ad hoc member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee’s Disaster Preparedness and Health Sub Council.

Peter Kalamvokis is Managing Director and Head of Institutional FX Sales, Canada, at TD Securities in Toronto. He is at the forefront of delivering on the company’s strategy to drive growth and provide best-in-class client experience. His role involves assuring that his team maintains TD Securities’ top ranking with the Canadian franchise, opportunistically increasing market share, and expanding TD’s electronic foreign exchange footprint in Canada, while enhancing workflow efficiency through automation.

During his 19-year career with TD, Peter has serviced customers spanning all segments: retail, small and medium-sized business, large private and public corporations, institutional investors and central banks. He has managed several teams within the organization, primarily in eastern Canada, and has been a senior sponsor on various Global internal committees.

Outside of his professional life, Peter is actively involved in volunteer work. He has been a part of the TD Brand Committee’s Team Quebec. Additionally, he served as a board member for the Financial Market Association of Canada, and contributed to the TD Underwriting Hope Campaign. Peter holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Finance from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University.

Jayan McPherson has been championing workplace learning and talent development for 20 years. A seasoned Learning Strategist to senior business leaders, Jayan is a trusted advisor and coach having implemented complex talent programs and strategies to advance the needs of the business.

She has in-depth knowledge across a range of sectors and functions: merchant services/payments, telecom, banking, pension plans, and technology, and brings the latest thinking in the future of work and talent development to employee enablement. As a transformation change leader, she has overseen several large-scale transformation projects and culture change initiatives.

Jayan is passionate about finding innovative ways to design engaging learning experiences that support employee growth and development. As a result, she has been recognized by the Institute for Performance and Learning receiving the 2017 Award of Excellence in Leadership Development for the TD Technology Leadership Program.

Jayan is a Certified Human Resources Leader, Certified Training and Development Professional, Prosci Certified Change Practitioner and Certified Scrum Master. When she’s not unleashing high performance through employee enablement, she loves spending time with her family, cooking, reading, travelling and learning something new.

Gerald W. Schwartz
Louise Smith, Executive Director
Founder, Eva Smith

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