Board of Directors 2018
Najma Kahiye, Chair
Najma is a Registered Nurse (RN) and policy professional at the City of Toronto. Prior to joining the City of Toronto, Najma worked for the Ontario government, where she held progressively senior policy roles in the Ministry of Community and Social Services, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, and the Ministry of Education. In addition to her broad public policy experience, Najma has extensive frontline experience; she has worked in various roles to support individuals and families seeking income support, housing assistance and counselling services in Ontario. Najma is passionate about social justice, and is a strong advocate for healthy public policy that focuses on reducing inequities. Najma is also the Chair of Jessie’s Non-Profit Homes Board.
Lindsay Brent – Vice Chair
Lindsay Brent is Vice President, Research Product Manager in Global Equities with RBC Capital Markets. Her prior experience is in Strategy Development with RBC’s Personal & Commercial Banking division, Institutional Sales with RBC Capital Markets and as an Associate Portfolio Advisor with RBC Wealth Management. She holds an MBA from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, and an Honours Bachelor of Science from Queen’s University. Lindsay’s is passionate about women’s empowerment, as exemplified by her contributions to the community. In addition to her role as Vice-Chair of the Board and Chair of the Strategy Committee with Jessie’s, Lindsay is also a Co-Chair of the Women in Capital Markets High School Liaison Committee, which provides free educational programming and mentorship to high school girls in the GTA, with the aim of creating opportunities to inspire young women to pursue careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM), as well as Financial Services and Capital Markets
Ashley Trinh – Treasurer
Ashley is a Senior Financial Analyst at G Adventures specializing in financial reporting. After graduating from the University of Toronto, she joined Deloitte in their audit and assurance practice. While specializing in audits of private companies and not-for-profit organizations, Ashley earned her CPA, CA designation. Ashley is excited to have the opportunity to be a part of Jessie’s.
Andrew Townsend – Secretary
Andrew is the Teen Programming Coordinator at Planned Parenthood Toronto, overseeing the team behind TeenHealthSource.com. Along with Jessie’s, Andrew spends time volunteering with SickKids Hospital.
Jessica Aviva Anderson
Jessica is currently Director, Brand and Content Strategy for Plan International Canada. She has held progressively senior positions in communications and fundraising, and has broad non-profit experience working and volunteering in several sectors, including health care, international development, and post-secondary education. Jessica is passionate about social justice, feminism, and using storytelling to fight all forms of inequality and marginalization.
Alisha Brooks has been an advocate in the vulnerable sector for 11 years, has been an ambassador for the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, an advisor with the former Advocacy Office of Ontario, and currently an outreach and engagement worker for the CHEERS peer mentorship program through Parkdale Queen West Community Health Center. Alisha’s most valuable job is being a mother to her wonderful daughter and inspires to be one of Toronto’s most influential people.
Lauren is a partner in the Litigation Group at Goodmans LLP where she carries on a diversified advocacy practice, specializing in commercial litigation. Lauren is an active mentor in her practice group and integrally involved in the associate and student programs at the firm. Lauren believes strongly in the power of opportunity, positive support and mentorship and is pleased to be a part of Jessie’s.
Cecelia is currently a Senior Consultant in Ernst & Young’s People Advisory Services practice. She is passionate about enabling organizations’ missions through strong operational practices, change management, and tailored people systems. Cecelia has cross-sector experience supporting organizational effectiveness in both non-profit and corporate environments and was part of the founding team that launched Teach For Canada. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Equity Studies and a Master’s degree in Human Development and Psychology.
Isabelle is a family doctor and hospitalist in Toronto with special interests in harm reduction and overdose prevention, mental health, secure housing, care of the elderly, and women’s health. She is an advocate for the arts. She previously served on the Board of Directors for OPIRG McMaster and volunteers for the MD Admissions Program at McMaster University (past) and The University of Toronto (present).
Jessica owns and operates a doula company in the Toronto area and is a certified childbirth educator. Her goal is to support families through the significant milestones of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. She holds a degree in Women and Gender Studies & Biology from Trent University.
Laurel is a litigation lawyer with the law firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Laurel’s practice focuses on intellectual property law. She represents clients in a wide range of intellectual property matters in the life sciences and technology industries. Prior to joining Blakes, Laurel worked at a litigation boutique and at the Federal Court of Canada. For the past two years, Laurel has also volunteered on the Board of Directors for Young Women in Law.
Sharone is a finance and accounting professional working in the Greater Toronto Area. An engineer by training, Sharone spent nearly a decade in the aerospace industry before transitioning to management positions in the finance field. Sharone is passionate about children’s causes and was most recently a board member at Adventure Place, an organization serving children with complex needs and their families in the North Toronto area. He has previously volunteered with Habitat For Humanity, Queen’s University, and Greenpeace.
Nancy is a former Jessie’s participant. She believes that the services and support she received at Jessie’s were critical in helping her continue with her education, while raising two children. After graduating from York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Nancy received a post-graduate certificate in Human Resources from Humber College. Nancy currently works as a Senior Compensation Consultant at Foresters Financial and has over 17 years of human resources experience, specializing in Total Rewards. Nancy is thrilled to have an opportunity to support Jessie’s as a Board Member.
Sasha is a Management Consultant with Accenture Canada, with expertise in supporting large scale organizational transformations, behavioural and cultural change management, and digital transformation strategy. She has an MBA as well as a Bachelor of Commerce degree. She leads initiatives for the Inclusion & Diversity group, and for the Canada Women’s Network at her company. Sasha advocates for empowering women who face challenges in all areas of life, and hopes to do so through her work with Jessie’s.
Bethel received her Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, completing a double major in Life Sciences and Women and Gender Studies. She completed her Masters of Public Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences steam with a collaborative in Women’s Health.
Currently, Bethel is a Research Analyst at Health Quality Ontario, a provincial advisor, on the Quality Standards, which are a set of concise statements based on best available evidence for clinicians and patients across Ontario with a single-minded purpose: better health for all Ontarians. Additionally, she is a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Ryerson University where she teaches Women and Gender Studies and Health Promotion (respectively) courses at the undergraduate level. Lastly, for three years, she served as Board Chair at Young Diplomats, a non-profit organization committed to inspiring, mobilizing and empowering Ethiopian and Eritrean youth.