Meet The Coaches – Cohort 3

Launched in 2017 with the support of Department of Women and Gender Equality (formerly Status of Women Canada), Girls on Boards is challenging the status quo of low female representation on governance boards across Canada. Girls on Boards places community-minded, motivated and trained young women on non-profit governance boards in their communities. We’re thrilled to introduce the 2019 Cohort!

Amy Bartlett


Amy is a civil society leader, feminist, lawyer, mobilizer and global citizen who is dedicated to helping make the world a better place through empowering people, developing effective processes and cultivating partnerships for positive social change. She has lived and worked with civil society all over the world, from the grassroots to global levels. Currently she is serving as Director of the Refugee Hub at uOttawa and as founder of Global HERizons, a scholarship and mentorship organization dedicated to supporting ambitious young women from rural Canada who want to make the leap from rural to global.

Aynsley Morris


I am an Ottawa-based, senior-level communications professional in the non-profit sector, specializing in international development and health. As a communications practitioner, I consider it a privilege to share stories of change and impact with audiences to contribute to the greater good. A strong commitment to social justice and the environment drives both my professional and personal lives. I am the Vice-chair of the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre Board of Directors and the Secretary of the Board of RESULTS Canada. I volunteers extensively to support progressive change. Having the future of governance and leadership in the hands of the young women who are part of Girls on Boards gives me great hope! I feel so fortunate to be a Board Coach through this program.

Carrie Aloussis


Carrie Aloussis is the Senior Manager of Customer, Stakeholder and Community Engagement at the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). With 15 years of experience in the energy sector, Carrie is responsible for the management of the IESO’s relationship strategy with customers, market participants, sector stakeholders, municipalities and communities

Carrie has 15 years of experience in the energy sector and has been involved in the design and delivery of several provincial conservation frameworks. She has proven success in managing relationships and corporate reputation through creating and delivering on communication and account management strategies. Carrie has been with the IESO since 2006 and she has held increasingly progressive roles, including managing the design and delivery of province-wide residential and industrial conservation initiatives and supporting market transformation across all sectors. Carrie began her career at Hydro One Networks, where she worked on the design and delivery of residential and commercial conservation initiatives.

Carrie is the Vice President of the Ontario Chapter of the Association of Energy Services Professionals and a former member of the Executive Management Committee with Partners in Project Green. In addition, Carrie has been coaching community-minded, motivated and trained young women through Girls on Boards, a G(irls)20 Initiative, since 2017. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Western Ontario and a Master of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Carolyn Picard


Graduated in law in 1997 from Laval University. After passing the bar in 1999, I started my career as a labour and employment lawyer with Norton Rose (formerly Ogilvy Renault) in Quebec city, and Montreal. I joined Bell Canada as in-house counsel in 2005 where I gained experience working in both Quebec and Ontario. In 2006, I decided to take the lead labour and employment role at Bombardier. I spent 11 years at Bombardier where I was assigned extended and worldwide responsibilities in labour and employment, employee relations, HR projects and immigration. I was part of both the HR and legal leadership teams where I developed my communication and coaching skills. I spent my last year as Head of Talent Acquisition managing a team of 15 professionals. Ready for a new challenge in a new industry, I joined PSP Investments in 2017 as Human Resources Business Partner. My journey at PSP has been a true learning experience from getting to know the investment world to participating into an HR transformation and deploying leading HR initiatives. I am also developing my governance skills as corporate secretary for HRCC.

Claire Silvester


As the Head of Global HR at Vector Aerospace and a member of the Executive Committee, ensuring that the world wide business is people aware and driven by excellent HR practices is essential. In tandem with this, is to drive the HR, H&S, Environmental teams and Continuous Improvement functions to be the very best they can be, responding to the demands of every stakeholder. I have a passion for improving Leadership skills with Top Teams, joined up internal communications, sponsoring and coaching talent, bringing out the positive in relationships.

Danisha Bhaloo


Danisha was raised in Edmonton, and has been involved with many local organizations. Currently, she is the Development & Communications Manager with Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton. In a volunteer capacity, she is a Member of the University of Alberta Senate, Alberta Party Provincial Board Member and President of the AB Party Edmonton-Whitemud Constituency Association, Vice-Chair of the Edmonton John Howard Society Board of Directors, and a National Member of the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board of Canada. Some of her past activities include being Chairperson of the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board of Edmonton, President of the Youth Restorative Action Project, World Partnership Walk Deputy Convenor of Marketing, the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers’ RISE Awards Jury Member, and a Make Something Edmonton community member. Danisha has been recognized for her contributions to the community by the Government of Alberta, University of Alberta, Avenue Magazine, Edmontonians’ Magazine and Correctional Services of Canada

Durel Allen


Durel has 13 years of experience in social work, having practiced in the United States, Jamaica, and Canada. Her cross-cultural experience has afforded her a keen sense of cultural sensitivity that comes with working with various populations in a variety of social contexts, including intimate partner violence, adult and youth justice, and adult and youth mental health.||At the start of her career, Durel supported and advocated for survivors of abuse by writing petitions for Orders of Protection on their behalf, and partnering with local women’s shelters in the Greater Rochester Area in New York. This would later influence her Master of Social Work (MSW) thesis focusing on the experiences of immigrant survivors of abuse. Durel later worked with adults and youth in the criminal justice system, and transitioned the focus of her work to supporting adults and youth with mental health needs. ||Durel works compassionately and collaboratively. She is married, and lives in Toronto.

Erin O’Neil


A proud Hamiltonian, Erin has sat on boards for several local arts organizations and is currently a member of the management committee at the Sexual Assault Centre of Hamilton and Area (SACHA). She is the founder of a registered non-profit, Broad Conversations, and works with a volunteer board to run the organization. Erin has worked in higher ed fundraising communications for almost ten years, but has decided to leave the working life behind for a while and return to school. She will be pursuing a master’s in gender studies at University of Alberta beginning in fall 2019.

Elise Racicot


ELISE RACICOT (BA Public Relations, UQAM ’01, MAP in International Administration, ENAP ’18) joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 2002. Ms. Racicot currently serves as Canada’s Senior Trade Commissioner in Brazil, leading the Commercial and Investment Program with its 6 Canadian offices. She was previously twice in Brazil, as Consul and Manager of Sao Paulo Commercial Program, and as Head of Mission of the Quebec Office in Sao Paulo. She currently sits on the Global Board of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. Recently, Ms. Racicot developed and managed CanExport, a funding program to support SMEs to diversify their exports. In 2004, she became the first Canadian woman Trade Commissioner in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Ms. Racicot has been involved in the integration Global Affairs’ domestic network and has held a variety of positions at headquarters, including in relation to climate change and clean development and intergovernmental relations. Prior to the Foreign Service, she worked in communications with a variety of inter-American Non-Governmental Organizations, including in the fields of development, education, women’s rights, inclusion, diversity and gender issues.

Greta Cusworth


Greta retired a few years ago after a career as a senior executive in financial services. She now spends her time on a portfolio of activities that include corporate board work, mentoring young professionals in their career and personal development and volunteering with select charitable and not-for-profit organizations. She is honoured to be a coach for three years now with the Girls on Boards program at G(irls) 20. This work is personally rewarding because while she helps young directors learn the foundations of serving on a board, she in turn learns from each of them.

Gulzar Ladhani


Born in Uganda, Gulzar came to Canada in 1972 as a refugee. She is a lawyer and mediator by profession and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Centre for Skills Development. Until recently, she also sat on the Board of Directors of the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). On the LHIN board, she was the Chair of the Quality Committee and a Member of the Governance and Nominations Committee. Gulzar has also served on the Aga Khan Conciliation and Arbitration Board for Ontario, and is a facilitator for the Conflict Resolution Training Program.

Gulzar holds a Master of Laws, specializing in Alternate Dispute Resolution, and a Bachelor of Laws, each from Osgoode Hall Law School, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Gulzar has been very active in the community, including serving as a Board Member of the Oakville Children’s Choir, Chairperson of the Oakville Ice Expression Synchronized Skating Board, and a guest speaker on legal issues at the Halton Victorian Order of Nurses for fifteen years. She is a recipient of the 2014 Ontario Volunteer Service Award.

Jennifer Brown


Jennifer Brown is the Director of Partnerships at The Knowledge Society (TKS). TKS is a human accelerator that develops unicorn people (ages 13-17) to solve the world’s biggest problems using emerging technologies. Jennifer’s past experience includes heading global business development for bioLytical Laboratories, a biotech company manufacturing the world’s fastest HIV test, where she generated millions in revenue, built a US sales team, set up distributor channels in Latin America & Sub-Saharan Africa, and launched a self-HIV test in retail pharmacies in Europe. Most recently, she lead tech partnerships at Elevate, the country’s fastest growing tech festival. Jennifer attended McGill University and completed her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Psychology at the the University of British Columbia. She currently on the board of directors of Young Executives for Success (YES!) Toronto, a volunteer branch of Dress for Success Toronto empowering women to achieve economic independence.

Kathleen Walsh


Kathleen is driven by a passion for change and finding ways to make policy more effective, inclusive, and beneficial for all Canadians. With 10 years’ experience in non-profit and policy management, fundraising, and operations, she facilitates the teamwork and innovation needed across government, non-profits, academia, and businesses to make change happen. As Evidence for Democracy’s Director of Policy, Kathleen worked with scientists, researchers, and students to train them with the necessary skills to meaningfully engage in the policy process. She helped to determine policy direction and lead government relations and advocacy. She now brings these skills to help Compass Rose clients with ambitious communications strategies and tactics.||Kathleen is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, a project which brings together young professionals and youth who want to positively impact their communities and the world.

Katherine Vanderberg


Katherine is a Principal with Feldman Daxon Partners, a national Human Resources Consulting firm. She has extensive talent management experience with expertise in executive coaching, leadership development and career management consulting. She works in partnership organizations to design and implement talent management solutions to support their attraction, retention, development and performance strategies. In addition she provides executive coaching to leaders in financial services, telecommunications, government, healthcare, pharmaceutical, retail, professional services and not for profit sectors.

Her previous business experience includes progressive management positions with a global professional services firm and leadership positions in healthcare and education both in the US and Canada.

Katherine received a Master of Arts in Psychology from Chicago’s Adler University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Waterloo. She holds the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation and received her Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation through the International Coach Federation Accredited Coaches Training Institute. She is currently completing her Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation. She is certified in numerous assessments including Hogan®, EQ-i, MBTI and the Birkman Method®.

She is a board member at Art with Impact, a not for profit organization focused on promoting mental wellness to University and College students utilizing the power of art and media through short film and interactive workshops.

She is a member of the Greater Toronto Area Chapter of the International Coach Federation and an active volunteer with numerous community-based organizations.

Kelly Ouimet


A graduate of McGill University, Kelly is a seasoned public relations professional based in Ottawa, with more than 15 years experience. A public relations business owner and family travel expert, she enjoys trips with her husband, son and daughter and writes about air travel with babies and children. Her 10 year old son and her 7 year old daughter are always keen for another travel adventure.

A proud Canadian, Kelly was born in Montreal and has lived in Barbados, where she was a national swim team member and in Arizona and for almost 20 years has been happily settled in Ottawa, Ontario.

Committed to volunteering and giving back, Kelly is currently a coach with Girls On Boards, a Girls20 initiative, and is also passionate about dyslexia awareness and advocacy.

Katlin Davey


Katie Davey self identifies as a policy enthusiast, GBA+ advocate, and substantive equality seeker. Katie wants to create the conditions for more diverse decision making — feeling like the conversation around inclusive and diverse decision making was lacking on the East Coast, she created Femme Wonk – a public policy podcast that seeks to discuss both innovative and traditional public policy through a gendered lens.||Katie has experience both advocating to, and working within all orders of government. She brings a background in not-for- profit management, acumen in policy development, and most importantly, the passion to work tirelessly to remove barriers to substantive gender equality. ||Katie has served as Director of Policy and Stakeholder Relation at the Office of the Official Opposition in New Brunswick, Senior Advisor for Policy and Stakeholder Engagement in the New Brunswick Premier’s Office, and President of the University of New Brunswick Student Union.

Kelly Regan


My practice of clinical and academic Emergency Medicine spans 31 years. During that time I have created programs and taught medical students and Emergency Medicine Residents. My patient interactions continue to be satisfying, helping to support and manage sick and vulnerable people and their families. Introducing learners at all stages to the chaos and complexities of the ED has been especially rewarding, watching as they learn and develop into skilled and caring clinicians. I have had the privilege of serving on the Kings University College Board (affiliate of Western University) for the past 9 years, and am currently completing a 2 year term as Chair. With the generosity of many mentors, I have learned a great deal and appreciate the importance of teaching, and mentoring the skills of governance, in order for a more diverse group of voices to be heard.

Lauren Ledwell


Lauren is currently Director at RBC Ventures, based in Toronto. In her role, she looks specifically at the B2B market, helping Canadian businesses start, manage and grow. Lauren has been with RBC for approximately 5 years, also spending time in Strategy and Digital Transformation. Prior to RBC, Lauren built her career in CPG working across a variety of functions – product, brand, sales, supply chain – at Maple Leaf Foods. Outside of work Lauren mentors young women and new businesses, and is involved in helping grow the Atlantic Canadian venture community. She enjoys spending as much time as possible outside – running, cycling – ideally through travel. She spends lots of time in PEI (where she is from) and this summer will be introducing her newborn to the Maritime lifestyle.

Margie Parikh


Margie serves on the boards of Camosun College, BC Oil and Gas Commission, and Oikocredit Canada, and Chairs CISV International. She is the former Chair of MEC, Canada’s beloved and leading outdoor equipment retailer.
A Chartered Director, Margie’s qualifications also include an MBA from Columbia University, the Certified Financial Planner designation, and NFP and Crown governance certifications from the Institute of Corporate Directors. At home in a global, multicultural setting, she helps boards and senior executives develop resilience to navigate and capitalize on opportunity in an increasingly fast-changing environment
Margie is a Regional Ambassador for Women Get on Board, a mentor for G(irls)20 Girls on Boards, and a member of the 30% Club, all of which strive for greater representation of women in governance.
Boards, the great outdoors, and dark chocolate keep her days filled on the beautiful coast of Vancouver Island.

Maria Habanikova


Maria was born and raised in Slovakia and moved to Toronto in 2004 at the age of 16. She obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Ottawa, both in international relations, and during her studies she proudly served Canada as a Senate Page. She is a well-networked global citizen with inter-sector experiences in Canada and Europe. She is currently working at Cuso International as Regional Program Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean, putting her interpersonal, strategic thinking, and writing skills to great use in the field of international development. Her passion for philanthropy, good governance, purpose-driven leadership, and social change led her to launch Microleaders in 2017, an initiative that provides pro-bono governance consulting to community organizations and showcases the work and dedication of young leaders across Canada and the world. Maria speaks five languages, teaches Zumba at the YMCA; she is an active member of Ottawa’s Slovak community and serves on the Governance Committee of Harmony House (a second stage women’s shelter). Maria is a voracious reader, frequent traveler, and a covert creative writer.

Michele Buchignani


Michele is a strategic business leader with extensive senior level experience in private equity, law, finance, compensation and consulting including development and implementation of strategic vision. She has proven success in Canadian and US public and private business organizations including building new business from scratch, repositioning troubled business and driving growth.

Michele was previously a partner at Stikeman Elliott, practicing corporate law in Toronto and London. She subsequently worked for seven years with CIBC World Markets and CIBC Capital Partners in Toronto and New York and for four years with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board in Toronto. Michele is currently the CEO of McLean Drive Consulting Ltd. as well as the Managing Partner of a US-based property holding company.

Michele has been a board member of several for-profit companies as well as serving on executive, audit, compensation and human resource committees. Currently she serves on the Advisory Board of CAI Capital Partners V Fund, and the boards of White House Design Company Inc., Westport Fuel Systems Inc. (WPRT:Nasdaq/TSX) and Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (CMMC:TSX).

Michele has extensive not-for-profit board experience and currently sits as a member of the board of the Fraser Institute and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Education Foundation. Previously she has been a board member of the Alzheimer Society of B.C (Chair), the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the Federation Partners Council of the Alzheimer Federation of Canada (Chair), the June Callwood Centre for Women and Families in Toronto (Treasurer), the Saturnina Foundation (Secretary ), and was a founding member and former steering committee member of the Private Equity Women Investors Network based in New York.

Michele successfully completed the director education program at the Institute for Corporate Directors and holds the designation ICD.D. Michele graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BA Honours, English and also the University of Toronto Faculty of Law with a JD and completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Michelle Francis


Michelle is a twenty (20) year leader and veteran in the HR community and is the Chief Business Architect of TTG CONSULTING GROUP and CEO of The Henry Alexander House. |Michelle plays a major role in her client’s businesses by delivering innovative, sustainable and strategic programs and solutions designed to unleash leadership potential, drive performance, increase organizational effectiveness and support performance culture. |A member of the Law Society of Ontario, Michelle is a Certified Adult Educator and a duo-designate HR Practitioner. She has held successive senior leadership roles within Education, and the community as former Habitat for Humanity Board Vice-Chair in strategy and cultural transformation. |She also sits on the Advisory Board for the City of Pickering Culture & Tourism and Scarborough Health Network. Michelle has been featured in the Sales Performance Magazine, Huffington Post and the Financial Post. |One of her most notable accolades has been as recipient of House of Commons Sustainable Neighbourhoods award as curator of Living Green Community Gardens, Financial Literacy PAC member and Provincial & Municipal electoral candidate.|

Paula Heinzl


Paula Heinzl is responsible for leading the global operating model strategy for State Street Alternative Investment Solutions (AIS).

Prior to joining the business planning and client strategy team, she established and led the International Fund Services hedge fund operations in Toronto, expanded her responsibility to lead State Street’s offshore funds Toronto team and also led the Fund of Hedge Fund Product for AIS globally.

Paula began her career working at Ernst & Young servicing clients in multiple industries ranging from privately held, entrepreneurial companies to large, publicly traded corporations with a primary focus on audit and financial statement preparation.

Paula spent several years working for Ernst & Young where she obtained her Chartered Accountancy designation, followed by a varied career within State Street and experience working at an investment bank.

Paula is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Degree from Queen’s University. Paula serves as a director of International Fund Services (N.A.), L.L.C. and State Street Fund Services Toronto Inc.

Salima Abdulla


I completed my Bachelor of Arts at the University of British Columbia. There after, I worked at Vancity Credit Union for 3 years helping members of the cooperative learn more about financial literacy and help them achieve their long and short-term financial goals. I then decided to pursue the CPA designation as I was interested in business. I returned back to UBC to gain my Diploma in Accounting. I then was recruited by Ernst & Young in Vancouver where I completed my articles in their Assurance practice. I now have my CPA and work in the Finance group as a Treasury Analyst with Methanex. They are the world’s largest producer and supplier of Methanol, an alternative energy source to gasoline that is cleaner to burn for the environment and is used in making many other known products. I enjoy volunteering my time with children’s programs and travelling.

Sandra Bussin


Long-time social activist, and municipal community leader, Sandra Bussin has been a Coach since the inception of Girls on Boards, G(irls) 20 in 2017.
Sandra began her political career at the Ontario Legislature as a writer and researcher for Members of Provincial Parliament. In 1987 to 1997, Sandra was elected as a public school trustee in the Toronto municipal election. During this time, Sandra chaired the School Programs and Curriculum Standing Committee.
In the 1997 Toronto municipal election, wherein a number of cities and boroughs were amalgamated by the provincial government into one large City of Toronto, Sandra was elected to City Council. Sandra was a Deputy Mayor during the tenure of Mayor David Miller and later, elected by members of Council as the first Speaker of Toronto City Council 2006 – 2010.
Sandra was instrumental in achieving closure of the practice of burning municipal sewage at the main sewage treatment plant in her community, and the launch of ecologically sound methods of sewage waste recycling. Sandra was a leader in the clean up of Toronto’s waterfront and initiated a number of community capital projects in Toronto.
Sandra has been a member on many boards including: Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Young People’s Theatre, Sony Centre, Chair of the Mayor’s Beautiful City Committee, Chair of Nominations for City Boards and Agencies, Board Member of Toronto and York Region Conservation Authority, the Mayor’s representative on the Large Urban Mayors Committee, DareArts, Equal Voice, Red Door Family Shelter, and Sancta Maria House Shelter.
Sandra now runs her own real estate business.

Sibel Cicek


Sibel Cicek is a dedicated advocate for healthy children, youth and communities. Sibel has a strong background in public policy, having worked across the non-profit and government sectors to shape policy and programs aimed at improving our health and education systems. In her current role, she provides leadership to YMCAs across Ontario to advance government relations and public partnerships. She has served on two Boards, including the Ontario Council for International Cooperation and World Literacy of Canada. She has an insatiable curiosity about our world and the people who inhabit it. She loves travel, dogs and live music (and if you find a way to combine those things, please let her know!) She maintains that Thunderstruck is the best song to work out to.

Susan Murray


Susan is an experienced leadership professional with significant experience in both the public and private sector including Education, Executive Education and non-profit organizations. She is the Chairperson of the Kids Eat Smart Foundation, a charity that serves over 30,000 healthy meals daily to children, at no cost. Susan is a lecturer at the Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto) in Executive Leadership and at Memorial University, NL. She is a recognized Excellence Assessor and Team Lead for Leadership Assessment with the governments of the UAE. Susan holds a Doctorate in Leadership from the Henley Business School, UK. Her clients include the Prime Minister’s Office of United Arab Emirates, the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, the Public Secretariat of Ontario, and the Industrial Bank of China (ICBC) along with a wide range of clients across Canada, China and the United States. She is a Fellow and Chief Research Officer of the Business Excellence Institute.

Rachel Solomon


Rachel Solomon is the Executive Director of Performance Improvement at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Previously, Rachel held a variety of senior management roles at Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). Most recently, she was the Senior Director, Performance Measurement and Information Management, leading the LHIN’s analysis and performance measurement work, capital planning, and initiatives to improve quality and equity in health care.

Rachel holds a Master of Public Health degree with a focus on Health Policy and Management from Emory University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from McGill University. She was the Chair of the Board of the Pat Schulz Child Care Centre in 2011-12. She has two young children.