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FST’s Board of Directors is a diverse group of professionals who serve voluntarily and live or work in the GTA. New Board members are elected annually at FST’s Annual General Meeting.

The Board of Directors is accountable to internal and external stakeholders and its primary responsibilities include:

  • Meeting its responsibilities under the Ontario Corporations Act and other legislation that governs Family Service Toronto.
  • Providing strategic guidance to the organization, ensuring that the vision, mission, values and strategic plans are current and respond to the needs of clients and staff.
  • Ensuring accountability for resources and results.
  • Providing oversight of enterprise-wide risk management.
  • Supporting the Executive Director and review their performance regularly.

All Board activities are governed by FST’s by-laws and governance policies. FST is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and is compliant with standards of best practice in governance.

Executive Officers

Andrew Thomson, President

Andrew is Chief of Government Relations, University of Toronto where he is chief advocate to federal, provincial, and municipal governments and directs outreach, engagement, and public policy strategy focused on government support for community and economic development; strengthening public funding for comprehensive, globally recognized, research-intensive programs; and knowledge transfer strategies to support entrepreneurship and job creation.  Andrew has over 20 years of progressive experience in corporate and public sector leadership. Previously as an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, Andrew served in a number of senior Cabinet portfolios, including Minister of Finance, Learning (including higher education), Public Safety, and Energy. He also served as Chair of the Treasury Board, and Vice-Chair of the Crown Investment Corporation, the holding company for publicly-owned telecommunications, electrical, and energy utilities.

Amanda Bartley, Vice-President

Amanda is a human behaviour researcher. Amanda commits herself to a number of causes that mirror her passions. She currently supports Dr. Isaac Odame at Sick Kids Hospital for the Global Sickle Disease Network and was previously a Board Member at JobStart, a Strategic Advisor for the City of Toronto: Gender Based Youth Violence Initiative, and Endeavour Consulting as a Consultant and Advisor on their Recruitment & Retention Committee. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Psychology from the University of Toronto.

Max Ascenzi, Treasurer

Max is Director of Corporate Services for the Canadian Mothercraft Society, a non-profit, charitable NGO that serves children ages 0 to 6, their families, their teachers, and their community. He was previously a director at the Canadian Mental Health Association (Halton Branch) and Controller at the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario following 13 years working in finance in the education sector. He has a background in business administration and holds a degree in accounting from York University and earned his CGA designation in 2004.

Chris Brillinger, Secretary

Chris joined Family Service Toronto as Executive Director in August 2019. When asked what drove him to choose FST, Chris said “I have always been driven by two key passions: a love of Toronto and a core belief in social justice/equity. I believe these passions align with the core purpose of Family Service Toronto”. Before joining FST, Chris was Executive Director of Social Development, Finance and Administration at the City of Toronto and held various roles at the City for over 31 years.

Directors

George Armstrong

George has more than 20 years of experience working within the criminal justice system and has worked closely with a wide range of disadvantaged communities. George has held a variety of corporate positions in government including internal investigations, strategic policy work and several leadership roles where he managed human rights and employee wellness units. George has been recognized with awards for humanitarian service and leadership of critical incident management. George holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Toronto where he specialized in Adult Education and Community Development and completed a collaborative program in Indigenous health.

Olympia Baldrich

Olympia is an executive with experience in multiple industries in Europe and North America. She is currently the Vice President Canadian Banking Contact Centers at TD. Prior to joining TD, Olympia developed corporate strategies and delivered business transformation at Deloitte Consulting. Olympia has a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London U.K.

Esi Codjoe

Esi is a lawyer with Turnpenney Milne LLP, providing legal advice to employers and employees, in non-unionized and unionized workplaces. An experienced adjudicator and mediator, Esi served as Vice Chair at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and has extensive training and coaching experience in equity diversity and inclusion. She has spent her career advocating for individuals on issues around sexual violence, disability and age discrimination. Esi has taught employment law and labour relations at George Brown College and Ryerson University. Committed to volunteerism, Esi has been a Board member of the Ontario Bar Association, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and CultureLink.

Silvie Crawford

Silvie Crawford has held executive leadership roles across multi-sited complex academic health science centres. She is currently the CEO, Central West Specialized Developmental Services. Silvie has been an active contributor to many regional and provincial initiatives that have built strong partnerships and had a positive impact on policy, practice and strategy to better respond to the evolving needs of organizations and communities. Silvie has served on several hospital and community sector Boards and is also dedicated to the ongoing education of emerging leaders and organizations through teaching, coaching and mentoring in areas of quality practice, leadership and governance. Silvie has an undergraduate degree in Nursing and a Masters of Laws specializing in Health Law and is a surveyor with Accreditation Canada.

Mahmoud Ghazzaoui

Mahmoud is a Managing Director in the Internal Audit group of Royal Bank of Canada. Before joining RBC, Mahmoud spent 10 years in external audit and risk consulting with Deloitte & Touche in Canada, the United States and United Arab Emirates. Mahmoud holds a Bachelor degree in Accounting and has CPA, CFA and CRMA designations. Mahmoud dedicates a significant amount of time to volunteer in charitable and non-profitable organizations.

Patrick Gordon, Ex-Officio

Gordon is a Partner, Commercial Real Estate Lawyer, at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Patrick’s practice encompasses a wide range of commercial real estate matters, including purchase and sale transactions; leasing and financings; developing and managing commercial and residential real property. He also provides real estate advice in connection with a variety of domestic and international mergers and acquisitions transactions. Patrick regularly acts for a broad range of domestic and international clients, including institutional investors, pension funds, landlords and tenants.

Jaemar Ivey

Jaemar Ivey is a Registered Social Worker with extensive experience co-ordinating social services and case management supports to Toronto’s vulnerable and marginalized populations. Jaemar works at Toronto Community Housing and is currently a PhD Student at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto researching approaches to organizational diversity management within the non-profit sector. Jaemar holds bachelors degrees in Chemistry and Social Work and a Masters in Social Work.

Amrutha Rao

Amrutha is a senior program consultant with the provincial government’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. She is passionate about bridging the gap to access care for members of disadvantaged groups, and more specifically, in delivering support for fellow survivors of domestic violence. Her areas of expertise include the planning and implementation of complex strategic projects and improving efficiencies of pre-existing business systems. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Amrutha worked with several hospitals around the Toronto region helping with planning and implementation of strategic projects in addition to supporting pandemic response and recovery. She is a recent graduate from the full time MBA program at the Rotman School of Management and has held diverse roles across the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector.

Janet O’Grady

Janet is retired from a 30+-year career with the Ontario public service as a human resource professional and leader.  She held senior management positions in a range of ministries leading the development of human resource strategies, policies and operational solutions to support organizational effectiveness.  She championed initiatives relating to respect, workplace safety, inclusion, workforce mental health and human resource management excellence to enable public servants to thrive in their working environment.  She holds an Honours BA (Psychology) from Carleton University and MBA from the University of Toronto.

Terrie Tucker, Ex-Officio

Terrie is an instructor at Ryerson University with the Health Information Management and Health Services Management programs. Terrie has served in senior positions that have included: CIO, Executive Director E-Health and Chief Privacy Officer at Baycrest; Director, Decision Support at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie; Director, Decision Support and Patient Information Services at CAMH Toronto; Director, Finance and Information Systems, Riverside Health Care Facilities in Fort Frances. Terrie’s volunteer activities include work with the Weston Area Emergency Services Food Bank, LAMP Community Heath Centre and the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Aida Sijamic Wahid

Aida Sijamic Wahid is an Assistant Professor of Accounting and Management at the University of Toronto, where she teaches management control and advanced auditing courses. Her research agenda is focused on understanding how and under what conditions various monitoring mechanisms, alone or combined, alleviate the agency problem and lead to the best financial reporting and business outcomes. Prior to joining academia, Aida worked at the Boston office of PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). Aida holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Economics from Brandeis University, as well as a Doctorate in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

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