Board of Directors
Chair: Anjana Yachamanani
Anjana Yachamanani is a senior human resources professional with over 15 years of experience driving strategic initiatives to realize business results and enhance employee performance and engagement. Her success is built on her ability to develop highly collaborative relationships at all levels. She has experience in both union and non-union work environments. Anjana has a strong interest in helping businesses make the most out of their resources and talent and helping individuals reach their full potential. Anjana received her Bachelor of Commerce degree, specializing in Management & Economics, from the University of Toronto. She is Certified Professional in Human Resources (CHRL). Anjana is an active member of the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA), where she serves as a member of the Experience Assessment Committee.
Vice Chair: Jessica Harper
Jessica Harper has over ten years of public sector expertise in the areas of labour market policy, employment law, including workplace health and safety, as well as pension policy at the provincial level. Originally hailing from Montreal, and fluent in French, Jessica now lives in Etobicoke and endeavours to build a sense of community for herself and her family through volunteer work and organizing events for new mothers and young families in the area. Jessica has received leadership training from Cornell University and holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration as well as an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Treasurer: Mustafa Merchant
Mustafa is an Executive Director of Tax at an international auto parts manufacturing company based in Vaughan. He has over 25 years of experience in the field of finance, tax and audit and is a past treasurer and a board member of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. Prior to coming to Canada in 1997, Mustafa worked in senior finance positions in Dubai (UAE), Oman and India. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant from Ontario, Certified Public Accountant from USA and a Chartered Accountant from India.
Secretary: Evonna Iadipaolo
Evonna was born and raised in the Rexdale/Downsview area. She has a strong passion in Human Resources and helping others. After completing her Human Resources Diploma, Evonna started her professional employment in the Human Resources Field and is currently an HR Business Partner at the Miller Group. She has notable experience in strategic human resource planning, performance management, staffing, Employment Standards & Legal compliance, employee benefits, compensation and payroll, training and development.
Director: Salvatore (Sam) Palermo
Sal Palermo is Controller/CFO for a private label food manufacturer and has been for the last 20 years. Being an executive member of the leadership team, he provides direction /oversight in financial/operational reporting, risk management, IT/system development, financing, compliance, HR management. A graduate from the University Waterloo (Accounting/Economics), he is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified Management Accountant. Having an entrepreneurial passion, Sal also provides professional accounting services to the surrounding GTA community. Sal is married and lives with his family in the GTA.
Director: Pankaj Sandhu, ABR, SRES, Broker
Pankaj Sandhu is a professional real estate broker and is committed social activist. He has also got certification from real estate Buyer's council of the National Association of Realtors and from Seniors real estate specialists council of the National Association of Realtors. For the last nine years he has been serving the community in diverse manner. A leading Volunteer, he was honoured by the Premier for his work which fully dedicated to the community. His work has covered all aspects of Canadian life ranging from Royal Canadian Legion to Lions Club, CNIB, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Canadian Brest cancer Foundation and Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of Vaughan Heritage Committee, Director Thistletown Lions Club and Life-Member Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce.
Director: Mohammed Jeewa
Mohammed is an educator with the Toronto District School Board. He graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Science and Education. Over the years he served as Chair and Board Member of the Rexdale Community Health Centre Board, was a member of the City of Toronto's Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Working Group and the City of Toronto’s Community Environmental Assessment Team. He volunteered with the Crescent Entrepreneurial Association as VP Human Resources/ Planning. Mohammed is a resident of north Etobicoke and was raised in the community.
Director: Zachary Nichols
Zachary Nichols is an Etobicoke resident with a passion for building communities. His career has focused on stakeholder relations and public affairs. Currently, Zachary works at York University where he develops alumni engagement programs. Zachary has also previously worked on Parliament Hill where he served various Cabinet Ministers in different capacities. He holds an MBA from the Goodman School of Business at Brock University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Commerce and Global Development from Niagara College Canada.
Director: Sangeeta Kukade
Sangeeta Kukade is a Corporate Trainer at ATS Healthcare. In her role, she supports employees by promoting and conducting technical training on in-house applications, on-boarding, and provides learning tools to internal staff. Before joining ATS, she worked as a trainer at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Sangeeta also has a background in Early Childhood Education which adds to her experience with working with children of all ages and backgrounds. Sangeeta has served as an Executive Member of the Marathi Bhashik Mandal, a non-profit cultural group where she was the Programme Director focusing on promoting the arts within the community. She also has extensive volunteer experience with organizations such as the Corsage Project and the South Asian Stem Cell Awareness Campaign. Sangeeta lives in Etobicoke. She is an avid reader, enjoys the outdoors, loves music, and likes to bake in her spare time. She loves to travel and explore new cultures.
Director, Wesal Abu Qaddum
Wesal is a PhD student at the University of Toronto in the department of leadership, higher and adult education in the community development stream. She worked as a social worker for several years at different organizations in the Greater Toronto Area serving newcomers, seniors and families. She engaged in both individual and community level practices through counselling, consulting, program and content development, facilitation of psycho-educational programming, needs assessment, community engagement and development initiatives and research. As she progresses in her academic and professional career, she hopes to engage in more systemic and policy level changes to positively address the needs of the communities she cares about.
Director, Chris Edey
Chris Edey is a Senior Financial Analyst for Toromont Industries Ltd. and has past appearance at both MARS Canada Inc., as well as, Price Waterhouse Cooper LLP. Being on the finance committee, he provides direction /oversight in financial/operational reporting, and risk management. A graduate from the Wilfrid Laurier University (BBA specializing in Accounting), he is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA).
Executive Director: Lisa Kostakis, BSW, RSW (Ex-officio)
Presently, Lisa is the Executive Director of Albion Neighbourhood Services. Lisa has demonstrated leadership and commitment in carrying out the Mission and Vision of the agency and the clients that it serves. Lisa carries a degree in Psychology from York University and a degree in Social Work from Ryerson University. She has been working for over 30 years in the social service sector beginning in Regent Park working with 6 to 24 year old high risk children and youth and their families. Key to her concern is ensuring that the agency provides effective support systems, programs, services, strong role models for children, youth and families. Furthermore, Lisa is pivotal in developing and sustaining strong partnerships with other community service organizations, and becoming a strong leader in many initiatives such as community safety, accessible and integrated services, establishing new partnerships and sustaining and building capacity within the community, as well as city wide. Lisa is also a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.