BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE

Board of Directors

A TEAM OF STRATEGIC THINKERS

CivicAction and the CivicAction Leadership Foundation are led by a separate-yet-connected Board of Directors made up of diverse, strategic leaders who represent all sectors and regions of the GTHA and share a passion for city-building. Learn more about members of the CivicAction board below, and click here to learn about the members of our CivicAction Leadership Foundation Board. 

Zabeen Hirji

Chair of CivicAction and Executive Advisor, Future of Work at Deloitte

Zabeen is a strategic advisor to business, government and academia on the Future of Work, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership and Talent Management. A proponent of inclusive prosperity, Zabeen champions  building organizations and societies that invest in people to enable everyone to realize their full potential. 

As Global Advisor, Future of Work at Deloitte, Zabeen advises the firm and its clients on the changing nature of work, an issue key to the transformation agendas of businesses and government. Zabeen advises governments and academia on diversity and inclusion, and preparing young people for the workforce of today and the future. Roles include Advisor to the Clerk of the Privy Council for the Government of Canada, member of University of Toronto’s Governing Council and External Advisory Group for the U.K. Research and Innovation Council, and Visiting Professor, Policy Institute, King’s College, London, UK.

From 2007-2017, Zabeen was a member of RBC’s Group Executive Committee which sets the bank’s strategic direction, RBC’s Chief Human Resources Officer covering 80,000 employees in 40 countries and held  responsibility for brand, communications and corporate citizenship. Through these roles, Zabeen contributed to RBC consistently achieving top tier performance  while being named a Best Place to Work for nine consecutive years. 

Zabeen has received recognition for her leadership, including: 2017 Ivey Business School Lifetime Achievement in Human Resources Leadership; 2016 Simon Fraser University Outstanding Alumni Award and Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal for diversity and inclusion; 2014 Catalyst Canada Honouree for the advancement of women and minorities in business; 2012 WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame inductee. Zabeen has an M.B.A. from Simon Fraser University. 

Beth Wilson

CEO, Dentons Canada LLP

Beth Wilson, FCPA, FCA is Dentons Canada LLP’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of the global leadership team, serving on the Global Board and Global Management Committee.  Beth is leading the Firm in Canada through an aggressive and targeted focus on exceeding their clients’ expectations of value and results, and commitment to an inclusive culture that empowers diverse teams and supports an entrepreneurial spirit and performance based culture. A respected senior strategic business leader, Beth is focused on ensuring that Dentons continues to be a workplace of choice for leading talent in Canada and around the world.

Prior to assuming her role as Dentons’ Canada CEO, Beth served as Managing Partner at KPMG in the Greater Toronto Area, where she led the largest business unit in Canada. Beth served as a member of KPMG’s Management Committee in various leadership positions, including Canadian Managing Partner Community Leadership, Canadian Managing Partner Regions and Enterprise with responsibility for 24 regional offices across Canada, and Chief Human Resources Officer. She also held various global leadership roles.

Beth is widely known and respected in the Canadian business community and is an accomplished and dedicated community leader. She exemplifies this through her board and community involvement, and her advancement of women in business, and has been recognized by leading organizations such as YWCA Toronto, Canadian Women of Influence and WXN.

As a senior executive, Beth has always taken on additional leadership roles in the community, including as Director of CivicAction.  She has been a Director and Chair of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Director, Vice Chair at the National Ballet of Canada, Director at Woodgreen Foundation, and Trustee for the Ontario Science Centre, and a fervent supporter of the United Way where she is on the Strategic Resource Development Committee and previously sat on their Campaign Cabinet (GTA) and was co-chair for “Women Gaining Ground” to improve their lives and opportunities for women facing poverty.  In recognition of her impact, Beth was awarded the Margot Franssen Leadership Award by MicroSkills in 2013, and the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2015.

Cameron Bailey

Artistic Director and Co-Head, Toronto International Film Festival

Cameron Bailey is the Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival®. He is responsible for the overall vision and execution of Festival programming, as well as maintaining relationships with the Canadian and international film industries. Toronto Life has named him one of Toronto’s 50 Most Influential People four years in a row.

Born in London, Bailey grew up in England and Barbados before migrating to Canada. Before taking up his current position at TIFF, he was a Festival programmer for eleven years, and a writer and broadcaster on film. He reviewed for Toronto’s NOW Magazine, CBC Radio One and CTV’s Canada AM. He presented international cinema nightly on Showcase Television’s national programme The Showcase Revue, and has been published in The Globe and Mail, The Village Voice, CineAction!, and Screen. Cameron has curated film series for Cinematheque Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, the National Film Board of Canada, and Australia’s Sydney International Film Festival.

Bailey currently sits on the Advisory Council for Western University’s School for Arts and Humanities and for Haiti’s Cine Institute film school. He is also a board member of Tourism Toronto, and he currently teaches a course in programming and curation at the University of Toronto.

Cameron Fowler

Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, BMO Financial Group

Cameron (Cam) Fowler is the Chief Strategy and Operations Officer for BMO. In this role, Cam is accountable for mobilizing efforts across the bank to enhance both our long-term strategic focus as well as our near-term performance. His mandate also includes amplifying our brand and stakeholder impact, while focusing our strategic planning on key areas of future growth, including our digital agenda. Cam is a member of the BMO Financial Group Executive Committee and Chair of the bank’s Operating Committee. He also serves as BMO’s Executive Diversity Champion.

Cam joined BMO in January 2009 as Executive Vice-President and Head of Strategy and Marketing, BMO. He also served as Executive Vice-President, Canadian Personal & Commercial Banking, responsible for the strategic direction and performance of our customer segments, physical and virtual channels and all product areas, including payments and cards. Prior to his most recent appointment, Cam was the President, North American Personal & Business Banking.
Before joining BMO, Cam served as Managing Director & Head of Barclays Wealth International with Barclays in London, UK. He also held senior positions within Barclays, Delano Technology Corporation and Braxton Associates/Deloitte Consulting and worked as a Policy Advisor for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Government of Ontario.

Cam is a member of the Board of Directors of BMO Financial Corporation, CivicAction, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation (CAMH) and Century Initiative. He is Co-Chair of the Major Banks Campaign for the United Way of Greater Toronto and has served as a past Chair of the Executive Council of the Canadian Bankers Association, Moneris Solutions and the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. Cam, who was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, has a BA (Honours) from Queen’s University and received his MBA from the London Business School at the University of London (UK).

Dani Saad

2020-2021 ELN Co-Chair; Lead, Stakeholder Relations and Special Projects, Chief Planner’s Office, City of Toronto

Born in Scarborough, Dani Saad is the Coordinator of Stakeholder Relations and Special Projects in the Chief Planner’s Office at City of Toronto. Passionate about education, healthcare, access to government services, social and economic inequalities, and transit, Dani’s was previously a policy advisor in the Office of the Premier and he believes that to impact change, leaders must be able to connect, mobilize and capture the imagination of people while empowering them to take action. As the child of an immigrant father growing up in an immigrant-dense community, Dani knows the importance of diverse representation in community building and is passionate about easing the refugee resettlement process for newcomers. Dani envisions a region full of vibrant, distinct communities where people have access to equal freedoms, safety, economic security, and social justice.

Daniele Zanotti

President and CEO, United Way Greater Toronto

Daniele Zanotti was named President & CEO of United Way in June 2016. With more than 20 years of experience in the public and non-profit sectors, he has earned a reputation as an accomplished, strategic, and energetic leader. Daniele served as CEO of United Way York Region from 2007 to 2015. During that time he led an evolution that transformed the charity from federated fundraiser into a convener, mobilizer, and agent of community change. Under his guidance, the charity launched new initiatives to foster community dialogue; invested in more targeted and effective ways; and brought new social services to the communities most in need.

In 2015, Daniele was the catalyst of an historic merger between United Ways in York Region and Toronto. He committed himself and his organization to a broader alliance for community change — and established a new regional organization that is now better positioned than ever before to tackle issues on both sides of Steeles Avenue.

Following the merger — as the new head of resource development and captain of the first-ever United Way Toronto & York Region fundraising effort — Daniele led the 2015 campaign to a record-breaking achievement: $100-million for United Way’s agencies, programs, and initiatives. In this capacity he also played a fundamental role in driving greater alignment between strategies for youth, poverty reduction, and community investment across Toronto and York Region.

Before joining United Way Daniele served organizations like the Rexdale Community Health Centre; the Regional Municipality of York; Family Day Care Services; and Villa Charities Foundation. He is deeply involved in the community outside of his professional career. Daniele has been a member of the steering committee for CivicAction, and has volunteered on the boards of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC); the Human Services Planning Board of York Region; and the Vaughan Community Health Centre.

Daniele has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Toronto and Bachelor’s Degree from York University. He lives in Vaughan with his wife and 2 children.

Hon. David Crombie

Former CEO, Canadian Urban Institute, Former Mayor, City of Toronto and CivicAction Honorary Chair

A native Torontonian, David Crombie has been a champion for strong neighbourhoods and helping to improve Toronto’s social systems for decades. He is a former Mayor of Toronto and Member of Parliament, and has served as Federal Cabinet Minister. He served as Chancellor of Ryerson University and was conferred the title of Chancellor Emeritus in 2006. A member of many community organizations, Mr. Crombie is a Director of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, the Founding Chair of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, President of David Crombie & Associates Inc., Chair of the Toronto Lands Corporation, former Chair of Ontario Place Corporation and the former President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute. He also serves as Chair of the Advisory Council for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. David Crombie has been appointed as an Officer to the Order of Canada.

Idil Burale

2020-2021 ELN Co-Chair; Community Strategy LeadMinistry of Children and Youth Services

Idil Burale is a community advocate and change agent. In her day job with the Ontario Public Service, she works to support community-driven transformation to address barriers that impact outcomes for disadvantaged youth across Ontario. Bridging policy, program and service changes across sectors, she brings a user-centered lens to public service and the policy-making process. Prior to joining the public service, she was a Senior Associate at the MaRS Solutions Lab, a public and social innovation lab. While there, she developed policy solutions to complex issues facing governments, including the sharing economy, modernizing transfer payment, and promoting public sector innovation.

In her spare time, Idil serves as a strategic advisor on a number of local task forces and committees ranging from the modernization of the Toronto Police Service to developing a framework for Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Idil effortlessly tackles divisive policy issues in a neutral and constructive way that has made her approachable and trusted by a diverse group of people. She brings a critical and intersectional lens to her work by carefully evaluating how individuals, groups, and institutions understand and resolve complex issues. A frequent commentator on urban issues who’s been featured in print, radio, and on TV, she has been recognized as an emerging youth leader in the GTHA, profiled as a ‘Torontonian to Watch’ and featured as a future leader by the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.

Janet De Silva

President & CEO of Toronto Region Board of Trade

Janet De Silva was appointed President & CEO of Toronto Region Board of Trade in November 2014. As President & CEO Ms. De Silva leads the chamber of commerce for Canada’s largest urban centre, representing the business interest of 12,000 members and 200,000 business professionals across the Toronto region.

Prior to joining the Board, Ms. De Silva was Dean of Ivey Asia, leading the Hong Kong campus and Mainland China operations of Ivey Business School, with responsibility for the school’s programs, overall development and expansion in Asia.

For 14 years Ms. De Silva has led businesses internationally as CEO of Sun Life Financial’s business in Hong Kong and its Mainland China joint venture. Under her leadership Sun Life Everbright光大永明人寿 expanded its China operations from 2 to 15 cities, grew to a workforce of more than 4,000, and delivered triple digit revenue growth. In 2007, Ms. De Silva co-founded and was CEO of Retail China Limited, a company that worked with international retail brands operating their retail stores and managing franchises in China. The company was acquired in 2010, but she remained active in capital advisory and investment projects.

Letecia Rose

2020-2021 ELN Co-Chair; Manager – Partnerships and Programs, MLSE Launchpad

Letecia Rose is an equity advocate and community engagement specialist passionate about creating inclusive and accessible spaces. Her career as transcended multiple sectors working in the arts, youth development, education, recreation and social service. Working in the area of social justice for the past ten years, Letecia has trained thousands of young people, educators and stakeholders in hands-on diversity programs across Ontario and created spaces for individuals to have courageous conversations about issues of discrimination and inequity.

Letecia has been instrumental in the development of the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy (TYES) and the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy to ensure that policies and programs meet the needs of the most vulnerable young people in the City. As such, Letecia is a recognized city-builder working alongside groups like Civic Action as a Fellow and has received the United Way Innovation and Creativity award and a Vital People award from Toronto Community Foundation.

Currently, Letecia is a facilitation trainer and equity and inclusion consultant for Skill Market, working across a variety of sectors to cultivate cohesive and equitable work and learning environments. Letecia remains rooted in the community as the Manager of Partnership and Programs for Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment’s LaunchPad, a state of the art sport for development facility in Moss Park dedicated to using sports as a tool to teach life and 21st-century skills to help youth reach their full potential.

Lisa Kimmel

Chair and CEO, Canada & Latin America, Edelman

Lisa oversees Edelman’s Canadian and Latin American operations, and sits on Edelman’s Global Operations Committee. In her role, she provides senior counsel to clients, and is responsible for the regions’ growth strategies. In Canada, she has led the region’s strategic evolution to a best-in-class communications firm – the biggest evolution in the firm’s history. Edelman Canada has been awarded a Cannes Lions for its “In the Head of a Hacker” campaign on behalf of HP, and Strategy Magazine’s 2017 PR Agency of the Year.

Lisa’s fresh, collaborative and authentic approach has not only resulted in award-winning programs for clients but has fostered a corporate culture based on innovation, teamwork and integrity. Edelman Canada has been recognized as one of the Great Place to Work® Best Workplaces in Canada and Best Workplaces for Women for eight consecutive years.

Passionate about advancing women in business, Lisa is chair of the firm’s Global Women’s Equality Network (GWEN), which is committed to fostering an environment where women of all backgrounds can enjoy equal opportunities. She is committed to supporting future leaders and championing women’s causes. She is a sought-after speaker and commentator at events and in the media. In recognition of her efforts, Lisa is a recipient of both the Financial Times and HERoes Champions of Women in Business Top 100 Female Executives, and a 2019 YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction award for Corporate Leadership. She has also been inducted into the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada Hall of Fame.

Lisa is actively involved with several mentorship programs through the Women’s Executive Network, American Marketing Association and Women in Communications and Technology Protégé Program. She is Vice Chair of the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) Dean’s Council at Ryerson University, and is on the Board of Directors of the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. Lisa also sits on the Global Advisory Board for G(irls)20, and is a member of the United Nations Women’s Empower Advisory Group.

Mark Boyajian

Executive Vice-President, Chief Business Engineering Officer, CGI Canada

With more than 25 years of experience in technology, business consulting and banking operations, Mark Boyajian serves as President of CGI’s Canada operations. Previously, Mark served as Senior Vice-President of CGI’s U.S. Mid-Atlantic business unit, serving commercial and government clients throughout several states. He also led CGI’s Banking and Financial Markets Group within its U.S. West Central and South business unit, supporting clients in all aspects of their banking operations and providing specialized expertise in the areas of managed services, credit solutions and risk management.

Prior to CGI, Mark served as a technology executive with Bank of America responsible for its business lending technology and also held a variety of senior management positions with Seurat Company and NCR where he led product development, global operations and client delivery. While at NCR, Mark oversaw a global business unit focused on call center, branch automation, Internet banking and loan servicing solutions, which conducted business in 138 countries around the world.

Mark began his career with American Management Systems (acquired by CGI in 2004) where he provided technology and business consulting to many of the largest banking and commercial organizations in the world. From 1990 until 1996, he was based in London, England where he led the international expansion of the Credit Solutions group of AMS. During that time, he helped establish and expand business in the U.K., Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Throughout his career, Mark has worked closely with many Fortune 100 clients, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Lloyds Bank, Abbey National, Barclays and Hydro Quebec, helping them to drive performance and profitability through IT.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the University of Kansas.

Poonam Singh

Managing Partner, Risk Advisory, Deloitte 

Poonam leads Deloitte Canada’s Risk Advisory business, which helps leading organizations manage risk as a vital strategic performance lever and reveal untapped opportunities to create competitive advantage.  As the Managing Partner, she is responsible for setting the vision and strategy for the practice and driving growth to remain the dominant risk consulting practice in the country. She also sits on Deloitte Canada’s Executive and the global Executive for Risk Advisory.  Prior to this, Poonam led the Toronto Risk Advisory practice and founded the Cost Recovery and Optimization market offering within the global Energy and Resources practice.  Poonam has also held senior market-oriented roles over the course of her career, including the Canadian Lead Client Services Partner for one of the largest integrated global Oil and Gas companies, and the Canadian Risk Leader for some of Deloitte’s largest Oil and Gas clients. Over her 19 years in consulting, Poonam has led numerous large transformation and cost reduction projects particularly in Finance, Risk, Internal Audit, Compliance and Supply Chain functions.

Poonam is a champion for gender diversity in leadership. She served on the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Council from 2006-2010 and currently represents Canada on Deloitte’s global Women in Leadership Council for Risk Advisory with a goal to accelerate development of women at all levels and drive gender parity at the leadership level. Over the years, Poonam has championed and sponsored several women to our partnership.

Poonam is also active in the community as coach and mentor driving diversity and inclusion. In 2015, she launched a formal internship program in the Risk Advisory practice to provide work experience for new immigrants with skills in finance and consulting.

Poonam has a passion for building inclusive and high performance teams. Her brand is synonymous with innovating, incubating and commercializing new risk-related solutions and a relentless focus on addressing the most complex risk issues facing clients.

Rob MacIsaac

President and CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences

Rob MacIsaac is the President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS). HHS is one of the most comprehensive health care systems in Canada. Comprised of a family of six hospitals and six specialized facilities, it serves more than 2.5 million residents of Hamilton and Central South and Central West Ontario. With a budget over $1.3 billion and over 12,000 staff, the hospital is the largest employer in the Hamilton region. As an academic teaching hospital with an affiliation with McMaster University and Mohawk College, HHS is committed to providing exemplary health care while advancing health research and education.

Prior to joining HHS, Rob was the President of Mohawk College in Hamilton. Over a five year period, he led the transformation of its main campus with investments in new and renovated space totalling more than $80M. Today, Mohawk is recognized as southern Ontario’s post-secondary hub for health and technology, and a leader in applied research. Between 2006 and 2009, Mr. MacIsaac served as the first Chair of Metrolinx – the provincial transportation authority responsible for planning, building, and operating transportation infrastructure in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. He also served three terms as Mayor of the City of Burlington from 1997 to 2006.

Mr. MacIsaac has been recognized for his accomplishments in community building with the Canada 125 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medals, and a Paul Harris Fellowship, Rotary Club of Hamilton. He was also awarded a Doctor of Arts (Honoris Causa) from Australia’s Charles Sturt University. He completed his undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Waterloo in 1984 and received a Law degree at the University of Western Ontario in 1987. He was called to the Bar in 1989.

Salima Rawji

Vice President, Development, CreateTO; 2011-2013 ELN Co-Chair; 2010 DiverseCity Fellow; CivicAction Leadership Foundation Board Member and CivicAction Board Member

Salima Rawji is Vice President Development for CreateTO, the City of Toronto’s Real Estate Agency. Salima is a City-Builder committed to the advancement of both the real estate industry and her broader community. She sits on the International Council of Shopping Centre’s P3 National Advisory Committee, the Ryerson University Real Estate Management Advisory Council and is a former member of the Management Committee for the Urban Land Institute Toronto.

She is a Director for CivicAction, the Toronto Foundation and recently completed a six year term on the Board of Directors for the Homes First Foundation. Salima is a Women’s Leadership Initiative Champion, a 2010 DiverseCity Fellow and holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto.

Tim Hockey

Board Chair, CivicAction Leadership Foundation

Tim Hockey is a financial services veteran with more than 36 years’ experience in banking and wealth management in both Canada and the United States. He is known for his passion for technology and enhancing the client experience.

Tim stepped down as President and CEO of TD Ameritrade, in November of 2019, upon the announcement of the intended sale of the firm to Charles Schwab Corporation. TD Ameritrade was a Fortune 500 NASDAQ listed company with a $1.4 trillion in Client Assets, a $28B USD market capitalization, 10,000 Associates, and $6B USD revenue.

Hockey joined TD Ameritrade in January 2016 from TD Bank Group, where he most recently served as Group Head, Canadian Banking and Wealth Management, and as President and CEO of TD Canada Trust. His primary responsibilities covered a portfolio of global businesses totaling nearly CDN $13 billion in annual revenue and included global direct investing, advisory and Canadian asset management businesses, as well as leadership of Canadian personal banking, business banking and auto finance. Over his 32-year career with TD, he held senior positions in a variety of areas including mutual funds, retail distribution, information technology, small business banking, credit cards and personal lending.

Hockey holds an MBA and PhD (Honoris Causa) from the University of Western Ontario, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Richard Ivey School of Business. He serves on the Board of Maple Leaf Foods, and is the Chair of the Board of the CivicAction Leadership Foundation. He served on the Board of Directors for the SickKids Foundation, successfully leading the hospital’s campaign to build the world’s leading children’s health Research and Learning facility. He previously served as Chair of the Canadian Banker’s Association. He is also a past winner of Canada’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and served on the organization’s selection committee. Tim is proud of winning “Humor Me”, a charitable stand-up comedy event established to find Canada’s funniest CEO!

An avid cyclist, world traveler and philanthropist, Tim spends his time in Toronto, Greenville, SC, and aboard “The World”.

Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimHockey