Patricia Else, President Board Member since 2014
Building on extensive experience in public health nursing, health promotion, and community based programming; Patricia’s focus is on supporting people to reach their fitness goals. She is a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor, with a Master’s of Science in Community Health Nursing. She is a long time clinic instructor for the Running Room and has worked with hundreds of both beginner and experienced runners.
Founder of Patricia Else Fitness, she provides personal training and small group programming for busy adults in their homes and in community settings, working with them to build fitness and healthy movement into their daily lives. She has a particular interest in the use of physical activity for the prevention and management of Type 2 Diabetes.
Christine Yu Vice-President Board Member since 2018
Christine Yu comes from a dynamic background of experiences in both the public and private sectors. As a former director and founder of an IT consulting and digital media company, she had become a key member of the community as an entrepreneur putting her efforts into supporting others in business development over the past several years.
Christine also devotes her time to serve others through various charitable initiatives and continues to focus on her passion and commitment to being an advocate for women and girls around the world.
She earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (Honours) from Laurentian University and holds a certification for Human Resources Studies from Georgian College. She has also undertaken a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology (Honours) from York University.
Gia DeJulio, interm Vice-President Board Member since 2010
Gia DeJulio is the Director, Planning & Compliance, Conservation & Demand Management at Alectra Utilities. Gia holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Chemical Engineering discipline, from the University of Toronto, is a Professional Engineer, and has a Master of Laws in Energy and Infrastructure from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Gia’s career in the energy industry includes expertise in buying, selling, distributing, regulating and conserving both natural gas and electricity. In her spare time, Gia likes to golf, follow current affairs, and mentor engineering students.
Kathy Howie, Secretary Board Member since 2013
During her career as a social worker, primarily in the field of Child Welfare, Kathleen Howie became very familiar with the challenges faced by families who experienced poverty, re-location, homelessness, and trauma. She is committed to improving social conditions for vulnerable women and children and believes that collaboration between community and Government services is vital to effect change. Kathleen holds a BA from York University and studied Social Work at Carleton University
Martha Beaumont, Treasurer Board Member since 2013
Martha Beaumont is a senior level financial executive with a Chartered Accountant background. She has extensive experience in the non-profit sector, specializing in directing the corporate finance function of a multiple-level organization in the health charity area. Martha holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours Chartered Accountancy Studies Co-Operating Program from the University of Waterloo. She has previously served as Chair of DeafBlind Ontario Services and volunteers for many charitable organizations.
Dayo Kefentse Board Member since 2015
Dayo Kefentse is a dynamic Toronto based writer-broadcaster, trainer, and media and communications leader. She is currently Director of Communications for Ryerson University’s Office of the Vice-President of Equity and Community Inclusion. Previous roles include managing media relations for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games, and with the public affairs team at the University of Windsor. She has contributed as a journalist for CBC Radio’s ‘Metro Morning’ and ‘Here & Now’; CBC TV News in Toronto and Windsor, as well as a variety of media outlets including CITY News and The Toronto Star.
Seeing a need for media literacy and empowerment in the community, she launched ‘DAYO Media & Communications’ in 2006 — a boutique agency specializing in Broadcast, Writing & Communications Management Services. Dayo has steered the development of multimedia communications and media campaigns for organizations such as The Ontario Council of Agencies Servicing Immigrants, The United Church Observer, and The Toronto District School Board. Believing in the power and principle of giving back, she is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board of Women’s Habitat.
Cheryl Davidson Board Member since 2019
Cheryl Davidson is a retired banker, having worked in Toronto and New York in various roles including Audit, Compliance, Capital Markets and Treasury for Royal Bank of Canada, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch of Canada, Chemical Bank of Canada, Scotiabank and Bell Gouinlock Ltd. Cheryl has an Honours BA from the Ivey Business School at Western University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Cheryl has designations as a Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Information Privacy Manager, and has a Certification in Risk Management Assurance.
Colleen Fox Board Member since 2019
Colleen Fox is the Director of Person-Centred Care at Cancer Care Ontario. Colleen has a breadth of experience in clinical, academic and health system leadership, working in both the hospital and government sector. Colleen is an innovative leader, advancing person-centred care within the cancer system and driving quality improvement and programming in areas that include health literacy, patient education, symptom management, psychosocial oncology and clinician and patient engagement.
Colleen earned her Master of Science from the University of Edinburgh in Global Health and Public Policy and her Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto.
Neha Kumar Board Member since 2019
Neha Kumar is a business development professional, with a career spanning sectors in healthcare, consumer electronics, and internet-based software technologies; currently she works for Shopify. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was involved with several early stage technology start-ups, and in community building, with a particular interest in initiatives that assessed and drove gender equity. In her personal time, Neha enjoys exploring local Toronto neighbourhoods, discovering new music and Creators, attending public lectures, and aspires to help young women from all backgrounds in achieving their highest career potential.
Jillian Simmons Board Member since 2019
Jillian is a cross-functional finance professional with a strategic mindset. A CPA, CA from KPMG, she has spent most of her career in various professional services, including audit and strategy consulting. Recently making the transition to the retail industry, she currently manages a team performing quarterly internal consulting projects with regular presentations to the company’s executives. She earned two Bachelor’s degrees from Western University; HBA at the Ivey School of Business, and an Honours Political Science degree. She received her CPA, CA designation in 2015. Her passions and interests include camping, yoga, women’s issues, drawing, and track and field. A firm believer in dedicating time to serving her community and being an advocate for women’s issues, Jillian is grateful to be a part of an organization that helps women and families.