Joanne Jasper, TCA President, until recently coordinated a faith-based nursing course at the University of Toronto; her career of over 40 years has been focused on community based health care. Her mission is to support older adults to live life according to their personal best desires, receiving respect within their community, recognition and love from family and friends.
Rebekah Churchyard, TCA First-Vice President, researches technology for older adults and dementia at Ontario Shores hospital. She also consults for the Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre in a program for socially isolated older adults. When she is not working on planning Green Care Farms for dementia, she bicycles around Toronto, enjoys Allan Gardens and likes round, red objects.
Samantha Biglieri, TCA Second-Vice President, is a PhD candidate in Planning at the University of Waterloo (UW), focusing on inclusive city-building. She is a CIHR Program in Aging trainee and organizer for UW’s Symposium on Aging Research. Samantha has land-use planning and policy experience, and teaches a first- year urban planning class at Ryerson.
Malcolm Stewart, Immediate Past President, was Executive Director of the Social Planning Councils of Sarnia-Lambton and Niagara Falls from 1971 to 1977, and of the Ontario Association of Social Workers from 1978 to 1991. While completing a PhD in social work in the 1990’s, he taught courses in Canadian social policy, research methods and social gerontology, then taught full time at the University of Toronto, retiring in 2009. He has served on the Boards of several non-profit organizations over the years.
Shanaz Meghji, TCA Treasurer, graduated in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and Finances. She chairs the Home Advisory Committee at Bendale Acres and sits on the Inter-Home Advisory Committee of the Toronto Long Term Care Homes. She served on the Aga Khan Social and Welfare Board and the Aga Khan Health Board.
Lori Gershon has served as Communications officer of CAPCO Health Group and currently is the Managing Director. She is a desktop publisher, and, for over 30 years, a volunteer Jewish chaplain serving seniors at a nursing home. She is a committed walker, with numerous medals for competing in races.
Deborah (Debby) Vigoda is a former Executive Director of the Ontario Gerontology Association. She has taught staff and students in universities, community colleges, agencies and senior centres how to work effectively with older adults and provided learning opportunities for older people. She works on several Boards and committees.
Jane Szilvassy, during her 26 years at the March of Dimes, held a variety of positions involving administration and program development, overseeing a 5 million dollar budget, training programs and supportive housing projects, employing over a hundred full and part time staff. As a volunteer, Jane was active in the Alzheimer’s Society. Jane describes herself as a problem solver and an innovator.
Ruth McGarry is retired from the Federal Public Service, where she worked as a Manager in emergency management and contributed to improvements in education and training, regional operations and event response. She is a Professional Member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, is passionate about life-long learning and contributing to initiatives designed to improve the lives of older adults.
Sarah Wu is currently pursuing her PhD in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo (UW). Her research focuses on food intake and the mealtime experience for residents living with dementia in long-term care homes, as well as program development, implementation, and evaluation. Sarah is a Student Representative for the Canadian Association on Gerontology and an organizer of UW’s Symposium on Aging Research.
Tashia Edwards is currently a Senior Advisor with the Ontario Public Service. She has worked on several human development programs that provide support to marginalized people and children and youth. Tashia has led program evaluation initiatives, operational financial planning, and managed stakeholder relations with community based organizations across Ontario. Through her board membership, Tashia hopes to continue to learn more about the needs of older adults.
Ali Khalani has lived and worked on three continents. Ali recently retired from his fulltime employment to pursue volunteer teaching activities as well as helping senior citizens at a couple of seniors’ homes in Toronto, besides of course, spending quality time with his 4 grandchildren. The majority of his recent career was as a Financial Controller in the hospitality industry. His fulltime work has always been supplemented by teaching and training roles with several local colleges, including Seneca and The Academy of Learning. His creativity and financial aptitude were the basis for his career in Pakistan as VP of Advertising for United Bank Limited,the country’s second-largest commercial bank.
Jessica Lomazzo is a Strategy and Innovation Consultant for Monitor Deloitte, where she helps public and private sector clients develop strategies, adapt to change and make decisions based on data, stakeholder input and citizen/customer insights. Her experience varies across industries including technology, professional services, public sector, financial services and education. Jessica holds an Honors Business Administration (HBA) with distinction from the Ivey Business School at Western University. She has studied and/or worked in Canada, France, Australia and Hong Kong.
Carrie Warring currently works for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care focused on the intersection of public health and the environment. She is also passionate about the broad socio-economic issues impacting priority populations stemming from her education in health sciences, occupational safety and public health, and Master’s degree in geography. Carrie’s vision of health stems from Huber and colleagues’ (2011) new proposed definition of health as the ability to adapt and self-manage in one’s physical, mental, and social domains. Carrie aims to use this philosophy in her role on the TCA as she engages with Toronto’s aging community and works to empower both individuals and society to adapt to a changing environment that enables all people to reach their potential.
Melanie Yach is a partner with the law firm Aird & Berlis LLP in Toronto and specializes in estates and trusts law. Most of her practice involves litigating estate and trust disputes, including disputes involving capacity issues. She is a frequent writer and speaker on estate and trust topics. Among other things, she edits and contributes to Key Developments in Trusts and Estates Law, which is published annually by Canada Law Book. Melanie has volunteered and continues to volunteer for organizations both inside and outside the practice of law. In the summer months, Melanie works at improving her golf game. In the winter months, she focuses upon curling. Both games need a lot of work!