Board of Directors
NYWC is a not-for-profit corporation governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board plays a very important role in governing the organization and ensuring that its work benefits the community. The Board’s responsibilities are outlined in its Terms of Reference.
Angela Connors, Chair
Angela is an Ojibway from the Saugeen First Nation, Beaver Clan. She has over two decades of experience in the social benefit sector and organized labour. Angela has worked in human resources, volunteer management and has considerable experience as an adult educator with a focus on anti-racism/anti-oppression. She has provided governance to many organizations over the years, sitting on various boards including, among others, the Social Planning Councils in both Toronto and Peel Region.
In 2010 Angela’s work in social justice was recognized by the City of Toronto as a recipient of the Access, Equity and Human Rights Aboriginal Affairs Award. She is currently leading the Embracing Inclusion project for ONESTEP & OCASI, assisting organizations across Ontario advance equity, diversity and inclusion practices.
On a personal note, Angela recently celebrated her 32nd wedding anniversary, has 4 adult children and 3 young grandsons.
Shannon Persaud Tolnay, Vice-chair
Shannon is a seasoned fundraiser with over 17 years of experience. She has supported various causes, ranging from education and social services to healthcare and diseases. A self-proclaimed nerd, she is extremely excited to be currently working at the Ontario Science Centre, a favourite childhood haunt. Shannon is also a great communicator, has a yen for good food and a weakness for dark chocolate.
Nancy Bardecki, Treasurer
Nancy joined the board of North York Women’s Centre in 2006 and stepped down after 2 terms on the board as per the term limits outlined in the by-laws. She continued her association with the Centre as a volunteer and donor and is delighted to be elected to serve on the board once again.
Nancy retired after almost 30 years with the Ontario Public Service, where she worked in a variety of Ministries, including Finance, Community and Social Services, Agriculture and Food, and Municipal Affairs and Housing. She has been an active volunteer in the community for over 30 years and has sat on a wide range of boards in the not-for-profit and charitable sector, including: the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System; local, provincial and national sport organizations; health promotion organizations; and social services. Currently, she is treasurer for Parent Action on Drugs, York Mavericks Water Polo Club and the Toronto Beekeepers Collective.
She holds a Master’s degree in Public Finance from the University of Guelph and is a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA), an ICD.D and a C Dir.
In her spare time, Nancy keeps herself occupied as a beekeeper and being grandma to Dante and Desi.
Tej Wadhwa, Secretary
Tej is an internationally educated professional (IEP) with a Master’s degree in Social Work and Certification in Human Resource Management. Throughout her 15 years work experience, in both for profit and non-profit sectors, she has consistently strived and advocated for equity and fairness. She has served as a member and/or chair in Inclusion and Diversity initiatives at The Career Foundation, Jobstart and Ryerson University. She has also served on the board of Dalemount Daycare and Bloor Information and Life Skills Centre. In addition, Tej has led or participated in numerous inter-agency forums to influence sustainable change in service delivery.
Tej is currently managing a program that supports access to education and employment for immigrant professionals at a post secondary institution.
Paulett Ramsey, CFRE
Paulett has several years of experience in senior management fundraising roles with some major health and social services charities in Toronto, raising several million dollars. She is currently Director, Resource Development at Massey Centre, an infant mental health centre that serves pregnant and parenting adolescents and their babies. Paulett has been an active volunteer throughout her career, and currently serves as a Board member at Fred Victor Centre. She has been associated since 2006 with NYWC, having served two terms. She is pleased to return to the Centre to continue helping to “open doors for women” when needed the most.
Fiorinta is a passionate advocate of women and empowering vulnerable individuals by working within the social services sector, and currently working in Long Term Care. Fiorinta has many years of experience in human resources, change management and continues to expand her knowledge in ensuring inclusion within our diverse community.
Kathryn J. Manning
Kate is a lawyer who has practiced civil litigation in Toronto since her call to the Ontario Bar in 1998. Throughout her career, Kate has also been active in the community. She is a volunteer for Pro Bono Law Ontario, providing legal assistance to members of the public through a legal drop-in clinic at the Superior Court of Justice and acting as Duty Counsel for self-represented litigants at motions in the Court of Appeal. Prior to joining the North York Women’s Centre Board, Kate sat on the Boards of two community-based agencies, Jessie’s Center for Teenagers (now the June Callwood Centre), and Margaret Frazer House. Jessie’s is a drop-in and resource center for pregnant and parenting teens. Margaret’s provides housing, counselling and other services to women living with mental illness. When she is not working or volunteering, Kate is kept busy parenting her teenage twins.
The Board of Directors is supported in its work by the executive director.
Iris has worked in the public benefit sector since 1992. Her focus has always been women: HIV-positive women, newcomer women and survivors of gender-based violence.
Iris feels privileged to have served as NYWC’s executive director for close to two decades. In addition to a Master’s degree, she has earned a York University-Maytree Foundation certificate in non-profit management and an executive leadership certificate from the Wellesley Institute. She is a peer reviewer with the Imagine Canada Standards Program and a member of the Ontario Nonprofit Network’s task force to develop a pension plan for the sector.
Despite having lived and worked exclusively in urban settings, Iris’ preferred mode of transportation is canoe. She shares her home with her two daughters, two cats and a dog.