NYWC Board Of Directors

North York Women’s Centre (NYWC) is a Canadian registered charity run by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of seven community leaders elected annually by our members. Directors are elected for three-year terms and can serve a maximum of two terms. The Board plays an important role in governing the organization and ensuring that its work benefits the community. Board members are champions for women and for NYWC as an organization.

We are committed to having a diverse, community-based Board that reflects the community of women we serve. We actively recruit directors that bring different experiences and ideas that help advance equality and build women’s empowerment.

Board opportunities typically come up in the spring, as we plan to fill vacancies at the Annual General Meeting. Occasionally, vacancies come up between AGMs. If you are interested in serving on the Board or joining a committee, please reach out to us at board@nywc.org. Plus, visit our Volunteering page to find out more about other opportunities to help NYWC empower women.

Key NYWC Board Responsibilities

Strengthening Momentum: NYWC board members ensure the organization continues to effectively deliver on its mission and move forward on its strategic priorities;

Governance: NYWC board members support and promote governance excellence and further the organization’s commitment to integrity, accountability and transparency;

Community Impact: NYWC board members have their pulse on community needs and issues and work to ensure programs are relevant, responsive and impactful;

Cheerleading: NYWC board members are advocates and ambassadors for the organization, ensuring it has the financial and human resources to further its mission.

Current NYWC Board of Directors

Jodi Wright, Chair

Jodi (she/her) was elected to the Board in September 2019. She has also served in the role of Treasurer and Vice-chair.

Jodi has held a variety of roles at RBC since joining in 2008, most recently as a Senior Director, Youth and Young Adult Client Strategy. She has a passion for career mentorship and is actively involved with Women’s groups in RBC, as Co-Chair of RBC’s Working Moms, part of the Advancement of Women in Leadership Employee Resource Group. Jodi is also an accomplished public speaker, most notably leading RBC Global Asset Management’s Women and Investing program, through which she has spoken to thousands of women across Canada about financial literacy, investing principles, and the challenges and opportunities women face from a financial perspective.

A sports enthusiast, you can find Jodi keeping active with her husband and their two kids!

Lesley-Ann Foulds, Vice-chair

Lesley-Ann is a Manager of Corporate Initiatives with the Regional Municipality of Durham. Currently, her work involves the design and implementation of strategic initiatives within Durham Region with a focus on delivering community outcomes, public sector innovation, and data-informed decision making. Prior to this role, Lesley-Ann worked for nearly a decade in the energy industry, with experience in engineering, operations, and strategic support. She holds a Bachelors of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight & Innovation from OCAD University.

Lesley-Ann is a creative and curious person who loves to learn new things, read or listen to books and podcasts, and try new foods from across the globe.

Sana Najafi, Secretary

Sana (she/her) was appointed to the board in August 2021. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto Scarborough. She is passionate about giving back and maintains active engagement with youth empowerment programs, pro-bono projects and diversity initiatives. She previously worked as a Peer Support Worker at NYWC, and appreciates the Centre’s values of feminism, equity, and community empowerment. In her spare time, you can find Sana hanging out with her two cats or playing sports!

Shama Rafiq, Treasurer

Shama is the Founder and Principal Lawyer at The Legal Eye. Shama has numerous years of experience in banking, litigation, and corporate and commercial matters. Shama has worked with Shelters to help abuse victims and is an advocate for standing up to abuse. Shama has appeared before the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice for family and civil matters.

In her spare time, Shama keeps herself busy with outdoor activities, her two small kids and their puppy.

Jolin Joseph

Jolin is a feminist researcher, evaluator, and facilitator based in Tkarón:to/Toronto. As the Manager of Research, Education and Knowledge Mobilization at YWCA Canada, she has been involved in strategic initiatives around gender-based violence, employment equity, and youth empowerment. Jolin is also a PhD candidate at York University. Her research centers migrant women and how they experience policies, precarious labour and migration status. Her community-based and academic work are grounded in a commitment to intersectionality and lived expertise as the basis for social change. She is also a firm believer in food as a catalyst for community engagement.

Jenifer Rush

Jenifer (she/her) has over 30 years’ experience in the Investment industry. Currently Jenifer is the Head, Responsible Investing and Manager Research for Sun Life Global Investments (SLGI). Jenifer has an MBA from Queen’s University. She also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation.

Jenifer has always been active in her community and is honoured to sit on the North York Women’s Centre Board. Jenifer has actively participated in local affairs in her community and in her industry. Jenifer has been active with the Bedford Wanless Ratepayers Association, multiple school committees over time, is the past chair of the Professional Development Committee for the Toronto CFA Society and is a supporter of Women in Capital markets.

Anna Syed

Anna has worked for the province, the non-profit sector and academia in various capacities. She has graduate degrees from McGill and McMaster University in Business, Education, and Labour Relations. Her passions include women empowering women, diversity, authentic leadership, project management, belongingness and governance, to name a few.

Anna has a love for the outdoors, a sense of curiosity about her local community and enjoys travelling and exploring both urban and rural areas of Canada and beyond.

Accessibility of Our Women’s Programs

North York Women’s Centre recognizes the dignity and worth of all people and is committed to providing services fairly and equitably. NYWC strives to be accessible to all women and gender-diverse people regardless of their race, ancestry, colour, creed, ethnicity, place of origin, citizenship, immigration status, age, disability, sexual orientation, receipt of public assistance, political affiliation, religious affiliation, literacy level, language and/or socio-economic status. We aim to create a harmonious environment free from discrimination, harassment and hate.

Talk with us about accommodations you need to participate fully in our programs and services.