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Board Members

Catherine May - Board Chair 
Catherine has worked as a television producer, director and writer, creating documentary and lifestyle series that are broadcast around the world. Catherine is honoured to chair the board of an organization that has such a positive impact on our community; saving the lives of women and children fleeing domestic violence and providing the resources needed to begin again. 

Jillian Bannister - Board Vice Chair & Chair, Fundraising and Community Engagement Committee
Jillian is the Executive Director of Ext. Marketing Inc., a marketing firm focused on the financial services sector. In her 15-year career she has worked in marketing management for a number of financial services leaders, including Franklin Templeton Investments, one of the world's largest publicly held mutual fund companies. Jillian's education includes an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics. An advocate for women's rights, Jillian is moved by the difference Ernestine's has made in the lives of Toronto women and children and is honoured to serve on its board.

Tieu-Minh To - Board Treasurer, Finance, Human Resources, and Program Committee
Tieu-Minh is a senior financial professional with progressive experience in financial management, reporting and risk management.  She is Assistant Vice President, Finance at Tarion Warranty Corporation with accountability for the finance and accounting functions.  Tieu-Minh is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a graduate from University of Waterloo. She is excited to be part of Ernestine’s board, a group of women who are so passionate about helping women and children to escape from violence and seek a better life.

Martha Hancock - Board Secretary & Finance, Human Resources and Programs Committee
Martha is the Assistant Vice President, Philanthropy & Sponsorships at Manulife Financial with accountability for enterprise corporate social responsibility, and corporate giving and sponsorships in Canada. Her 14 years of experience in the financial services sector is primarily focused on B2B marketing, sponsorship and brand management serving commercial banking and institutional investor businesses. She holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto and is a graduate of the Directing Program at the National Theatre School in Montreal. Martha joined the Board of Ernestine's Women's Shelter in September 2011, and is proud to contribute to its work to end violence against women and children.

Siloni Waraich – Executive Committee & Chair, Governance Committee
Siloni is a stakeholder management and strategic communications professional with over 20 years of experience in senior roles, in the public and private sector. She is currently Vice President, Stakeholder Engagement at Tarion Warranty Corporation where she oversees the organization's external relations functions and manages the public consultation process. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Business Administration. Siloni's political experiences as a former School Board Trustee, and as a former President of a provincial political party, have solidified her passion for advocacy. She is excited to join Ernestine's board to advocate for women's issues and support a valuable organization that endeavors to end violence against women and children.

Josephine Ho, CHRL – Board & Chair, Finance, Human Resources and Programs Committee 
Josephine is a human resources professional who specializes in organizational effectiveness and diversity & inclusion at The Home Depot Canada. She holds a B.Sc.(Hons) from the University of Toronto and the Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation in Canada. As a long-time supporter of the VAW sector, Josephine is honoured to serve on Ernestine's board to promote the prevention violence against women and their children. 

Cara Henry - Board Member & Chair, Ernestine Affair Committee
Cara is currently an Event Manager at Rogers Centre. In her 15-year career there, she has managed all non-baseball events at the stadium, including concerts, sporting events and corporate functions. Previously, Cara was the Meetings Manger at the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO), a non-for profit organization focused on waste reduction. In 1994, Cara graduated University of Toronto with a Political Science major with a Specialist in Environmental Studies. She is pleased to chair the shelter's annual gala, the Ernestine Affair, to raise funds and awareness of the issue of violence against women and children. 

Jennifer Altosaar - Board Member & Governance Committee 
Jennifer is the Coordinator with the Toronto Network of Specialized Care at Surrey Place Centre. She has worked in Developmental Services in Toronto for over 20 years working with adults with a developmental disability. Jennifer feels privileged to be able to engage with the community to enhance and build systems to better support those with special needs. She has always championed for those who cannot always speak for themselves and considers herself an advocate and agent of change.  Jennifer is encouraged by the difference Ernestine's has made in the lives of Toronto women and children and is pleased to serve on its board. 

Seher Goderya - Board Member & Governance Committee
Seher is a lawyer at Basman Smith LLP, a full service law firm in Toronto, where she practices in the areas of business, real estate and estate planning law. Seher holds a business management degree from York University and a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School.  She is a long-standing volunteer with the Ontario Justice Education Network, where she has been involved with educating and mentoring high school youth in the practice of law. Seher has always been committed to eliminating violence against women and children, and is proud to be associated with the Ernestine's Women's Shelter and its dedicated members.

Rita Kumar - Board Member & Finance, Human Resources, and Programs Committee
Rita is an accounting professional who specializes in commercial banking, working with local entrepreneurs to grow their business and gain their competitive edge. She holds an MBA from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and a Chartered Professional Accounting designation in Canada (CPA, CMA).  Rita joined the Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter board in 2015, and is honoured to contribute to its work to end violence against women and children. 

Julia Nanos - Board Member & Finance, Human Resources, and Programs Committee
Julia is a management-side labour and employment lawyer, whose practice includes human rights, occupational health and safety, and labour relations. She holds a law degree from the University of Western Ontario, where she volunteered at the local Family Law Courthouse, assisting unrepresented litigants in family law disputes. Prior to law school, Julia studied Law and Society at York University, where she focused on human rights and social justice issues facing marginalized communities. Julia is honoured to sit on the Board of Directors of Ernestine’s, and to contribute to the important work it is doing to support women and children fleeing violence.

Jessica Rayne - Board Member & Fundraising and Community Engagement Committee 
Jessica is a Brand Strategist and Research Professional at In-Sync, a division of Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, which focuses on marketing research and brand strategy consulting. There, Jessica helps Fortune 500 companies understand their consumers and tap into strategic opportunities to improve patient outcomes and drive business growth.  Jessica’s brings a wealth of experience from the social service sector through volunteering with the City of Toronto where she helped develop and implement health and anti-violence programs for marginalized youth. Currently, she is a Strategic Advisor for the City of Toronto’s Gender Based Youth Violence Initiative. She holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from York University and a Diploma in Business Management and Marketing from Humber College. Passionate about social change, she is honoured to be a member of the board and actively contribute to positive change in the lives of women and children impacted by violence.

Chengli Tang - Board Member & Fundraising and Community Engagement Committee
Chengli is an experienced management consultant with over ten years of experience in the Financial Services industry, while working at various locations around the world. She holds an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto. In 2014, she joined the board of Ernestine's Women's Shelter and is extremely thrilled to be part of the work to stop violence against women and their children. 

Shilpa Tiwari - Board Member & Fundraising and Community Engagement Committee 
Shilpa is the VP Corporate Social Responsibility at OMERS and is accountable for both sustainability and corporate citizenship across the enterprise.  She has over 15 years of experience in the sector, and has worked in Canada, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe assisting corporations in developing and executing corporate social responsibility strategies. Shilpa holds a PhD from the University of London in Social Anthropology. Shilpa is honored to be a member of the board of an organization that supports women and children fleeing violence.

Crisis 416.746.3701 / TTY 416.746.3716

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did you know

13%

of women seek medical attention after suffering injury from spousal abuse.

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