Board Profiles

Ryan Acayan:

Ryan has been a proud Rivertowne resident for the past 3 years. He and his son were searching for a neighborhood to call home and developed a connection to Riverdale after meeting many passionate residents and business owners in the area. They both frequent the Queen/Saulter Toronto Public Library and his son is enrolled in the ITF Taekwon-do classes at the community centre.

Ryan has been working at a non-profit management company for the past 7 years and has held positions with the Canadian Cancer Society and Heart and Stroke Foundation. This gives him a unique perspective on how a wide range of non-profit associations operate and their use of best practices. Ryan brings his varied finance/operations management experience to RTCC and is looking forward to helping the Riverside communities as a Board Member.

 

John Bradford:

John loves the East end of Toronto and has lived here; the Bain Co-Op and Greenwood-Dundas neighbourhood, most of his life. His work has been focused on counselling, income support, disability issues, accommodation and training. While on staff with the Metro Labour Education Centre he travelled the province delivering educational workshops to Labour-Management committees facing plant closures and layoffs. He witnessed the devastation caused by job loss but also saw first-hand how well-targeted programs can provide relief and hope. For the last 16 years John has been the Ontario Training Coordinator with Indigenous and Northern Affairs where he gained an understanding of the challenges facing aboriginal communities, even as he was frustrated by inadequate bureaucratic response.  John has recently retired and is looking forward to using his skills to support the efforts of the Ralph Thornton Community Centre in enabling all the voices in our community to be heard. He has a passion for music, local history and municipal affairs.

 

Christine Chen:

Christine recently returned to Toronto, Canada after a number of years living and working in the US. She has 12 years of professional experience on Wall Street and is currently working as a senior project manager/senior consultant in the Canadian financial industry. Christine is passionate about making a long lasting impact in the community and is a strong advocate for mentoring, diversity, and inclusion.

She has an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). She hopes to contribute her varied finance/project management background experience at Ralph Thornton.

 

Caleb Edwards:

Caleb Edwards, his wife and two children have lived in the neighbourhood since 2014. Originally from Scarborough, Caleb spent time in New York City and London before returning to Toronto.  Caleb and his family enjoy the neighbourhood and want to give something back to the community. Over the past two years on the board, Caleb has learned about the role Ralph Thornton plays in the community, welcoming new neighbours, providing space for older neighbours and providing access and opportunities for those with needs.

Caleb has a JD from Columbia Law School and an LLM from University College London. During the day, Caleb practices commercial litigation at a firm downtown. He hopes to continue to work with the board in strengthening the Centre and preparing it for new challenges.

 

Ex Officio Board Member Councillor Paula Fletcher

Paula Fletcher has a long record of service to Toronto-Danforth residents, becoming involved as a leader in the East End Parent Network, then working as Public School Trustee. In 2003 Paula was elected to City Council for the former Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth, and was re-elected in 2018 as the City Councillor for the new Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth.

On city-wide issues, she has focused on creating a healthy city through her involvement in housing, public health, recreation, environment and community development issues.  Paula works with residents, business owners and community agencies to build vibrant, healthy neighbourhoods, and is a strong voice at City Hall defending the services residents expect from their City.

She is Vice-Chair of Toronto and East York Community Council and Vice-Chair of the City’s Planning and Housing Committee.  She serves on Boards of Civic Theatres Toronto, Heritage Toronto, CreateTO, Toronto Community Housing Corporation, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, Foodshare, and the Toronto Foundation for Student Success.  Locally, she is also on the Boards of the Applegrove Community Complex, Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre, and the Riverside and Leslieville BIA’s.

 

Amy Grenon:

Amy is an intellectual property lawyer and partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. She has previously supported fundraising at RTCC and has used the South Riverdale Child Parent Centre. She’s experienced in consensus building, governance and financial stewardship. She has previously volunteered with pro bono legal assistance and various access to justice initiatives. Amy has lived in the catchment area for the last three years.

 

Shiralee Hudson Hill:

Shiralee Hudson Hill is an award-winning museum planning consultant who also works as a sessional lecturer in the University of Toronto’s Museum Studies Graduate Program. Previously, she spent thirteen years leading interpretation and evaluation projects at the Art Gallery of Ontario, worked on cultural projects worldwide with the museum planning firm Lord Cultural Resources, and held positions with Arts Etobicoke, the Ontario Science Centre, and the National Museum of Ireland. Experienced in financial stewardship, communications and fundraising, she is a proud Leslieville resident and has served as president of the Boulton Child Care Centre’s Board of Directors, on multiple municipal community consultation committees, and is a member of the Leslieville Historical Society. She served on the governance committee of the Association for Art Museum Interpreters from 2018–2019.

 

Alan Lennon:

Alan has been a resident of the Ralph Thornton Community Centre catchment area since 1981. Having raised a family in our neighborhood, he is concerned about the future for young families, newcomers and seniors in the downtown of Toronto. For him, a vibrant community requires a mix of demographics and activities as well as supports for all of its residents.

He spent 25 years working in the labour movement in Toronto both as an activist and a staff member representing workers in the federal government. Using the skills in organizing, administering and analyzing policy learned and developed through those experiences, Alan hopes to continue contributing to the building of the Ralph Thornton Community Centre as an institution supporting all parts of the community. Such community centers, in his view, must provide both needed services as well as facilitate the building of the capacity to develop and maintain an inclusive and citizen-oriented neighborhood and city.

For the past 4 years, he has served on the board as a member as well as Treasurer and President.  Alan is looking forward to continue to help build RTCC as a vibrant community Centre for all our residents.

 

Julia Peters:

Julia has been living, playing and raising a family in the Riverdale and East Toronto neighborhood for over 10 years and has actively navigated the community, education and health sectors. As an active member in the community, Julia is committed to fostering diversity and community well-being in order to strengthen the neighbourhood and is passionate about building supports for families, parents and children.  Professionally, Julia brings expertise in healthcare, governance and IT and has been facilitating strategic change through active engagement with individuals and organizations for over 15 years.  Julia has advanced degrees in developmental psychology.

 

Abraham Plunkett-Latimer:

Abe is an urban planner working for a small heritage consulting firm. Abe is experienced in facilitation and community engagement. He obtained a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Ryerson in 2019. His Master’s research focused on the social justice implications of pop-up land uses including Scadding Court Community Centre’s Market 707. He has also conducted research for Artscape and Sidewalk Labs on sustainable and socially responsible development. Abe has lived in the community since 2011.

 

Lisa Pottie:

Lisa has been involved in the non-profit sector for 25 years, mainly as a fundraiser for a wide variety of arts, health, and community organizations. She is currently the Director, Development and Donor Relations at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, where most recently she and her team raised $2.2 million from corporate, individual and foundation supporters. She was previously the Executive Director for Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s Atlantic region for five years. She’s lived in the catchment area for the last five years.

 

Maggi Redmonds:

Maggi has lived in the catchment area for over 40 years and in that time has served on boards and committees of community-based agencies, including Ralph Thornton Community Centre, South Riverdale Community Health Centre and Boulton Child Care. She has also been active in other community initiatives.  With experience in governance, community organizing & outreach, Maggi strongly supports principles of collaboration, inclusion, equity and social justice.

 

Ejay Tupe:

Ejay was a member of the RTCC Board Management from 2018-2020. He has been involved in serving vulnerable people for over 15 years by working for the Yonge Street Mission as a Case Manager, serving as the Community Chaplain at Cornerstone Dinner in Regent Park and employed as a Youth Minister for Church in the City in the St. Lawrence area.  Ejay started his own not for profit work serving individuals in the downtown neighbourhood who are in cyclical poverty.  His extensive experience in public speaking, fundraising, and teaching has served him well in his past experience and current role.