Meet our board

Adele Freeman

Adele Freeman has spent her professional career with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority as the Director of Watershed Management, Don Watershed Specialist and Conservation Area Planner. Projects such as the first phase of the Don Valley Brick Works Regeneration and planning for the Lower Don Flood Protection and Naturalization Projects have been career highlights along with local initiatives to connect communities to parks and greenspaces. Environmental education, community engagement, stewardship and involvement have always been special aspects of her work. Adele loves the waterfront parks, ravines, walking and cycle paths and Allan Gardens.

Alison Harnick

Alison is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for First Capital. She has over 10 years of experience representing and advising companies in different industries, including real estate, in connection with corporate transactions, risk management, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, public and private offerings of equity and debt securities, and numerous other commercial transactions. She also has strong expertise advising public companies and their boards of directors on corporate governance and regulatory compliance matters.

Anne Charlton

Anne was the Director of Calgary Parks from 2008 until retirement from The City in 2018. She has over 30 years experience with both government and consulting sectors in parks and recreation. Over her career, she has spent time in provincial parks, parks consulting in northern Canada as well as various roles for Calgary Parks before taking the senior management position. The Director role offered a combination of politics, leadership and finance but left space to be actively involved in planning and sharing knowledge (such as cultural landscapes, water management, pathway systems, wetland policy, and LEED parks educational facilities) with multiple organizations both locally and internationally. She was elected to an agency board position in World Urban Parks in 2016 and is still active in the North American chapter. She holds a Bachelor’s in Recreation Administration from University of Alberta and a Master’s in Landscape Architecture from University of Guelph. While Calgary is home, an outdoor passion is sea kayaking so travel is part of her life as is the new project of cottage building.

Christine Hampson

Christine is the co-founder of a boutique consulting firm providing not-for-profit management, organizational design, strategic planning and human resources strategic counsel to a number of select clients. Over her career Christine has worked in academic, government and not-for-profit settings. She holds a Ph.D. from McMaster University in Health Geography and currently serves as President & CEO of The Sandbox Project, Board Director and Member of the Audit and Finance Committee of AllerGen National Centre of Excellence, a member of the Research Advisory Committee of MLSE LaunchPad and on the Steering Committee for GET-FACTS (Genetics, Environment and Therapies: Food Allergy Clinical Tolerance Studies).

Darcy Killeen

Darcy Killeen is Executive Director at Contact Photography Festival and has held this position for the last ten years. Prior joining CONTACT, Mr. Killeen was CFO & Vice-President, Finance and Administration at Comnetix Inc, a public company on the TSX. Darcy has held a variety of positions in the technology area including Chief Financial Officer of Delta Engineering and Assistant Controller for Antares Electronics Inc. He also held the position of Associate Director of Arbitrage with Nesbitt Burns in the New York City Office.

Hélène Panaïoti

As Executive Director of Les amis de la montagne, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and improving Mount Royal and its namesake park, Hélène guides its leadership role in the stewardship of this iconic Montréal site through advocacy, civic engagement and environmental education. Prior to this, she served as a public affairs and advancement executive with such institutions as Université de Montréal, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. An ardent advocate of public space activation and cultural and heritage preservation, Hélène is committed to supporting Park People in its vital contribution to building strong communities and resilient cities across Canada, with a focus on developing its presence within Quebec.

Najib Hayat

Najib Hayat is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). As the founder and CEO of Olympus Consultants Inc., he provides accounting, financial and IT audit, controls, risk management and consulting expertise to clients throughout North America. Najib has a strong passion for, and recognizes the importance of good parks to the social, health, environmental and economic well-being of all residents of Toronto. Najib is applying his several years of knowledge and experience, having worked with several other Boards, to ensure that Park People continues to be the preeminent organization responsible for building stronger and healthier communities through facilitating neighborhood engagement in local parks.

Peter Venetas

Peter is Vice-President of Development for Streetcar Developments. Trained as an urban planner, Peter has had the fortune of managing some of Toronto’s most complex and architecturally forward thinking city building project including most recently the Mirvish Village/Honest Ed’s redevelopment and the Lawrence Height Revitalization. Peter’s approach and philosophy has been to ensure that community interests, and arts and cultural programming are included in the development process and woven into the final project. Peter also acts as a Public Art consultant and is Director of Arts and Culture for the Broadview Hotel.

Sarbjit Kaur

Sarbjit Kaur is an award-winning communications professional with a background in journalism and government. She heads her own consulting firm, Kaur Communications and is also a Senior Associate at Toronto-based Argyle PR. Prior to starting her consulting career, she served in senior communications roles in the Office of the Minister and in the Ontario Public Service at four Ontario Ministries: Transportation, Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Consumer Services, and Government Services. She has served as a Director on the board of the Mississauga Arts Council, Vice-Chair of the Art Gallery of Mississauga and on numerous other committees and advisory boards. She is currently Interim Executive Director of Our Place Initiative, a non-profit that encourages civic engagement in Etobicoke.

Shalnee Hansen

Chair

Shalnee currently leads Corporate Sponsorships at TD Bank. In this role, she is responsible for the organization’s corporate sponsorship and local brand strategy, which includes oversight of partnerships such as the Toronto Blue Jays, Union Station and the TD Jazz Festivals. Prior to joining TD, Shalnee has held various positions at both CIBC and Bank of Montreal.

Zahra Ebrahim

Zahra is a designer and urbanist, with an established practice of engaging people in the design of services, policies and infrastructure. She is an Executive Advisor to Deloitte on Cities, Design, and Governance, and a senior advisor to political and public interest initiatives across the country. For the past three years, she led Doblin Canada. In this role, she built one of Canada’s largest service design firms, using human-centred processes to engage diverse sets of stakeholders to co-create solutions to complex organizational and industry challenges. Prior to Doblin, Zahra founded and led archiTEXT, working with communities to co-design towards better social outcomes and leading some of Canada’s most ambitious participatory infrastructure and policy programs. She has served on the boards of Jane’s Walk, St. Stephen’s Community House, Toronto Biennial, and the Canadian Urban Institute. She was recently recognized as Ascend/Manulife’s Mentor of the Year, WXN’s Top 100 Women in Canadian Business.

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