Meet our board

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.

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.

Leah Houston

Leah Houston is the Founder and Executive Director of MABELLEarts. Over her fifteen years of leadership, Leah has developed strong strategic growth, governance and partnership development skills. In that time, MABELLEarts has emerged as a powerful example of what's possible when people come together to make art and solve problems. With a team of compassionate, smart and imaginative colleagues, Leah and MABELLEarts are redefining the arts' role in low-income communities. Leadership development and civic engagement, public space transformation and design, grassroots tower renewal and local economic development are all integral to the work of MABELLEarts under Leah's leadership. Leah is a York University’s Environmental Studies Department graduate with an M.A. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. In 2021, she was awarded the inaugural Tim Jones Creative Placemaking Award for her work in the Mabelle neighbourhood.

Mathew Hupfield

Mathew Hupfield has worked in the environmental and Indigenous non-profit sectors for the past 15 years. He previously worked at Park People as Director of Development and as the Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Pembina Institute's B.C. office. He also spent three years developing the New Relationship Trust Foundation, B.C.’s largest Indigenous-run education charity, while also spearheading their partnership and marketing efforts. He has held fundraising and management roles at Evergreen in both the national and regional B.C. offices. Mathew is a member of Wasauksing First Nation, located on the eastern shores of Georgian Bay, Ontario. His passion for the environment, sustainable urban systems and capacity development are all key drivers for his support of Park People. Mathew currently resides in the beautiful B.C. Interior with his family in the unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan People.

Nisha Malik

Nisha Malik is the Associate Vice President, Execution & Enablement for Sustainability & Corporate Citizenship at TD Bank Group. Nisha has over 15 years of experience in various finance and operations roles within the Bank, and before joining TD, she started her career in public accounting at KPMG. In her current role, Nisha leads a team of colleagues at TD that manage the Bank's community investment dollars and ensure alignment with TD's Corporate Citizenship Strategy. Her team is also charged with the ongoing development and interaction model of the Bank's ESG Centre of Expertise, which brings together ESG talent from across the enterprise to advance TD's ESG strategy to support aligning TD's business objectives with its purpose of enriching the lives of our customers, colleagues and communities it serves. Nisha is passionate about giving back and can play in many of the fantastic city parks in Toronto with her kids on the weekend.

Robyn Chan

Robyn Chan is the Sustainability Specialist for the University Neighbourhoods Association at UBC, where she leads sustainable community engagement projects and sustainable land use strategy. Her previous experience includes community planning in the False Creek South neighbourhood of Vancouver and managing ecological footprint and placemaking programs. She is past chair of the Vancouver City Planning Commission and a Masters of Urban Studies student at Simon Fraser University.

Seana Irvine

Seana is an urban planner with over 30 years of experience working at the intersection of community-based participatory engagement, environmental sustainability, and social justice. She is a founding team member behind the development of Evergreen Brick Works as a showcase of industrial heritage adaptive reuse and a hub for applied urban sustainability. Seana has served in executive positions with innovative and entrepreneurial change-making organizations, including Evergreen and the Centre for Social Innovation. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in environmental studies and watershed planning. In 2001, she began a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Social Research at Trent University, where she is also a course Instructor in the School of the Environment. An active volunteer, Seana has served on several boards, including The Stop Community Food Centre, the Equality Effect, The Centre for Social Innovation, The Sustainability Network and the Wanapitei Wilderness Centre.

Selina Young


Selina is Métis from northern Saskatchewan. She has been a guest on Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee territory in and around Toronto her whole life. Selina is passionate about the outdoors and spends hours running and walking through local urban parks along the Credit River and Lake Ontario. She has over 25 years of experience in public service, having worked for governments in Ontario, Canada and Scotland and is currently the Director of the Indigenous Affairs Office in the City of Toronto. Selina has undergraduate and graduates degrees in aquatic toxicology and environmental studies. She has volunteered throughout her life most recently as a Board Member for Katimavik and a member of the Toronto Public Library's Indigenous Advisory Council.

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.