Park People Board of Directors
John has worked as an educator, community activist and artist to support and strengthen communities. From founding award winning recreation programs for urban youth to redefining street photography in public art installations on the streets of Toronto, John has sought creative opportunities to engage people.
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.
Judy was the Executive Director of Bravo!FACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent) from 1997 -2011. Prior to that she worked in Israel at the Canadian Embassy and as coordinator of a fund providing grants enabling Israelis and Palestinians, Jordanians and Egyptians, to work together on environmental, community-building and other projects. She has been honoured with Women on Film and Television’s Outstanding Achievement on Leadership Award, and with Canadian Women on Communication’s Excellence in Leadership Award.
Eti is a therapist and Tai Chi instructor. She also worked for Toronto city councillor Adam Vaughan for four years. One of her major projects was the mapping of all the parks in Ward 20 in preparation for the establishment of Parks Improvement Associations (PIA’s) that will enable local communities to be involved in the design and ongoing management of their parks. She also played a critical role in the restoration of Victoria Memorial Square where she lives.
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.
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.
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.
Judy Matthews is an urban planner with a particular interest in the public realm and urban greenspace. She has worked for Metropolitan Toronto, the City of Toronto, and the University of Toronto. Also, as an engaged citizen, Judy has participated in a wide range of cultural artistic and social endeavours. She has worked with Harbourfront Centre, United Way, Creative Trust, Parks and Trees Foundation, People Plan Toronto, The Canadian Opera Company and Artscape.
As Head of Corporate Citizenship for Manulife, Chris is responsible for the organization’s global corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, which includes oversight of environmental risk and sustainability programs, CSR reporting and communications, and stakeholder engagement as it relates to CSR. Prior to joining Manulife, Chris was a part of the Royal Bank of Canada’s Corporate Sustainability Group. He has also held various positions in the real estate, consulting and public sectors and was the treasurer for the Greater Toronto Area Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
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.
Dennis Woo is an experienced strategist and operations leader in financial services at Capital One Canada. After completing his MBA, Dennis worked over 5 years as a strategy consultant for both Deloitte Consulting and Accenture Management Consulting leading large business transformation initiatives within the financial services industry. Prior to consulting, he worked in numerous industries from retail merchandising and non-profit to oil and gas and education. As an avid outdoor enthusiast and a relatively new parent, he is now re-experiencing green spaces and parks in Toronto and recognizes their importance to the local community as places to enjoy, socialize with friends in, and escape the buzz of everyday life.