Call for Nominations for the 2024-2025 Board Year

Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada (BBBSC) is recruiting Directors to join the National Board of Directors.  If you are interested in applying, please follow the detailed directions below:

Breanne Oliver, National Board

Breanne Oliver, Chair

Breanne Oliver believes in the power of mentorship and has been involved in non profits for over 20 years. She is a former mentor and joined the Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary in 2016, and has served as its Chair since 2019, acknowledging that Calgary has been an early adopter of the Theory of Change.

Breanne is currently VP, People and Stakeholder Relations at Inter Pipeline and has 15 years of experience in communications, stakeholder relations, and human resources. In addition, she has years of fundraising experience and is active in diversity and inclusion initiatives particularly mental health. Breanne is a native of Montreal and speaks French and English, and is currently completing her CPHR accreditation.

Josh Liswood, BBBSC National Board Member

Josh Liswood, Vice-Chair

Josh Liswood is a retired lawyer with skills in finance, governance, insurance and financial management. Most recently, Josh was the Chair of the Health Industry Practice of a large national law firm for 20 years along with other leadership roles and in the 1990’s he was counsel to the Insurance Task force of The Law Society of Upper Canada.

Josh has served on the Board of BBBS Toronto and was a Big Brother as a young adult. In September 2023, Josh agreed to co-lead the BBBSC insurance task force. Additional not for profit experience includes his time as Chair of the Board and Member’s Assembly of the “Centre” of Plan International a federation of approximately 73 countries with an annual budget to programs of 1.2 billion dollars.

Gunvir Kalra, Board Member

Gunvir Kalra, Treasurer

Gunvir Kalra is a first-generation immigrant to Canada with 16 years of experience in corporate finance, marketing and IT, having previously worked on digital transformation. Gunvir currently holds a leadership position in the operation and management of an accounting firm in Toronto.

Additionally, Gunvir has a certificate in Law from Queen’s University. He has been an active volunteer with several charitable organisations such as JUMP math, and the community music schools of Toronto applying his financial literacy and planning strengths to support youth in pursuit of success. Gunvir is an active business and personal networker. Having been supported by numerous associations and individuals during his 16 years in Canada, he is passionate about the work BBBSC does and how he can help.

Daria Hobeika BBBSC National Board Director

Daria Hobeika, Secretary

Daria Hobeika is an executive and entrepreneur dedicated to addressing complex societal issues and steering organizations towards efficient decision-making and sustainable models. Trained as a lawyer and strategic advisor, she is known for her sound judgment, rigour, and capacity to vulgarize and communicate information effectively.

She is a founding partner at Clearsum, a strategy advisory firm specialized in climate risk and opportunities, where she leads transition risk, climate law, and governance work. To do so, she leverages her experience as a former Chief of Staff to a minister of the Government of Quebec, including her intimate knowledge of pan-Canadian dynamics and legislative and regulatory processes.

Daria holds bachelor’s degrees in law from McGill University and an executive MBA from HEC Montréal – McGill. She in an Action Canada Fellow and a former board member of BBBS du Grand Montréal.

Ian Cascaganette, BBBSC National Board Member

Ian Cascagnette, Director at Large

Ian Cascagnette is the CFO at Pythian, an IT consultancy, and is currently board member and Chair of Finance and Audit Committee at BBBS Ottawa. He has significant experience in finance, legal and insurance matters throughout his career. Most significantly Ian is a CPA with audit experience at Deloitte for approximately 7 years. His current CFO position includes oversight of finance, legal, HR, among other responsibilities.

In addition to being Chair of Finance and Audit Committee at BBBS Ottawa, Ian previously sat as Treasurer on local NFP board (South Ottawa Community Legal Services), a provincially funded legal services organization, until the local amalgamation of several clinics.

Jay Green, BBBSC National Board Director

Jay Green, Director at Large

Jay Green’s involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters began when he was just 9 years old, starting as a Little in the Burlington agency. Since then, he has remained actively engaged with the organization, in a variety of capacities, ranging from being a dedicated volunteer and committee member for the Halton and Hamilton agency to holding influential roles as a Board member, and serving as President/Chair for both Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ontario and its Endowment Fund. He remains friends with his last Big Brother to this day.

Professionally, Jay is currently the Chief Financial Officer of CBI Health, a national healthcare services company. Notably, from late 2020 through 2021, he lent his expertise as an advisor to the Global Alliance for Vaccine Immunization (GAVI) in support of COVAX, the international initiative aimed at ensuring equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. This commitment followed a distinguished career at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in finance and transformation roles that spanned several countries, including Canada, Ireland, the UK, and Belgium, culminating in his most recent position as CFO for GSK’s global vaccines business headquartered in Belgium.

Jay is a CPA/CA and holds a Master of Accounting from the University of Waterloo.

Shaun Jeffrey, BBBSC National Board Member

Shaun Jeffrey, Director at Large

Shaun Jeffrey is a lifelong support advocate for youth empowerment. Involved in youth sports and youth development as a multi sport coach and mentor, his direct involvement in youth mentorship started at a young age and a peer mentor in high school.

Shaun is a non-profit specialist as the CEO and Executive Director of the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association. His involvement in board and charity development extends over 15 years in three different industries. Shaun is also the proud owner of the Carpe Diem group, a thriving real estate and property management company.

Shaun holds a bachelor degree in business administration from the University of Winnipeg and a Management development certificate from Red River college. Shaun has a strong focus on continuing education with over 700 hours in personal development accreditation compiled over his career. As a past chair of the pest management association and the policy chair of Football Manitoba, Shaun’s investment in the community continues to shape his ability to bring his youth contributions to the lives of youth in Manitoba.

Along with his wife Stephanie, Shaun is the proud father of 5 amazing children.

Raheela Khan BBBSC National Board Director

Raheela Khan, Director at Large

Raheela Khan is an independent Business Advisory Consultant currently based in Vancouver leading community awareness programs on the importance of cultural confidence, integration, diversity, and avoidance of self-exclusion. Raheela is an alumnus of Oxford and Yale University, and a Yale World Fellow. She currently sits on the boards of The Power of Play, and Birth Mark.

Her current work focuses on ensuring framing equity practices, diversity and inclusiveness, empowering women, and youth development to unlock growth potential and social sustainability across Canada, Pakistan, and the Middle East. Raheela is passionate about using her experiences to mentor and provide opportunities to young people for a better future as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada’s National board.

Before moving to Canada, Raheela managed a $600M+ portfolio for Doha Bank, one of Qatar’s largest banks in Dubai. Previously, she was instrumental in transforming the investment culture at the Pakistan Mercantile Exchange by introducing new financial products to the economy and conducting investment awareness seminars nationwide for financial inclusion and literacy. Her initiatives have inspired her to work on publishing children’s books on empowering cultural confidence and financial literacy for children.

Peter MacKay, BBBSC National Board Member

Peter MacKay, Director at Large

The Honourable Peter MacKay served in the Parliament of Canada for over 18 years as a Member of Parliament, including as a Cabinet Minister in the Harper Government for 10 years. In that time, he served as Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Minister of National Defense, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Mr. MacKay chaired the Government National Security Committee for almost 10 years and served on numerous other inter-parliamentary committees. Prior to politics he served as a Crown Attorney in the Central Region of Nova Scotia. He worked in private practice and prior to joining Deloitte was a Partner with the global law firm Baker McKenzie in their Toronto office. He is now working as a Strategic Advisor with Deloitte Canada and Counsel with McInnes Cooper, an Atlantic Canadian law firm. He works nationally and internationally in areas such as aerospace and defense, procurement, infrastructure, and justice reform, financial crimes, anti-corruption & compliance.

Peter serves as a Board Member for Cielo Waste Solutions Corp. and on numerous volunteer boards including Wounded Warriors Canada, the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, Integrity Initiatives International, the Canada United States Law Institute and the Stanfield Conversations, Dalhousie University. He has been active in Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Children’s Aid Foundation, the Ship Hector Foundation, the Campaign for Acadia.

He and his wife Nazanin, who is a human rights activist and author, have three children and live in Pictou County, Nova Scotia.

Matt McGowan, Director at Large

Matt McGowan is a born and bred New Yorker turned Torontonian who has lived on 3 continents, and has worked alongside founders, executives, venture capitalists, private equity professionals, lawyers, accountants and others representing some of the world’s best known and thousands of lesser known companies. Matt’s experience has led him to believe that a focus on building strong diverse teams can mean the difference between a successful business and one that struggles to attain its KPIs. Ensuring decisions are made that build on operational excellence within agreed upon strategic swim-lanes is the first and most important ingredient to achieving growth and prosperity.

Matt is the Director and General Manager of Snap Inc Canada, the camera company that owns Snapchat, Spectacles, Toronto based Bitmoji, and Zenly. He serves as an advisor to CPA Ontario, the governing provincial body that represents chartered professional accountants, on the board of the Banff World Media Festival, a marketplace and conference designed to help you create new development and production opportunities, and on the board of StrawberryFrog, the world’s first Movement Marketing, Advertising & Design agency.

J Naso - National Board Meeting

Jamileh Naso, Director at Large

Jamileh Naso is a community leader whose own experiences as a refugee shape her personal and professional endeavors. She is an award-winning refugee activist, media commentator, accomplished public speaker, and researcher.

Jamileh is currently a Manager, Community Investment at Bell Canada. She leads Bell’s charitable initiatives in Western and Northern Canada and supports Bell’s national campaign, Bell Let’s Talk, strategy for partners, non-profits, and mental health experts to promote awareness and action within 4 key pillars: fighting stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research, and workplace mental health.

Jamileh is an MBA candidate, with a concentration in Finance at the Australian Institute of Business. She holds a Certificate in Public Policy Analysis from the London School of Economics and Political Science and pursued her undergraduate studies at the University of Winnipeg with a specialization in Political Science and Human Rights.

James Sliter, BBBSC National Board Member

James Sliter, Director at Large

In addition to a Vice-President role at RBC as a leader within their Automotive Finance business, James Sliter is the current Board President for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ontario (BBBSO) and spent a full-term of six years as a board member in Ottawa, including a full-term as Chair. James joined BBBS through the 1:1 match mentoring program in University where he connected with his first little brother for the duration of his schooling and moved into the in school mentoring program as he moved for his career. BBBSO supports the 39 local agencies across Ontario mainly through its endowment fund and with a focus on building capacity. In 2017 James was recognized for his community involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa, in addition to a number of other causes through the Canada 150 Senate Medal. This was a once-in-a-lifetime recognition opportunity across Canada through the Senate of Canada.

James’ current role at RBC sees him supporting a team who in turn supports Automotive Finance clients both in Commercial and Retail scope. Having worked in larger size commercial portfolios, James has the ability to interpret financials and quickly determine key questions to understand operational effectiveness. He is additionally known for building strong engagement and culture within teams and through past leadership coaching roles as well as a strong supporter of Diversity Equitability & Inclusion through champion roles at RBC.