Our Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is made up of a diverse group of community members who are dedicated to ensuring everyone in Toronto has access to enough healthy food.  These members provide the governance for our organization sharing their wisdom, expertise and leadership.

Habon Ali (Chair)

Habon Ali is an Urban Planner and certified Project Management Professional with experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Her professional background has encompassed multiple disciplines including community development, waterfront planning and transportation planning and policy. Habon’s work has focused on developing comprehensive and practical solutions to enhancing urban mobility and encouraging the creation of healthy, inclusive communities. Prior to becoming an urban planner Habon worked in the settlement service sector where she gained extensive experience in community development, capacity building, and program innovation. She has supported the development of Community Food and Nutrition Programs as well as the creation of Strategic Plans that identify opportunities to coordinate and enhance local service delivery to newcomer families.

Christine Farrugia (Vice-Chair)

Christine Farrugia has had a variety of roles over the past 7 years at Loblaw Companies Limited. She is currently the Vice President, Customer Centre of Excellence responsible for consumer insights and shifting the culture of the organization to be more customer centric.  She also has experience in mergers and acquisitions, post-merger implementation and building and operating loyalty programs.  Before joining Loblaw, Christine worked at a Big 4 accounting firm doing transaction advisory services on public-private partnerships in the infrastructure sector, and at a private equity firm.  Christine received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Applied Economics from Queen’s University, and her Masters of Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Carm McCormick (Treasurer)

Carm started out designing and building stores.  As she progressed through her career, she has focused on building strategies for business growth and increased profitability, and implementing strategic plans to rebuild teams and improve operational effectiveness.  She has had the opportunity to do this for iconic brands as both an employee and as a consultant. An advocate for civic engagement, Carm has focused her efforts to serving the Willowdale community over the years as Co-Chair of various school councils, voting member of middle school councils and Chair of the Traffic Safety Committee.  She is an optimist with an appreciation for, and a continued focus on collaboration and engagement.

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John Lee (Secretary

John Lee is a policy professional with over 10 years experience in the Ontario Public Service. He has broad social policy and strategic policy/planning experience over a range of cross-government projects and transformative initiatives related to social assistance, basic income, poverty reduction, disability issues and employment services. In addition to his policy experience, John spent five years in California leading fund development and programs at The Bread Project, a bakery and culinary skills training social enterprise. He has a Hons. B.Sc. in economics and computer science from University of Toronto.

Tori Buffery

Tori Buffery became involved with the North York Harvest Food Bank as a member of the Finance and Risk Committee in 2018. She is currently a Partner at Morningside Capital Management, a private equity investment firm. Prior to joining Morningside, Tori worked at the CPP Investment Board and BMO Capital Markets and holds an Honours Bachelor of Business and Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. Tori also serves on the Board of Urban Squash Toronto, a charitable youth organization.

Kelly Jackson

Kelly Jackson is the Associate Vice-President for Government Relations, Marketing and Communications at Humber College. Kelly has extensive experience in the government and post-secondary education sectors. Prior to joining Humber, Kelly held numerous roles in provincial politics including as Director of Communications to the Minister of Finance and Director of Policy to the Minister of Education. Kelly spent a number of years overseeing strategic and integrated planning, government relations and stakeholder engagement at Seneca College. She also has experience in research project management having coordinated international conference series and academic publications at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo. Kelly holds a Master of Arts in Political Science and a Graduate Diploma in German and European Studies from York University and has studied at Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg and the University of Sheffield. Kelly is currently Third Vice-President of the Empire Club of Canada.

Rachael MacKenzie-Neill

An energetic senior leader with over 20 years experience, Rachael is an acknowledged marketing communication professional with experience ranging from financial services to media to retail franchising. She has also held various industry and community roles, including Co-Chair of the Marketing Committee for the Juno Awards, President of the Advertising Club of Toronto, Trustee of the Jack Webster Foundation and Co-Chair of the Healey Willan Park Improvement committee. Rachael currently teaches at George Brown College and runs her own small business.

Casey Ramsaran

Casey Ramsaran is a Certified Human Resources Leader who is truly passionate about people. Currently, Casey works in a Human Resources capacity at the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) and serves an additional client group named the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI). Prior to joining the CBA in the financial district, Casey worked in several industries including logistics and transportation, marketing, media, sales and telecommunications. She operates in a generalist capacity which allows her to be well versed in Human Resources. Casey is a mentor through HRPA’s Peel Chapter and is also a part time instructor for Humber College with a focus on Recruitment, Selection and Talent Management for the Fire Services program.

Nathalie Vengal

Nathalie was born and and raised in Colombia and sent abroad to pursue her post-secondary education in Canada. She graduated from York University as a Human Rights and Equity Studies Major and now works as a National Representative for UFCW Canada. During her time in University, she successfully worked for the Latino youth LGTBQ community as the leader of a Gay-straight alliance group and successfully created various events and awareness campaigns; Simultaneously, she worked as an advocate for United Food and Commercial Workers Canada as a Chapter President for the Students against migrant exploitation group. In 2014, she received the Equity and Diversity INI award issued by the City Of Toronto due to her work for the LGTBQ community. In March 2016, she successfully founded the “Youth Feeding Youth” food bank agency at the Centre For Spanish Speaking Peoples which focuses on serving out-of-status youth and families in the City of Toronto. Thanks to the collaboration of the CSSP, the North York Harvest Food Bank and the municipal government, our agency is successfully operating on a bi-monthly basis.

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Sharmini Fernando

Sharmini Fernando is a non-profit administrator with extensive experience working across grassroots, municipal, non-governmental, and international development sectors. Committed to creating space and voice for marginalized communities, she has worked to support immigrant, displaced, racialized and queer communities in Canada and Sri Lanka. Her international work in Sri Lanka focused on health and human rights within the context of civil conflict with specific attention to the impact on women.  Sharmini is a founding member of the Ujamaa Housing Cooperative, the Coalition of Agencies Serving South Asians and Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, she continues to work on capacity building initiatives for diverse community-based organizations. Sharmini is currently the Executive Director of the Syme Woolner Neighbourhood and Family Centre.