Sergeant, Toronto Police Service
Helen Dixon became a member of the Board of Directors at Distress Centres in April 2008 holding the position of volunteer representative as well as volunteering weekly at Distress Centres since 2006.
Helen currently works for the Toronto Police Service and holds the rank of Sergeant. During her policing career she has had many front-line experiences dealing with people in crisis and the emotionally disturbed as a member of the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT). As an investigator with the Service she has worked in homicide and domestic violence. Helen holds a B.Sc. and M.B.A.
Distress Centres' Volunteer and President of Food Packaging Paper Company
Mark is a Toronto native, graduating from University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce, Richard Ivey with an MBA. Upon graduation, Mark joined Unilever in a Marketing capacity and at the same time, became a Toronto Distress Centre volunteer. He remained a volunteer for 7 years when he “retired” from the phone lines as a young family began to demand an ever increasing amount of his time and attention. In the working world, Mark has held increasingly senior Marketing, Sales and Executive roles with several large multinationals and was most recently President and COO of Strathcona Paper, Canada’s largest recycled paperboard mill and supplier of packaging solutions. Mark now runs his own consultancy, specializing in Strategy, Marketing and Sales. His work crosses both private and public sectors, including MAS, a Toronto based not for profit consultancy and CESO (Canadian Executive Services Organization), a Canadian international development organization that assists industry both in Canada and around the Globe to reach their potential.
President, AirBoss of America Corp.
Lisa Swartzman has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing, distribution and retail industries having previously held senior financial positions with some of Canada’s largest publicly traded corporations as well as advising mid-market privately held companies in both the US and Canada. Ms. Swartzman is currently the President of AirBoss of America Corp.
Ms. Swartzman holds a BA from University of Western Ontario and an MBA from Queen’s University, as well as the Institute of Corporate Directors ICD.D (Certified Director) designation. Ms. Swartzman was previously on the Board of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto.
CEO at Canadian Association of Direct Relationship Insurers
Alain Thibault has spent his 40-year career in the insurance and financial services industry and has worked in varying capacities for four different organizations in Quebec City, San Francisco, Montreal and Toronto. He now works on a part-time basis in the area of Government relations after having retired from his role as Executive Vice-President, TD Bank Financial Group and CEO, TD Insurance, where he had the overall responsibility for the Bank’s insurance operations. As one of his current mandates, Alain is the CEO of the Canadian Association of Direct Relationship Insurers.
Aside from his involvement with various industry and professional associations, Alain has also contributed to different not-for-profit organizations, including United Way and Centraide,, the University of Sherbrooke and the Montreal Heart and Stroke Foundation and he currently serves as a Director of the foundation of Laval University.
Alain is a graduate of Laval University B.Sc. (Actuarial) – 1975. He has spent close to twenty years in Toronto, over two different periods of his career. Alain enjoys music, sports and traveling.
Vice President Global Investment Banking, Royal Bank of Canada
Julian Schonfeldt is a Vice President with RBC Capital Markets. Julian joined RBC Capital Markets Investment Banking group in 2011 and has prior experience working with Solaris Capital Advisors, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Julian specializes in capital markets advisory and execution for institutional real estate investors, with experience including, but not limited to, initial public offerings, follow-on equity offerings, public and private debt offerings and mergers & acquisitions. Julian has had the benefit of advising many of Canada’s largest REITs and pension funds.
Julian holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Concentration in Accounting and Finance) from Carleton University, as well as a Chartered Accountant (CA) designation and a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) designation.
City of Toronto TPH, Mental Health Promotion
Jennifer is currently working as a Consultant with the City of Toronto, managing complex projects in health and social services. In the recent past, Jennifer has led the development, implementation and evaluation of the suicide prevention policy, procedure and training for Toronto Public Health. As a Registered Nurse, she synthesizes her advanced expertise in health to inform the execution of her projects and enhance processes that optimize the city's overall wellbeing. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) and Master of Nursing (MN) from Ryerson University. She also obtained her Project Management Professional (PMP) designation with PMI. Jennifer has a committed passion with influencing services for individuals during the greatest time of need; this passion is both personal and professional.
Andrea Louis NG
Distress Centres' Volunteer and Office Management & Events Professional
Andrea is a proud volunteer of the 408 Helpline and Crisis Link, facilitator of volunteer orientation training and mentorship programs at the Distress Centre. Deeply passionate about community development, Andrea continues to seek new ways to contribute and help champion innovation within the non-profit sector. She holds the titles of marketer, event planner and project manager; and has had a variety of experience in the marketing, operations and office administration throughout her career. Outside work, you’ll probably see her behind a camera lens, holding a paintbrush or zipping around the city on her bicycle.
Jasmine Wong (LIU)
Distress Centres' Volunteer and Finance Professional
Jasmine is currently studying medicine at McMaster University. Prior to that, she was a finance professional with years of experience in the capital markets. After joining RBC Capital Markets' global rotational program, she held various positions in investment banking and on the trading floor.
Her most recent position was as a Vice President on the Institutional Fixed Income and Derivatives Sales desk, where she was responsible for the distribution of bonds and interest rate derivatives and the management of global clients.
While having been involved in non-for-profit organizations such as Women in Capital Markets and Ronald McDonald House Charities, Jasmine originally joined the Toronto Distress Centre as a phone room volunteer. Presently, she continues her involvement with DC as part of their Young Professionals Committee. Jasmine holds a Bachelor of Commerce, finance major from the University of British Columbia and is a CFA charter holder.
Managing Director, Ballacaine Strategy and Execution
Mark Towhey is a trusted advisor to some of the most successful business and political leaders in Canada. CEO of Ballacaine Strategy & Execution, he specializes in crisis management and strategic execution. He holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and is a Certified Management Consultant. On Sunday afternoons, you’ll find him hosting #TheBestShowEver from 2-4pm on CFRB NEWSTALK1010.