Board of Directors

NEWVISIONSTORONTO is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Our 2017-2018 Board Members are:

Position Name Elected Status  Term
President Fonda Zettler 2016 Second
Vice President Margaux Peck 2017 Second
Treasurer Sandra Essex 2017 First 
Secretary Reshma Bhargava 2017 Second
Director Alicia Ali 2017 Family member Second 
Director George Small 2017 Second
Director Barb Wentworth 2016 Family member Second
Director Parisa Mehrfar 2016 First
Director Shira Tsinman 2016 First
Director Doug King 2017 Family member First
Director Brian Shell 2017 Family member First

To contact the Board of Directors, please email the President.

Click here for our Membership Form

Fonda Zettler: President
Fonda was first elected to the Board in September 2014 and in September 2016 was elected for her second term.  Fonda begins her second year as President of the Board and is looking forward to continuing with her responsibilities and she feels that given the opportunity to serve on the Board for such a wonderful organization is an honour. 

Fonda is an innovative Educator and Community Support Consultant with extensive experience working with diverse student groups with exceptional needs and educational levels ranging from kindergarten to post-secondary to achieve impressive results. Fonda has worked as a frontline staff and also at the management level including being a past employee of New Visions Toronto.  She has been teaching at the post-secondary level for the past nine years. Fonda’s knowledge base and extensive hands on experience as well as her post graduate education with a concentration in teaching, learning and development allows her to confidently contribute as an expert in the field.  Fonda’s love and dedication for her work and others always takes her on new journeys and has her reaching for new goals.  Fonda has been an active participant at many of the fundraising activities including Bowlathon, the Valentine’s Dance, the Golf Tournament and Croquet in the City.  She is also looking forward to implementing and completing the 2016 – 2019 Strategic Plan for New Visions Toronto. 

Margaux Peck: Vice-President
Margaux was elected to the Board in September 2015. In September 2016 she was elected as Vice President. Margaux is currently the Chair of the Fundraising Committee. 

Margaux was born and raised in London, Ontario. She has been residing and working in Toronto since finishing her education in 2010. Margaux is a criminal defence lawyer. She was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2011. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Queen's University Faculty of Law in 2010 and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario in 2007. Margaux's criminal law practice is varied, but includes a significant Legal Aid practice. Margaux has considerable experience representing clients who battle mental health and addition challenges.

Margaux loves nature and is passionate about camping, canoeing and hiking. She has also more recently taken up long-distance running. Margaux is a sports enthusiast with a particular love of NFL football. Margaux is also a foodie who loves to cook. Margaux is an avid volunteer. She was a volunteer Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area for several years and maintains a close friendship with her Little Sister to this day. Margaux volunteered with Pro Bono Students Canada hosting a weekly radio show on current legal issues throughout her time at Queen's University. She was also a volunteer examiner for lifesaving, first aid, and lifeguarding courses through the Lifesaving Society of Canada for several years.

Sandra Essex: Treasurer
Sandra was first appointed to the Board in February 2017 and stood for election in September 2017 and was elected for her first term. Sandra was elected as the Treasurer in October 2017. Sandra Essex has an Honors Science Degree from the University of Guelph.  When Sandra's two children were in high school, she returned to school and studied at Wilfrid Laurier University to complete the educational and examination requirements to become a Chartered Accountant.  Sandra articled with Deloitte for five years and in 2002, after completing all entrance requirements, she became a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants ((CPA) of Ontario.  

Sandra brings diverse experience from the not-for-profit sector.  Her former positions include, Director of Membership and Administration at the YMCA-YWCA of Guelph, and Director of Advocacy and Management Consultant for Ontario YWCAs for the YWCA of Canada.  During her time at the YWCA of Canada, she researched and wrote a brief supporting the YWCA's position on Gun Control.  As their delegate she presented and defended the brief to the House of Commons and Senate Standing Committees.  She lead strategic planning sessions, recruited CEOs and provided guidance on many operating issues to YWCAs across Ontario.  She wrote a number of successful funding proposals including one for a National Play Program for At Risk Refugee Children which assisted refugee children, who had experienced violence, to express their feelings. The Play Program was operated in 8 YWCAs.  

After becoming a CPA Sandra became the Chief Financial Officer for the YMCA of Greater Toronto and Interim Director of Finance for New Visions Toronto. At both organizations Sandra created and implemented a program for ensuring effective internal controls.  Sandra has 10 years of senior leadership experience in the hospital sector where she has been the Director of Finance at both CAMH and The Scarborough Hospital.  She is currently Director of Finance at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington.  

Sandra's first love is the not for profit sector. She has sat on a number of Boards of Directors including the YWCA of Kitchener-Waterloo and the Edward Johnson Music Foundation.  

Sandra loves adventure travel and sees her 4 day hike on the Inca Trail, 10 months after a hip replacement, as one of her biggest physical accomplishments.  Sandra loves camping, hiking and manages stress with daily yoga.  Her passion is cooking and one day hopes to attend a 5 day program at the Cordon Blue cooking school in Paris, France.

Reshma Bhargava: Secretary
Reshma was appointed to the Board of Directors in March 2015 and was elected to the Board of Directors in September 2015.  She was also elected as Secretary in September 2015. Reshma is at present, the Program Manager at the Heart Care Cardiac Rehab at Heart Care Canada in Oshawa, Ontario.  She is also currently the Host of a Web Series at the The Wedd Lounge, Toronto.

Some of Reshma’s recent occupations include Event Planning for the Medical Staff Association in Oshawa, Committee Member, Indo-Canadian Cultural Association of Durham Region, Volunteer Teacher, Neerja Modi School, Jaipur, India, Volunteer Teaching Assistant, Vidya Sagar School, Spastic Society of India, Chennai, India, where she taught math and computer skills to special needs children.  She was also a volunteer at the Mother Theresa Orphanage in Chennai, India.

At Queen’s University, where Reshma obtained her BSc.(Hon.) degree, she held leadership positions as Residence Don, Dance Team Coordinator and President of Queen’s Indian Students Association.

And if you think her only interest is anything that seems like work, think again because her Extracurricular Activities include, dancing, singing, scrapbooking, jewellery making, photography and cooking.

Alicia Ali: Director
Alicia was elected to the New Visions Board of Directors in September 2015. She currently works as a Press Secretary and Communications Advisor to the Hon. Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services, and Minister Responsible for the Anti Racism Directorate. Previously, Alicia was an Associate Consultant at Navigator, Canada's leading high-stakes public strategy and communications firm. At Navigator, Alicia did crisis and issues management work for clients from a wide cross-section of industries, including but not limited to not-for-profit sector, pharmaceutical and energy sectors.

Alicia brings a diverse experience from the not-for-profit sector as a former project coordinator with the YWCA Hamilton. She managed a campaign to end violence against women on post-secondary campuses and co-led the inaugural Leadership Summit for Women.

Alicia graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from McMaster University and a Masters in Political Management at Carleton University. 

Doug King: Director
Doug King was born and raised in Toronto.  He received a BA majoring in Political Science and Economics at the University of Toronto, Victoria College.  He subsequently received his MBA at the University of Toronto, (now the Rotman School of Business.)  Doug retired after a 35 year career at TD Bank.  During his career he and his family spent three years in New York City, four years in South East Asia, (Hong Kong and Singapore), and eight years in London England, as Senior Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa.  He served on the Board of Directors of various TD Bank Subsidiaries in each of the USA, Asia and Europe during these years. Doug returned to Canada from England to set up TD Securities and was its first President.  Toward the end of his career, Doug set up the Bank’s Office of the Ombudsman and became the Bank’s first Ombudsman. 

Doug with his wife Pat have three children, (Andrew, Peter and Edward) and three grandchildren.  Peter and Edward have been part of New Visions Toronto for over twelve years, living together at 245 Davisville.

Since retirement, Doug has served on the Boards of Montage Support Services and Harmony Place. He and Pat have been strong advocates for Peter and Edward and have been active fund raisers for New Visions Toronto both directly and through the Annual Golf Tournament.   Doug and Pat have traveled to Australia seven times over the last several years to visit Andrew and his wife Annette and their three grandchildren in Sydney.  They have recently moved to Brisbane.

Doug is a keen golfer and spends a good deal of his time at their farm south of Collingwood where they grow apples and various crops including wheat, canola, corn and soya beans. 

Doug feels that with his experience and being a parent of two people supported by New Visions Toronto he will be able to contribute to the ongoing great work of the Board of Directors of New Visions Toronto.

Parisa Mehrfar: Director
Parisa was first elected to the Board in September 2016. Parisa’s interest in New Visions Toronto started about three years ago when she partnered with Karen Cowan our Director of Health on a special project. Together they improved the method associated with tube feeding that many of the people we support required.  Parisa was inspired by the dedication of the New Visions Toronto staff and the level of care that is provided for the people living in our homes.  From this involvement Parisa developed an interest to join the Board of Director to contribute to the wellbeing of the people supported by New Visions Toronto.

Parisa is a Registered Clinical Dietitian with over seven years of progressive experience in project management, collaborative leadership and healthcare service delivery as part of inter-professional teams.  Parisa has a strong knowledge of clinical needs of vulnerable pediatric and adult clients with complex developmental and physical disabilities.  She has also been an active participant in various fundraising events including New Visions Toronto annual golf tournament. 
Parisa has a MBA from Wilfrid Laurier, Master of Science from McGill in Human Nutrition, and a Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours from Ryerson University.

Brian Shell: Director
Brian Shell of the City of Toronto is a father of three adult children and the grandfather of baby Cole. Most importantly for the New Visions Toronto, (NVT) community, Brian and Barbara Ostroff’s eldest son, Jeremiah, lives with four other people at 83 Henry Lane Terrace, one of NVT’s residences. Brian hopes to bring the perspective of a parent of a NVT resident to the Board of Directors, and to contribute to the effectiveness of NVT as an important Toronto institution and to the well-being of NVT and those it serves, and to its success in meeting its own objectives. 

In addition to Brian’s role as a parent, he is a labour, human rights, employment and appellate senior counsel who has been practising law in Ontario and across Canada for more than thirty years. Brian has also served on the Boards of the Toronto Economic Development Corporation, the Toronto Business Development Corporation, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund and a private condominium corporation.

Brian grew up in Montreal and was educated at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, at Balliol College of Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar from Quebec and read Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and at the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto. Brian served as the Canadian Counsel to the United Steelworkers for 17 years before founding Shell Lawyers, now a leading Ontario boutique progressive law firm.

Brian has lived in Indonesia, the United Kingdom, France and Tanzania and has also spent considerable amounts of time in Mexico, Brazil and Southeast Asia, working, touring and learning. Brian speaks French, Bahasa Indonesia, Spanish and some Swahili and Brazilian Portuguese.

When he is not engaged in legal challenges on behalf of trade unions, employees, people with disabilities, or others in need of a fearless advocate, or spending valuable time with his children, daughter-in-law, son-in-law and new baby grandson, his beloved Bullmastiffs or riding his loyal steed Denver, Brian skis in the Columbia Kootenay Rockies, fishes for cod and whale watches in Bonavista Bay and golfs near the Newman Sound in Newfoundland. Brian enjoys cooking for his life partner Barbara and is trying to master extended sleeping.   

George Small: Director
George was first elected to the Board in September 2015. George is also a member of the Finance Committee.  George is a successful entrepreneur with over 35 years of experience in technology, sales, marketing and senior management. In 1999, George co-founded an internet technology company, Kanetix Ltd. In twelve years the company included three profit centres and almost 100 employees. In 2011, George and his partner sold control to a private equity company in Boston.

Earlier in his career, George led large teams of technologists and marketers at Canada Life, Canada Life Casualty and the Toronto Stock Exchange. He also worked as a management consultant to large financial institutions and government.

George is a Director and Audit Committee member at Kanetix Ltd. - a privately-owned Canadian technology company.  He is also a former Director of the Melanoma Network of Canada - a national non-profit organization involved in health advocacy.

George and his family manage a charitable trust, focusing on the needs of health and educational institutions.

George has an MBA from the Ivey School of Business.

Shira Tsinman: Director
Shira was first elected to the Board in September 2016.  Growing up in Halifax, NS, she has always had a strong sense of community, and joining the Board of New Visions Toronto has given her an opportunity to become more connected and give back in her newest hometown of Toronto.  

Driven by a creative mindset, Shira is a strategy-focused professional with eight years of client service experience. Delivering on-point results for clients through strategic thinking, strong communication skills and relationship development is what she sets out to do every day. Shira believes that the skills she regularly utilizes in her job makes her uniquely qualified to contribute to New Visions Toronto as a member of the Board of Directors.

Shira is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University.

Barb Wentworth: Director
Barb was first elected to the Board and in September 2014 and in September 2016 was elected for her second term.  Barb is also a member of the Fundraising Committee.  Barb is a parent of one of the people we supported in a residential home with New Visions Toronto.  Barb has been a strong supporter of New Visions Toronto and she is currently working on “Friends of New Visions Toronto” with a community church group.  Barb has experience in developing community cooperation and public sector partnerships. She has also had successful fundraising experience in her career.  Barb has also worked as a special education teacher.  Barb wants to continue to make a positive impact. 

Barb has been an active member of the Fundraising Committee and has participated in many of the fundraising activities including the Bowlathon, the Valentine’s Dance, the Golf Tournament and Croquet in the City.   Barb also presented to the Select Committee on Developmental Services.  Barb’s presentation was from the perspective of a person supported by an agency.