our team bio

our team

Martin Blake, Chair

Martin is a partner of The Daniels Corporation. Daniels has a long history of supporting Habitat for Humanity, which originated with Martin’s championing our work over two decades ago. He has been a volunteer with Habitat in multiple forms throughout this period, including former Chair of the Habitat for Humanity Toronto Board and was instrumental in the 2014 amalgamation that created Habitat GTA. He continued as a community member of our Build Finance Committee, as well as serving on our Major Gifts Cabinet and joined the board of directors of Habitat GTA in 2019.

In 2020, Martin was appointed Chair of the Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area Board of Directors.

Sue VanDeVelde-Coke, Vice-Chair

Sue VanDeVelde-Coke, RN, MA, MBA, PhD is a health care executive/consultant with senior level experience in academic acute care, community and long term care organizations. She is currently CEO & President of Kerry’s Place Autism Services, which is the largest provider of services, supports and housing for individuals with autism spectrum disorder in Canada, serving over 8,000 individuals and their families in Ontario. Most recently she served as a consultant working with health care organizations in transition. Previous positions include: EVP and Chief Professional Programs at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, VP Strategic Planning/Operations at the VON National Office, Senior Vice President, Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre, Director of Surgical/Intensive Care Services at the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Coke served as President of the Academy of Canadian Executive Nurses and Vice President of the Canadian Nurses Association. She teaches in the graduate program at the University of Toronto, and has taught at Universities of Ottawa, Manitoba and Rush University (Chicago). She has been a member of numerous federal, provincial and local task forces and committees, focusing on improving ways to bridge the acute and community sectors.

Dr. Coke is a Director on the Canadian Nurses Foundation Board. She has previously served as a Director on the VON National, the Sunnybrook HSC, the Canadian Nurses Association and the Anne Johnston Community Health Centre Boards of Directors.

In 2017, Sue joined the Habitat for Humanity GTA Board of Directors, and in 2020, was appointed Vice-Chair, and Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee.

Ian Taylor, Treasurer

Chair of the Finance, Audit & Risk Management Committee, Ian joined the board of Habitat GTA in May 2016. He is President of Quick Edge Realty Advisors providing real estate services since 2001. He previously worked for 23 years for Monarch Development Corporation, serving on the Board of Directors for 10 years. He served over 20 years on the Board of a Non Profit Housing group in Markham and developed over 300 non-profit housing units. He is a graduate of the University of London, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, an Accredited Appraiser, an Ontario Land Economist and a Real Estate Broker.

Aida Tammer

Aida Tammer is a real estate professional with over 25 years of capital markets and investment advisory experience, including more than a decade as a senior real estate investment banker at CIBC World Markets and seven years with CIBC Development Corporation, the former real estate development and management subsidiary of CIBC. Aida was a member of the Ontario Association of Architects for 25 years and worked as an architect early in her career. She was also a licensed member of the Toronto Real Estate Board. Since 2010, she has served as a real estate financial markets expert witness, consultant, public company director and REIT trustee. Aida completed a Bachelor of Architecture degree (Waterloo), MBA (Rotman), Chartered Financial Analyst designation (CFA Institute) and the ICD.D program. Aida is originally from Hamilton and is a first generation Canadian.

Anne-Marie Thomas

Anne-Marie joined the Habitat GTA Board in spring 2017 and brings finance, risk management and governance expertise to the Board drawing upon leadership positions across the financial services industry.

Anne-Marie also serves on the Boards of The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group, DUCA Credit Union and The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business Advisory Board. In the community, Anne-Marie appreciates volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

Anne-Marie obtained the Chartered Director designation (C.Dir) from The Directors College and ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. She earned the Chartered Financial Analyst charter and graduated with an MBA from the Ivey Business School and BBA from the University of Iowa.

Brooks Barnett

Brooks is passionate about building stronger communities in which everyone can be successful and find meaningful opportunity for their families, neighbours and fellow citizens.

Brooks is currently the Director of Government Relations and Policy for the Real Property Association of Canada (REALPAC) where he has been since 2014. He is responsible for management of REALPAC’s national public affairs and policy practice for Canada’s senior-most real estate, development and capital markets industry group. Brooks coordinates advocacy projects and initiatives before the Canadian and American federal and provincial governments, and Canada’s ‘big cities’, with a strong focus on city-building, business and tax regulation, innovation, sustainability, trade and inbound/outbound investment, housing and land development.

Prior to his current position, Brooks served as Senior Policy Advisor, Council & Stakeholder Relations in the Office of the Mayor of Toronto, where he was introduced to many of the most successful concepts that are making a real difference for families and working people in need. Brooks has also worked on a myriad of political and non-profit campaigns at both the regional and national levels.

Brooks hold an Honours’ B.A. from Queen’s University, with a concentration in politics and history and served as a member of the Queen’s University Senate while completing his studies. Brooks is also a full member of Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP).

Jim Garner

Corporate Director and Independent Consultant, Jim Garner joined the board of Habitat GTA in June 2020 and is currently a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee and co-chairs the Campaign Cabinet.

Recently retired, Jim is an experienced senior executive with broad experience in finance, healthcare/life sciences and the education sector. He has extensive board experience as a director and executive with public company, broader public sector, not-for-profit and organizations.

Jim is a CPA/CA and a Chartered Business Valuator and earned his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is a graduate from IMD (MBA) and Queen’s University (B. Comm.).

Hershel Harris

Hershel Harris spent the majority of his career as an executive in the IBM Software Group. During his IBM career, Hershel held roles such as the head of engineering for DB2 and WebSphere, the Director of the IBM Toronto Lab and the Vice President of IBM Software Group Strategy. After retiring from IBM in 2008, Hershel served as the Chief Technology Officer for Georgian Partners, a Canadian growth equity firm investing in and supporting the growth of software companies. Hershel retired from that role in 2018.

Hershel has served as a past board member at the Self-Help Resource Centre, and on industrial advisory boards at the University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and York’s Schulich School of Business, and until 2019 as a board member of CanadaHelps and the Chair of their Governance Committee. Hershel remains an advisor to CanadaHelps and the Georgian Partners Impact Team. Since 2008, Hershel has also been an active build-site volunteer crew leader with Habitat for Humanity. He holds a B.Math in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.

Lisa Richardson

At TELUS, we’re obsessed with constantly improving our customer service. Today 93% of customers would recommend TELUS to their friends and family, but we won’t be satisfied until that’s 100%. Listening to our customers, understanding what’s important to them, and finding ways to improve their experience is in our DNA and it’s what truly sets us apart.

As the Vice-President of Mobility Customer Experience, Lisa Richardson leads a team of more than 4,000 team members in Canada and internationally, to support this goal. These days, Lisa and her team are busy spearheading the transformation of our Mobility customer service model into a customized experience, where our team members actively engage customers to answer their questions, review their plans and bills to ensure they’re starting off on the right foot, and personally assist them throughout their repair experiences.

Prior to this role, Lisa led the BLACKS retail business and the Web Channel team for TELUS. Lisa joined TELUS in 2000 and, before this, she spent eight years at Procter & Gamble in a variety of sales, account management and channel marketing roles.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University and is an active Habitat for Humanity GTA Board member. Outside of work, Lisa enjoys travelling, running, and spending time with her family at the cottage.

Sharon Vogel

Sharon joined the Habitat for Humanity GTA Board in the spring of 2017. Sharon is a partner in the Construction and Infrastructure Group at Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP. She has been a practising lawyer for over 25 years. Sharon acts for owners, contractors, sureties, and design professionals, working primarily on matters involving construction disputes relating to major infrastructure projects including highways, bridges, railways, mines, tunnels, pipelines, dams, power stations, and hospitals. Sharon holds an LLB from the University of Toronto and an LLM from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Marni S. Dicker

Marni Dicker, after serving for more than four years as Vice-Chair of Habitat for Humanity GTA, and Chair of the annual Women Build, Marni remains an active member of the board of directors. Marni is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel at “Live Work Learn Play”. Prior to this, Marni was the Chief Commercial Officer, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at Infrastructure Ontario where she was responsible for leading the Legal Services, Procurement, Transaction Finance, Business Strategy & Communications, Records Management, Insurance, Policy and Freedom of Information teams. Amongst other accolades, Marni has recently received the following awards:

• Canadian Lawyer Magazine – Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers
• Canadian General Counsel Award, 2017, Business Achievements
• Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women Award
• Women’s Infrastructure Network (WIN) as an Outstanding Leader
• The Premier’s Award of Excellence from the Province of Alberta for the Calgary Courthouse Public Private Partnership Structuring

Marni is currently a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Ryerson University, where she devotes her time to the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural studies, and to the Ryerson Law Practice Program. Marni is also on the steering committee for The Ryerson Law Practice Program (LPP). Additionally, Marni is a member of the Sinai Health Systems Operational Euectiveness Committee of the Board. Marni has an Honors business degree (B.A. Com), a Bachelor of Civil Laws (B.C.L) and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), as well as being a recognized Corporate Director (IcD.D).

Valerie A. Shuttleworth

Ms. Shuttleworth recently retired from her position as Chief Planner for York Region. She was with the Region from June of 2012. As Chief Planner, she led Long Range Planning, Economic Development, Community Planning and Development Services for the Region. Prior to joining the Region she worked at the local level in East Gwillimbury for two years as General Manager of Development Services and in the City of Markham as Director of Planning and Urban Design for twelve years. She also worked for both the North York and Scarborough Planning Departments before moving north to Markham.

Ms. Shuttleworth spent over 35 years in public sector planning, dealing mainly with urban, high density areas. She holds a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning degree from Ryerson and remains a full and active member of the Ontario Professional Planners Association.

Ms. Shuttleworth joined the Habitat for Humanity GTA Board of Directors in 2018, and in 2020, was appointed Chair of the Land and Build Committee.

Lorraine Huinink

Lorraine Huinink is the Director of Rapid Transit and Transit Oriented Development at the Region of Durham, where she is responsible for the strategic planning, advocacy and delivery of Rapid Transit and Transit Oriented Development initiatives in the Region. She brings over 25 years of industry knowledge and experience in transit, planning and land development.

A qualified land use planner, Lorraine has lived and worked nationally and internationally, in the public and private sectors, leading key transit and development initiatives. Lorraine has extensive consulting experience and has held progressively responsible roles at both Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx, most recently as Senior Vice President, Program Management, Transit Oriented Development at Metrolinx.

Lorraine believes that at the core of city building is the prudent and sustainable use of land in order to achieve desirable social and environmental outcomes. This belief dovetails perfectly with mobilizing communities to build homes to provide working, lower income families with a solid foundation for better, healthier lives.

Joe Aschaiek

Joe Aschaiek, CPA, CA is currently the Chief Financial Officer at Woodbine Entertainment, the largest live horse racing company in Canada and the single owner and master developer of the 684-acre Woodbine Racetrack site in Toronto. Joe is responsible for all the company’s financial functions including accounting, financial planning, treasury, corporate finance and risk management. He also serves as a member of the Finance Audit and Risk Management Committee at Habitat GTA. His career spans more than 20 years of varied experience in financial management, business leadership and corporate strategy and he takes pride in forging close business relationships.

Joe started his career in public accounting and was an audit and advisory manager at RSM Richter where he gained significant experience working with privately held companies across various industries including professional services, retail, construction and automotive.

Aschaiek is a Chartered Professional Accountant and attended York University in Toronto, having completed an Honours BA in Political Science. He is a former member of the Finance Committee for the William Osler Health System Foundation where he volunteered from 2009 to 2018.

Gerry Keenan

Gerry began his journey with Habitat for Humanity in 2009 as a member of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity Durham, and during his time there held all of the executive positions at one point and was Board Chair from 2014-2016. He is now a member of the HFHGTA Board after the GTA and Durham Boards amalgamated in April of 2020, and is a member of the Land and Build Committee.

Gerry is a licensed Realtor since 1999, working with Re/Max Jazz Inc., in Oshawa. Gerry practices mainly in the Commercial sector focusing on Investment Property, Land Development and Industrial Sites. Gerry was elected to the Re/Max Hall of Fame in 2016 and awarded the prestigious Chairman’s Award in that same year. He has been a Re/Max Commercial Canada Top 100 Agent every year since 2014.

Belinda Tang

Belinda Tang joined the Habitat GTA Board in June 2020 and brings strategic industry experiences in Information Technology and Professional Services. With an international career with the IBM Corporation, in Canada, the United States, and Asia, she is skilled in leading complex, large-scale organization change often during times of transition and disruption. Most recently IBM’s Vice President, Leadership and Global Chief Diversity Officer, and Head of Human Resources for IBM’s Consulting business in both developed and emerging markets, she led talent in Consulting with a focus on client centricity, industry leadership, and diversity for a new era. She was on the IBM Global Human Resources Operating Team who developed HR strategy and policy for over 170 countries. Belinda has also held executive positions in Finance, Marketing and Communications, and as a General Manager with P&L responsibilities.

Belinda also serves as Vice Chair, Seneca College Board of Governors, Chairs the Academic Planning and Student Affairs Committee, and is an Ontario Lieutenant Governor In Council (LGIC) appointed Board Member. She was the past Chair of Strategic Planning for the Markham Stouffville Hospital Board where she served for nine years.

Belinda is currently on the Faculty and a Course Director, School of Human Resources at York University. She is an Industry Advisor in the MBA program, Rotman School of Management, and is an Executive and Organization Coach, serving clients across North America.

A graduate from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Belinda received her Master of Human Resources Management from York University. She has completed senior leadership programs in Advanced Strategy and Leading Transformative Change at the Harvard Business School. Belinda is a credentialed Executive and Organization Coach from the Graduate Program in Coaching, Columbia University in New York.

Belinda and her family have called the GTA their home for the past forty years.

Ene Underwood, CEO

Ene (pronounced, “Een”) joined Habitat GTA in spring 2013 after a career that spanned the private and public sectors. Ene’s early career was as a consultant with McKinsey & Company working with national and global businesses on strategy and organizational transformation. Her private sector career was followed by close to two decades in senior leadership positions in some of Canada’s leading hospitals and then a three year role as the Chair of a Ontario Government Commission examining child welfare. Ene holds an Honours B.A. (Waterloo) and an MBA (Ivey). Ene lives in Toronto but retains close connections to her farming roots in southwestern Ontario.

Bruce Johnson, CFO

Bruce joined Habitat GTA in November 2009. He obtained a B. Comm from the University of Toronto and CA (now CPA) from the Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants. His ten year public practice career was predominately with real estate related clients. Since leaving public practice, prior to joining Habitat, Bruce has spent 15 years in senior financial positions with general contractors, real estate asset management and developers of residential and commercial properties.

Wayne Dempsey, VP of Construction

Wayne joined Habitat GTA in 2006 as Director of Construction and then VP Planning and Land Acquisition after a successful career in custom homebuilding and land development. Having served as president of the Ontario Homebuilders, board member of Tarion Warranty Corporation and chair of numerous committees with Ontario Homebuilders Association Wayne brings to Habitat a wealth of knowledge from over 40 years in the building industry. Currently Wayne sits on the Ontario Building Code Commission for the province of Ontario in addition to his responsibility for all construction projects and warranty at Habitat GTA.

Rob Lee, VP of ReStore

Rob Lee is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of experience in the building material Retail industry. He has extensive knowledge and a track record of success in running all aspects of a major retail operation. Currently VP, ReStore at Habitat GTA, Rob has also held a variety of leadership positions at companies such as Lansing, Revy and Rona. Since his start with Habitat for Humanity in 2011, the ReStore has grown to a $6.5 million operation contributing over $2 million to the affiliate annually. A firm believer in the safety of all customers, employees, volunteers and donors, Rob developed and led Habitat GTA’s first Health and Safety Committee. Under his leadership, the committee developed safety principles and has seriously upped the organization’s awareness of safety.

Joshua Benard, VP of Real Estate Development

After a number of years working in residential construction, Joshua realized that he wanted to devote his career to the affordable housing space. This led him to become the Founder and Program Director of the Sustainable Housing Initiative, operating out of the Alberta Rural Development Network. He then turned his ideas into impact, growing the Sustainable Housing Initiative into an eight-member team that oversaw the development of multiple affordable housing projects worth over $80 million. Recognized in 2018 as one of Alberta’s Top 40 Under 40; Joshua’s creative problem solving skills, relationship focused work, and passion for making a difference, led him to his job at Habitat for Humanity GTA in 2019.

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