Habitat for Humanity GTA > Our Leadership

Our Leadership


We are fortunate to have the following individuals guiding our work at Habitat for Humanity GTA.

Valerie A. Shuttleworth
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.

Al Nanji
Al Nanji
Performance driven, resilient, and an established business executive with a progressive multi-unit retail and service sector experience who is a team member and builder that delivers results and people growth.

Al led a team that managed a multi-million-dollar, nation-wide organization, Discount Car & Truck Rentals, where he gained experience developing business strategy, providing leadership, improving processes, and building teams rooted in loyalty, trust and conviction. Al is a catalyst for change using technology and innovation by always anticipating one step forward. A dynamic, caring, thoughtful, steadfast leader who is grounded in a strong sense of an ethical framework and who believes in volunteering his time and resources to various causes and initiatives for the betterment of civil society. He is seen to be a creative, collaborative problem-solver and adept at establishing and nurturing partnerships. With a strong analytical skill set, robust understanding of technology as an enabler and a visionary, Al adds value in both long term and short-term outcomes. Al is the leader most desired when there is a need to elevate or pivot an organization which desires newly innovative and efficient outcomes.

Harsh Damani
Harsh C. Damani, CPA, CA
Harsh Damani joined the Habitat GTA Board in June 2021 bringing deep executive and board level experience from the investment management industry.

Harsh’s distinguished career, as a cross-functional corporate and operational executive, focused on leading teams in corporate finance and fund services. He has led implementation of innovative solutions for a wide range of business, accounting and regulatory requirements. In his 22 years at Invesco Ltd., he held various executive positions which included his most recent position as CFO & Treasurer of Invesco Canada and Head of Fund Accounting and Expense Admin., Americas. In this role, he was accountable to oversee Assets under Management of $600+ billion and 600+ products: Mutual Funds, ETFs, and Collective Investment Trusts.

Harsh also served as a member of the Invesco Canada Executive Committee and Invesco North American Investment Operations Management team.

The Habitat mission and organization’s values align with his core values: housing for all, human dignity, and diversity and inclusion. In his volunteer activities, Harsh cherishes a positive and fulfilling experience working with BBBS (Big Brothers and Big Sisters and Live Different Organizations) building homes for less fortunate families in the Dominican Republic over a 10 consecutive day period. The experience inspired him to provide socially responsible leadership and strategy for non-profit boards and organizations. Another significant milestone for Harsh in this journey was time he spent in Hyderabad, India establishing Corporate Headquarters for a staff in excess of 500 members. The interaction with the local community in India provided additional perspective in making a difference in the lives of individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Harsh holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accountancy and Management Information Systems from McGill University. He is also a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario.

Brooks Barnett
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 Manager of Economic Development Policy at Amazon. In this role, he is responsible for engaging with government and economic development organizations to expand Amazon's presence and leading all Amazon’s economic development initiatives Canada-wide.

Prior to joining Amazon, Brooks was Director of Government Relations and Policy for the Real Property Association of Canada (REALPAC) where he was 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 also held a senior position in the Office of the Mayor of Toronto and has worked on a myriad of political and non-profit campaigns at both the regional and national levels.

Brooks holds 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. Further to his work with Habitat for Humanity, Brooks is also a Board Director for Community Affordable Housing Solutions (CAHS).

Catherine Code Headshot
Catherine Code
Catherine is a seasoned finance executive with over 30 years of investment banking, M&A advisory and capital markets experience. Catherine is Vice Chair of Deloitte Canada, and the National M&A Leader. She provides advice to large corporate and midmarket clients on their most strategic transactions.
Catherine joined Deloitte in 2012, prior to which she was Managing Director for Global Banking and led HSBC’s Canadian financial institutions team for seven years. In this role, Catherine was on HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc.’s underwriting committee. Prior to joining HSBC, Catherine was head of the Financial Institutions Group at UBS Canada. She also sat on UBS Securities (Canada) Inc’s underwriting committee. Prior to joining UBS, Catherine was at CIBC World Markets for 11 years, including as investment banker and research analyst covering financial institutions, and corporate banker in real estate lending. She started her career at the Bank of Canada.
Catherine complements her professional achievements as a speaker, mentor and board member of philanthropic organizations. She is on the Board of Directors of Waterpolo Canada, and the Advisory Council for Queen’s University Investment Counsel. She was a prior Board Director for Sheena’s Place and East York Meals on Wheels. Catherine has been a member of Habitat GTA’s Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee since September, 2021, and in June of 2022, Catherine was appointed to join the organization’s Board of Directors.
Jim Garner
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.).

Halie Headshot
Webnesh Haile
Webnesh Haile is the founder and principal lawyer at Traction Legal. Web is an experienced construction lawyer acting for construction project participants throughout the project life cycle, from drafting and advising on the negotiation of construction contracts to providing strategic dispute management advice and supporting or acting for clients during negotiation, mediation, litigation, or arbitration.

Ranked since 2021 in Best Lawyers in Canada for Construction Law, Web previously practiced construction law at two leading national construction law practices, and continues to work with Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP on a project basis. Web holds a J.D. from the University of Toronto.

Web has been a member of Young Advocates’ Standing Committee of The Advocates’ Society - a not-for-profit association of over 6,000 judges, lawyers and advocates - since 2019. Web also advocates for improving mental health in the legal community. Web joined the Habitat for Humanity GTA Board of Directors in June 2022.

Hershel Harris
Hershel Harris
Hershel Harris joined the Habitat GTA Board in June 2020, and serves on its Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Governance and Nominating Committee. Hershel spent the first part of his career as an executive in the IBM Software Group. During his IBM career, Hershel lead several product engineering teams, was 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, and participated in three Global Village Builds. He holds a B.Math in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.

Lorraine Huinink Headshot
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 Ogilvie Headshot
Joe Ogilvie
Joe Ogilvie is the Founding Principal at Archangel Ventures, an innovation advisory practice established to build innovation capacity and know-how within the real estate development and construction sector. Joe spent 10 years leading sustainable-construction and high-performance building development projects across Canada for two of North America's largest ICI builders, PCL Construction and Turner Construction. Prior to that, Joe spent 7 years in semiconductor systems optimization in Silicon Valley, with Applied Materials.

Joe's involvement with Habitat for Humanity stretches back to 2013, where he was the design manager for PCL's offsite modular build of two duplexes for the Melnyk and Aden families in Niagara. The two homes achieved LEED Silver certification and were assembled onsite from 13 modules, in just 2 days.

Joe is currently the Head of Innovation and Partnerships at the Brookfield Centre for Real Estate and Infrastructure at a Schulich School of Business, where he also lectures in the MREI Program. Keenly interested in geopolitics, business, macroeconomic policy, and social justice reform, Joe is also a founding member of the Black Opportunity Fund (Blackopportunityfund.ca), and serves on the board of directors of Environmental Defence Canada.

Wanita Fonseka
Wanita Fonseka is the Senior Vice President, Retail and Operations at Meridian Credit Union. Wanita knows that best results are achieved within a climate of trust where diversity of thought is encouraged. She has a passion for people and finds fulfillment in leading, inspiring, and serving others.

With over 26 years of progressive financial services experience in retail banking and corporate office environments, Wanita has gained a deep understanding of the business from firsthand interactions with Members, employees, and other stakeholders.

Most recently, Wanita served as Meridian’s Chief Member Experience Officer, where she was responsible for optimizing the business, identifying trends, and developing a long-term strategy to future-proof and transform Meridian’s retail operating model into an experience culture. In this role, she was also responsible for sales and support of Meridian’s Wealth Management practice.

Previously, Wanita served as Vice-President, Operations and was responsible for providing Retail and Business Banking back-office support, Wealth processing & compliance, enterprise continuous improvement, and support to strategic projects and operational initiatives.

Wanita completed her MBA at Dalhousie’s Centre for Advanced Management Education and is also a graduate of the University of Toronto.

She lives in Pickering with her husband, two boys, and the family dog.

Michael J. Williams
Michael Williams is the Managing Partner and Head of Development at Hazelview investments. In his current role, Michael maintains management oversight of Hazelview’s execution and investment in real estate developments. Execution, efficacy, and integrity are his core beliefs in implementing development initiatives across the company and marketplace. Through his leadership, Hazelview’s development mandate has evolved with emphasis on sustainable ideas, quality products, mentoring and team collaboration. Michael has over 13 years’ experience in Real Estate Development, Asset Management and Investment.

Michael completed the Executive Commercial Real Estate program at Cornell University, obtained his PMP certificate from the University of Toronto, LEED GA Sustainable Development – Canadian Green Building Council, GSI Project Management – Canadian Construction Association, studied Commerce at the University of Toronto.


Ene Underwood
Ene Underwood
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.
Joshua Benard
Joshua Benard
EVP of Real Estate
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 Habitat for Humanity GTA in 2019.

Since joining the Habitat team, Joshua has played a critical role in a tremendous shift for the non-profit organization as it moves towards building more homes within the next five years than in its entire history. He keenly believes that community-minded builders have the greatest potential to help address our housing affordability crisis facing working families in our communities. As Executive Vice President for Real Estate Development and Construction, Joshua ensures that all construction sites continue to operate effectively today, while also leading negotiations with builders, government partners and fellow non-profit organizations so that Habitat maximizes opportunities to build affordable homes tomorrow.

Bruce Johnson
Bruce Johnson
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.
Rob Lee
Rob Lee
EVP of Operations
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.
Kailyn Perchalski
Kailyn Perchalski
VP of Marketing, Communications & Policy
Kailyn leads Habitat for Humanity GTA’s brand and works to cultivate a public understanding of the value of homeownership and need for safe, decent affordable housing in our communities. She works cross-departmentally to support key pillars of the organization including land and development, family services, fundraising, and Habitat ReStore. Kailyn has experience in agency, government, and not-for-profit arts settings. Before joining Habitat GTA in 2019, she spent the majority of her career at a national investment real estate association, where she led all marketing and communications efforts, with a special focus on government communications and environmental sustainability programs.
Christine Mapp Batchelor
Christine Mapp Batchelor
VP of Resource Development
Christine joined Habitat GTA in January of 2022 bringing two decades of progressive experience in helping individuals, corporations and foundations realize their philanthropic vision and non-profits embrace their philanthropic potential. A strong believer that we all have a part to play in making our communities a place where everyone has an opportunity to succeed, Christine continues to inspire donors and volunteers alike to play a role in affecting systemic change. Prior to joining Habitat, Christine was on the development teams of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, The Royal Conservatory and United Way Greater Toronto, experiences that will serve her well as we look to aid more families on their journey to home ownership.