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ABOUT US

Board Members

Nicole Salmon

Board Chair 

Nicole has proudly called Brampton home for 35+ years. Anchored by and hailing from a large extended family with deep roots within the Brampton community and Peel Region, she is inspired by the vision and opportunity of creating caring, healthy, equitable, welcoming and inclusive communities. She believes the best way of achieving this vision is to roll up your sleeves, engage and commit one’s time, energy and resources to building the type of community we desire and envision.

Spending over twenty-five years working in the non-profit sector managing a variety of fundraising portfolios, in 2014 Nicole founded Boundless Philanthropy, a non-profit and fundraising consultancy providing a range of services, including interim leadership, board and leadership development. She is a former Director of Fund Development at Oxfam Canada and most recently worked in the area of non-profit leadership development and capacity building through her work with Peel Leadership Centre.

In addition to a WellFort Board member for almost four years, she also serves on the Board of Realize, an organization working to improve the lives of people living with HIV and other episodic conditions. She served as a mentor with the Association of Fundraising Professionals Inclusion and Diversity Fellowship program, is currently a Book Review Panelist with The Charity Report Literary Circle and an inspired member of the Black Canadian Fundraisers Collective. She is one of three coeditors of Collecting Courage: Joy, Pain, Freedom, Love, an upcoming book scheduled for release on November 23, 2020, published by Civil Sector Press under the Gail K. Picco Imprint.

An avid reader, sports and arts enthusiast, she enjoys gardening and considers herself a well-trained pet lover.


Augustina Nagberi-Asseez

Vice Chair

Augustina Nagberi-Asseez graduated with a Masters in Public Health degree at Simon Fraser University, with a focus on Global Health. Passionate about community health, she worked as a Health Promoter and Research, and Policy Analyst in Public Health in the USA and in Canada for over 7 years focusing on communicable diseases which include: HIV, tuberculosis, and other vaccine preventable disease.

Augustina’s passion for community health led her to the social services field, where she encourages collaboration between social services and health services to work closely together to bring about positive outcomes as it relates to the social determinants of health in the community.

She currently works with the Region of Peel in the Human Services department as a Strategic Planning Specialist, at which time she has led the development of the 10-year Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy, as well as led the development and implementation of the Peel Poverty Reduction Committee’s new governance.

Augustina emigrated to Canada from Nigeria in 1999 and has called Brampton home for over 10 years with her family.


Oscar Rodriguez

Treasurer

Oscar is currently working in the Ontario Public Sector focusing on Procurement and Business Improvement. He is an accounting professional who has over 11 years experience and worked at the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario (OAGO), in which he had the opportunity to work on Value-For-Money (VFM) audits as well as financial audits; spanning various Ministries, crown corporations with focus on the health care sector involving work in hospitals; Community Care Access Centers and other health organizations. In addition he has private sector in pension accounting and operations management. He is currently continuing to build his experience with a focus on forensic and fraud investigations.

Oscar has resided with his family in Brampton over the last 28 years. He is currently also involved with MELIDEN, a new organization that is situated in Brampton which promotes Andean music artists from South America. He is also a member of the St. Marguerite d’Youville Parish and the Knights of Columbus.


Natarajan Venkat

Secretary

Nat holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce and has several professional designations from India and the USA. He is an auditing and a consulting professional with background in finance, accounting, and information technology disciplines. He has served large corporations through big four public accounting firms for almost a decade and has been part of internal audit for over 14 years. He has served companies in the US, Canada, Kuwait and India. He currently works as the head of IT audit at Rogers Communications.

After 10 years of globe-trotting, Nat moved to Canada in the summer of 2009, and now proudly calls it his home. Over the years, Nat has helped new immigrants through their challenges of settling down, and to successfully navigate through the labyrinth of financial and tax regulations. Realizing the unique advantages afforded by the accounting profession in contributing positively to society, Nat leverages his professional experience to serve an organization like WellFort focused on community development and well-being.


Abena Stephen

Director

Abena has always been a champion for necessary change. She believes that a key component of change is to ensure that the most important stakeholders can move through the change as successfully, and seamlessly as possible. Abena has had several years of experience in the field of Human Resources. Her key areas of focus include strategic change management, employee engagement, leadership development and succession planning, and employment law.

Abena strongly believes that communication and relationship building is essential in all aspects of life and has witnessed the importance of those attributes within the community health sector. As a strong advocate of diversity, inclusion, and equity, Abena is happy to offer her time and expertise in any way that will aid in realizing a community rooted in equitable practices for all. She is excited to support WellFort’s vision of ‘a healthier community where everyone belongs’.


Jasmine Vijayasekar, MPH

Director

Jasmine Vijayasekar graduated with her Masters in Public Health from the University of Manchester. Her education has given her a solid foundation of health promotion, epidemiology, evidence based practices and health system challenges. Jasmine has applied her healthcare and project management competencies in various settings; such as, public health education, emergency management, digital health, program operations, and project implementation. Jasmine is regarded as highly enthusiastic and a creative problem solver. She delivers quality results through her exceptional abilities to coordinate a multi-disciplinary team. Jasmine is a passionate leader who intends to use her skills and experiences to improve the quality of life, reduce health inequities and implement successful healthcare interventions.


Omar Goodgame

Director


Denise Crawford

Director

Denise is a seasoned Human Resources professional who spent several years in the private sector as a Regional Human Resources Manager - Eastern Canada; and has spent the past 10+ years advancing Human Rights, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the public sector. Denise led and participated in many Equity and Inclusion programs ensuring Human Rights, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion principles were embedded within the organization’s culture. She influenced corporate programs and policies by providing expertise on the Corporate Policy Advisory and Workforce Census Advisory Committees, and the Equity and Diversity Strategic Implementation Team. Denise’s successful track record of collaborating with stakeholders to lead positive cultural change, in alignment with organizational values, earned her the City of Hamilton’s City Manager’s Award for Public Service Excellence.

Denise holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toronto, CHRL and CHRP designations; and has certificates in Mediation, Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Leading a Mentally Healthy Workplace, Workplace Investigations, Advanced Instructional Techniques for Trainers; and is trained in Lean Six Sigma principles.

Denise is a longtime resident of Peel and has a passion for delivering programs and services that promote healthy, inclusive workplaces. Denise’s diversified background and depth and breadth of knowledge and experience will no doubt add value to WellFort CHS!


Alex Lau

Director

Alex is a longtime resident in the Peel Region. Being passionate about lifelong learning and people development, Alex has taught Strategic Management and Intercultural Management at Nipissing University and Centennial College. Alex also enjoys serving as a board member for Delta Family Resource Centre, a non-profit organization focused on economic empowerment, social services, and poverty alleviation.

As a Relationship Manager at TD Bank, Alex brings local and international experience in business leadership and management. A former Director of Customer Experience for an ecommerce company in Asia, he utilizes his diverse experience to provide solutions to both customers and partners.

With an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business with a focus on entrepreneurship, Alex’s skills in financial management, strategy and marketing are key assets in further realizing Wellfort's mission to provide high quality and accessible health care to all.


Karen Free

Community Member


Marilyn Verghis

Community Member 

Marilyn is passionate equity and inclusion professional, currently serving as the Team Lead for Health Equity at the William Osler Health System. Her role involves building and leveraging community-hospital partnerships to create wraparound care that addresses the social determinants of health for patients and communities. She also supports the portfolio’s efforts toward community health education and clinical capacity building toward health equity. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marilyn was redeployed into a frontline leadership role, where she has brought her unique health equity lens to supporting patients and families in her community, one that has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. She has also supported the development of the organization’s first Virtual Visitation program in response to the pandemic. 

After returning to Brampton from undergraduate studies, Marilyn’s love of community led her to connect with Millennial and Gen Z Bramptonians who shared her commitment to social justice and to establish a non-profit organization in her hometown. Vision Brampton, an entirely-volunteer led community organization, uses peer learning and engagement to build civic inclusion, equity and belonging. She has been recognized by the City of Brampton as an Inspirational Citizen and a Brampton Board of Trade Top 40 under 40 professional. 


Nolan D'Souza

Community Member

Nolan is passionate about cultivating health. He is a certified health executive and genetic counsellor who has contributed to provincial policy and regulation, provided front line care, and designed multiple frameworks for quality improvement. Nolan has a special interest in health strategy and innovation, particularly with regards to the aging population and the prevention of chronic illness. Having immigrated to Brampton as a child, he has seen the city grow and develop and is eager to support the efforts to see Brampton flourish as a healthy community with accessible care. 


Sinthusha Panchalingam

Community Member