Jessica Roelink, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Feeding Canadian Kids
Jessica Roelink, Charity Founder and former Executive Director at Dress for Success Toronto & Dress Your Best charities, began her life journey of serving those less fortunate back in 2000. Jessica has received both the Volunteer of the Year Award from the City of Toronto and Flare magazine’s Canadian National Volunteer Award; however, she insists that the very people she helps inspire her and that her volunteers drive her achievements. Jessica also received a nomination for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Award and a nomination for Toronto’s Top 40 Under 40.
As a teenager, Jessica went from volunteer of the month to Director of Operations at a local clothing bank, and by her early twenties was turning professional clothing into a charitable movement. In 2001, Jessica founded her own charity using her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for volunteering as tools to garner success for almost twenty years in the non-proﬁt sector. Although Jessica originally studied Construction Engineering, she never entered into the construction industry as she was too busy building a great charity that today, continues to improve the lives of thousands of disadvantaged Canadians.
“I was alarmed when I learned that 1 in 6 Canadian children face food insecurity every day, this drove me to found Feeding Canadian Kids. I am conﬁdent that our strong network of partners and volunteers will empower us to address this pressing issue.”
Cheng joined the Feeding Canadian Kids team in 2020 and manages all of our full cycle bookkeeping, CRA reports, donation filings, financial statement preparation, and the tracking of in-kind gifts, volunteer hours, number of meals served, and the communities we support. She also assists our Executive Director in an administrative capacity. Cheng is passionate about helping communities and supporting children in need.
Susanne Weinberg, Marketing & PR Director
Dig PR & Marketing Inc.
Susanne is the founder of Dig PR & Marketing Inc., a boutique agency that provides creative, strategic and impactful marketing communications solutions for start-up and established local, national and global brands.
She has successfully developed and executed targeted, multi-touch initiatives and campaigns for top-tier clients in various sectors including lifestyle, health and wellness, entertainment, retail, real estate, and non-profit.
Susanne brings her passion, vision, leadership and extensive industry expertise to the Feeding Canadian Kids team. As the mother of a teenage son, she is inspired to drive our mission forward.
Phil James, Web Designer
Phil James is a web developer and writer based in Toronto. Since 2016, he has been developing websites, interactives and content strategies for nonprofits and arts organizations in the GTA. The founder of Tapestry Media, Phil has worked on such projects as Qwiklit, an e-learning website for literature, and Pomelo News, a mobile application that aggregates local news from thousands of places around the world.
Phil is passionate about helping nonprofits meet their potential and grow online. He is also a volleyball player, runner, and part-time cartographer.
Our Board of Directors
John Young, Our Co-Founder & Chairman
John Young is the Chief Executive Officer of Boat Rocker Media, a global entertainment company that creates, produces and distributes premium content for all platforms. John is the Chair of the Board of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and a member of the Boards of Caldwell Partners and SIR Corp. He has also served on the Boards of Golf Town, Sporting Life, Toys R Us and on the Advisory Board of ONEX Partners L.P. John’s proven passion for helping at-risk youth fulﬁll their potential makes him an invaluable leader of Feeding Canadian Kids.
Adriana Urtasun, Our Sales & Fundraising Leader
Adriana is a sales and fundraising leader with a specific focus on technology transformation. With 25 years in Sales and Business Development, she has driven sales in technology companies and driven fundraising efforts at the Heart + Stroke Foundation afor 7 years. Adriana serves on the Advisory Board of tiptappay - a touchless payment solution for charities. Adriana came to us first as Host family volunteer, she and her family fed another Toronto family dinner every Saturday in 2022. Wanting to get more involved in the elimination of "the dinner gap for Canadian Kids", Adriana transitioned to our Board Adriana's passionate about ending food insecurity and the mental health of all Canadians.
Steven Pelton, Our Vice-President
Steven Pelton is the President and CEO of Aegis Brands. Prior to this, Steven was the CEO and one of the co-founders of the Landing Group, a Southern Ontario based upscale casual restaurant concept. Steven is vastly experienced in the food services business and large company environments and with this, he paired Feeding Canadian Kids with its founding restaurant partners, the Landing Restaurants who continue to provide healthy dinners to children throughout the GTA. This, in combination with being a father and knowing the pressures of providing for a family, has Steven’s head and heart well-aligned with the mission of Feeding Canadian Kids.
Julia Miller-Black, Our Director of Community Connections and Fundraising
Julia Miller Black is the Program Director at the LesLois Shaw Foundation. Julia is actively involved in building stronger communities in Toronto and internationally through her leadership at LesLois Shaw Foundation, a private foundation, based in Toronto, focused on education and gender equality. As a Board member of Feeding Canadian Kids, a Policy and Stakeholder Committee Member for Covenant House, a Steering committee member of the Youth Funders Network and a previous Teen Healthy Relationship committee member of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Julia is passionate about supporting child development and overall wellbeing; combatting food insecurity is the first step toward achieving this.
Gina Faturos, Our Secretary & Treasurer
Gina Faturos is a Case Worker with the Ontario Disability Support Program. As she works directly with persons in need and is a busy working mother, Gina’s specialty with Feeding Canadian Kids is ensuring we keep the needs of the children, their families and communities our top priority. Gina has also served as a volunteer Board Member of the Playhouse Childcare Centre and has witnessed first-hand the need to combat child hunger. As a founding Board member of the Live to Give Relief Organization, Gina has always made time to volunteer as a Director in the areas of Fundraising and with her strong organizational skills she will be our Board’s Secretary and Treasurer. Gina realized when she became a mother that being a good role model was crucial to her children’s development and to better serve underprivileged Canadians.
Our Advisory Board
Tasheen Shabab, Advisory Board Member
Tahseen is the cofounder and CEO of Cybersecurity startup, Penfield.AI. Penfield.AI is backed by a number of top institutions, such as 500 Startups, University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab, University of Waterloo’s Velocity and DMZ’s Rogers Cyber Catalyst Program.
Tahseen graduated from the University of Waterloo in Electrical Engineering and has since been a Cybersecurity consultant for firms like IBM, RBC, a Top 3 Canadian Financial Services firm, Fortune 60 Telco in the US, a North American government organization, and more. Tahseen was the lead developer of a Cybersecurity cloud solution, AppScan Source on cloud, which was used by many Fortune 500 companies. AppScan was Top 3 on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant in 2014.
Tahseen previously founded Tapaplate - a social home cooked food sharing platform for young professionals and millennials in Toronto. Tapaplate was launched in the Canadian App Store in January 2017.
Tahseen regularly speaks at Cybersecurity/AI conferences and has been featured alongside leaders from firms like Microsoft and Lockheed Martin. Tahseen holds 3 awards from University of Waterloo and 2 awards from IBM.
Tahseen’s drive to help Canadian children stems from his own journey. As a first generation immigrant, Tahseen feels extremely grateful for the opportunities provided to him by fellow Canadians. As such, Tahseen is eager to pass on that love by supporting our future leaders – Canadian children. He sits on the Feeding Canadian Kids Advisory Board as our Technology Director.
Rudyard Griffiths, Advisory Board Member
Rudyard Griffiths is a television broadcaster with Bloomberg TV and a senior fellow at Munk School at the University of Toronto and a philanthropic advisor to family led foundations in Canada.
He is past president of the Peter and Melanie Munk Foundation and currently serves as a philanthropic advisor to Galen Weston Snr and the Weston Family Foundation. Rudyard also is the co-founder and Chair of the semi-annual Munk Debates. For over a decade he was the founder and executive director of the history and civics charity the Dominion Institute which merged with the Historica Foundation in 2009 to create Historica Canada.
Rudyard is the author of the 2009 Globe and Mail Book of Year,
Who We Are: A Citizens Manifesto and has edited two dozen publications on international relations, public policy, history and politics.
He has been a columnist at the National Post and the Toronto Star and a TV anchor for Bloomberg TV Canada and CTV News Channel and a business news commentator for CBC News Network.
He holds a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University where he was also a doctoral candidate.
Rudyard is also a busy father of two children and as a hand’s on Dad he knows the dedication it takes to shop and prepare highly nutritious meals for his kids. Rudayard welcomes being an Advisor to Feeding Canadian Kids.
Dan Park, Advisory Board Member
Dan is CEO of Clutch, an online auto retailer transforming the way consumers buy cars. Clutch has emerged as a trusted brand and an exciting alternative to buying a car either from a traditional dealership or privately from an individual.
Prior to joining Clutch, Dan was General Manager and Head of Uber Eats Canada. During his time at Uber, Dan led the extraordinary growth of Uber’s food delivery platform, UberEats, in Canada, which now services hundreds of thousands of customers in over 50 cities across the country.
While leading the team at UberEats, Dan partnered with Feeding Canadian Kids. As an integral part of our model, UberEats as our delivery partners, complete the process by ensuring delivery of meals to hungry kids throughout the GTA. Dan is also a loving husband and father of one, his passion as a dad also adds to his determination to successfully help Feeding Canadian Kids fill empty tummies to ensure brighter futures across Canada.
Theresa Buset, Advisory Board Member
Theresa Buset is the VP of Human Resources at DDB Group Canada. Over the last 14 years, Theresa has been providing insight, leadership and best practices in Human Resources services to some of the premier advertising agencies in Canada. With a Bachelor of Administration and Commercial Studies, concentrating in Human Resources and Psychology from Western University and in addition to obtaining her CHRL, this prepared her to partner with the strong creative personalities leading the agencies in this fast-moving field.
As a mother to two school-age children, she understands the struggles some of their classmates can encounter daily, and has resolved to help be part of the solution. Inspired by the mission and goals of Feeding Canadian Kids,
Theresa believes that every child deserves an equal chance at educational experiences, and that includes being able to concentrate on their work, not their empty stomach. “Some of the most complex problems can have a simple solution if we work together to find and rectify them.”
Joe Rhew, Advisory Board Member
As Senior Operations Manager for Uber Eats, Joe oversees marketplace operations, which serves millions of customers in over a hundred cities across Canada. Joe is passionate about the mission of Feeding Canadian Kids as he recognizes the serious threat food insecurity poses to a child’s development and growth.
Previously, Joe co-founded two start-ups focused on solving problems for the everyday consumer through innovative technology. Joe also worked in the Country Coverage Group at Morgan Stanley and Citigroup in Seoul, covering M&A and equity-side transactions of multinational conglomerates. Joe received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Stephen M. Ross School of Business at University of Michigan graduating with high distinction.
Rebecca Waterhouse, Advisory Board Member
Rebecca is a Project Specialist with Makeway, making way for community lead solutions. She has been analyzing a wealth of data on social entrepreneurship and successful community development strategies in the Canadian context for the past seven years. This focus has allowed Rebecca to work both at the front-line and as a consultant for a diversity of non-profit and charitable organizations. Rebecca excels at supporting charities in identifying their systems needs and transforming challenges into strategic opportunities. While ensuring each Feeding Canadian Kids delivery occurs as scheduled Rebecca also works to course an organizational path for national expansion.
Rebecca holds a Masters, Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership from Carleton University (Ottawa, ON), a Business Degree from St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, NS) and is currently pursuing her Sustainable Investment Professional Certification (Concordia, QC).
“The fact that it’s 2020 and Canadian kids continue to go to bed hungry is simply unacceptable. We have the resources, infrastructure and responsibility to solve this distribution problem and its time we do so with the Feeding Canadian Kids model.”
Terry Knight, Advisory Board Member
Terry is the CEO of Karibu Solutions Inc., a company that provides solutions for Canadian employers and migrant workers. He is a migration and communications expert with over 20 years’ experience in helping clients. Terry has a degree in Political Science and NGO Management and a Masters of Refugee Integration from Dublin City University and has worked with refugees and migrants across the globe in areas such as Ireland, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Greece and Canada.
His recent work overseas has focused on operational efficiency, community relations,fundraising and program development including food sustainability programs such as school breakfast programs.
He is an innovator who is involved in a multitude of programs designed to help Canada’s immigrant resettlement efforts, ensuring the integration and self-sufficiency of North American newcomers.
Jeremy Walker, Advisory Board Member
Jeremy is the Managing Director and Head of TD Securities’ Communications, Media & Technology Group. He holds a BA Honours in Economics, is on the Board of Governors at Havergal College and is responsible for the overall stewardship, including establishing the school’s direction and priorities and overseeing its financial and administrative functions.
Jeremy’s professional experience is a valuable asset to Feeding Canadian Kids and as a father of three daughters, he is passionate about feeding children in need.