Since 1887, we have been governed and led by a number of voluntary and passionate individuals, committed to helping animals, improving their welfare and building a more humane society. Over the course of our history, we have seen many different projects, programs, facilities and initiatives, but one thing has remained the same – the desire and drive of our Board of Directors, to help animals.
Our passion needs structure and guidance to ensure the best results and at our organization, we remain governed by a skilled, and passionate Board of Directors, in the same democratic way we were governed in 1887. Supporting and outlining our operational mandate, are our organizational By-Laws which legally outline our governance practices.
Our Board is made up of 15 Directors who volunteer their time, knowledge and expertise to guide, lead and govern our organization. Our Board of Directors meet monthly as a group to discuss, vote and address items related to our strategic plan and direction, while ensuring that our organization continues to move forward and Improve the Lives of Animals.
President: Josh Shanahan
Chair: Martin Buckle
Vice President: Yussef Hafez
Secretary: Nicholas Kanhai
Treasurer: Charissa Lai
Assistant Treasurer: Damian Creber
To support the Board, our governance structure also includes many committees that work to address more specific areas including reviewing, debating and discussing topics and items essential to our on-going work. As well, committees make recommendations and provide direction and support back to the Board as a whole. Committee membership is generally made up of Board Directors who have a passion and specific skill set that benefits the focus of each committee, with work additionally supported by staff.
The Animal Welfare Committee is a standing Committee of Toronto Humane Society’s Board of Directors, constituted for the purpose of ensuring active engagement of the Board in animal welfare matters, in keeping with the objects of our organization.
Committee Chair: Bronwen Morgan – Board Director
The Audit & Finance Committee is responsible for the oversight and reporting to Toronto Humane Society Board of Directors with respect to pertinent areas of finance and administration of the organization and ensures that Toronto Humane Society remains fiscally responsible, compliant and exercises strong and sound financial practices.
Chair: Charissa Lai – Treasurer of the Board
The Development Committee is a standing Committee of Toronto Humane Society’s Board of Directors constituted for the purpose of ensuring active engagement of the Board in monitoring policy for, and directly supporting ongoing fundraising activities of Toronto Humane Society.
Chair: Nabila Tisha – Board Director
The Governance Committee is responsible for making recommendations to Toronto Humane Society’s Board of Directors on all governance and strategic issues. It also has a responsibility to stay abreast of best governance practices and implement these where appropriate with respect to the organization’s affairs.
Chair: Martin Buckle – Chair of the Board
The Advocacy Committee is responsible for making discussing, debating and making recommendations to Toronto Humane Society’s Board of Directors on all advocacy stances and issues. It has a responsibility to stay abreast of current events, public policy and matters of animal welfare to ensure that Toronto Humane Society is taking a strong stance and working to advocate for improvements to the Lives of Animals.
The Facilities Committee is responsible for ensuring that the owned physical property of Toronto Humane Society is being soundly managed and maintained. The facilities committee also makes recommendations to Toronto Humane Society’s Board of Directors on all property and facility matters related to the strategic direction of the organization.
Chair: Malcolm Bernstein – Board Director
There are 15 seats on Toronto Humane Society’s Board of Directors; seven are up for election at the 2023 AGM. Consider joining our Volunteer Board of Directors. Read the Director Profile to learn what the Board does and what skills and experience are most needed.
Visit www.torontohumanesociety.com/AGM for the nomination process including the forms. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
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When I was 10 years old, my family adopted our first cat “Sneaker” from a shelter in Windsor. In the more than 25 years since, we’ve adopted four dogs and two cats, with our most recent addition being our cat “Bentley” who brings laughter and joy to me and my partner daily.
As a communications professional I have more than 12 years of experience creating robust communications plans to help organizations deliver on their strategies through good times and bad. My approach to communications is to leverage the power of storytelling to connect with people on a personal level and help them understand the important pieces in an organization’s narrative.
I believe in the mission of the Toronto Humane Society and hope to have the opportunity to use my diverse skillset to navigate potential challenging headwinds ahead and be a sustainable organization that continues fighting for animal welfare for years to come.
For the past three years I have used my skills as an accountant with over 25 years experience in finance, strategy, and government relations to support the management and staff of the Toronto Humane Society in carrying out their vital work saving animals and supporting our communities. As Chair of the Advocacy Committee I am delighted that Canada’s Animal Welfare legislation was tightened last year to ban trading sharks fins, eliminate captivity of whales and dolphins, and crack down on animal abuse. Ontario has also improved its laws with the PAWS Act. But much more remains to be done and I want the chance to continue this vital work.
I am grateful to the members of the Toronto Humane Society for entrusting me with the opportunity to serve on their board and help improve the lives of animals and sincerely hope you will honour me with the chance to serve again.
Last summer I completed a pro bono project for Toronto Humane Society. I found it fulfilling to recommend changes that positively impacted the employee experience and welfare of the animals. It also gave me a chance to interact with the team, and provided firsthand exposure into the impressive initiatives and impact Toronto Humane Society has had on the community. I believe in its strategic vision, but understand the challenges it faces – all of which threaten its long-term viability. Toronto Humane Society must continue to operate as a business – to capitalize on new revenue sources, reduce costs, and improve efficiency – with minimal impacts to its mission, and the care and well-being of its animals, employees, and community. I believe my passion for animals, my experience helping organizations thrive, my strong work ethic and leadership skills make me an ideal candidate to join Toronto Humane Society’ Board of Directors and support the sustainable achievement of its strategic plan.
During my many years living in India and Vietnam, I encountered many street dogs and cats, many of whom roamed wild in the streets around where I lived. I got to know these animals personally, having shown them warmth and care that their environments neglected to provide. Their gentleness and eagerness for affection shone through, and their street-toughened exteriors melted away when shown the slightest bit of kindness. It deeply impacted me to see so many animals ignored, abused, and neglected. I now have rescued both a cat and a dog, whom I love as my own.
We have a responsibility to care for animals, to provide them with codified rights, and to ensure that society collectively steps up to provide animals with safe homes. I will bring my education, technical know-how, strategic leadership experience, and non-profit grantwriting experience to the Toronto Humane Society board with enthusiasm and dedication to its mission.
Growing up in South Africa, I was happiest in the company of our multiple family dogs and in exploration of the wildlife for which South Africa is so well known; these personal experiences have imbibed in me the compassion for animals I have today.
With this underlying compassion as a driving purpose, I help the Toronto Humane Society fulfill its mission of promoting the care of animals and becoming a best-in-class animal shelter. My financial and business experience allows me to optimize Toronto Humane Society’s financial resources to help as many animals as possible.
I have spent my entire life around animals, growing up with a combination of a dog, cats, fish, rabbits, and even a frog. Today, I am roommates with a Boston Terrier / Pug (Opie) and a domestic short-hair cat (Willow). Having spent over a decade in finance, I am looking to find a way to blend my professional experience with my personal love of all animals. Naturally, Toronto Humane Society is the leading animal welfare organization in the city and I am excited to offer my skills to assist the Board and leadership in moving the mission and strategic plan forward.
I have a longstanding commitment to Toronto Humane Society and a passion for animal welfare. My background includes executive and consulting roles in board governance, strategy, and human resources. As a Toronto Humane Society member, I have volunteered drafting the bylaws and advising the Board on governance matters. I also run my own non-profit initiative, The Benjamin Project, in memory of my dog, to raise funds for shelters and education on responsible pet stewardship. Toronto Humane Society held the launch of my first book about Benjamin and my children’s book has just been published. All revenues from book sales are donated. It would be a privilege to apply my skills, experience and passion for animals to help advance Toronto Humane Society strategically, financially, and from a governance perspective. My commitment is to work tirelessly to ensure THS remains a first class organization for staff, members, and most importantly, the animals in its care.
As a lawyer, and a previous Board Member, I welcome the opportunity to serve again on the Board to continue the ongoing evolution of Toronto Humane Society into a leading animal welfare organization. Toronto Humane Society has already made incredible progress since 2009, and I was privileged to play a small role as Board Chair, and in some initiatives such as the low-cost spay-neuter clinic and the member code of conduct.
In returning to the Board, I would like to focus on expanding our role in the local community through provision of low-cost veterinary services, and more broadly through expanded advocacy on animal welfare issues, including leadership in making the Greater Toronto Area a successful no-kill community.
Nearly 30 years ago, I adopted my first cat from the Toronto Humane Society, followed a couple of years later by an amazing dog. I have always wanted to give back to the Toronto Humane Society in a meaningful way. I now find myself in a position where, as an experienced lawyer, I have skills that may assist the Toronto Humane Society Board. I acted on behalf of animal rights advocates and assisted a group of dedicated women to establish a foster-based dog rescue in the GTA. I have experience sitting on a Board and believe my professional background together with my work in rescue will allow me to bring a unique perspective to the Toronto Humane Society Board. I look forward to moving the Toronto Humane Society forward in its mission and continuing the many years of incredible work of the Toronto Humane Society.
My passion for animals and my diverse background would make me an ideal candidate in serving on the board of directors at Toronto Humane Society. I have over 15 years of Real Estate Industry experience with demonstrated skills in negotiation, business development, account management, process improvement, marketing and customer service as well solid experience in Sales & Marketing, leading and supporting global cross-functional performance driven teams to meet corporate objectives. I would be honoured to be part of such an incredible organization and do my best to help support animal welfare concerns and to save and improve the lives of as many pets as possible.
Animals are my life –I currently live with five dogs! I am also a veterinarian and co-owner at Beaches Animal Hospital. Previously, I practiced emergency medicine at a 24-hour-hospital and an emergency clinic.
BAH is dedicated to helping rescue groups. Our amazingstaff understand the importance of rescue groups, having critical access to veterinary services to enable animals to be treated and moved into forever homes. This is also why BAH has its own successful adoption program. I am also proud of BAH’s close relationship with the Toronto People with AIDS.
Over the years, I have been privileged to work with the veterinary staff atToronto Humane Society and the Toronto Wildlife Centre to assist with advice and services. Becoming part of the Board is a natural progression in this relationship and I look forward to working with staff to facilitate Toronto Humane Society’s ongoing evolution into the leading animal shelter.
My life continues to be enriched by my many beloved animal friends, past and present. The volunteer work I have done at Toronto Humane Society in the past and everything I propose to do now is, in a very real sense, dedicated to them. In the six years that I served on the Toronto Humane Society Board, I was repeatedly impressed by the enthusiasm and selfless dedication of volunteers, staff and leadership. I share that commitment and look forward to contributing to Toronto Humane Society’s ongoing success and, most importantly, each animal’s success.
As a senior partner with decades of experience in a major law firm, working closely with organizations of all kinds, I believe I have many skills that can help Toronto Humane Society to play a leadership role in making Toronto a truly successful no-kill community – and also to thrive as a sound, well-governed institution of which we can all be justly proud.
My background demonstrates a commitment to progressive animal welfare ideology. When I ran for the Board in 2014 my platform stated my ideal of a world where a shelter is not needed because all animals are wanted and cared for. Over the years I have participated in Toronto Humane Society strategic planning, committees and projects with this goal in mind. I would like to continue this work.
Committed, dedicated staff and volunteers are essential to a successful organization. My human resources and legal background assist me in understanding the legislative and human needs of staff and employees. Over the years I have worked with many staff and volunteers and remain in awe of the value of their contribution. I have a historical knowledge of Toronto Humane Society tempered by knowledge that the only constant in this world is change. Toronto Humane Society has evolved, adapted to and embraced change with successful outcomes for animals and I believe I can contribute to an ongoing Toronto Humane Society success story.
As a seasoned fundraising executive, my career has been dedicated to developing revenue streams for countless non-profits. My decade-long philanthropy experience lends a vantage point in guiding Toronto Humane Society through sustainable and diversified fundraising.
I am a life-long animal advocate, and I am passionate about a future in which animal shelters no longer need to exist. In that endeavour, it would be my honour and privilege to continue applying my skills and experience to help Toronto Humane Society advance in its mission. My commitment remains to facilitate Toronto Humane Society’s ongoing evolution into the bestinclass animal organization that continues to change the lives of animals in its care and beyond.
I am a seasoned chartered professional accountant (CPA,CA) and chief auditor (CIA) with over twenty years of experience in strategic planning, financial management, auditing, governance and risk management. I have been a member of the Toronto Humane Society Audit Committee since 2016 and Assistant Treasurer for over a year supporting Toronto Humane Society’s Board on financial oversight. I also love being a volunteer dog walker and foster dog parent at Toronto Humane Society.
I am elated to see the animals find their forever home with help from the professional, dedicated and compassionate Toronto Humane Society staff. At home, I am happiest cuddling with Java and Latte, my beloved senior dogs and taking them for walks at the beach.