The Stop’s Board of Directors are an engaged group of community-minded volunteers. They come from diverse professional backgrounds, and bring expertise in law, human resources, public health, fundraising, community services, and advocacy—to name just a few.
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Chris Valentine, President
Chris is the President and founder of ESC, a corporate services company servicing more than 5,000 professional clients across Canada with due diligence and public record solutions for legal transactions, compliance, and risk management. Before joining ESC, Chris spearheaded corporate strategy, growth, and corporate development at Teranet Inc. As a founding member of Teranet’s original team, Chris helped bring about innovations in multiple areas of real estate public records, including mortgage risk management, property valuation, and legal corporate services. He led substantial growth for Teranet, with successful acquisitions in the area of real estate legal services and corporate services. Having lived all over the world as a son of a Canadian diplomat, prior to leading Corporate Development at Teranet, Chris founded Teranet’s international consulting division that successfully delivered Land Registry programs on behalf of the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and CIDA in the Middle East, Caribbean, and Eastern Europe.
A passionate idea-driven entrepreneur, Chris brings energy, enthusiasm, and in-depth experience in listening, learning, and conceiving of new products and services for businesses, regardless of the time zone. Married to Christina and a father of four (three children and a golden retriever), Chris has spent a decade on sports fields as a coach, and as a volunteer for his children’s activities. As his children grow up, he is turning his attention to growing things in fields at his farm in Creemore and to charitable causes that address his interest in sustainable food security.
George So, Treasurer
George is a seasoned investment professional with more than 20 years of financial services experience. George is currently a partner at Instar Asset Management, a leading infrastructure private equity firm based in Toronto. He has diverse experience working and managing within an entrepreneurial environment while implementing industry best practices and is keen to lend his resources and experience to The Stop. George has been involved with The Stop for the past few years and is a founding member of The Stop’s Finance Committee. He grew up near The Stop and has a strong affinity with the local community in which The Stop provides its services and programs. George studied at the University of Waterloo and is a Chartered Accountant. He is married with one son.
Stacy is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, where her practice focuses on investment funds, corporate finance, securities regulation, and public company transactions. She is actively involved in the women@blakes network, which was established to assist women lawyers in achieving business success. Stacy believes that good things come from time spent with others around the kitchen table and is working with her three young children to ensure they understand the importance of healthy food and nutrition for everyone.
Charles has been a volunteer with The Stop since he first moved to Toronto nearly a decade ago. Looking to find a sense of community Charles began volunteering every other Saturday at our year-round Farmers’ Market and most recently as a member of the Board’s Finance Committee. As the Manager of Corporate Development for Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality, Charles brings a wealth of strategic and analytical financial expertise to the Finance Committee and management team. Charles looks forward to joining the Board of Directors to ensure that The Stop continues to provide others with the same sense of community that it has given him.
Sabina Vohra-Miller, Director
As a first-generation racialized Canadian who has experienced food insecurity firsthand, Sabina looks forward to bringing her voice and platform to further the mission of The Stop. As co-founder of the Vohra-Miller Foundation, Sabina works to make systemic, sustainable and meaningful changes to improve the health of the planet and its people. Throughout the Covid 19 pandemic, Sabina has used her background in pharmacology and toxicology to support health equity through the dissemination of vaccine information with groups across the city including the South Asian Health Network.
Koel Loyer, Director
As Principal and Wealth Advisor at Stonegate Private Counsel, Koel brings extensive experience in managing the financial affairs of business owners, professionals and other Canadian families. Koel holds an MBA from the Michael G. Degroote School of Business at McMaster University and an Honours degree in Commerce from Queen’s University. Most recently, Koel has been awarded the coveted Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI) designation, placing him in the top five percent of all financial advisors in Canada. Koel resides in Toronto’s Little Italy community. During his spare time, Koel is involved with The Family Enterprise Exchange, The Stop, and serves on the ROM’s Executive Board for its Royal Patrons’ Circle.
Steve Thuringer, Director
Steve Thuringer is a facilities specialist who has been the Executive Director of Upper Canada College for over 20 years. He is a resident of the St. Clair and Christie neighbourhood and lives around the corner from Wychwood Open Door with his family.
Bronwyn Underhill, Director
Bronwyn Underhill (MPH: Health Promotion) is a local resident and past volunteer of The Stop breakfast drop-in and community events. She has worked in Community Health Centres for the past 14 years, and is currently the Director of Health Promotion and Community Engagement at Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre. Her passion for food security led her to be one of the founders of “The Oriole FoodSpace”, for which she was awarded the Toronto Food Champion award in 2013. She has been a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council and was recently on the Board of Directors for Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre. She is a mom of two and spends her spare time in her veggie and pollinator garden.
Jessica McQuoid, Director
Jessica is a former investment professional who followed her love of food to become a Chef and Registered Holistic Nutritionist, running her small business Whole Health Kitchen. Her love of food and community drove her to become a volunteer at The Stop, and her time there inspired her to become an advocate for Food Justice and a student of Food Security. She recently completed Ryerson University’s Food Security Certificate program and helped rewrite the course, Gender and Food Security; with her sections of the course focusing on the intersections of race, gender and food security. Jessica is an avid urban gardener, former NCAA basketball player and proud mom.
Carmen Martinez, Director
Carmen is a passionate, innovative, and solutions-oriented leader in the retail, e-commerce, entertainment, fashion, and cosmetic industries. She has global expertise in sales, marketing and licensing in leadership roles at leading multi-national companies, including Viacom, Mattel, Bandai, L’Oréal and Bata.
Carmen currently works as a sales and marketing consultant at the Toronto Fashion Incubator, advising Canadian fashion designers on how to expand their businesses domestically and globally. Carmen formerly served as the Chair of the Board of Directors at The Toronto Fashion Incubator and she was also appointed to the Advisory Board of Canadian International Fashion Film Festival (CANIFFF) where she contributes on the global strategic direction to integrate fashion and film content sponsors. Carmen has been actively involved at both Upper Canada College and Havergal College fundraising campaigns, as well as supporting The Stop Community Community Kitchen’s program.
Sarah Icely, Director
Sarah is a VP at BrandActive, where she focuses on fostering company culture, elevating the team member experience and driving organizational effectiveness. As a champion of equity and inclusion, Sarah is actively involved in this effort to move towards greater adaption of diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Sarah is committed to sustainable community development and believes the problem of food security is part of the foundation. Sarah enjoys travelling, yoga and spending time with her family.
Kevin Yu, Director
Kevin has called this community home for over a decade and continue to do so with great pride. He believes in building a strong community as demonstrated by his active participation on the Fundraising Committee and the Student Advisory Council at Perth PS, where his daughter, Olive, attends school. His family is everything to him. He is happily married to Carey of almost 15 years.
Kevin is a real estate agent, where he leads a small team with great passion and dedication. He is passionate about making a difference in people’s lives. He believes that building a strong and supportive community is essential to everyone’s well-being, and he is always willing to lend a helping hand to his neighbours.
Monty Laskin, Director
Monty has been following The Stop for many years while building a food support program in Caledon modelled after many of its programs. He is presently the Chief Executive Officer at Caledon Community Services where he has worked for the past 17 years. In this capacity, he had a hand in securing the capital and developing a multi-service model called The Exchange, a community hub that uses food to engage the broader community to partake in numerous social justice initiatives supporting marginalized individuals and families. Prior to this, he spent a number of years in the Ontario Public Sector as an Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General where he had the opportunity to oversee programs and services in the Province that supported victims of crime. He has also held a number of leadership positions in child welfare and children’s mental health. He is a long-time resident of Toronto where he lives with his wife, two children and a very rambunctious dog. Monty has been an active volunteer on numerous Boards and other community-focused initiatives and he is delighted to be joining the Stop’s Board.