Carol Kotacka, President
As Managing Partner of Ryelle Strategy Group, Carol has had the privilege of driving external strategy and co-creating system wide solutions with residents, employees, government entities as well as first responders, supporting organizations in North America, Europe and, most recently, the Middle East. On the personal side, Carol and her family have lived in Peel for over 25 years and have made a collective commitment to community contribution. Carol's volunteer experience has included the Peel Children and Youth Initiative, United Way of Peel Region, Mississauga-Halton Palliative Executive Committee as well as the Mississauga Board of Trade and Humber College Management Advisory.
Lemmy Maingi, Vice President
Lemmy Maingi is a Senior Manager in the Financial Services industry performing project portfolio management, oversight and governance responsibilities. He has close to 20 years corporate experience having worked in Auto Finance, Merchant Card solutions and Project Finance. Lemmy believes in investing in community providing a strong foundation that ensures children, youth and their families have the best chance to excel and prosper. He hopes to continue enhancing their safety and well-being through the Peel Children's Aid Society. Lemmy and his lovely wife have three beautiful daughters.
Amir Shah, Treasurer
Amir Shah, MBA, CPA, has served in finance and operations for York University for over 16 years. His work focuses on responsible financial management and developing strategies to efficiently serve a broad range of client needs, positively impacting around 50,000 students annually. Amir is also a consultant with experience helping companies adapt to changing consumer needs. He has developed and implemented strategies at the executive level for construction, chemical, pharmaceutical, e-commerce, and social media companies. Additionally, he is a strong advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, Mental Health Awareness, Women's Rights, and Anti-Poverty Initiatives and has over 15 years of volunteer work with multiple charities. Amir has prior Board of Governors experience, providing governance and oversight in the private sector. His motivation for joining Peel Children's Aid Society stems from the wish to use his skills and abilities to give back to the community.
Silvia Devlin, Secretary
Silvia Devlin is a retired Director of Software Development with over 30 years experience as an IT Development leader in healthcare, telco, and insurance. She has a strong balance of financial acumen and software development expertise in managing multiple and simultaneous large scale multi-stakeholder development projects. Silvia has now entered the world of entrepreneurship and has started her own small company focusing on Design and Home Staging. Silvia has been a resident of Peel for over 25 years and has always been interested in supporting families, children and youth. She has been involved in many volunteer programs, giving back to the community, including sitting on the Board of Directors for BridgeWay Family Centres, Avanti Women and as a Therapy Dog Volunteer with her dog Baxter at St. John Ambulance.
Natasha Milijasevic, Member at Large
Natasha Milijasevic, MBA, PhD, is the Senior Director of Corporate Quality and Risk at Extendicare and has 25 years of leadership experience in health care, government, technology and management consulting sectors. Natasha has had the privilege of serving the people of Peel region through her positions and appointments with Trillium Health Partners, Mississauga-Halton LHIN Quality Committee, Institute for Better Health, and the University of Toronto Medical School at Mississauga. Her research has included topics such as: physical and mental health of second-generation Canadians and intergenerational impacts of war trauma on immigrant populations. Natasha's volunteer experience has included several Women's Shelters, Family Service Association of Toronto, the David Suzuki Foundation, and Board positions with The Stranahan House Museum, and Canadian Children's Opera Company.
Mindy Aujla, Member
Mindy Aujla, CHRL, is a seasoned HR professional with over 15 years of experience strategically partnering with leadership teams to create workplaces that foster a positive employee experience. Mindy’s areas of expertise include change management, communications, performance management, employee relations, leadership coaching, and continuous improvement. Mindy prides herself in being a lifelong learner with a formal degree from York University, accreditation within the Human Resources Professional Association and an ongoing commitment to staying abreast of the ever changing employment landscape. She is also passionate about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging and Allyship. Mindy is a mother of two that through her journey of motherhood has become passionate about advocacy for children and supporting families which has brought her to the Peel CAS.
Jatinder Chera, Member
Jatinder Chera is a seasoned corporate lawyer with 10+ years of legal experience. At present, Jatinder is Director, Legal Affairs for Lactalis Canada Inc. In this role, he advises Lactalis Canada Inc. on various legal matters. Prior to joining Lactalis Canada Inc., Jatinder had his own legal practice, Chera Law Firm, based in Peel Region and through which he provided legal services to several clients in Peel Region. Prior to his own legal practice, Jatinder was an Associate at a leading Canadian law firm in Toronto. Jatinder welcomes the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of children in need of Peel CAS services. Jatinder, his wife and 2 young children are proud residents of Peel Region.
Nia Garron, Member
Nia is a new member, who joined the Board in June 2023. Bio will be added soon.
Lisa Hewison, Member
Lisa Hewison is an Inspector with Peel Regional Police and has been with the service for 25 years. She brings a wealth of experience and was integral in the implementation of PRP’s Intimate Partner Violence Unit. She sits on a number of committees with focus on addressing Violence Against Women and Gender-based Violence in the Peel community. She also is the co-chair of PRP’s Pride Internal Support Network for 2SLGBTQ+ employees. She is the past President of the Ontario Women in Law Enforcement and continues to be involved in the organization as a Board of Trustee member. Lisa also volunteers as an Aide-de-Camp for the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
Nakiema Palmer, Member
Nakiema Palmer, MSc, has lived and served in the Peel community for the last 14 years. She is currently the Director of Early Years and Child Care Services at the Region of Peel. Nakiema brings a wealth of experience in the areas of strategic planning, public policy, program evaluation, performance measurement, research and change management. Prior to migrating to Canada, Nakiema worked in the area of community development in her native Jamaica for a number of years harnessing her skills in stakeholder engagement and leadership. She has a deep passion for the early years and looks forward to this opportunity to serve families in Peel in a new and meaningful way.
Gurleen Sandher, Member
Gurleen Sandher is a recognized community leader for over 10 years focusing on implementing programs and initiatives that result in positive social impacts across Ontario. In her spare time Gurleen volunteers with and leads local community initiates such as co-founding the Sikh Family Helpline, leading initiatives such as Sikh Mentorship Program, and organizing events like One Billion Rising and Lohri For Her among others. In addition, she sits on the board of directors for the World Sikh Organization of Canada. Currently, Gurleen works at Ontario Health and has over 6 years of experience in healthcare. Her work has focused primarily on process improvements, health technology implementations and project management. Gurleen received her Master of Health Informatics from the University of Toronto and Bachelor of Health Policy from York University.
Amy Smith, Member
Amy has worked in education for almost 20 years as an Educational Assistant, classroom educator, instructional coach and currently a vice principal within the Peel District School Board. In her many roles within the school board, she has worked collaboratively with colleagues and community to implement programs and resources to support families in and outside of the school setting. A graduate of University of Toronto, York University and Sheridan college, she is a life long learner who is always looking for ways to improve and try new things. She has worked within community agencies like Community Living and Big Brothers Big Sisters to support families within Peel. Her interest in being a part of the Children’s Aid Society has been around for many years and she is so happy to have this opportunity.
Maqbool Walji, Member
Maqbool Walji is an entrepreneur, a strong advocate for Youth engagement, Mental Health Awareness, Affordable Housing, Crime Prevention Awareness and Public Safety. He is actively involved with the Peel District School Board’s Faith Forward committee, interfaith Council of Peel and food banks. Over the past few years, Maqbool has worked with newcomers and refugee families to help them with settlement in Peel. Maqbool has also been engaged within political and civic engagement and has worked diligently to ensure all voices are heard and all people are at the table when it comes to decisions made about them. Maqbool is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Safe City Mississauga.
Selina Young, Member
Selina is Métis from the Prairies. She has been a guest on Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee territory her whole life and has lived in Clarkson Village Mississauga for 10 years. She is an active volunteer including roles with Katimavik, Park People, Peel Police and Toronto Public Library's Indigenous Advisory Council. Selina also has over 25 years' experience in public service, having worked for governments in Ontario, Canada and Scotland and is currently the Director of the Indigenous Affairs Office at the City of Toronto.