Upcoming TASTE Meetings

 
PLEASE NOTE:  All Alumni Participants have agreed to meet York students through the TASTE program. Students are not to contact any of these participants to request meetings outside of the program.

Professional Profile Education Meeting Deadline Status
Steven Petroff
Director, Client Services
IQ PARTNERS

Economics
BA
1987
Fall 2018
Toronto


Open
Ricardo Laskaris
Reference Assistant
York University

My first degrees were a BSc in Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence and a Masters in Information Studies, both at the University of Toronto. After beginning my current position at York's Steacie Science & Engineering Library, I completed my second undergrad, in Psychology.

Outside of work, I have volunteered with several organizations, including the Toronto Public Library, Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services, and The Distress Centres.

Psychology
BA
2009
Fall 2018, Winter 2019
York University

November 16, 2018

Open
Sarah Canzano
President
IC Solutions

It took me a long time to complete my degree because I was busy travelling, starting a family & working. I don’t recommend everyone do it this way, but I was driven to complete what I started. In order to fulfill my inherent leadership abilities, I eventually opened my own recruitment business in early 2005. I love what I do - helping people with their careers and helping clients with their bottom line. I’m living the dream!

Languages
BA
1996
Fall 2018
Toronto


Open
Raphael Costa
Manager, Small Business and Entrepreneurship
City of Vaughan

I am an economic development professional with an interest in community development. I currently work as the Manager, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Economic and Cultural Development at the City of Vaughan. Our branch delivers Province of Ontario Small Business Enterprise Centre Services, Commercial Neighborhood and Main Street support, Entrepreneurship in Emerging Sectors and Innovation development, and support for small and medium sized advanced manufacturers.

History
PhD
2015
Fall 2018
Toronto

November 16, 2018

Open
Shaalee Sone
Analyst and Knowledge Mobilization Lead
Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

After graduating from York, I completed my MSc and PhD in biology, so we can discuss grad school and the research world. I've since transitioned to the not-for-profit world, spending time at the Ontario Brain Institute working on knowledge mobilization. Currently I'm at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, a national cancer control organization, where I work with clinicians across the country to improve cancer patient care.

Biochemistry
BSc
2008
Fall 2018, Winter 2019
Toronto


Open
David Morris
Senior Policy Advisor
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

I completed an IBA and MA in the liberal arts fields of French Studies and History and began my career as a Customer Service Representative for ServiceOntario. Over my 6 years in government, I have moved around from direct client service delivery, to communications, to supporting political decision-makers including the Ontario Cabinet and now to Health policy. My experience may help shed light on how you can use the soft skills of your degree to open doors to areas you never imagined working in.

French Studies/History
MA
2014
Fall 2018, Winter 2019
Toronto


Open
Mario Cianfarani
Head of ETF Capital Markets
Vanguard Investment Canada

ETF portfolio manager with verifiable, risk, business and operational skills. Capital markets derivative professional with profitable 12 year track record of successfully developing and managing listed and OTC equity derivative businesses. Relationships with top tier Canadian institutional clients. Proficient at trading and marketing all exchange listed cash and equity derivative products. Excellent cross asset derivative modeling skills.

Humanities
BA
1995
Fall 2018, Winter 2019
Toronto


Open
Paola Poletto
Manager, Studio and Group Learning
Art Gallery of Ontario

Paola Poletto is a successful business leader with expertise in the cultural sector. She is the 2017 recipient of Canada Council’s John Hobday Award in Visual Arts Management, with experience spaning executive and creative direction of contemporary art, international cultural exchange, and community facilitation. With a focus on visual arts and urbanism, her greatest accomplishments bring people and ideas together to deliver our best work.

Visual Arts and English
BFA
1993
Fall 2018, Winter 2019
Toronto


Open
Patrick Groom
Partner
McMillan LLP

I moved into Vanier residence in September, 1999 and focused on left-leaning and activist politics and legal theory while working for several labour unions. I became a labour lawyer and represented unions and employees exclusively for 9.5 years before "switching sides"; I now represent employers exclusively. I am a Certified Specialist (Labour Law) - there are only 22 Labour Specialists in Ontario - and I practice mainly in the construction, manufacturing, and health care sectors.

https://mcmillan.ca/PatrickGroom

Law & Society and Political Science (double major)
B.A. (Hons)
2003
Fall 2018, Winter 2019
Downtown Toronto


Open
Léa Muamba
Bilingual Community Health Worker
Black Creek Community Health Centre

I am enthusiastic about all things relating to health and wellness which is why I work in the health promotion field. Health is more than just the physical, it's also about how you think and feel and I love being able to connect people to resources that will improve their overall health!

I also have a passion for giving back to the community and empowering people to discover their purpose and the things about themselves that would make them excel in their lives & career.

Health
BHS
2016
Fall 2018, Winter 2019
North York


Open
Calvin Barry
Lawyer
Calvin Barry Professional Organization

I have an extensive background in Criminal law built on a foundation of over sixteen years working as a Senior Crown Attorney. I have appeared as a Criminal Prosecutor at all levels of Trial Court and Prosecuted many high-profile cases, including more than sixty jury trials. I have practiced in the area of Criminal Law and Regulatory Offences since October of 2004. I have more than twenty-five years experience in the profession.

Law
LLB
1988
Fall 2018, Winter 2019
Toronto

October 19, 2018

Closed
Ivan Ho
Strategic Partner Manager
Google Canada

Hello everyone! It's been 10 years I have been away from Canada and in Oct 2017, I've finally moved back to a place I considered home. I grew up in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada, Toronto 20 years ago to continue my high school and university studies. As soon as I graduated from York, I moved back to Hong Kong to start my career in digital advertising, focusing on digital marketing and media sales. I've always been passionated about digital marketing or in general everything tech related and have previously worked at Microsoft, Kenshoo and Facebook before joining Google Hong Kong 2 years ago and have recently transferred to Google Canada in the Toronto office.

I'm looking forward to meeting and sharing my experiences to those who are interested in starting a career in the digital marketing or advertising field.

Education: Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering
BAS
2007
September 18, 2018
Fall 2018
Toronto


Open
Luca Falconi
Director, Human Resources
Dentsu Aegis Network

I help companies grow and develop their talent and people leadership capabilities. I'm passionate about talent planning, organizational change, leadership development and future trends.

I’m currently Director, Human Resources at Dentsu Aegis Network, which is a media and digital marketing company that operates with 40,000 employees in 145 countries. I’ve previously worked at Holt Renfrew and LoyaltyOne | AIR MILES supporting their corporate teams.

I’d be happy to share my experiences with those interested in all things HR / the World of Work.

Human Resources; Business & Society
Bachelor's Degree & Professional Certificate in HRM
2011
Fall 2018
Toronto

October 12, 2018

Open
Daniel Cipollone
Associate
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Daniel Cipollone is an associate in the Financial Services Group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. His practice focuses on corporate and commercial financing matters and mergers and acquisitions, representing both lenders and borrowers engaged in domestic and cross-border lending transactions and corporate reorganizations.

Prior to joining Cassels Brock, Daniel summered, articled and was an associate with an international law firm and was seconded to the Ontario Securities Commission.

Daniel received his J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School and his M.B.A. from the Schulich School of Business in 2014. Daniel received his Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from York University.

Business and Society
BA (Hons)
2009
Fall 2018
Toronto


Open
Nicholas DeCillis
Product Manager - Tax Operations
RBC Capital Markets

I am currently a Product Manager with a history working in investment banking and asset management operations. That said, I was once a student trying jumpstart my career and navigate the job market for the first time. I am more than happy to share my experiences and offer some advice to prospective graduates.

Finance
BA
2009
Fall 2018
Toronto

October 19, 2018

Open
Kapil Ghai
Account Manager
Purolator

I never thought life would lead me to a career in sales! Becoming a sales professional has changed the way I see the world, and my decision making process as well. The art of sales has taught me a lot about customer engagement, and learning how to understand the needs of others, while finding solutions to their concerns. I believe each person has their own way of finding success, and I am happy to help others on their journey!

Kinesiology
BA
2015
Fall 2018
Toronto


Open
Kelvin Ramchand
Federal Crown Attorney
Public Prosecution Service of Canada

After winning my grade 7 mock trial, I knew criminal law would be the perfect career for me. I pursued this newfound passion throughout my educational career until I was fortunate enough to be hired as a summer student with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

In my current role as Federal Crown Attorney, I have worked on high profile cases at both the trial and appellate level. I have been involved in drug, organized crime, terrorism and wiretap prosecutions in Toronto.

Criminology
BA
2010
Fall 2018, Winter 2019
Toronto


Open
Julia Salzmann
Senior Policy Analyst
York Region

Julia Salzmann graduated from York University's Health Studies program with a specialization in Health Policy in 2013. She holds a Masters of Public Policy at the University of Toronto where she was a Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Fellow and took part in the CIHR Strategic Training Program in Public Health Policy with UofT's Faculty of Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Julia currently works as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Community and Health Services Department at York Region.

Health Policy
BHS
2013
Winter 2019
Toronto


Open
Vyvy Truong
Technical Recruiter
CORE Centre of Resource Excellence

I was like any other student - as graduation slowly approached, I thought to myself "what the heck am I going to do with my life?" I wasn't entirely ready to leave school yet but here I am, almost 4 years out of school working as a Technical Recruiter for an IT solutions company in the core. Hoping to stay connected with current students and keep the relationship going!

Human Resource Management
BHRM
2014
Fall 2018
Toronto


Open
Irena Stankovic
Environmental Outreach Manager
TD Bank Group

Following your passion(s) and interest is the surest path to happiness. Landing my dream jobs, time and time again might not have been easy but my passions have continued to drive me toward unexpected opportunities, that ultimately transformed me into a happy environmental practitioner who critically assesses social, environmental and governance issues for large impactful organizations. Let's chat how you can follow your passions.

Business and Society
BA
2007
Winter 2019
Toronto


Open
Katrina Gordon
Environmental Site Assessor
Watters Environmental Group Incorporated

If you are interested in participating in a second TASTE meeting (i.e. taking 2 different students out to lunch on a different day), please indicate the date, time, and location when you are available.:
I am interested in taking another student on a separate day, same location Tosto at 11 Jacob Keffer Parkway, Vaughan, ON L4K 5N8

I will tentatively say on April 27th. However, allowing the student to contact me and make arrangements might be better in both cases (first and second student), as my job often requires me to travel to different locations sometimes I am only given 24 hours notice so it may take some flexibility on both of our parts.

Environmental Studies
BES
2013
Winter 2019
Toronto


Open
Beth Dea
Chief Operating Officer
Rise Asset Development

I started my career at IBM, then moved into the nonprofit sector, first in education, then as Executive Director of a small children's charity, then with Futurpreneur Canada as Senior Director of Partnerships for 8 years. Futurpreneur is a Canadian charity that provides start-up financing for young entrepreneurs. A year ago, I took a position as COO at Rise Asset Development, which is poised for growth across Canada. My years at Futurpreneur have helped me to have a vision of where Rise needs to be over the short and long term, to scale and have national impact.

Nonprofit
MBA
1996
Fall 2018
Toronto


Open
Adrienne Middlebrook
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications
Greater Toronto Hockey League

Adrienne Middlebrook is a communications professional with a specialization in the sports industry. Based in Toronto, Canada, Adrienne has worked with a variety of brands to help develop and execute social and communications strategies.

Adrienne currently works as a Communications and Marketing Coordinator for the Greater Toronto Hockey League, the largest minor hockey league in the world.

Communication Studies
BA
2013
Fall 2018
Toronto


Open
Warren Pereira
Enterprise Account Manager
IBM

I represent IBM's Big Data & Analytics portfolio for clients in various industries such as Government, Financial Services, Insurance, Banking, Telecommunications and Retail across 23 countries in the Caribbean.

Bachelor of Admin Studies & Strategy and Business Consulting
BA & MBA
2017
Fall 2018
Toronto

October 19, 2018

Open
Muhammad Rahman
Technologist - Vaccine Manufacturing
Sanofi-Pasteur

After my graduation, I was looking for a job within my area of expertise and I realized that it is quite challenging for a fresh graduate to find a job. As a measure of trying every possible opportunities, I tried to connect York Alumni through York university career program for guideline and tips.

Finally, after 5 months of graduation, I started my first job as a process development associated in R&D. Research experience and technical skills from research lab was helpful to find the job.

Although my first job was not through my Alumni connection from, guideline and tips from the Alumni helped me to be more confident and patient about current job market.

Biochemistry
M. Sc
2014
Winter 2019
Toronto


Open
Katie Subbotina
Manager, Emergency Management and Business Continuity Program Development
Paladin Security

It's been 5 years since I found out about the field of Emergency Management and in that time my life has turned upside-down. I enrolled and graduated from the Master's Degree. I completed few contracts and now have an amazing and fulfilling position at Paladin Security. It's been an incredible journey and I will gladly share my experience with anyone interested in listening to it.

Emergency and Disaster Management
Masters
2015
October 18, 2018
Fall 2018
Toronto


Open
Margaret Drent
Strategic Policy Counsel
Law Society of Ontario

In 1996, I graduated from McGill University with degrees in civil and common law and have been a public sector lawyer ever since at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario, and the Law Society of Ontario.

Political Science
MA
1992
Fall 2018
Toronto


Open
Avi Sohi
Founder
Elite Performance House

Avi completed his Specialized Honours BA In Kinesiology & Health Science from York University while concurrently obtaining the designation of Certified Exercise Physiologist through the Health and Fitness Federation of Canada. He is also a certified JOGA Coach, which is a renowned movement system in being used to prevent injuries in professional sports worldwide (NBA,NHL,CFL,NFL). He truly believes in creating an impact within his community, and is using exercise as a catalyst to spark positive changes. He has had a life long passion for exercise and its ability to be used as a form of medicine and healing. His personal athletic background stems from years of rugby, basketball, yoga, and long distance cycling.

Kinesiology and Health Science
BA
2016
Fall 2018, Winter 2019
Brampton


Open
Daniel Majonis
Scientist II
Fluidigm Canada Inc.

After finishing my undergrad at York I went on to do a PhD in polymer chemistry at UofT. Since then I've been working as a research scientist in a biotech company that develops analytical tools for biologists. In my career it's been interesting to watch the transition from a startup to being acquired into a larger company.

Chemistry
Honours Bachelor of Science
2006
Winter 2019
Toronto


Open
Ahmed Abubakar
Relationship Manager
LinkedIn

I remember being 21 and feeling anxiety towards what I wanted to pursue after I graduated. I also remember being hungry to better myself, taking advantage of any opportunity around me and promising myself to stick through with that philosophy. If you told me I would be working for the largest professional network in the world back then, I would’ve been dumbfounded seeing as how I just created my profile back then. TASTE was instrumental in helping me develop; now it’s my turn to pay it forward.

Political Science
BA
2013
Fall 2018
Toronto


Closed
Sheree Shapiro
Health Promotion Specialist
Toronto Public Health

When I finished my degree at York, the idea of having to decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my life seemed extremely daunting. After hopping around between a few different career paths, I found my passion for public health. Each day is different, and I am always learning something new. But most importantly, every day I get the opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations across Toronto.

Kinesiology and Health Science
BA
2005
October 26, 2018
Toronto


Open
Alamgir Khandwala
Staff Accountant
Deloitte LLP

I've travelled to 35+ countries on 6 continents & I hope to continue to increase the list in the near future. This wouldn't be possible if I didn't have my current role as an auditor at one of the biggest professional services firm in the world. It helps me combine my passion of being adventurous and helping organizations from a financial aspect. This is in addition to my passion of advocating on behalf of others in social, academics, inclusivity & student engagement matters. This is just a trailer of the film, want to know more? Let's have a chat.

Accounting
BAS
2017
Fall 2018
Toronto


Closed
Melinda Machado-Caylet
Geriatric Mental Health Clinician/ O.T
UHN

I am a Geriatric Mental Health Clinician at Toronto Western Hospital and have worked in Mental Health for 10 years. I have a B.A in Kinesiology and Health Science and a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy.

I have a passion for Mental Health and have worked in the community as a case coordinator, as a crisis worked in psych emerge and as a O.T in LTC.

Kinesiology
BA
2006
Fall 2018
Toronto


Closed
Christopher van Loenen
Social Media Manager
RedFlagDeals.com

Communications/Law & Society
BA Hons
2010
Fall 2018
Toronto


Closed
Maha Rasheed
Senior Talent Analyst Operations, Systems
Hudson's Bay Company

When I was an undergrad, I had my heart set on teaching. I still do, but life took me to other adventures. I’ve met incredible people along the way, and have a career that is much different than what I could’ve ever imagined. I want to share the lessons I’ve learned, and be a support to a young person, because I know firsthand, and also through my experience as a Recruiter, how difficult it is to navigate today’s world. If sharing my experience can help even one person, then I’m absolutely willing!

English
BA
2010
Fall 2018
Toronto

October 19, 2018

Open
Jenelle Ambrose
Legal Counsel
Grant Thornton LLP

I obtained my J.D. from Dalhousie Schulich School of Law and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2012 and New York in 2015.
Before joining Grant Thornton, I practiced for five years in the financial services and risk management groups at Dentons Canada LLP. I’m also a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, catching up on Netflix shows and perfecting my swimming skills.

Political Science and Communications
BA
2004
Fall 2018
Toronto


Closed
Mai Nguyen
Senior Consultant
Maple Leaf Strategies

Mai has over 10 years of experience in public policy analysis, strategic planning, communications, and stakeholder/community engagement. She possesses thorough knowledge of socio-economic policies, federal/provincial/municipal government processes, community engagement strategies and Indigenous affairs. She is a published author having published extensively on effective industry-Indigenous consultation and the role it plays in good policy making.

Prior to joining Maple Leaf Strategies, Mai was a sessional professor at York University teaching classes in public policy and administration. Based on her academic skills and research, she was later commissioned by the federal government to consult on its Urban Aboriginal Strategy in Ontario. Once she completed her doctoral degree, Mai went on to take policy advisor roles at York Region, the Ontario Chiropractic Association, and for the Ministers of Municipal Affairs and Government and Consumer Services at Queen’s Park.

While at Queen’s Park, Mai was instrumental in helping the government achieve its mandate. Through policy analysis and stakeholder engagement, Mai helped develop regulations around Ontario’s Real Estate market, the banning of door-to-door sales, and the pay-day lending industry.

Mai holds a Ph.D. from York University, Master of Arts from Brock University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Political Science
PhD
2014
Winter 2019
Toronto


Closed
Richa Chodha
Program Lead, Corporate Well-being
Rogers Communications Inc.

Although my journey began in the Mathematics and Physical Sciences field, I grew to have a strong interest in preventative health. Once I decided to make the switch into health, I never looked back and have no regrets, that's how I know I've chosen the right field for me. I completed an HBSc in Kinesiology at York U and went on to complete a Post-Grad program in Workplace Wellness & Health Promotion at Centennial College, as well as a Masters in Public Health from the University of Waterloo.
My area of expertise is in health promotion in an organizational/corporate setting. It's a quite unique field but surely growing as we continue to emphasize the importance of employee well-being and link it to our performance at work and at home.

Kinesiology & Health Sciences
BSc
2012
Winter 2019
Brampton

November 16, 2018

Open
Daniel Listi
Manager, Corporate Partnerships
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

It's always valuable to give back! As someone who was eager to get their career started upon my graduation, I hustled to meet with anyone I could in the fields of work I desired to build a career in. The knowledge, insight and connections I made in those lunches/coffees were all huge stepping stones to getting to where I am today and I always love returning the favour to like minded students. I took an unconventional path to where I am today. I started at York in 2009 in Law & Society, thinking I would be a lawyer, then decided that wasn't for me and pursued a career in Sport Management in College. That lead me to working for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games, Hockey Canada and the NHL. I then decided I wanted to finish my degree and took a different focus in Business & Society. Upon my graduation in 2017, I landed a job here at TIFF and I'm enjoying the ride. If you have a passion for the business of sports, entertainment, marketing, sponsorship or business development, I'd love to give you all the knowledge I have and watch you succeed into a successful professional! I've been through hundreds of interviews and have been dealt with plenty of rejection. Those experiences are what has lead me to where I am today, and I always tell that to students. You just have to #TrustTheProcess.

Business & Society
BA
2017
Winter 2019
Toronto


Open
Sherine Osbourne
Communications and Marketing Advisor
Government of Canada

Thanks to my Bachelor of Arts degree I have worked in many industries from health insurance right out of university to owning my own business, to numerous positions within the public service to now Communications and Marketing Advisor. I have also extended my studies to career counselling and broadcast journalism.
My degree gave me the leverage I needed to join the working world and fuelled my desire for continuous learning and career flexibility.

English and Communications Studies
BA
2003
Fall 2018
Toronto

October 8, 2018

Closed
Clayton Rhodes
Professor and General Education Coordinator
Durham College

Clayton Rhodes has been a full-time faculty member with Durham College since 2006 and the General Education Program Coordinator since September 2014.

Outside of the college, Clayton has participated in several provincially and federally funded literacy projects.

Clayton earned his Honours Bachelor of Arts from York University and his Master of Arts in Education from the University of Phoenix.

Psychology
BA
1996
Fall 2018
Oshawa

October 8, 2018

Closed

 
 

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