The Board of Directors of Catholic Family Services is committed to a human-centered agenda designed to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding community rich in culture and diversity. Coming from all walks of life and from different backgrounds and experiences, Board members bring their insight, enthusiasm and expertise to ensure that agency standards are maintained by good governance and fiscal responsibility. Members increase their awareness about important social issues and needs facing our community and the role of the provincial government and other funders in meeting those needs. Staff members support Board awareness by providing program presentations and information sessions at regular meetings.
Board members support, maintain and develop the organization’s Mission Statement and Strategic Objectives by monitoring the operational progress of the agency. Involved in planning, prioritizing and goal setting, members respond creatively to the ongoing challenge of meeting the increased needs of a growing community. Board members help identify funding priorities and guide the Agency in visioning its future program development. By speaking to politicians, funders and community audiences, Board members advocate to improve the provision and access to social services within our community. Members also provide supervision for the Chief Executive Officer and are expected to take on special assignments including funding presentations.
The Board of Directors assumes the leadership role in fundraising activities and members recognize the need to supplement agency revenues on a continual basis by simultaneously increasing the agency’s organizational capacity to sustain annual fundraising events, explore new revenue generation strategies, increase the current donor base, cultivate donor relations and approach individuals, businesses, schools and service clubs for donations. The future growth of the agency is dependent on our ability to increase our funding capacity.
The Board of Directors meet once a month and on average will spend 12 hours per month in their roles as Board members.
Meet our Board of Directors
Dana Robbins, Board Chair
Dana Robbins is Vice President, Community Brands, Torstar Corporation. Over the course of his 35+ years in media, Dana has served as publisher of more than 50 newspapers, including some of Canada’s most prominent dailies and award-winning community newspapers.
Dana, a graduate of Ryerson University, regularly speaks on media, journalism and innovation. He has addressed such diverse groups as the American Society of Newspaper Editors, American Press Institute, Canadian Newspaper Association, New York Times Regional Media Group, International Newspaper Marketing Association and both the Medill School of Journalism and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
An active volunteer, Dana’s past involvement has included board positions on the United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton, Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, Hamilton Community Foundation, St. Matthew’s House, Dundas Valley School of Art, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, Leadership Waterloo Advisory Council and Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Community Advisory Council.
Dana is passionate about issues connected to poverty, and he is regularly asked to speak on this subject. His speech ‘Wayne’s Story: Eradicating Poverty in Canada’ was the 2015 grand prize winner in the Cicero Speechwriting Awards.
A father of three, Dana has been married to Catherine for 36 years.
Kirsten Barnes, Vice Chair
Kirsten is currently the Advisor of Community Safety and Well-Being at the Region of Peel, supporting the development and implementation of the legislated Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. Prior to moving to Health Services in 2019, she worked in Human Services for 8 years as a Specialist in Strategic Planning, Management and Evaluation.
Kirsten has an honours degree in Specialized Psychology from York University, a Community Diploma in Community Outreach and Development from Sheridan College and a Masters degree in Public Policy, Administration and Law coupled with a Graduate Diploma in Democratic Administration from York University.
Prior to joining the Catholic Family Services Peel-Dufferin Board of Directors in 2019, Kirsten was a community member on the Peel District School Board Accessibility Committee from 2012-2016. She provided advice and guidance into their strategic accessibility plan during her term.
Kirsten has been a resident of Brampton for 30 years and has witnessed its population growth and changing demographics. Kirsten is passionate about social justice issues and the intersectionality of feminism as it impacts the residents of Peel.
Kiki Anadu, Treasurer
Kiki Anadu is a CPA, CA, CBV with over 15 years experience in providing advisory and business valuation services to businesses from early stage companies to established global corporations, both in Canada and the UK. She has a Bachelor of Commerce as well as a graduate degree from McGill University.
Kiki feels strongly about social inclusion and community collaboration and has volunteered over the years with organisations including CAMH, Sistering, and First Book Canada. Kiki joined CFSPD’s board in 2020, drawn by the values CFSPD espouses and enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with an organisation whose values underpins their activities and outreach in the community.
Kiki also serves on the investment committee of TAF, a Toronto based not-for-profit environmental impact fund.
Sameer Akhtar, Secretary
Sameer is a lawyer with over 15 years of experience in a range of public and private sector roles, as well as non-profit board and volunteer experience.
He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto (in Computer Science and Economics) and his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. He holds a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Canada (CIPP/C) designation.
He speaks Urdu / Hindi and lives in Mississauga with his wife and three kids.
Sameer rejoins the board of CFSPD after having been on the board in the past (2013-2018).
Lucjan Grela MPA, P.Log, is an accomplished professional with over 30 years of progressive experience in leadership and management. He currently works as a Senior Military Logistics Officer at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. He is fluent in English, Polish and has working knowledge of French, Russian, Ukrainian and Slovak language.
Lucjan completed his Master of Public Administration at Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. Professional Logistician with extensive logistics and related experience in Business Planning, Operational Planning, Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Finance/Accounting, Auditing, Operations Management, Life Cycle Management, Contracting/Procurement, Human Resources, as well as in policies, procedures, and operational accountability.
An active volunteer, Lucjan’s past community involvement including Copernicus Lodge, Canadian Cancer Society, Essa Township Development Committee and St Casimir Parish in Toronto.
Lucjan is passionate about serving community and is a strong believer in giving back to the communities in which he lives and works.
Mingyi currently works as a management consultant at ZS Associates, advising Fortune 500 healthcare leaders on product and marketing strategies. She spends a lot of energy on uncovering patients needs, designing strategies to get patients to innovative medicines faster, while figuring out who pays for the added value. She’s passionate about improving patient outcomes and qualify of life through both digital and traditional interventions. Mingyi holds an Honours Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Toronto.
Having moved to the GTA in middle school from China, Mingyi got to know her new home by exploring the nooks and crannies of Toronto as an active community volunteer. She was a youth leader at the YMCA, Toronto Public Library, City of Toronto, and various environmental NGOs. She has also spent meaningful time volunteering/living/studying in India, Switzerland, and the UK.
Mingyi is a tireless advocate for mental health and wellness and a long-time mindfulness practitioner. She first learned about Catholic Family Services as a prospective client seeking for affordable counselling. She is excited to contribute her professional skills to CFSPD and help lowering the barrier to counselling for those in need.
Sue McAuley, Past Chair
Sue McAuley is a CPA, CA with more than 30 years experience in Accounting, Financial Systems Implementations, Audit and Management Consulting. She has spent the last 20 years implementing major financial and regulatory systems in the Financial Services sector. Sue has a Bachelor of Science from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Windsor.
Sue is currently Board Chair at Catholic Family Services of Peel-Dufferin. She has completed 4 years on the board, 3 of them as Treasurer. Prior to joining the Board, Sue was on the Board of Catholic Charities of Archdiocese of Toronto where she served as Treasurer and Chair of an Allocations panel. She was also a board representative on the CCAT Shared Services Steering Committee and volunteered as a member of the CCAT membership review.
Sue is committed to the mission of CFS-PD and constantly amazed by the difference the agency makes in the lives of the community. She is honoured to work with the senior staff and appreciates the leadership they demonstrate.