Experience

 

Founder and Operations Coordinator – Blooming City, Toronto
(2003 – present)
  • Plan, schedule and manage all day-to-day activities of an exclusive bespoke residential gardening service with up to five staff and over fifty clients.
  • Collaborate with the Managing Director to develop strategy and budgets, manage cash and resources.
  • Strategically market the business so as to build a niche client base and avoid unnecessary queries.
  • Train and supervise staff and ensure compliance with regulatory and legislative requirements regarding employment standards, workplace equity and workplace safety.

 

Service User Educator – University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry
(part-time, 2014 – 2017)
  • Met monthly with psychiatrists in their final years of residency to increase their understanding and skill by offering perspectives on personal experiences of psychiatric illness, treatment and recovery.

 

Site Coordinator – Parkdale Greenthumb Enterprises, Toronto
(part-time, Spring 2015 & Spring 2016)
  • Provided supervision, encouragement and peer support to staff with lived experience of mental illness, some of whom were starting in their first job since hospitalization.
  • Collaborated with management in coordination and planning of day-to-day work.
 
Independent Trainer and Consultant, Toronto
(part-time, 1996 – 2011)
  • Diversity trainer for clients including the Ontario Police College, the Toronto Police Service, Toronto Public Health, Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre; facilitated over 40 workshops and presentations in-person to audiences of up to 400, and on camera. Covered LGBT issues and anti-oppression principles. 
  • Designed and implemented an external organizational review to improve access for LGBT clients of a community health centre; analysed findings and reported recommendations.
  • In association with StrategiSense Inc, Glen Brown & Associates, and Gail Glatt Consulting:   
    – Supported consulting project execution through research, document review, policy analysis, synthesis of findings, and writing of reports and proposals.
    – Collated, coded and analysed key-informant data gathered through interviews, surveys, focus groups, meetings, and document review.
    – Facilitated and reported on strategic planning and other meetings.
Interim Executive Director – Serve! Toronto             
(Nov 2006 – Apr 2007 & Jan – Mar 2009)
  • Provided stabilizing leadership and supervised program, financial and fundraising management in the absence of the permanent Executive Director. Led audit preparation and participated in strategic planning.
  • Conducted an organizational review addressing gaps in programs, services, and administration.
  • Collaborated with the Board to facilitate hiring of a new permanent Executive Director.
Interim Executive Director – Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Toronto
(Sep 2001 – Mar 2002)
  • Appointed by the Board, based on my history as a Board member, to be transitional Executive Director subsequent to staff decision to unionize under previous management.
  • Engaged lawyers and led the negotiation of the organization’s first collective agreement.
  • Drafted the collective agreement based on union precedents, legal advice and the bargaining process.
  • Persuaded union to allow a staff cutback necessitated by budget constraints prior to completion of collective bargaining; managed negative response to cutback by staff through facilitated team building.
  • Represented the organization at conferences, forums and networks including initiatives focused on coordination of services and the implementation of international projects.
Executive Director – Serve! Toronto, formerly Serve Canada            
(1999 – 2001)
  • CEO for a small charity (closed in 2013) that provided diverse youth with a stipend and full-time experiential learning opportunities focused on skills development and behavioral change. 
  • Increased fundraising and reduced expenses to eliminate a 25% fiscal deficit in a year.
  • Persuaded the Board, and enabled the organization, to abandon a fiscally-driven merger.
  • Collaborated with the Board in strategic planning and the creation of value, vision and mission statements.
  • Consulted with and supported the Board of Directors in Board work-planning and member recruitment.
  • Supported Board volunteers who chaired Board committees in developing work-plans and agendas.
  • Co-ordinated Board volunteers to align their activities with their areas of greatest interest and fulfillment.
  • Led operational planning, program performance review and annual staff appraisal.
  • Increased program accountability by improving outcome measurement and reporting practices.
  • Supervised and supported five direct-reports, including contracted consultants.
  • Strategically managed relationships with government, foundation and individual donors, including regular grant reporting and direct mail, so that annual revenue doubled in three fiscal years.
  • Leveraged a staff connection to the Barenaked Ladies into a major donor relationship which grew into a series of annual musical fundraisers involving members of the band.
  • Initiated expansion from a single program model in one city to multiple program models in two cities.
  • Coordinated and authored communication through newsletters, direct mail, the website and annual reports.
  • Managed budgets, cash flow, monthly financial reporting and annual audit preparation and completion.
  • Represented the organization at meetings, networks, conferences and to print and television media.
Executive Director – The Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line, Toronto                 
(Mar 1998 – Jun 1999)
  • Transitional CEO of a province-wide, volunteer-staffed, phone peer-support service with deep community roots. Assumed the role after the phone service had completely shut down because of a crisis based on tensions between youth and non-youth stakeholders.
  • Led negotiation and reconciliation between stakeholders so that service delivery could resume.
  • Coordinated communication with media and community stakeholders regarding service closure, subsequent re-opening and changes implemented to ensure the organization’s future sustainability.
  • Hired consultants and collaborated with stakeholders to develop a revised mission and identify values, resolve conflict, and implement new policies and practices that enabled the organization’s survival.
  • Supervised six staff and volunteers; managed all operational, fundraising and administrative functions.
  • Secured donated space and planned and led the organization’s move into larger premises.
Community Outreach Worker – The AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT)                 
(Jan 1995 – Aug 1997)
  • Coordinated and expanded a peer-based AIDS awareness and sexual health promotion program staffed by 24 volunteers. 
  • Created and delivered volunteer training on HIV, STIs and sexual health promotion so that volunteer peers could conduct outreach and provide support and sexual health information to men who have sex with men.
  • Directly engaged as a peer with men who have sex with men in venues such as bathhouses and parks in order to provide information on HIV and sexual health.
  • Participated in the development and dissemination of social marketing campaigns around sexual health.
  • Supported the development of a network of agencies promoting sexual health which secured City funding for a collaborative project to deliver coordinated outreach, education and social marketing campaigns.
  • Wrote a monthly sexual health advice column for Fab, a gay community magazine.
Between graduating from university in 1990 and migrating to Canada in 1993 I worked in San Francisco, Jamaica and Guyana. In San Francisco I worked for a few months doing interior plant care, then, after moving back to Jamaica, for a few months I was a farm manager (more in title than in practice) for a relatively large floral export company in St. Ann, Jamaica with a unionized workforce. Then I worked in my family’s small publishing company doing graphic design and administration. Finally for a year before moving to Canada I was a florist in my Aunt’s flower shop in Georgetown, Guyana.