Youth and Philanthropy Initiative

Our Board

Julie Toskan headshot

Julie Toskan, MSM, OMC

Founder & Board Chair

Julie is a committed philanthropist and Canadian business success story, who believes in the unlimited potential of individuals and collective communities. Since founding the Toskan Casale Foundation, Julie has directed her strengths and resources towards nurturing positive change for individuals in local communities across Canada. Through the Toskan Casale Foundation, she founded the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative in 2002. The program, now internationally recognized, has given over $14 million worldwide through youth grant-making.

Noelle Sargeant

Noelle Sargeant


Noelle has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry holding senior roles in HR, risk management, and strategic planning. Noelle is currently Executive Vice President, Human Resources at International Financial Data Services with responsibility for leading the development and delivery of the human capital aspects of the corporate strategy. Prior to joining IFDS, Noelle oversaw the global HR Relationship Management team at Russell Investments, and also held senior roles at Scotia Capital and OMERS. Noelle holds a BA in Industrial Relations/Economics from McGill University and is a graduate of Rotman’s Advanced Program in Managing Strategic Change. She is a member of the United Way Women United organization, and has participated in the United Way’s Poverty and Employment Precarity Project.

2022 Treasurer Kristin Shearer

Kristin Shearer, CPA, CA


Kristin Shearer has over 10 years of experience in finance and accounting. She is currently a Vice President, Private Equity at Northleaf Capital Partners where she is involved in the origination, evaluation and monitoring of Northleaf’s private equity investment activities. Prior to joining Northleaf, Kristin was a Manager, M&A Transaction Services, at Deloitte LLP where she provided quantitative and qualitative M&A diligence for private equity and strategic buyers. Kristin is an active volunteer and has been involved in multiple youth mentorship programs. Kristin received a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of British Columbia and holds her CPA, CA designation.

A photograph of Nadia Jandali Chao

Nadia Jandali Chao

Chair of HR and Governance

Nadia Jandali Chao is the founder of Bespoke Law. She is a trusted and strategic adviser on matters relating to health law, data protection and privacy, risk management, and corporate governance. She brings a unique and well-rounded perspective having started her career in a top-tier civil litigation practice before transitioning to in-house corporate law and privacy management roles. Prior to starting Bespoke Law, she held senior roles in both the private and public sector, serving as Head of Privacy and General Counsel at MindBeacon, a provider of digital and in-person mental health therapy; and the Assistant General Counsel and Director of Legal & Privacy at Cancer Care Ontario (now Ontario Health). She is currently completing a Master of Laws in Privacy and Cybersecurity through Osgoode Law School.

Portrait of Eric Blais

Éric Blais

Chair of performance and planning committee

Éric is a seasoned marketing-communications professional with over 35 years experience across a wide range of industry sectors and brands. He led the strategic planning function of several large Canadian and international agencies in Toronto. He founded Headspace Marketing in 2004 to help clients build their brands in Quebec. He is a frequent contributor to marketing publications and a commentator of political advertising for the CBC. Éric attended the Not-for-Profit Governance Essentials program jointly developed by the Institute of Corporate Directors and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

The Burton Family

Lee Burton, MPNL

Lee Burton advocates for the advancement of equity in philanthropy. As Director, Philanthropic Services with MakeWay, she works with some of the most progressive philanthropists in the country to advance community-led change, in pursuit of a future where nature and communities thrive together.  With a Masters in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership from Carleton University, fifteen years of experience, and passion for social justice, Lee is pleased to volunteer her time and experience in support of the YPI mission and vision.

Jorge Garza

Jorge brings a diverse background of experience in strategy development, systems thinking, program design, and urban policy analysis. He has collaborated with communities, philanthropy, and international organizations working to advance social transformation. Jorge is a Program Officer at the Metcalf Foundation where he is involved in supporting the development of the Foundation’s programs through research, evaluation, and community relations. Prior to Metcalf, he was a Manager of Cities at Tamarack Institute, where he contributed to the co-design of the Climate Transitions network. He also spent five years at the McConnell Foundation, where he supported the development of its place-based work and explored the role of philanthropy in advancing social change. Earlier in his career, Jorge collaborated with UN-Habitat to convene conversations to advance equity in the context of the New Urban Agenda. He holds a Master of Urban Planning degree from McGill University, a BA in International Relations from Tec de Monterrey, and a Certificate in Public Policy Analysis from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

A photograph of Naomi Racette

Naomi Racette

Naomi Racette is a Cree Métis from the Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan. She has spent several years owning and operating organic alternative health businesses internationally, managing large and small organizational teams, working in non-profit governance, strategic development, procurement and granting within a charitable organization. She is currently the Executive Director of the NIB Trust Fund and has seen the organization through start up program development, to high volume beneficiary disbursements, and transitioned capital assets into successful high performance investment portfolio management. Naomi strives to serve the greater community and improve the quality of life for all First Nations people and youth.


Wei Wang, CFA, CPA, CA

Wei is passionate about helping people realize their full potential and inspiring the next generation of leaders. As a Partner at EY, in addition to advising clients on M&A strategy and transactions, Wei is also the executive sponsor for Pan Asian Professional Network advocating for EY’s DEI initiatives. At both YPI and EY, Wei aims to work collaboratively with its teams to build a more compassionate, inclusive and sustainable world.        

Freda Stolz

Freda Stolz

In her almost 30-year professional career, Freda has held progressive leadership roles in Human Resources supporting People and Culture within the manufacturing, food processing, distribution, and loyalty marketing sectors. She has worked for companies as diverse as Wire Rope Industries, Solectron Global Enclosures, McCain Foods, Pharmascience/Medicom and Aimia Loyalty Marketing, the latter of which operated 2 contact centres supporting Air Canada’s frequent flyer program. Freda also spent 4 years as the Head of Canadian HR for Gate Gourmet, a leading global provider of airline catering and provisioning services where she served a unionized workforce of more than 3,000 employees across nine locations based in all of Canada’s major airports.

Freda has also focused on introducing new technology platforms and digital solutions to enhance and transform both the candidate and the employee journey. This has included introducing new applicant tracking systems and automated end-to-end employee service and case management tools.

In addition to having both undergraduate and graduate degrees from McGill University, Freda also holds a diploma in Communications. She has an HR Executive certification from the Canadian HR Professional Association and has previously served as co-chair of the CHRO Council of that Association.

Lauren Hebert

Corporate Secretary

Lauren Hebert is an associate in the Health Group at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. She advises health industry stakeholders in connection with mergers and acquisitions, healthcare corporate restructurings, corporate governance matters, commercial agreements, and regulatory opinions in connection with federal and provincial health statutes. Lauren is passionate about volunteering her time to serve her community. She previously founded a chapter of Science Expo, a Canadian student-run non-profit organization that connected high-achieving youth to innovators and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) opportunities. Lauren has also volunteered with several other non-profit organizations both during her law and undergraduate degrees in connection with various causes such as ensuring safe healthcare for citizens in nations experiencing warfare, returning fluoride to the water of Canadian cities, and increasing the opportunities for and exposure of women in law. Lauren received a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) from the University of Calgary and obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Alberta.

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