The 519 membership will elect new members to The 519 Board of Management at our upcoming Annual General Meeting, details of which are:
- When: Wednesday, September 27, 2023,
- Time: 6:00pm ET
- Where: In person at The 519 [519 Church St.] The AGM will also be broadcast virtually.
There are 6 available positions to fill on the Board this year – at least 2 elected members must be from the catchment area bounded by Bloor, Bay, Gerrard, and Parliament streets. Members from the catchment area may fill non-catchment positions.
The 519 Board of Management is recommending a slate of candidates based on the following Board-approved Skills and Experience as well as Recruitment Priorities.
Skills and Experience:
- Board leadership, development, and governance
- Legal and financial literacy
- Fundraising and philanthropy
- 2SLGBTQ+ government relations and advocacy
- Community services
Black, Indigenous, and racialized (BIPOC) communities
Trans and non-binary people
Older 2SLGBTQ+ adults
2SLGBTQ+ people with disabilities
The Board-recommended slate for 2023/24 is comprised of 4 current Board Members who are completing their terms and are running for re-election and 2 new candidates who are running for election.
Click here for more information about voting eligibility or to register to attend.
The 519 Board of Management 2023/24 Recommended Candidates
Recommended Catchment Candidates:
Tom Spence (he/him)
Tom has served on the Board of Management of The 519 since 2018 and is currently Vice-Chair of the Board. Tom holds a Master’s Degree in History from McMaster University and currently works in the Division of People Strategy, Equity, and Culture at the University of Toronto in communications and engagement, supporting the University’s Institutional Equity Offices. He was a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Premier of Ontario under Kathleen Wynne, and he has worked as a Senior Tour Lead on two provincial campaigns for the Ontario Liberal Party and as Director of Tour in the 2023 Toronto Mayoral Election.
Tom has called Toronto home for 15 years and has consistently volunteered in leadership roles across 2SLGBTQ+ communities. He has served as a volunteer co-lead at Pride Toronto in multiple roles over many festivals and is currently the Secretary of the Board of Forte – Toronto Gay Men’s Chorus. He has frequently participated in the annual Friends For Life Bike Rally and the Pride & Remembrance Run and plays dodgeball in the Dodgeball Society. A proud former member of the Canadian Forces-Army Reserve, Tom resides in the Church & Wellesley Village with his husband, Mith.
Vanshika Dhawan (she/her)
Vanshika is a lawyer who represents survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault, often against institutional defendants. She is passionate about helping people better understand and navigate the legal system. Vanshika earned her JD from the University of Toronto.
While at law school, Vanshika volunteered with Advocates for Injured Workers and helped to provide legal support for clients in need. Vanshika also holds a Bachelor of Medical Sciences, in which she studied the neurobiology of trauma, and a Master’s in Professional Communications, in which she researched sexual assault and survivor discourses in the Canadian criminal justice system.
In her spare time, Vanshika enjoys writing, reading fiction novels, going to the theatre, and being by the ocean.
Recommended Non-Catchment Candidates:
Brett House (he/him)
Brett is Professor of Professional Practice in economics at Columbia Business School and a Fellow with the Public Policy Forum, the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, and Massey College. He lives in Regent Park/Cabbagetown with his partner. Previously, Brett was Deputy Chief Economist at Scotiabank, Chief Economist at Alignvest, and Global Strategist at Woodbine Capital Advisors. He also served as an economist at the IMF, UN, and World Bank.
Brett currently sits on the boards and board committees of The 519, the Canadian Association for Business Economics (CABE), Pearson College, Massey College, and the Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation. He received the 2014 Québec Notable Award in Finance, the 2015 Good Citizen Award from his hometown of Lincoln, Ontario, and the 2018 Professional Leader Award from Start Proud. Brett was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Davos) and one of 100 top global LGBT+ executives by INvolve & Yahoo Finance.
Brett is also a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and holds the ICD.D designation from Canada’s Institute of Corporate Directors. Brett’s analysis appears regularly in the Globe & Mail and Financial Post, while his segment “Dollars & Sense” is featured weekly on Toronto’s NewsTalk 1010 radio station.
Natalie Miller (she/her)
Natalie is an articling student at a law firm in Toronto, where she works on corporate transactions with a focus on fund formation and mergers and acquisitions. Natalie received her JD from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. At law school, Natalie was Co-President of Out in Law, a Pro Bono Students Canada Volunteer, and a researcher with the International Human Rights Program. Outside of school, Natalie worked as a caseworker at Downtown Legal Services and as an analyst in the community legal services division of Legal Aid Ontario. Prior to law school, Natalie earned an HBA from Ivey Business School.
Zoe Robinson (she/her)
Zoe has a CPA, CMA accreditation and is the Director of Corporate Services at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. She worked in amateur sport for most of her 30-year career as an executive with a national sports organization. Zoe has served on multiple boards of directors over her career most recently with the Canadian Mental Health Organization – Vancouver/Fraser Branch, Parachute Canada, and The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies of BC (AMSSA). Zoe has spoken publicly in the amateur sport community about her transition after she came out at 54-years of age in November 2018. She lives in East York, runs, reads historical fiction and business strategy, enjoys Taylor Swift, and has two adult children.
Dr. Jaris Swidrovich (he/they)
Dr. Swidrovich is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. He is a queer, Two Spirit, disabled, Saulteaux, and Ukrainian pharmacist from Yellow Quill First Nation.
Dr. Swidrovich is the first and only Indigenous faculty member in pharmacy in North America. Their mother was a 60s Scoop Survivor, and both their grandmother and great-grandmother were residential school survivors. They received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan and a postbaccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Toronto. Their primary areas of research and practice include pain, HIV/AIDS, substance use disorders, 2SLGBTQ+ health, and Indigenous health.
Dr. Swidrovich is also a PhD Candidate in Education at the University of Saskatchewan, where he is studying Indigenous Peoples’ experiences with pharmacy education in Canada. Dr. Swidrovich recently founded and is the chair of the Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada, which is the first national organization for Indigenous pharmacy professionals in the world. He has been recognized with several awards and honours, including the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for service to the community and the National Patient Care Achievement Award from the Canadian Pharmacists Association.