Our Board of Directors

John Ballantine, Chair

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John is a Manager with the Municipal Finance Policy Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, winning numerous achievement awards since joining the Ministry in 2000. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario where he is a part time instructor. John has managed several high-profile policy projects and has undertaken numerous stakeholder consultation strategies and community engagement strategies.

Mercedes Markowski, Vice Chair

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Mercedes has a B.Sc. in environmental science from the University of Toronto, a graduate certificate in Green Business Management from Seneca College, and is also a LEED Accredited Professional. As a Sustainability Consultant & LEED Project Manager at Ecovert Sustainability Consultants her responsibilities include the coordination of projects seeking LEED certification under various rating systems. She also assists companies in the development of comprehensive corporate sustainability programs that include benchmarking, carbon footprint reporting and strategies for mitigating environmental impacts. Mercedes has been volunteering with the Toronto Green Community since 2008.

Sandra Hill, Secretary

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Sandra is a retired senior business executive with a Bachelor in Economics and a Masters in Business Administration. She has been President and CEO of The Environment and Plastics Institute of Canada, and of the Ontario Training Corporation; Senior Managing Director of TVO; Vice President of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association; Policy Advisor to the Ontario Minister of Health, and an officer in the Canadian Air Force. Sandra was a Commissioner on Ontario’s first Status of Women Council and has served on a wide variety of Boards of Directors including Sir Sanford Fleming College, the Kawartha North Family Health Team, Women’s Resources of Victoria County, and The Migraine Foundation of Canada

Andrea Coyne, Treasurer

Andrea is a Certified Management Accountant and has a BA in economics and political science from the University of Toronto. Her professional experience includes accountant and controllership positions with small private companies in the digital and design industries. Aside from a recent three year period in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, she has lived downtown Toronto for over two decades. Andrea has an interest in environmental and sustainability issues, which was strengthened while living off-grid in Yellowknife. Andrea has enjoyed volunteering in the past with the Yellowknife Food Bank and the Children’s Peace Theatre.

Imran Noorani, Board Member

Imran is an Energy, Renewables, Conservation and Sustainability professional having held various positions in the sector. He holds a Business Commerce degree from Ryerson University, a Sustainability Strategy MBA from the Schulich School of Business, a Global Leadership Diploma from the Leon Recanati School of Business, a Graduate Diploma in Business and the Environment from the Schulich School of Business, and is a Professional Chocolatier candidate at George Brown College. Imran’s areas of environmental focus include Renewables, Sustainable Food and Water Security/Marine Conservation. Imran has been a TGC Board member from 2008 to 2012 , rejoining the board in 2013.

Ahrun Thiyagarajah, Board Member

Ahrun Thiyagarajah is a Business and Financial Planning Analyst with the Ontario Public Service (OPS). His day to day work includes overseeing capital budgeting and fiscal planning for projects under the Ontario Ministry of Finance. He is currently pursuing his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation, and has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Queen’s University. Ahrun has a breadth of experience in both the public and private sector, having previously worked in the mining industry as a Sustainability Consultant. He is passionate about sustainability and green architecture, strengthened through his experience as a competitor in the U.S. Solar Decathlon, an international solar homebuilding competition. In his spare time, he enjoys playing sports, dabbling in writing, and travelling.

Abe Dyck, Board Member

Abe is a graduate of Civil Engineering. He has over 15 years of construction and business development experience in the oil and gas industry. A more recent focus has been on renewable energy primarily wind, solar and district energy projects. Abe also co-founded a renewable energy company that offers a variety of products and services to bio-diesel fuel producers.

Deron Fung, Board Member

Derons headshotDeron is a Senior Accountant in the Assurance & Advisory practice at Deloitte. He primarily works with clients in the financial services sector including those in the banking, investment broker/dealer, insurance, and asset management industry. He has also seconded to the Compliance and Registrant Regulation branch of the Ontario Securities Commission performing reviews of exempt market dealers. Deron has a B.B.A. from the University of Toronto specializing in management and accounting. He has completed all exam requirements to obtain the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Accountant (CA) designations and is currently fulfilling his practical experience requirement to complete the program.

Stephanie LeNguyen, Board Member

Stephanie has worked in the sustainability field for over five years. After obtaining her B.Sc. at Queen’s University in Environmental Science and her M.Sc. in Sustainability and Management at Royal Holloway, University of London she joined Sustainalytics, a responsible investment research firm as an analyst, specializing in the analysis and measurement of companies’ sustainability impact and performance. While at Sustainalytics, she was also seconded to the Romanian office to help build and manage the growing team.

Raj Sundar, Board Member

Raj is a Manager of Finance and Risk Controls in the financial technology industry. He is a Certified Management Accountant and holds a MBA. His professional experience includes various positions in banking and telecom. Raj has had previous volunteer experience with Access Capital Fund, Big Brother Big Sister, and Junior Achievement. Raj loves the outdoors and believes strongly in supporting a greener environment.

Ray Nakano, Board Member

Ray 2 Ray is a retired, information technology executive from the Ontario Government. In his 28 years of service with the Ontario  Government, Ray devoted himself to managing his IT department to support many major provincial, service delivery  programs,  among which is ServiceOntario as the frontline, public facing operation. Ray has a B.Sc. in Computer Science  from McMaster  University, and an M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto. Ray has had previous  volunteer experience working with the United Way, Youthlink, the Hamilton Buddhist Temple, and the Mindfulness  Practice Community of Toronto, a meditation group. Ray believes strongly in water and energy conservation, and supporting a greener environment.

Paula Messina, Ex Officio

Paula headshotHired as our Volunteer Manager in 2008, Paula transitioned into her role as Executive Director the following year and led TGC through to 2014. Through her 20+ years of volunteer and professional experience with non-profit organizations in various sectors, Paula has developed skills in program development, facilitation, fundraising, event coordination, communications, organisational management and strategic planning. Paula holds a BA in French and Sociology, and is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Italian. Her passion for the environment, human rights, and social justice issues keeps her engaged in the community.

Honourary Patron:  David Suzuki

“Green Communities are a great example of getting things done at the community level. We can all be inspired by their dedication to protecting the environment and making the world a better place for future generations.” 

Honourary Chairs: Jacky Kennedy and Rita Banach

Founding members of the North Toronto Green Community