Every year, over 80 Volunteer Engagement professionals from across the Greater Toronto Area join TAVA for professional development and networking. Whether they are new to the sector or veterans in the profession, all TAVA members have experiences, ideas, and resources to share.

Please check back to this page for new member spotlights.

If you are a member, and would like to be spotlighted, please reach out at presidenttava@gmail.com


Heather Johnson

OrganizationCanadian Cancer Society

Role: Senior Coordinator, Volunteer Engagement

Why TAVA? "TAVA links me with other volunteer engagement professionals across the city, many of who work in very different sectors than I work in/ have worked in. Through TAVA I have grown as a professional and as a person through regular contact with friends and colleagues."

"Be a volunteer yourself (with an organization not your own) so you can see things better through the eyes of a volunteer and invest in your professional development annually." 

Heather has volunteered on the TAVA Executive Committee for a number of years, first as Secretary, then, as President and Past President. Thank you Heather for your service and dedication to our professional community!

Read Heather's full interview 

Candy Keillor

Organization:  Centennial Infant and Child Centre Foundation

Role: Development and Communications Coordinator

Why TAVA? The combined expertise in any given meeting will offer insight and support for those who have chosen this profession. I love that so many sectors are represented and each person brings something unique to the table. 

"Network, network, network. So often the volunteer manager is the driving force behind recruitment, training and engagement, which can feel isolating. I recommend joining TAVA where you will meet like-minded professionals." 

In the past year, she has volunteered as TAVA's Vice President on the Executive Committee. Thank you Candy for your continued dedication and leadership!

 Read Candy's full interview 

Christine Martin


Role: Senior Manager, Volunteer Engagement

Why TAVA? "Being a part of TAVA provides the community of peers we all need. I always walk away being inspired."

"I also recommend expanding your professional development and learning beyond the usual topics - what about learning more about marketing or adult education or event management? Read broadly. Keep learning and expanding your thinking and you are sure to grow!"

Christine is the recipient of the 2018 TAVA Innovation Award!

Nominations for the 2019 Innovation Award close on May 15- don't miss out on this opportunity to recognize a TAVA member who inspires you.

Read Christine's full interview 

Faiza Venzant CVA, CVRM

OrganizationYMCA of Greater Toronto

RoleGeneral Manager, Volunteer Development

Why TAVA? "TAVA is the place I go to find support, to continue growing as a volunteer engagement professional, and to encourage others who are pursuing a career in this field."

"TAVA has provided me with leadership opportunities as a volunteer Executive Committee member, with bursaries to further my education, and with chances to facilitate workshops. I have also been able to build friendships that will last a lifetime."

Faiza also volunteers as a Board Member at the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA) and as a Mentor at the Professional Association of Volunteer Leaders- Ontario (PAVRO). Faiza formerly volunteered on the TAVA Executive Committee, an opportunity open to all TAVA Members. If you are interested in volunteering on our team, please contact pastpresident@gmail.com on for more details.  

Read Faiza's full interview 

Ramla Abukar

OrganizationCNIB Foundation

Role: Coordinator, Advocacy and Community Engagement (GTA)

Why TAVA? "I'm able to apply my new knowledge in engaging with the volunteers I oversee."

"My experience with TAVA has been very positive thus far and knowing I am able to connect with other TAVA members for support with volunteer engagement issues puts me at ease."

Read Ramla's full interview 

Emily Poirier

OrganizationCentennial Infant and Child Centre

Role: Volunteer Coordinator

Why TAVA? "TAVA provides access to a wealth of resources and professional development courses that will, without doubt, elevate my skills in this role."

"My primary focus and consequent challenge is recruitment, knowing the impact that numbers can have on the quality of our programming."

Read Emily's full interview 
Christine Callender

Organization: The Scott Mission

Why TAVA? "I saw the menagerie of offered workshops and resources ... all excellent, fabulous, and highly beneficial to maintain a successful volunteer program."

"I recommend using regular check-ins to ensure that volunteers are still in a ‘happy place’. "

Read Christine's full interview 
Andrea Field

Organization: Bata Shoe Museum

Role: Manager of Education and Volunteer Resources

Why TAVA? "It’s a great opportunity to develop and maintain connections with individuals from a diverse range of organizations. Although I’m a new member, I have already benefited from the exchange of ideas and resources."

"Find a mentor! Mentors allow you to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience. They can connect you with others in the profession, help build confidence, and encourage personal and professional growth."

Read Andrea's full interview 

Mimi Lee

Thank you Mimi for volunteering on TAVA's 2018-2019 Conference Committee with Christopher Boyle and Hilary Kellam! 

Organization: North York Seniors Centre

Role: HR Coordinator

What are you most excited about for the #TAVAMissionPossible Conference? "We have an amazing line-up of speakers. Four to be exact! We will get to share ideas, learn from each other, and enrich our learning in this dynamic field."

"TAVA brings awareness for members to see the importance of our profession. It's also a great way to network with a diverse group of volunteer engagement professionals."

Read Mimi's full interview

Saskia Rinkoff

Saskia will be a Speaker at TAVA's 2018-2019 Conference!

Organization: Harbourfront Centre

Role: Manager, Volunteer Resources

What are you most excited about for the #TAVAMissionPossible Conference? "I look forward to reconnecting with colleagues I haven’t seen in a while, and the chance to expand my horizons and network.

"My advice would be to self-reflect, identify where your knowledge gaps are, and tackle them using different approaches"

Read Saskia's full interview

Hilary Kellam

Thank you Hilary for volunteering on TAVA's 2018-2019 Conference Committee with Christopher Boyle and Mimi Lee! 

OrganizationOperation Smile Canada

RoleCoordinator, Volunteer & Student Programs

What are you most excited about for the #TAVAMissionPossible Conference? "I am looking forward to witnessing our theme, Mission:Possible, come to life as we listen to our AMAZING Speakers, connect with one another and share our stories."

"Through TAVA, my passion for working in the volunteer sector has expanded."

Read Hilary's full interview 

Christopher Boyle

Thank you Christopher for volunteering on TAVA's 2018-2019 Conference Committee with Hilary Kellam and Mimi Lee! 

Organization: Evergreen

Role: Coordinator- Volunteer Engagement

What are you most excited about for the #TAVAMissionPossible Conference? "I'm really looking forward to hearing inspiring stories from presenters, and attendees, about how they were able to redefine challenging situations into stories of success and innovation."

"Each time TAVA gathers, I am inspired by the diverse scope of experience, unique perspectives, and dedication to making a difference, that we collectively share."

Read Christopher's full interview 

Lori O'Neill

Organization: Distress Centres of Toronto

Role: Volunteer Coordinator

Why TAVA? "I learn valuable things from TAVA, which I sometimes use in my career or my own volunteer work. Even one "nugget" from a workshop can be worth the time it takes to attend."

"Be open to change. Question those new ideas, procedures, policies, etc., but don't resist them just because they're new. As I learned in a TAVA workshop, most change is uncomfortable at first, yet so much can be gained by giving yourself time to adjust."

Read Lori's full interview 

Ambrose Fan

Organization: Shelter Movers of Toronto

Role: Volunteer Services Administrator

Why TAVA? "It gives me access to workshops and opportunities to network. The first workshop I attended was about safer spaces and meaningful inclusion for 2SLGBTQ+ volunteers. I took away some great tips, and was really impressed with the expertise of the TAVA membership."

"Volunteering isn’t just something nice people do in their spare time. This is a workforce. Volunteers may be unpaid, but they are ‘real’ workers for a simple reason: their work is real. And their needs and rights are real."

Read Ambrose's full interview 

Denise Smith

OrganizationThe LIFE Institute 

Role: Manager, Volunteer Services

Why TAVA? "Aside from the workshops that are provided, TAVA has created a community of like-minded people who are all willing to support each other."

"My advice to someone looking to take the next step is to be ready for an exciting, challenging, humorous, and rewarding experience."

Read Denise's full interview

Diana Church

Organization: Operation Smile Canada

Role: Director, Volunteer & Student Programs

Why TAVA? "The tools, resources and workshops available to us have been invaluable. Most importantly, TAVA makes it easy to connect with incredibly talented and passionate Volunteer Management professionals."

"I highly recommend connecting with other volunteer engagement professionals through TAVA and other associations for the nonprofit sector. Not only will you feel a sense of community but there is also a wealth of knowledge through experience that exists within these networks."

Read Diana's full interview 

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