Our Team

Asma Al-Jawhari

Asma Al-Jawhari,
Scheduling Wizard

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Business Operations Lead

Asma has immense experience in administrative work and has built her career in a variety of work fields such as Accounting, Budgeting, Project Management, Human Resources, and Marketing. She started her career with UN Relief & Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, in Gaza. In Canada, she has worked for organizations such as the Kidney Foundation and for the Living Arts Centre, Mississauga.

Asma considers herself fortunate to have worked with international organizations making a difference in peoples’ lives, supporting their safety and wellbeing.

portrait photo of Sabina Ansari

Sabina Ansari,
Purveyor of Perspective

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Sabina has over 20 years of international experience wearing and juggling various hats for social justice and human rights causes, ranging from operations and relationships to advocacy and community engagement, and culminating in systems-level strategy design. Her journey has taught her that when it comes to crafting innovative and collaborative solutions to complex problems, few things matter as much as relationships and an assets-based approach. Sabina has experience in network weaving and strategic collaborations to promote place-based community development and poverty reduction, notably at East Scarborough Storefront and Making Room Community Arts. Holding a BA in Psychology from Northwestern University, Sabina’s professional and creative focus is on systems change, strategic visioning, and inspiring others to see their full potential.

Sabina believes that when everyone commits to authenticity and community, great mountains can be moved.

portrait photo of Randal Boutilier

Randal Boutilier,
Sage of Shapes and Colours

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Creative Director

Randal has a wealth of knowledge in the nonprofit realm, understanding the key role that design plays not only in day-to-day communications, but in building community and philanthropy. This experience was built from his work at 12thirteen, a graphic design studio in Toronto that creates print and digital materials in the nonprofit sector. As a Registered Graphic Designer (RGD), he adheres to a set of ethical guidelines and applies them to his studio practice. He enjoys working with a variety of stakeholders involved in a project – and fosters an environment that is creative and collaborative.

His work passion is to distill complex stories and concepts into compelling and engaging visuals that are easy to understand and desirable to share. When not sitting in front of a computer or sketching out a complex theory of change, Randal occupies his time perfecting his mastery of the hula hoop!

portrait photo of Tanya Darisi

Tanya Darisi,
Mistress of Measurement

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Tanya is known for her insatiable drive to make real and meaningful change happen. As our lead researcher and evaluator, she has a true passion for bringing data-driven insight in the fight for social justice. She’s a natural born problem-solver with a gift for navigating complexity and leading emergent strategy. For more than 20 years, Tanya has worked across the public, private and philanthropic sectors on a wide range of issues and initiatives that promote greater equity, inclusion and wellbeing for all.

Tanya’s great love is Theory of Change. She is ready to share with you her energy and enthusiasm for challenging assumptions, disrupting the status quo, and testing out new hypotheses as you pursue greater social impact.

portrait photo of CJ Deacoff

CJ Deacoff,
Data Wrangler

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What inspires CJ the most is working towards building a fair, equitable, and inclusive society. They want to be able to look back and feel their contribution made a difference in the world. They have 20+ years experience supporting adults with disabilities both in post-secondary and developmental services sectors. They are also a sought-after statistics and math tutor for students of all ages. CJ is known for being equally as genuine, compassionate, and insightful as they are rigorous and meticulous in their attention to detail.

Whether touring on their motorcycle or paddling the local rivers, CJ is always looking for the next story to tell. They have visited all of Canada’s provinces and territories.

Linda Holdbrook

Linda Holdbrook,
Seeker of Solutions

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Linda is a researcher, advocate, knowledge mobilizer, and problem solver. She is passionate about advancing health equity and addressing systemic barriers, particularly within immigrant and racialized communities.

Linda values curiosity, continuous learning, and challenging accepted norms. She enjoys the process of collaborating and working through complex problems, to find sustainable solutions. A self-described optimist, she firmly believes we can work towards a more equitable world for all.

Linda holds a Master of Public Health, and has experience in qualitative methods, community-based participatory research, refugee health, patient advocacy, and health promotion.

Chris Klassen

Nour Hassan,
Justice Promoter

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Nour is a human rights advocate, researcher, and lifelong learner. She values diversity, collaboration, and community empowerment. As a refugee health researcher, she has experience conducting health equity and global health research, partnering with vulnerable refugee and migrant communities, conducting data analyses, and engaging in knowledge translation. As a community advocate, she is passionate about centering the voices and needs of marginalized groups and building community capacity to dismantle policies and systems that perpetuate inequities. As a racialized first-generation immigrant, she is dedicated to using her intersecting identities of marginalization and privilege to advance equity and develop solutions that are equitable, inclusive, and culturally responsive. She recently started a Masters of Public Health with the hopes of enacting meaningful and necessary systemic change. 

portrait photo of Dylan House

Dylan House,
Olympian of Objectivity

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Dylan is determined to merge mathematics and humanity. He believes that numbers are a powerful tool in understanding and doing social good, and can be an integral force in uniting and inspiring action. Although a numbers wizard, he can just as often be found indulging in ancient texts. After all, he believes there is no better way to understand and challenge our present than by exploring the lessons of our past.

In understanding complexity, he takes inspiration from one of the greatest generals in antiquity: “Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.” I shall either find a way or make one.

Cheryl Luptak

Cheryl Luptak,
Equitable Earth Enchantress

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Strategic Implementation Lead, Environment

With a Masters in Public Health, Graduate Certificate in the Science and Policy of Climate Change, ongoing professional development certifications, and years of experience, Cheryl’s passions of social justice and environmental sustainability intersect to provide equity-focused support to our clients and partners. Her roles have centred around research, evaluation, analysis, strategy, policy, facilitation, and more across a variety of content areas.

She strives to make meaningful social and environmental impact through meeting Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change goals in a way that leaves no one behind.

Eve Nadler

Eve Nadler,
Alchemist of Authentic & Equitable Relationships

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Eve is a values-based leader, centred in relationships. She behaves with intent, authentically connecting with others by being her whole self & creating safe spaces. Eve believes these are essential to being a catalyst for social justice & change. She is a lifelong learner. Aware of her position of privilege, she deepens her understanding of the complex nature of intersectionality & how she benefits from the systemic oppression of others.

Activated through 20 years of public service, Eve’s passion is equitable improvement to community wellbeing through relationship based, strategic, anti-oppression systems thinking for social impact. Her strengths include multi-sector human design, communication, community development, engagement, & facilitation paired with research & evaluation methodology & evidence informed system disruption & improvement.

Eve loves to buy local, explore nature with her family, read on her Kindle, get out of her head & into her body through dance, & sing all things.

Corey Nokham

Corey Nokham,
Ninja of Perception

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Design Associate

Corey has understood and learned many disciplines of design as well as the different forms of media the world has to offer. Whether it be in the physical world or the digital world, and the human language or internet language, Corey has it covered.

As a graphic design graduate from George Brown College, he is proficient in creating small and large format print media, static and motion graphics as well as having knowledge in HTML and CSS that he put in to display during his time as a designer in 12thirteen. He is also very comfortable with handling computer hardware and electronics.

In his spare time, Corey can be found mastering his footwork in longboard dancing, watching anime, or challenging his reflexes in PC games or puzzle/strategy games. Feel free to challenge him!

Alanna Sharp

Alanna Sharp,
Herder of Information

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Alanna is currently completing her internship at Openly to receive her Research Analyst Post-Graduate Certificate through Georgian College. She has a background in the non-profit sector, working for the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank and volunteering throughout her undergrad with Wilfrid Laurier Shinerama. Alanna is devoted to applying her research skills to make the world more inclusive and welcoming.

In her spare time, Alanna enjoys walking her dog Mia, crafting her next DIY project or working on her new backyard garden. Being outdoors, with family and friends is how Alanna usually spends her weekend, cooking up pizzas or entertaining in some form.

portrait photo of Elaine Stavnitzky

Elaine Stavnitzky,
Knowledge-to-Action Catalyst

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Elaine has experience leading and implementing a wide range of complex strategic, programmatic and quality assurance processes to support leadership, staff, communities and children in international development and humanitarian aid programs since 2002. To date her expertise has covered on-going learning and improvement in 30 countries across 15 sectors, including gender equality and youth.

Elaine is passionate about developing systems that ensure people have right-sized information to trigger change making decisions. She gets a high from experiencing with others the “a-ha” moment that tips the balance for transformation at the individual, community and/or systems level.

portrait photo of Amanda Sunderdas

Amanda Sunderdas,
Sorting Hat of Information

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Amanda is a Queer South Asian woman, who has lived in Canada her whole life. She is a recent graduate of York University with a BA in Global Health and a Specialized Honours in Health Policy, Management, and Systems. She finds that her intersectional background draws her towards issues of equity and access. Amanda’s fields of passion include Mental Health and Addictions, Immigration, and Queer Representation.

In her free time, she can be found listening to music, writing, or conversing with people – as she firmly believes we can learn something from everyone!

portrait photo of Helen Tewolde

Helen Tewolde,
Goddess of Synchronicity

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Senior Advisor

Helen has designed and developed a wide range of interventions in the grassroots, nonprofit, public and philanthropic sectors. Her work has supported leadership, program and policy development in the most complex areas of public policy – always with a lens for greater and better quality access and inclusion. 

She loves solving complex challenges with bright, curious minds who dream of improving or innovating archaic, dysfunctional and/or unresponsive programs, policies, systems and perspectives for the purpose of greater and deeper impact. Helen weaves people, processes, policies and purpose together to achieve synchronicity as a catalyst for sustainable and transformative social change.

Vichai Thienapirak

Vichai Thienapirak,
Visual Language Warrior

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Design Associate

Vichai brings over fifteen years of professional design experience in nonprofit, public, private sector, arts and cultural organizations. At Openly and formerly at 12thirteen Design, he leads and collaborates his creative talents to a broad range of projects in print, digital media and illustration. He had worked for local advertising agencies in Bangkok, Thailand prior coming to Canada.

Passionate about the visual arts from an early age, Vichai leaned how to draw before how to write. He understands the power of visual communication and knows how to strategically apply abstract ideas to get the massage across in a clear, concise, and effective visuals in his design work.

Vichai holds an honour diploma with major in Communication Design from George Brown College, School of Design, where he won a portfolio entrance scholarship award. He has an Arts and Crafts diploma from Poh-Chang Academy of Arts, Rajamangala University and a graduate of College Fine Arts in Thailand.

portrait photo of Geetha Van den Daele

Jeremy Turner,
Courageous Connector

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Jeremy has a Masters of Urban Planning and a Bachelors of Social Work and is a Registered Social Worker (RSW). He has worked in various frontline roles and in the public health sector. He is experienced in the world of harm reduction and has a strong understanding of the intricacies of the government sector. His primary skill sets include program management, coordination, capacity building, quality improvement and data management.

His passion is to use his knowledge, skills and experience to advocate for priority populations by using an interdisciplinary approach. He always finds a way to intersect his two professional backgrounds. He also has a true understanding and respect for community and grassroots work.

He is a proud member of the queer community and uses he/him pronouns. In his spare time, he enjoys tending to his many plants, streaming a musical soundtrack, travelling and recently started knitting.

Shelley Williams

Shelley Williams,
Internet Explorer

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Web Design Associate

Shelley is an experienced web designer helping clients build an online presence that not only best reflects them but is also effective for their users. Working primarily in WordPress, she has a breadth of experience that bridges the gap between graphic design and developer skill sets. Using the various tools within UX, Shelley guides clients along the journey of website building from first idea to first day of launch. She excels at consensus building, knowing how to balance the needs of a client and their structures while ensuring the end result is clear, concise and easy to use.

Shelley’s primary goal is to utilize the principles of design to provide greater access, clarity and visibility to the important community strengthening services offered by the nonprofit sector.

She spends her time listening to too many podcasts, watching movies at second theatres and playing Stardew Valley.

portrait photo of Jillian Witt

Jillian Witt,
Network Gaffer

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Jillian is a community arts lover who has worked with a range of organizations and foundations across Canada to build community and shift philanthropy. Jillian has a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto.

Her volunteer time is spent helping grow La Ruche D’Art de NDG, a community project using the arts to build community in Montreal, Quebec. She is also the Community Engagement Lead for The Philanthropist Journal, a journal dedicated to the nonprofit sector in Canada.

Neb Zachariah

Neb Zachariah,
Empress of Evaluation

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Neb completed a graduate program at Carleton University in Public Policy and Program Evaluation. Since, Neb has worked as a dedicated, passionate professional, with almost a decade of experience in diverse leadership, health, and community-building roles. The majority of those roles focused on using project management, facilitation, and evaluation to build programs and services that address barriers to wellbeing faced by diverse populations.

In her free time, Neb enjoys spending time with family, baking, or her newest venture, learning to play the guitar.

Tanya Darisi and Lisa Villeneuve

Our Co-founders

Openly was incorporated on International Women’s Day in 2017 by Lisa Villeneuve and Tanya Darisi.

As co-leaders for the first 5+ years, Tanya and Lisa nurtured Openly to become a vibrant space for talented, passionate people. In 2022, they shifted their roles and welcomed in new leadership.