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Meet the GenNext Cabinet

GenNext: the next generation of community builders

The GenNext® Cabinet is a group of volunteers who work with United Way Toronto to engage twenty- and thirty-something Torontonians with the community through giving and volunteering.

The Cabinet helps by planning fundraising events, volunteer activities and opportunities for GenNexters to meet and connect with each other. Cabinet members also provide guidance on how best to encourage young Torontonians to get involved in the community.

Our two GenNext Cabinet Co-Chairs also sit on the United Way Campaign Cabinet and provide guidance for United Way Toronto’s annual fundraising campaign.

You can meet the members of the GenNext Cabinet below. We would also like to invite you to come out to our events to meet them in person!

GenNext Cabinet Members 2013-14

Tasfia Chowdhury, Project Coordination Team

Tim Poon

Tasfia has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. Currently, she’s working in Client/Adviser Services with CI Investments, specializing in RESP products. Tasfia is a 2013 Level II CFA Candidate. As part of the Cabinet, she hopes to continue her involvement in her community. Previously, Tasfia has volunteered with Woodsworth College (University of Toronto) and several charities in Bangladesh.

Rebecca Marissa Cohen, Project Coordination Team

Tim Poon

Rebecca Marissa Cohen is currently completing a Masters in Communication Management at McMaster University. Her involvement with United Way began in 2010 with the Speaker’s Bureau. This is Rebecca's third year on cabinet and she also volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, both as a Young Leader and a big sister.

Larena Dowsett-Cooper, Project Coordination Team

Tim Poon

Larena works in the administration department at Bellwood Health Services. She project manages and coordinates many executive and quality-related projects. Larena has completed her Honours BA in Psychology and Sociology at Queen's University. This is her second year on Cabinet and she’s excited to be joining the Project Coordination Team.

Paul Rasbach, Ambassador Network Team

Tim Poon

Paul currently works in Alternative Dispute Resolution at Aviva Canada Inc. and has appeared at mediations for Aviva at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. He’s a founding member of the GenNext cabinet at Aviva and is actively involved in his workplace campaign for United Way.

Stephanie Martin, Ambassador Network Team

Tim Poon

Stephanie currently works as a Senior Manager of Retail Products for Scotiabank in the International Banking Division. Over the past seven years, she’s been involved in GenNext starting off as a volunteer ambassador at Scotiabank, then co-leading the Scotiabank GenNext cabinet, most recently to becoming an Ambassador Network Officer with the GenNext team.

Missy Simpson, Ambassador Network Team

Tim Poon

Missy Simpson is a Training and Development Specialist at Manulife Financial. She holds an Honours BA, two teaching degrees (Ontario and NSW, Australia) and holds an Event Planning Certificate. Her involvement with United Way began in 2011 as a Sponsored Employee; she then sat on the Rouge Planning Committee in 2012. Missy is currently a GenNext Cabinet Ambassador Networking Officer, a Leadership Donor and remains highly involved in Manulife’s Workplace Campaign, where her focus is engaging young professionals in volunteerism.

Thomas Parente, Leadership Program Team

Tim Poon

Thomas Parente is a Marketing Specialist at TELUS Communications and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University. Thomas’ experience with United Way began as a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters. He’s enthusiastic about developing the GenNext Leadership Program and working with passionate young philanthropists across the city.

Lorne Indig, Leadership Program Team

Tim Poon

Lorne has worked in the Financial Services Industry for the last five years. He’s held various roles within Scotiabank and currently works as a Senior Associate at Scotia Private Client Group in the Private Banking division. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Business and Society from York University, as well as the Certified Management Accountant Designation. This is Lorne’s first year on the GenNext Cabinet, but he has been actively involved with Scotiabank GenNext for several years.

Baanuja Ratneswaran, Community and Agency Engagement Team

Tim Poon

Baanuja Ratneswaran is a Senior Manager at RBC, where she helped start her workplace’s GenNext program. She’s an active volunteer with JA and sits on the board of the QSB MBA Career Program. Baanuja has an Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from the Queen's School of Business.

Shatabdi Sarker, Community and Agency Engagement Team

Tim Poon

Shatabdi is an Accountant with Ziefmans LLP. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from York University and is currently pursuing her Chartered Accountant designation. She’s volunteered with various organizations, including Toronto Enterprise Fund, Grameen Bank, BRAC and the United Nations. Shatabdi’s involvement with the United Way began in 2008 with Scotiabank.

Rochelle ten Haaf, Community and Agency Engagement Team

Tim Poon

Rochelle has over five years of experience working in the non-profit sector, both in Canada and internationally. She’s worked in a variety of national and community based organizations, and currently works for Ovarian Cancer Canada. As a Community and Agency Engagement Officer, Rochelle looks forward to helping facilitate the relationship and connection between GenNext and United Way’s agencies.

Fernando Lusvarghi, Community and Agency Engagement Team

Tim Poon

Fernando Lusvarghi has worked for St. Christopher House and Child Development Institute—two United Way agencies—in Volunteer Management and Community Relations for over 10 years. He has two Bachelor of Arts degrees, in Social Sciences and in Communication, which he earned in his homeland of Brazil, and speaks four languages: English, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish. Fernando is currently Co-Chair of the Community Engagement Council for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games Organizing Committee.

Danielle Arnold, Co-Chairs

Tim Poon

Before joining Toronto’s GenNext Cabinet in 2010, Danielle was involved with several youth initiatives at the United Way of Winnipeg. She has also been an Allocation Panel Volunteer with United Way Toronto. Danielle is the co-owner of Arnold Tutoring, a Toronto-based tutoring company catering to high school and university math students.

Farah Quasemi, Co-Chairs

Tim Poon

Farah currently works as a Client Relationship Executive at PwC Canada, focusing on global priority accounts. Her professional background is primarily in business development and marketing strategy—the industries she knows well are financial services, non-profit, and oil and gas. She’s a McGill University alum. Last year, Farah acted as a Leadership Program Officer on Cabinet, and is back this year as Co-Chair. She’s a firm supporter of staying involved in the community-building process beyond giving.

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