(647) 723-6930 Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00 116 Industry St, Unit 208, Toronto, ON

Team

Meet the Building Up Team

Management

Marc Soberano

Founder, Executive Director

Marc founded Building Up because he felt it needed to exist. He believes that the role of a social enterprise is to connect people that want to make socially-minded purchasing decisions with the opportunity to do so.

Marc graduated the Richard Ivey School of Business, canoed across Canada, and understands the untapped transformative powers of construction. He combines lessons learned from life in the woods with a people-first outlook to lead this organization towards its vision.

Email: marc@buildingup.ca

Phone: 647-723-6930 ext. 100

Tarah Clark

Partner, COO

Tarah graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Economics and Finance. She spent the first 10 years of her career working in finance, where she became a VP for Deutsche Bank’s investment bank and a venture capital partner and investor.

Tarah joined Building Up as a volunteer in 2016 purposed with leveraging the power of business to address social, economic and environmental issues. Tarah passionately believes that Social Enterprise is the most impactful tool we have to building a better future. 

Email: tarah@buildingup.ca

Phone: 647-723-6930 ext. 101

Division Leaders

Obioma Dike

Director of Case Management

I’m Obioma Dike – Obi for short (just think of Star Wars’ Obi-Wan Kenobi and that’s it! I was the Program Coordinator at Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women (ehcw) where I was involved in program design and resource development. One of the things I enjoyed about my work was walking with my clients through the entire journey, and seeing them become empowered through the various educational workshops, counselling, referrals to community resources and employments we provided. Learning their stories/journeys helped me to write winning grants to sustain and expand on programs.
In my spare time, you will find me trying to learn something new. For example, I recently learnt how to bike, ski and skate. I also enjoy hiking. Since this Spring, I go on weekly 12km hikes. I also like to relax to good music, podcasts, movies and dance.

Brennan Luchsinge

General Manager

I manage the long-term operations and day-to-day work of the general contracting division. I work with the management team, site crew, and new or existing clients to develop construction projects that can push the boundaries of our team’s expertise. I’m happily a dedicated father who enjoys getting outdoors with family, music, and art.

Sarah Garcia

Program Director

Sarah Garcia never imagined that her career path would lead her to one day wearing a hard hat and steel toed boots. Sarah comes to Building Up with over 15 years in the non-profit sector both locally and internationally in front- line and management roles. Her passions and personal experience (as the daughter of a refugee and mother) have inform her work in child/youth empowerment, supporting newcomers of all ages, as well as bereavement.

Sarah believes strongly in the potential of every person and is proud to be part of the Building Up team.

Email: sarah@buildingup.ca

Phone: 647-723-6930 ext. 103

Ashley Mathew

Operations Manager

Ashley came to Building Up with a background in Social Work. Ashley has over ten years of working in shelters and women’s centres, helping people navigate homelessness and violence. Ashley joined Building Up after learning about its mandate and vision to break down barriers for people. Her role has evolved from a Case Manager to now managing the office. Ashley believes in education, not incarceration.

Rooted in holistic case management, assisting people with practical concerns, health and wellness, and problem-solving for the many challenges they face. Ashley hopes that the role of Building Up in people’s lives will help participants in the program to become resilient, independent, and passionate about their choice in the trades.

Email: ashley@buildingup.ca

Phone: 647-723-6930 ext. 102

Adam Zweig

Enterprise Manager - General Labour Division

As a former sales manager in the technology sector, Adam has a ton of experience working in fast paced, start up environments. During his previous roles as both a sales team lead and Key Account manager, Adam developed a solid foundation for maintaining and growing strong, long-lasting customer relationships.

He is currently heading up our Labour division where his passion for mentorship, skills development and relationship building has been a perfect blend.

Email: adam@buildingup.ca

Phone: 647-723-6930 ext. 106

Program Team

Nilani Selliah

Program Coordinator

I have been in the Local 27, Concrete Formwork pre-apprenticeship training for the past 7 weeks now! I will be working as Program Coordinator for the next four months starting August 9th. I worked in South Korea for a couple of years as an English teacher and that had been a really amazing experience. I’ve been learning how to do stick & pokes this past year.

Eddie Wong

Essential Skills Instructor

Eddie has a background in Education and comes to Building Up with over 10 years experience in non-profit. He has supported youth and adults to reach their education goals and move on to new opportunities.

Eddie works with Building Up learners on the 9 Essential Skills, showing the link between these skills and the trades to help learners make a successful transition. Eddie is from the Caribbean and when not at Building Up dreams of being on a beach somewhere.

Mason McColl

Trades Training Manager

Hi everyone! I’m joining Building Up as the Trades Training Manager. My job is to teach the Hands-On Training to our program participants, and make sure the Training Centre is stocked with building materials and all the tools that trainees need to learn about to kick off their careers.

For the past few years I have been doing building and property maintenance on a 100 year-old building in midtown – my background is as a (mostly) residential painter and doing building & property maintenance in residential, commercial and institutional settings. I have done a lot of different types of work (trades and non-trades), and my favourite work has been in adult education; I have worked as an educator in math and the trades, and also around mental health and wellness, sexual health, safer drug use, anti-oppression & anti-racism, alternatives to the justice system, and lots more.

Brittney W

Outreach Manager

Brittney joined Building Up in 2017. She enjoys traveling all over the city and connecting with individuals over their passions and goals. She is of the belief that everyone is deserving of an opportunity to showcase their greatness and glad that her work with Building Up can reflect this value.

Marisa Da Ros

Math Teacher - Toronto Catholic District School Board

After working for 10 years in the financial industry, Marisa returned to school and gained accreditation as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. As a daughter of two immigrants, Marisa has always had a love for teaching and learning and a desire to help new immigrants.

Marisa has been an Adult Education Teacher for many years, most recently with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Marisa enjoys teaching “Math for the Trades” to the Building Up students, as she helps them prepare for the entry exams to the various trade unions.

Trainee Support Team

Obioma Dike

Director of Case Management

I’m Obioma Dike – Obi for short (just think of Star Wars’ Obi-Wan Kenobi and that’s it! I was the Program Coordinator at Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women (ehcw) where I was involved in program design and resource development. One of the things I enjoyed about my work was walking with my clients through the entire journey, and seeing them become empowered through the various educational workshops, counselling, referrals to community resources and employments we provided. Learning their stories/journeys helped me to write winning grants to sustain and expand on programs.
In my spare time, you will find me trying to learn something new. For example, I recently learnt how to bike, ski and skate. I also enjoy hiking. Since this Spring, I go on weekly 12km hikes. I also like to relax to good music, podcasts, movies and dance.

Gayla Forer

Councilor

Gayla has an extensive work history including Teaching; Cultural Consultant and Therapist specializing in mental health and addictions. Over the years she has serviced a variety of populations including youth, parents and families in different modalities including individual, couple, family and group therapy. While working from an inclusive model, her passion has always been working with the racialized and marginalized populations, especially given her social location. She continues to work from an anti-oppressive, trauma informed lens and work hard to demystify the therapy process.
Her motto remains “To Thine Own Self Be True.”

Yeti Ajasin

Case Manager

Yeti is a Social Service Worker who graduated out of the 3 year Degree program at Sheridan College. She comes with a certified designation in Immigration Settlement and Mental Health and is trilingual (English, French,Spanish). Yeti tends to work from a Peer based support system as an approach to working with others. She tends to work from a non-clinical lens and connects with others through life experience and common ground. Outside of BU, You can find Yeti on stage entertaining people through her Music. As a very accomplished professional musician and Canadian Award winner for Best world Music Album (2009), Yeti’s vibrant and warm presence shines through. Always smiling, always approachable and always looking to lend a hand.

yeti@buildingup.ca

Shanice Francis

Case Manager

Shanice is an experienced Case Manager, with a demonstrated history of working in Civic & Social Organization industries just like ours. She graduated from Humber College in 2014 with a degree in Community & Justice Services, and her time managing front-line operations + working with individuals to identify barriers to employment/education is a huge asset to Building Up. Shanice’s calm, “low-key” exterior brings a humble balance to our daily chaos, and she easily has the best sneaker/chain game in the office.

shanice@buildingup.ca

Rahim Charania

Case Manager

Rahim came to Canada at the young age of 11 from Nairobi, Kenya. He has worked in several areas from Corporate to Non-profit. Rahim spent many years running his own business, an all-day breakfast cafe, in Kensington Market where he employed at-risk youth. Switching careers to a more hands- on one, Rahim found a passion for carpentry, home renovation and project management. Rahim is a strong believer in giving back and is really excited to be a part of Building Up.

Rahim is the proud father of his two children Khaliyah and Kaiden.

rahim@buildingup.ca

Email: rahim@buildingup.ca

Phone: 647-723-6930 ext. 105

Construction Team

Olaniran Olusegun Olatoye

Labour Supervisor

I have been with Building Up since November 2019.

Gabriel Sardinha

Site Supervisor - Lead Hand

Having worked over a decade in the restaurant industry as a cook, Gabriel decided to make a change. He graduated from the Plumbing & Gas Technician Program at the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Institute and found himself interested in the renovation and design of buildings and homes. He has 5+ years of experience renovating homes across the city of Toronto.

gabe@buildingup.ca

Allison Roth

Site Supervisor

My name is Allison. I graduated from the building renovation program at GBC about eight years ago. I worked for some contractors in the city and joined Building Up close to four years ago. I work as a site supervisor and mostly enjoy projects that involve finishing carpentry. On our projects, I enjoy keeping our program participants engaged and developing skills and experience to start or future their careers in trades.

Nilay Gabani

Project Coordinator

I was working in Vaughan, as Project Coordinator for Advance Forming Inc. I was responsible for Coordinating, Estimating and Scheduling of trades. At Building Up, I will have similar responsibilities as well. I will assist in Drawings, Documentation and Material management.

In my free time, I like to play basketball or workout. I am also fond of Nature and Adventures. I am also very social, easy to talk to and a problem solver. I am really looking forward to working with the BuildingUp Team and growing along.

Samson Bayere

Labour Team Lead

Hello my name is Samson Bayere, I am an expressive individual and I never give up until I get something right. I work as a supervisor/general labourer for building up.

I love to meet new people and try new things. I like visiting friends and talking about things happening in my environment including politics. I also like to listen to music, it helps me relax and get everything off my chest.

Oladimeji (Dimeji) Koleola

Labour Supervisor

My name is Dimeji,a graduate of York Construction Academy and holder of (B.sc) Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Nigeria. I’m one of the Labour Supervisor in B.U. l supervice the installation of AC, signage, boarding, green saver, networking etc . My hobbies include reading, singing classical music and watching soccer.

Apparao Manku

Site Supervisor

My name is Manku Apparao. I have been a member of LOCAL 27 since 2017. I have done a lot of scaffolding, sheet metal, exterior metal framing and panelling in ICI division. I have been in Restoration Companies too, fixing and rebuilding houses after cleaning up mostly framing, drywall, flooring, trim, fences, and decks. Recently I have also done timber framing and footings.
Not to mention, I also have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and diplomas in construction management, trades, and techniques.

During weekdays, I spent most of my free time reading and watching news. On weekends, I mostly spend my time with friends and family eating, watching movies and sports. I do follow basketball and boxing but mostly I watch cricket.

Lukman Oyeniyi

Labour Supervisor

My name is Lukman and I am the general labour maintenance supervisor. My hobbies are playing soccer, listening to news and meeting people and putting a smile on their faces.

Julio Rodas

Site Supervisor

Hello, my name is Julio and I am a Site Supervisor. I work under Brennan. I hope that every single day God allows me to give my humble contribution to Building Up’s exiting adventure.
Like many, I’m an enthusiastic follower of everything Blue Jays, Raptors, Maple Leafs and Toronto FC. I’m a commuter from an small town just outside of Toronto. Love to drive to places in Ontario.

Jules Paula

Project Manager

I’m Jules, proud to be Brazilian and a lover of B.B.Q. I’m into fitness, living a healthy lifestyle and obsessed with personal development.

I am a Project Manager, making sure projects are completed on time and on budget. I also do all of the scheduling and invoicing for Building Up.

To challenge myself and to get out of my comfort zone, I performed stand-up comedy in front of a room with about 50 strangers.

Jim Peterson

Construction Manager

My name is Jim, and I’m the Construction Manager at Building Up. I spend my day teaching and collaborating with coworkers on construction projects. We build and spruce up offices, apartments and other areas that require a special touch.
My hobbies are watching my two teenagers play rep sports (not much time for anything else). They both play baseball, which is extra exciting to me as I played for 20 years, and in my last year represented Ontario in a national tournament hosted in Newfoundland.

Another interesting fact, I did not know much about my family history and took an ancestry test a couple of years ago. Something really surprising to me was my high percentage connection to Norway. I am starting on a new journey of discovering new connections as people with DNA matches are reaching out.

Diego Savone

Labour Division Manager

My name is Diego, Labour Division Manager here at Building Up. I am part of the team responsible for the labour division. Some of the major aspects of my role include the management of existing labour contracts as well as the development of new labour opportunities.

My partner Melisa and I have two daughters, Riley and Esther, and a furry daughter, our dog Ophelia. What can I say? My house is ruled by girls, I’m outnumbered and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I love camping and getting away into the deep woods, and as a true Argentinean, I love my soccer and BBQs!

David Adesina

Labour Team Lead

Outstanding service delivery with experiences in addressing Construction challenges through engagement and Human Capital Development. Previous worked extensively on several and diverse operations and projects, spanning cultural backgrounds, continents, countries, companies and projects. Led many projects, worked as team member on hundreds of projects.

Pleasant experience to Stakeholders while following Building UP and Governance regulations, standards and policies.

As a hobby, I like to fish and be around large water bodies.

Chris Adams

Business Development/ Employer Partnerships Manager

I come from a background in managing business relationships with partners and customers in different industries. I get excited about bringing people together and achieving team goals. Thankfully, I’ll be able to put my background and passion for people-success front & centre in my new role at Building Up, as I’ll be supporting our graduates in gaining work with construction companies, while also driving new relationships with construction-industry employers.”

Fun Facts: I was born and raised in wintery North Bay, Ontario… but never learned how to ice skate! Growing up in a northern town did have a different “seasonal” effect on me, though… because I now live in the summery Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto, with my partner Michelle and our dog Manny; a 7-year-old Jack Russell-Beagle furball of energy (he likes the beach better than the northern tundra, too). And we are all huge Toronto Blue Jays fans!

Olusina Oyewole Bolarinwa

Building Maintenance Supervisor

Olusina comes to Building Up with a Masters in Business Administration and Advanced Diploma in Building Technology. He joined Building Up in 2018 after completing the training program, then proceeded to the Finishing Trade Institute (FTI) for a Diploma in Glazing. He is currently the Building Maintenance Supervisor at Building Up and a Journey person with Local 27 Carpentry Union.

olusina@buildingup.ca

Tim Zubek

Senior Site Supervisor

tim@buildingup.ca

Dean Vye

Master Plumber

Dean comes to Building Up from Sault Ste. Marie with 10 years of residential and commercial plumbing experience. He is a licensed journeyman, a master plumber and comes with his G2/G3 certification.

With extensive experience supervising and mentoring apprentices Dean brings first hand knowledge of supporting new entrants through their apprenticeships and through their successful transition into journey people.

dean@buildingup.ca

Administrative Team

Shraddha Macwan

Health & Safety Coordinator

My name is Shraddha, your new Health & Safety Coordinator. For the last 7 months, I worked as a Safety & Ergonomics Specialist at Honda of Canada Mfg. My job was to evaluate and assess safety and ergonomic impact of new model change points. I was also responsible for developing and driving the risk reduction through countermeasures activities to problems identified.

At Building Up, I will be working with a WSIB approved provider to implement ways to make the workplace safer for our employees. However, everyone is involved to improve safety culture, which is why I need your utmost support and cooperation. We can use our talents and put as much energy into our commitment to health & safety as we put into any other important part of the business.

Outside of work, I am a travel person, Nature is my second home. I am a music maniac too. I like to explore different genres and go to live shows of my favorite artists. I am very grateful for this opportunity and I am looking forward to meeting my awesome colleagues.

Lani Warsh

Special Projects Manager

Hello! My name is Lani and I’m excited to be joining your awesome team. Previously, I worked for an environmental organization where I was a program manager training remote fly-in Indigenous communities on how to remove hazardous pollutants from their metal dumps.

At Building Up, I’ll be working on several things, but mainly, to help define the expectations of trainees throughout their journey, create evaluations and tracking of program activities, and develop policies that help to clarify trainee accountability. It’s a mouthful, but overall, I’m hoping my work makes things more clear for you, and the organization as a whole!

I’m fiercely passionate about the outdoors and when I’m not working I’m basically always outside (hiking, paddling, gardening…). I adore animals and have 2 dogs, Jackie and Jill, who definitely benefit from my outdoor obsession. Can’t wait to meet you all!

Ella Cordero

Human Resources Manager

I’m Ella, and I’m the HR Manager. My mission is to make Building Up an employer of choice in a very unique hybrid training program, construction-focused not-for-profit. BU’s permanent staff do sooo much for its program trainees and my job is to encourage a culture where BU staff are productive and fulfilled in their roles.

I truly love geeking out with everything HR-related, so much so that I decided to take a Master’s degree in Strategic HR Management (and graduating at the top of my class) while working full-time in human resources. Here at BU, I deal with employment contracts, staff recruitment, accommodation requests, health & safety initiatives, performance reviews, employee surveys and organizational culture. Csaba, the HR Administrator, is a great support on the operational side of things.

Outside of work, I enjoy going out and about. But with COVID restrictions and a new baby in the house, I am now more attuned to being social online.

Csaba Nyitrai

My name is Csaba Nyitrai. I was born in Hungary and moved to Canada 10 years ago. I studied Business Administration – Human Resources at George Brown College.

My hobbies are going to the gym, walk, cooking, baking and meeting with my friends. I also enjoy going to concerts, my two favours are Miley Cyrus and Gwen Stefani. Ever since the lockdown, I started work out from home, I learned to bake cakes and other baked goods. I also recently started learning Japanese which I enjoy very much. In the future, I would love to visit Japan and use my skills to communicate with people in Japanese.

Leigh Anne Pearson

Bookkeeper

Leigh Anne comes to us with over 20 years of bookkeeping and administrative experience. In addition to her work with Building Up, she is a Certified Personal Trainer and enjoys working with others on their quest for a healthier lifestyle.

Email: leigh@buildingup.ca

Phone: 647-723-6930 ext. 108

Building Up has assembled a board of advisors that is passionate about our mission and has expertise across multiple industries, roles and sectors.

The Building Up board is proud to support the work that is accomplished each day by the team, the program participants and the program graduates.

 

Our Board of Advisors

Adam Chambers

Bryan-Howard Sherwood

Ian Milne

Elisha Muskat

Simon Weisz (Chair)