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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After working at the Honda Plant in Ontario, Kaedon wanted to expand upon his mechanics background and learn more about construction trades. He was accepted into and compled Building Up’s pre-apprenticeship program, where the team recognized his knack for safety on-site, which led to his Health & Safety Representative. Kaedon is an advocate for Trans and LGBTQ+2S rights, and has plans to develop program training around this specific experience for our participants in the future.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
In my work with Building Up, I provide support with grant writing and fundraising, human resources, and social media. Previously, I worked at the Toronto Enterprise Fund, the Province of Ontario and the MaRS Discovery District. I appreciate Building Up’s warm and inclusive work culture and love the folks in the Building Up family!
Kamal is an educator that is passionate about seeing EVERYONE discover, utilize and continue to expand their potential. Born and raised in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods, Kamal relates to various social, economic and psychological elements that vulnerable young adults seek to overcome. He aims to build self confidence, resilience and positive daily habits in students through trades’ core subjects such as mathematics as well as social sciences. Experienced in various trades and having worked in several non-profits, Kamal combines elements of his lived experience, construction and education to help support students along their journey through the program and beyond.
Johsua (or Johs) is our Resident Carpenter, experienced in all aspects of carpentry from rough framing to interior finishes. As a graduate of George Brown’s Building Renovation Technology program, Johs is dedicated to mastering the craft of carpentry to produce quality workmanship. Partnering with TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization, Johs holds a Trades Class in their shop for our trainees who desire hands-on experience.
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.
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.
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.
Allison is a graduate of the George Brown College Building Renovations program. She has over 5 years of experience working as a carpenter across Toronto with local renovation companies.
Allison loves being part of such an innovative team with Building Up. She enjoys using the jobsite as a platform to educate and mentor eager trainees on their path towards a career in the trades.
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.
Zul comes to building up with 10yrs experience with general contracting/carpentry. He started off in the automotive industry, getting his auto mechanics licence when he was in his 20’s. Realizing his dream was to work in construction/renovation Zul made the transition. Knowing first hand the hardships and benefits of starting a new career and working in the trades, Zul is passionate about mentoring and helping others find and develop their potential. He is now a proud site supervisor for building up; helping countless others “Build Up” better futures.
Simon Weisz (Chair)