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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After expressing interest in leaving a corporate work environment to an electrician friend of hers, Amanda was recommended to join Building Up’s pre-apprenticeship program. She found herself enjoying the hands-on trades aspect of the program, but also the concept of Employment Social Enterprises and being in ‘the business of people.’ She worked to develop a Social Media Policy for Building Up, and is now providing social support for the organization remotely as she resides in Vancouver, Canada.
Amanda is a huge pop music fan, gets all of her information from the multiple podcasts she subscribes to, and is an advocate for animal adoption and foster homes.
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.
Brandon is a graduate of York University, with a Masters in Environmental Studies and an Environmental Business Certificate from the Schulich School of Business. He is a father of three boys, and the founder of the Black Daddies Club.
Brandon is a strong believer in equitable and innovative approaches to his community work; he works with an intersectional lens around issues of marginalization. Most importantly, he brings 10 years of mobilizing, community based research, event planning, and leadership experience to this role.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After graduating with a B.A. in Industrial Engineering in Peru, Rodrigo performed different logistics & project management roles in the construction + IT industry, as well as actively volunteering at environmental-and-social-related NGOs.
Rodrigo came to Canada in 2016 to pursue a Master’s degree in Sustainability Management. He joined Building Up in 2018 to support the Labor Division by blending his engineering and project management skills into our organization’s sustainable development.
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)