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Who We Are

Community Builders was founded by Bo-Young Lim, Eileen Nemzer, Janis Galway and Jerry Brodey, a committed group of educators with extensive experience in teaching, counseling, and working through the arts with children.  Janis and Eileen are now the Executive Co-Directors and Senior Trainers with Community Builders.  They are supported by a group of 12 Local Associates who collaborate on training projects in different parts of the province. They are also supported by a Board of Directors. 

FOUNDERS

Eileen Nemzer’s life work as a teacher, trainer, administrator and parent, has been to train and support activists in Canada, Israel and the US. As a founder and Executive Co-Director of Community Builders Youth Leadership, she works with parents, administrators, teachers and Ontario elementary school student leaders every year, helping them develop their leadership skills and supporting them as they work to make their diverse school communities more inclusive, caring and vibrant.  Eileen received her BA and MA in education from The Ohio State University. Eileen has been a public school teacher in Toronto, a founder of a parent cooperative preschool, and director of a program for young people affected by family violence.

Janis Galway cofounded Community Builders Youth Leadership.  Janis has many years of experience designing programs and facilitating trainings that get to the roots of social problems. She has worked extensively with youth, as well as aboriginal communities in different parts of Ontario, and immigrants and refugees. Past accomplishments include founding Skills for Change, a community agency helping internationally trained workers find employment in Canada, and establishing the first Settlement Worker Training Program at George Brown College. Janis holds a Masters of Arts from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University, and Teacher of English as a Second Language (TESL) certification from George Brown College.

Jerry Brodey is a grandfather, arts educator, performer, songwriter, mentor and workshop leader. For over 30-years he has collaborated with his wife, Kim Brodey, using music and storytelling in the schools in Canada and USA to focus on conflict resolution and building equitable communities. In 1994 Jerry co-founded Community Builders and was a senior trainer and co-executive director up until 2007.  He has participated in and led men’s groups, and continues to explore gender issues and the power of our initiations. His first play Solo: A Boy’s Journey about boys & men’s rites of passage (directed and co-written by Robert Morgan) continues to tour across Ontario for middle and high school audiences.

BOARD MEMBERS

Alika Hendricks (Chair): Alika’s commitment to social justice is evidenced daily in her work as a staff lawyer with Legal Aid Ontario. She is also an adjunct instructor in Seneca College’s Paralegal Studies Program. Alika is particularly passionate about working with young people, and has worked in the youth criminal justice system as both a criminal defence lawyer and as a restorative justice circle keeper. Witnessing the transformative power of Community Builders’ programs in young lives is the reason for her sustained commitment to the organization over the past ten years. Alika is also a proud parent, and a lover of the arts.  

Anthony Sutcliffe has been a member of the Board of Directors and the Secretary Treasurer of Community Builders since 2009 and previously provided legal services and counsel to the Corporation since and prior to its incorporation in 2005. Tony has previously been counsel to a number of Canadian corporations as well as a member of their Boards. Tony is a graduate of McMaster University (Business ’73) and Queen’s University (Law ’82) and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1984. He recently retired from the position of City Solicitor of the City of Kawartha Lakes, where he now lives.   

Barbara Klerer Goldenberg has worked as a Curriculum Consultant promoting safe, caring, respectful and inclusive schools in the York Region District School Board (YRDSB), for the past 5 years.  Her solution-focused approach with school staff and administration supports the creation of positive learning environments that promote student health and well-being.  She is a big advocate for Community Builders in the YRDSB.  Barbara is currently on a one year sabbatical from YRDSB, and during this time, she is working as a family life educator/group facilitator for Jewish Family and Child Services leading a variety of both child and adult psycho-educational groups. She presents at numerous workshops and symposiums related to school climate and social-emotional learning.  She is also studying in the Solution Focused Certificate Program at University of Toronto.  Barbara has worked for 25 years as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of community settings.  She holds additional certifications as a District Tribes® Trainer, Restorative Conference Facilitator, Triple P ® Parenting Practitioner, and a Healthy Relationships Trainer (PREVnet).   Barbara and her husband take great pride and joy in their two young adult children who have recently both left the “nest”.  

Brian Harvey is a Public Finance student in the MPA Health Policy and Management Program at NYU Wagner. Brian holds a BComm in Strategy and Marketing from Queen’s University, Canada. Prior to joining Wagner, Brian spent 4 years working in health care consulting for in-sync, Publicis Groupe where he provided strategic guidance for leading Fortune 100 companies in the health and prescription drug space. At Wagner, Brian is a Peer Advisor, Tutor in Microeconomics, and a member of the Wagner Health Network. After completing his MPA, he hopes to work for a hospital system where he can use his finance skills to tackle health challenges.

Edvirge Predestin: Born and raised in Montreal, Edvirge is the daughter of Haitian immigrants. Growing up alongside peers of different ethnic backgrounds she learned the value of respect, and positive communication. Her interest in equipping people with the tools to cope with social challenges led her to earn in 2004, her BA in Child and Youth Care from University of Montréal. She worked in schools with children and adolescents showing behavioral disorders. Over the last seven years, she has redirected her professional focus to Employment and Settlement servicesfor newcomers. From 2009-2011, she completed graduate studies in Cross-cultural Mediation from Sherbrooke University. At that time, she served on the board of directors of a non-profit organization supporting immigrant families, which gave her administrative experience and also showed her the importance of teamwork and effective communication. Edvirge moved to Toronto in 2013, and recently enjoyed the leadership experience of chairing the Food Committee for the CB Sparks of Courage event. She has been excited to get to know an organization dedicated to equipping young people to shine at their brightest, and to experience a sense of belonging. That mission is the reason behind her interest in submitting her candidacy to the Community Builders board of directors.

Janet Chow has been involved in Community Builders as a volunteer and trainer since 2002 and as a Board Member since 2008. She is a lawyer at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, where she develops legislation and policy relating to Ontario’s justice system, specifically in the areas of civil, administrative and family law. She also supports initiatives on aboriginal justice. Alongside her work with Community Builders, Janet is a member of Passages to Canada, an educational story-telling initiative committed to promoting multiculturalism. Janet is a past recipient of the TD Canada Trust Scholarship for Community Leadership for her work on children’s rights. She obtained her law degree and MA in International Affairs in 2012. 

Juliet Morales (bio to follow). 

Matthew Yantha earned a certificate in Fundraising and Volunteer Management from George Brown College in 2012. Shortly thereafter, he joined the staff of Christian Horizons, a non-profit organization that supports people with developmental disabilities.  In his spare time, Matthew serves as a Youth Leader with The NEXT youth group, which focuses on teaching life skills to youth, ages 12-21.  On Saturdays, he also volunteers with Heart2Heart, a weekly basketball program for teenagers, ages 14-18.  Recently, he also rode for the Ride for Refuge campaign to raise funds to support children with disabilities in South Sudan.  Matthew has a passion for youth empowerment through inclusion, and he looks forward to helping young people excel, as a member of the Community Builders team.  One of Matthew’s favorite quotes is from Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.