DATE: Wednesday, May 4th
TIME: 7:30 - 10:00 a.m.
LOCATION: Seneca College, Board of Governors Boardroom – 7th Floor, 8 The Seneca Way, Markham L3R 5Y1 ~ MAP
COST: AFP members : $35 + HST, Non-members: $45 + HST


This session will examine the how-to’s of moving diversity & inclusion forward within charitable organizations. Increase your core understanding of inclusion & equity through key findings from AFP’s groundbreaking work and recent findings on diversity & inclusion through a fundraising and philanthropic lens. A panel of speakers will provide provocative ideas to challenge the current thinking around inclusion & equity. The session will also provide tangible strategies or a framework towards building an inclusive environment in your organization. Bring your EDs, CEOs and Boards!

7:30 – 8:00 am: Continental breakfast and networking
8:00 – 8:15 am: Presentation Overview
8:15 – 9:30 am: Panel discussion
9:30 – 10:00 am: Mix and mingle

Event Sponsor

Approved for 1.5 CFRE points

Frankie Chow

Campaign Coordinator

Mackenzie Health Foundation

Frankie Chow is a passionate donor and fundraiser with over 4 years of experience working with not-for-profit organizations. Having been involved with philanthropy and volunteerism all his life, Frankie pursued his career in the not-for-profit sector through the Fundraising Management Program at Humber College. A lover of all things digital, technical, and social - Frankie has a keen interest in social media, digital marketing, and database technology to support data-driven fundraising campaigns. Frankie is currently the Campaign Coordinator at Mackenzie Health Foundation. Frankie has worked with a variety of other non-profit organizations such as Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation, UforChange, Hospice Toronto, Belmont House, and Villa Charities. He is also involved with the professional fundraising community through his volunteer work with conferences that promote networking and learning for his fellow fundraisers such as Be Good Be Social in Toronto and York Region.

Mimosa Kabir

Manager, Individual Giving

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Mimosa is an aspiring changemaker, looking to foster collaboration and innovation within the nonprofit sector. She has experience in relationship-building, tactical planning and managing events. She holds a BA honours degree in Global Development Studies and History from Queen's University, and post-graduate certificates from Humber College in Fundraising Management and the University of Leicester in Mass Communications. Mimosa currently works for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and moonlights as a facilitator for the Youth Advocacy Training Institute. Mimosa is also a bookworm, pop culture enthusiast, wannabe globetrotter and sometimes blogger.


Suzette Strong

Chief Executive Officer

Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation

Suzette was appointed CEO of Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation in June 2007 to lead its $50 Million Expansion Campaign which successfully concluded in 2014 with $56 million raised. Prior to joining Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, Suzette's accomplishments include serving as Vice-President, Community & Donor Relations at Sunnybrook Foundation where she successfully developed and implemented strategic direction for the Community & Donor Relations portfolio for the $300 million capital campaign.  She also held senior positions with York University Foundation after starting her career with the United Way of Greater Toronto.

She was designated a Fellow of the Ivey School of Business at Western University in 2013 for successfully completing CommunityShift, a new Leadership Development Program designed for not for profit leaders across the country. She graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury with a Masters in International Relations that focused on Environmental Economics and holds an Honors BA from Huron College University. She is a frequent guest speaker at various conferences on leadership, governance and strategic fundraising and recently contributed a case study on diversity and inclusion to a comprehensive fundraising textbook written by Canadians for Canadians called “Excellence in Fundraising in Canada; Volume Two”.  

In June 2015, Suzette was appointed to the Executive Board of the Huron College University in London, Ontario and also serves on its Student Affairs Committee. She grew up in Thornhill and lives in Aurora with her partner Matthew and her daughter Emily (14 years). They spend as much time as they can enjoying cottage life in Haliburton.

Khalid Usman

Chair, Governance & Nomination Committee

Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation

Khalid Usman is a practicing Chartered Accountant and has devoted a lifetime to the cause of human dignity, peace, harmony, inter-faith understanding, and social justice, and he has inspired others into action to support worthwhile causes. A business leader, pioneer and philanthropist, Khalid Usman gives generously of his time and financial resources to support many charitable causes within Canada as well as internationally. For the past 35 years, he has contributed his abilities to extensive voluntary involvement as an advisor, organizer, peace activist and fundraiser, for which he has won numerous awards including the Good Citizenship from the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award from Governor General of Canada, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Khalid has personally raised well over few million dollars for local and international charities. He has acted as a liaison between various South Asian communities to help motivate residents towards living in peace and harmony with each other notwithstanding their age-old political differences. Being an active member of the Race Relations Committee of the Town of Markham for years, he became a driving force behind the project “Many Faces of Markham” that promotes mutual respect and rapport between various communities.

Sahar Vermezyari

Program Manager, Inclusive Giving Fellowship

AFP Foundation for Philanthropy - Canada

Sahar Vermezyari is the Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy Program Manager. She is responsible for meeting the strategic objectives of the program by overseeing the development and execution of the fellowship program. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University. She has worked for over 10 years in the not-for-profit sector in a variety of settings and positions. Previous to her work with AFP, Sahar was the Manager of Partnerships at the East Scarborough Storefront. Sahar has worked extensively with equity-seeking groups and in under-served communities across the Greater Toronto Area. Her focus has been on project/program management in complex, multi-stakeholder projects. Sahar has been working on making social change and her passion for working within the social profit sector comes from her own experience of being a refugee and immigrant as well as growing up in a service-oriented home. Sahar is also a volunteer Dance Instructor and Event Coordinator for Tabriz Music and Dance Ensemble in Toronto.