Staff

About ONN:

How we work  |  Staff  |  Governance  |  Working groups  |  Finance  |  Media coverage


Staff

Kavita is on the sidewalk wearing a white dress posing outside a store/restaurant. Some red and purple flowers can be seen behind her. The glass windows of the store/restaurant reflect a bit of the opposite side of the street.

Kavita Dogra

Communications Manager
Kavita has been in the NFP sector for over a decade and has a variety of communications skills. She spent the last 4 years developing her digital engagement strategy skills and learning how to build and grow digital audiences. Kavita is the founder of We Talk Women, a humble organization working to raise awareness about girls’ and women’s rights issues. Through the organization, she hosts events that expose the human rights injustices being experienced by women and girls in Canada and around the world. Kavita also co-chaired the committee that organized the Women’s March in Toronto (2017-2019). 

Brooke Downey headshot

Brooke Downey

Administrative Lead
Brooke joined ONN in 2021 as the Operations Lead. She brings with her 4+ years of experience at civic engagement focused nonprofits, where she was responsible for operations, fundraising, communications, and volunteer engagement. In 2021, she completed her Master of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto, where she had also received her HBA in Political Science and Women & Gender Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring Toronto’s west end and volunteering at local museums.

Lynn Eakin

Policy Advisor
Lynn has been providing consulting services to the nonprofit sector since 1989. Currently Lynn, one of the founding members of ONN, is involved in better positioning the sector to address the cross-cutting policy issues it faces. She continues to engage in sector research and is involved with ONN in identifying, developing and advocating for systemic reforms to improve the ability of the sector to undertake its important work. For more on Lynn’s background, see her website: www.lynneakin.com.

Erin Kang

Project Lead, Reimagining Governance Initiative
Erin has a background as a facilitator, curriculum writer, independent educator, event producer, and storyteller local to Toronto. She has worked in and alongside the nonprofit sector since 2013, beginning her independent practice in 2018. She is thrilled to be joining the ONN as Project Lead for our Reimagining Governance Initiative. Erin is deeply engaged with community-building in the city, running a grassroots project called Stories of Ours and working with organizations such as Apathy is Boring, Toronto Ward Museum, Free Geek Toronto, Story Planet, and Brands for Canada. Erin’s work lies at the intersections of anti-oppressive pedagogy, community collaborations, and creative arts.

Sarah Matsushita

Director of Communications and Engagement
Sarah joined ONN in 2013, bringing with her over ten years experience in the nonprofit sector at local, regional and international organizations. Most recently she managed communications and advocacy for a women’s rights network across Asia Pacific, and marketed a nonprofit social enterprise for women entrepreneurs on the Thai-Burma border. Her nonprofit sector experience in Canada includes fundraising and event production at the Toronto International Film Festival, and capital campaign fundraising for the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. She holds a degree in political science from McMaster University and a public relations post-grad certificate from Humber College. Sarah has been a volunteer for refugee organizations, engaging communities to hear the voices and stories of refugees in conflict areas.

Melanie Rodriguez

Communications and Network Engagement Manager
Melanie has spent the last decade working with over 20 nonprofits in North America, Central America, and South America. She has completed training courses from Ivey Business School, Harvard University, the British Council and the United Nations Association in Canada. She has worked in a variety of roles including evaluating the risk of a 200-million dollar banking portfolio, delivering post-graduate sustainability curriculums and managing business development as an Executive Director of an international children’s foundation. Melanie is a recent MBA graduate from the Schulich School of Business, previous Head Delegate for Canada at the Youth7 Summit, and current volunteer for local and global nonprofits.

John Saunders

Knowledge Mobilization Lead
John joined Ontario Nonprofit Network in 2018 as communications coordinator the decent work initiative. He now leads the ONN’s initiative to engage Ontario nonprofits in sharing knowledge and building organizational capacity. He brings with him more than 20 years of experience in journalism, teaching, research and communications work. John has worked with advocacy campaigns on a range of issues, including public transportation, community health, and workers’ rights. 

Rishit facing the camera with a smile wearing a black blazer and a grey shirt. Image has a plain background and a shade of purple because of the lights.

Rishit Shah

Communications Coordinator
With a holistic background in public relations (PR) and communications, Rishit joined ONN in 2021. His journey began back in 2018 at MSL Group, one of the world’s largest PR agencies owned by Publicis Groupe. Being passionate about social justice, environment, arts and culture and more, he always gravitated more towards the nonprofit sector. In 2020, he worked as an intern with East End Arts, a local nonprofit in east Toronto, and later as a contractor with Right to Play, an international nonprofit. With a post-grad certificate in PR and Corporate Communications from Seneca College and in Professional Writing and Communications from Humber College, Rishit is a rigorously trained, well-rounded professional, and will assist ONN with our communication and network engagement initiatives.

Liz Sutherland

Director of Policy
Liz joined ONN in 2015 as a policy advisor and became ONN’s Director of Policy in 2019. At ONN, she has worked on issues ranging from funding reform, pensions, and social enterprise policy to data policy and election advocacy rules for nonprofits. Before joining ONN, Liz earned a master’s degree in political science (University of Victoria) and worked most of her career in the nonprofit sector on a range of social and health policy issues. She also has five years of federal government policy experience. She has been an active volunteer all her life and, while in Toronto, served seven years on the board of a community health centre. In 2020, Liz relocated to Perth, Ontario, as a settler on unceded traditional Omàmìwininì (Algonquin) territory, where she works remotely and now sits on the board of the Perth & District Community Foundation.

Cathy Taylor

Executive Director
Cathy has been a member of the ONN team since June 2012. Throughout her 20 years working in the nonprofit sector, including as the founding Executive Director of the Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington, she has been passionate about collaboration and leadership in the sector. Cathy works with sector colleagues from across Ontario and Canada, as well as private sector and government officials, to create an enabling policy environment for nonprofit organizations. Cathy’s roots are in the environmental movement and she has been active in municipal politics. She holds a degree in political studies and history from Queen’s University, and attended the Maytree-York University Executive Directors Leadership program. Outside of work, she enjoys time with her family and her garden in Erin, Ontario.

Pamela Uppal

Policy Advisor
Pamela cares deeply about how women experience the world and so her work over the past 10 years has focused on creating gender equitable systems by bridging frontline work, research initiatives, and policy advocacy. She led a nonprofit organization as a student volunteer, was a frontline worker at a multi-service agency, designed diversity trainings, and collaborated on multiple research projects exploring gender equity in the South Asian community. Currently, she is a policy advisor at the Ontario Nonprofit Network leading its future of work file with a nonprofit and gender-based intersectional lens, alongside the decent work for women project. Pamela also facilitates men’s therapy groups and is on the board of Laadliyan – celebrating and empowering daughters. She holds a Masters degree in Women Studies & Feminist Research from Western University.

Candice Zhang

Policy Analyst
Stemming from her passion for social change, public policy, and innovation, Candice has pursued various opportunities in policy analysis, research, and project management with a number of organizations, including the Daily Bread Food Bank, Toronto Youth Cabinet, the HIV Legal Network, and the Simon Fraser University Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue. She has worked with diverse populations, including youths, LGBTQ2S communities, people living with HIV, as well as Canadians affected by income and housing inequalities. 

Candice holds a Master’s Degree in Global Health Policy from the University of Edinburgh, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Queen’s University. Candice joined the ONN in March 2021.