The Employment Champion for Youth Canada’s Employment Champion for Youth

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Youth Employment Services (YES) is Canada's leader and has helped hundreds of thousands of youth find employment and change their lives

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall governance of YES. A talented group of qualified community volunteers provides our strategic leadership and stewardship. The following individuals are the current members of our Board of Directors.


Patricia E. Wright, Chair

Patricia E. WrightPatti Wright is the Chair of the Governance Committee of YES and a member of the Development Committee. She obtained a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the University of Western Ontario and an LL.B. from the University of Windsor. Patti was called to the Ontario Bar in March 1983. Patti owned the Toronto law firm of Wright & Associates from 1994 to December 2011, sold her practice and is now a sole practitioner in Etobicoke specializing in corporate law. She is also a graduate of the Directors Education Program at the Institute of Corporate Directors – Rotman School of Management, U of T, and earned the ICD.D certification in March, 2011.

As a Corporate Lawyer, Patti has extensive experience in advising For Profit and Not for Profit Corporations and Foundations. Over the last 34 + years, she has sat as a Director and Officer on many Not for Profit Boards and Private Foundations including the Etobicoke General Hospital and Foundation, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce . She was a past appointee to the College of Respiratory Therapists. In additional to YES, Patti is a director and officer for two (2) private foundations and is also a member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Toronto West. She is also an Assistant District Governor for Rotary District 7070.

Patti was awarded a Canadian 125th Anniversary Commemorative Medal by the Governor General of Canada in 1992 for significant contributions to the community.

I have been a long-time supporter of YES and its commitment to assisting our youth in the obtaining of long-term and fulfilling employment.
I have been and continue to be enormously impressed by the staff’s determination to improve the overall well-being of our youth through the diversified programs run by YES. The success rate is remarkable, largely due to the dedication of the volunteers and mentors and staff. As a Lawyer practicing for 30+ years, and as an Employer for more than 25 of those years and as a mother of 2 children who have now entered the work force as University graduates, I am aware of the hardships awaiting youth when seeking employment. I hope that, as a member of the Board of Directors of YES, I can bring my skills to YES to assist in any way that I can to continue to improve the services provided by YES, both in fundraising, general advice and mentoring.


Susie Hendrie, Vice Chair

Susie HendrieSusie Hendrie is a member of the YES Development Committee. Susie holds a BA from Queen’s University and an MSc from the London School of Economics. She has recently returned to her hometown of Toronto after living in London, England for the past 15 years.

Susie currently works in the Corporate Affairs Department at Rogers Communications. Previous to that she worked at the GSMA, the global trade association for the mobile phone industry, where she led industry policy and activity around the role of mobile technology in the lives of young people.

Susie is a former board member a Scottish based charitable trust focused on the youth and elderly. She also was an active committee member of the Friends of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, her local hospital when she lived in London. 


James Hunter, FCPA, FCA

Jim HunterJames Hunter was a partner in the Toronto office of KPMG LLP from 1987 to 2010. He served latterly as President of KPMG Forensic and as Head of Risk and Compliance, Ontario and Maritime provinces.

He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. He is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, and of the Canadian Centre for Ethics & Corporate Policy.

Other involvement in the Not-For-Profit sector includes: Director, National Youth Orchestra of Canada; Trustee, North American Office, University of Edinburgh Inc.; Director, Rotary Club of Toronto Charitable Foundation.

YES is my Opportunity to give something back
When I was a young job-seeker without many qualifications, it was not hard to find a job. Today in Canada, things are not so easy for young people. The barriers to job entry seem to be ever higher. Youth Employment Services YES is trying to do something about this. I would like to play my part.


John Taylor

John Taylor

John is the Chair of the Investment Committee of YES. John is a graduate of Bishops University, BA History and Concordia University in Montreal where he received his MA in History. John has been employed by ScotiaMcLeod since 1995 where he works as a Portfolio Manager overseeing investment portfolios for individuals, trusts and corporations. In addition to his role at YES, John also currently sits on the Investment Committee for the Presbyterian Church of Canada.

Strong youth Employment = A strong Canadian Economy.
Having come out of school during a recession in Canada I know how difficult it can be to find employment and those memories have stayed with me. Today’s economic environment is even harder on youth looking for employment and the role of YES helping those youth is even more important. Having built a career as a portfolio manager with ScotiaMcLeod over the past 17 years I feel honored to give back my time and energy as a board member and chair of the Investment Committee for YES helping the Youth of today.


Luzita Kennedy

Luzita KennedyLuzita Kennedy is the Chair of the YES Audit Committee. She has a BA in Accounting Science from the University of South Africa, and Diploma in Accountancy from the University of Natal-Durban.

Luzita obtained her South African CA in 2001 and her Canadian CA in 2004. She is a Partner at KPMG, Accounting Advisory Services, and also the Real Estate Accounting Advisory Practice Leader.

Luzita is a member of the: (1) Women’s Executive Network (WXN), (2) Toronto Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), and (3) RealPac’s Financial Best Practices Committee. 


Lawrence Foerster

Lawrence FoersterMy first professional job was as a consultant in an employment agency, placing engineers, draftsmen and architects. Throughout my 19 year career in executive search I have always been passionate about the importance of matching employer needs with the available skills of applicants. Having a job is essential to a person’s dignity and it is important to our economy.

My subsequent career in financial services, since 1992, has included designing and maintaining group benefits plans. A person’s employment is enhanced if they receive health and dental benefits.

As a Board Member of YES I wish to contribute advice and provide positive creative strategies for promoting youth employment.


Nicole Musicco

Nicole MusiccoNicole Musicco leads the global fund investment program overseeing all of Teachers Private Capital externally managed private equity and venture capital fund positions, and emerging markets co-investment and co-underwriting activities. Teachers’ Private Capital is the private equity department of the C$130-billion Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Since joining Teachers’ in 2002, Ms. Musicco has assumed positions of increasing responsibility within Teachers’ Private Capital, with roles on both the Direct and Fund investment teams. Ms. Musicco graduated from the HBA and MBA programs at the Richard Ivey School of Business, and from the Bachelor of Science Kinesiology program at the University of Western Ontario.

When youth believe in their own potential, they can achieve amazing things.
YES provides the tools to achieve this, and I am excited to contribute to this great organization.


Sarah Nixon-Suggitt

Sarah Nixon-SuggittSarah Nixon-Suggitt is the Executive Director, Human Capital Management of Timbercreek Asset Management Inc. Sarah’s responsibilities include all aspects of Human Capital for Timbercreek including: Organizational Design and Development, Employee Relations, Talent Management and Acquisition, Total Rewards, Performance Management, Legal Compliance, Payroll and Benefits Management and Administration, Learning and Development, HRIS, Employee and Office Services. Prior to joining Timbercreek, Sarah was Vice President, Human Resources at Gluskin Sheff + Associates and Assistant Vice President, Talent Acquisition at Manulife Financial. Ms. Nixon-Suggitt also spent a number of years in the executive search industry in both Canada and the United States.

Sarah is a member of the YES Development Committee. Sarah is a graduate of the Advanced Program in Human Resource Management at The Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and The University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts, Honours Political Science.


Michael Kavanagh, CPA, CA

Michael KavanaghMichael is a Partner within KPMG’s Financial Services practice in the GTA with a focus on funds and private equity. His group is dedicated to providing services relevant to companies in these sectors and markets. Michael has significant and varied experience involving matters of financial reporting, regulatory compliance and public market offerings, and transaction related assistance. Previous to this role, Michael led KPMG’s Technology practice in the Greater Toronto Area and has worked with several private equity and venture capital firms during his tenure with KPMG.

His professional background includes working with and leading multi-disciplined teams, including advisory and tax professionals specializing in a range of disciplines that contribute to the assessment of internal control over financial reporting. He has been frequently called upon to speak and moderate at various technology related events and roundtables over the years and is a great supporter of the technology community in the GTA.

YES is an employment champion for youth in our community – a clear and purposeful mission statement.
Dig a little a deeper and you will find that YES is a champion for elevating youth to new and better personal outcomes, building self-esteem and self-confidence, and creating a personal path to success through employment where one did not previously exist. I can recall how employment opportunities in my youth shaped my life and lifted me to new heights. As a member of the board of directors, I am extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with the team at YES in their efforts to assist disadvantaged youth reach their full potential.


James O’Reilly, MBA, CFA

James O’ReillyJamie O’ Reilly is employed at Citibank Canada and serves as a Director in the Corporate Solutions Group within Citi’s Capital Markets team in Canada. He provides leadership to a team of professionals with responsibility for consulting and transacting with Citi’s key corporate clients across all major asset classes in order to achieve their strategic financing and risk management objectives. Prior to joining Citi, Jamie was Vice President, Institutional Client Group at another global bank in Toronto and previously held positions in both Investment and Corporate Banking at a Canadian bank.

Jamie holds an undergraduate degree from St. Francis Xavier University, where he graduated with Distinction and was honoured as an Academic All-Canadian athlete. He completed his formal education with an MBA from Saint Mary’s University and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

YES Empowers Canadian youth through Employment.
One of the foundations for youth’s long-term success is employment, which provides self-reliance, on-the-job education, and opportunities for advancement. YES plays a critical role in helping young Canadians establish this foundation for lifelong success.


Amanda Balasubramanian, B.A., LL.B.

Amanda BalasubramanianAmanda Balasubramanian is a Partner with Tory’s LLP law firm in Toronto and leads a diverse practice primarily in the debt financing area, including domestic, cross-border and international transactions, private equity and acquisition financings, syndicated banking transaction and public and private offerings of debt securities. Amanda was selected as a leading lawyers in banking and finance by the “Best Lawyers’ in Canada and by Chambers & Partners. Active in the community, Amanda has been a volunteer speaker, fundraiser for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a Director and Vice Commodore of the Island Yacht Club, and has fundraised and supported the Bequia Reading Club, a children’s literacy program. Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts and Law Degree from the University of Manitoba.

Helping make Toronto stronger
I am so pleased to be a part of YES and help change lives to thousands of youth each year. This has an important impact on all of us: our community, our nation, and our future. YES is leading the way in helping create a stronger safer Toronto.


Timothy Lang
Ex-officio

Timothy LangTimothy Lang is President & CEO of Youth Employment Services YES, Canada’s leading youth employment service provider, and is an accomplished leader in the private and not for profit sector with a record of inspiring organizations to achieve results and growth. Tim holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history from StFX University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Manitoba. As President & CEO of YES, Tim lead’s a strong team who annually empower and inspire thousands of youth through training and skills development to become contributing members of society through employment. Tim previously held senior management and executive positions with Xerox Corp., Bell Canada, Energy Savings Income Fund, and St. Francis Xavier University. Tim has served on several not-for-profit boards, food banks and youth organizations. Tim speaks and lectures frequently at national events, corporations and universities on topics of leadership, motivation, sales, marketing, communications, fundraising, and more. Tim received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2012 for outstanding contributions to the community.

YES changes lives and communities every day
There are so many talented youth who have dreams of a fulfilling and complete life for themselves and their families, yet some do not know how to get there. YES training and programs have been incredibly important in giving youth the skills, confidence, ability and a plan to succeed. For every dollar in our programs, it returns as much as $24 dollars back to economy in wages, taxes, and more. But more importantly, it is the right thing to do and helps change lives…forever.

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