Obim Okongwu

Obim has been attending the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto (MCC Toronto) for close to twenty years. For the past four years, he has been volunteering as Worship Coordinator, and recently joined the Peace and Justice Strategy Team.  Over the years attending MCC Toronto, he witnessed the impact the church has had in the community and on Canadian society; the church has also played a key role in deepening his spirituality.

In his professional life and career of twenty years, he has accumulated a wealth of experience, managing large projects, leading teams, delivering technology solutions, providing risk oversight, and supporting Boards of major financial institutions to meet their corporate governance mandates.

He has served as a Director on the Boards of two non-profit organizations, and also volunteered with other Charities and non-profits.  He has a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business, York University.

Alex De Melo

Alex is currently Legal Counsel for Peel Children’s Aid Society and was previously a Staff Lawyer for Legal Aid Ontario, practicing in the areas of family law and child protection. He has extensive experience in child custody, access, child support, spousal support, divorce, equalization of assets/division of property,  and litigates cases in both the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice.

Alex received his B.A. Honours Degree from the University of Toronto with a double major in Criminology and Classical Civilizations and a minor in World Literature. He then graduated from University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law in 2011 obtaining his Juris Doctor degree, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2013.

Alex lived in Siena, Italy studying Renaissance history; presented child related research in Brussels, Belgium as a representative of UNICEF Canada; lived in Berlin working at a tax law firm; lived in Freiburg, Germany working for an international child protection organization that prevents child prostitution and trafficking; and lived in Wellington, New Zealand, assisting Maori people with legal issues. Alex volunteered for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto and with children through Toronto Children’s Aid Society.

Alex has been coming to MCC Toronto for many years and has been an active leader and member of MCC Toronto Young Adults group organizing activities and serving as liaison to other ministries. He is also on the MCC Toronto Men’s Retreat committee and tries to foster community and engagement in the church.

Bev Wybrow

Bev recently retired after 22 years as CEO of Canadian Women’s Foundation.

The Foundation works to empower women and girls in Canada to move out of poverty, out of violence and into confidence. The Foundation has raised money and supported more than 1,400 programs across Canada. It is now one of the ten largest women’s foundations in the world.

Bev is currently on the Board of the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, and is a member of the MCC Toronto Refugee Program Strategic and Fundraising Advisory Committee.  She is the former Chair of the Board of Directors of MCC Toronto, and has extensive volunteer experience, including serving on the Boards of Directors of the Toronto YWCA, the global Women’s Funding Network, and the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Bev was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2012.

Joe Jamieson

Joe Jamieson is the Deputy Registrar of the Ontario College of Teachers.

Joe was first certified to teach in Quebec in 1992 and began his 23-year career in education with the Halton Catholic District School Board. He has served as a teacher, writer, curriculum consultant and as the Director of the College Standards of Practice and Accreditation department and Director of the Investigations and Hearings department. He holds a MEd from the University of Toronto, a BA from the University of Waterloo and a diploma in Secondary Education from McGill University.

Joe is influential in managing the College’s financial systems, including its $40 million annual operating budget, working closely with the 37 elected and appointed members of the College’s governing Council, leading major College initiatives and speaking frequently to community partners. Joe is a compelling and sought after presenter within the education sector. He speaks frequently at public and education conferences on topics such as professional conduct, leadership, education law, and LGBTQ issues in education.

Most recently, Joe led our Reference Group in providing support for the congregation and staff. Joe is also a member of the Finance Committee.

Bentley Springer

Bentley Springer is a seasoned IT professional, leading teams providing IT services for large national organizations for almost two decades. He is currently the Manager of IT Support Services for CARA Operations.

Passionate about community capacity building, Bentley has served as a leader in the black community for the past 18 years.  He was founder and President of Black Habits from 1998-2008, and performed leadership roles for the Lions Circle from 2005-2016, including President and Chair. Bentley is also a trained mediator, and leverages these skills in a volunteer capacity.

Bentley first attended MCC Toronto in February 2012. Five months later, he and his partner, Denise, became members and dedicated MCC volunteers, and were proudly married by Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, C.M. in July 2013. In 2016, Bentley was elected to the MCC Toronto board and also participated in the Reference Group.

Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith, CPA, CA is a partner at Monte-Lisi & Smith, Chartered Accountants (“ML&S”).   Cheryl graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science, Honours, before earning her MBA at the University of Toronto.  Cheryl provides responsive, value-driven, services to assist owner-managed businesses and not-for-profit organizations with their audit, accounting, tax and advisory needs.

In addition to her role at ML&S, Cheryl’s recent volunteer experience includes sitting on the Board of the Pride and Remembrance Association and the finance committee of MCC Toronto. Cheryl enjoys travelling, going to the theatre, golfing and spending time with friends and family.

Andrew Fleming

Andrew Fleming is a Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and is Managing Partner of the Toronto office. He is a member of the Business Law Group of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and its Banking and Financial Products practice team. He has extensive experience in business law, including banking, company and securities law, and regulatory requirements relating to financial institutions and products, as well as corporate transactions, financings and mergers & acquisitions. In the area of banking law, he has participated in structuring some of the largest corporate credits in Canada and assisted on banking matters related to the ABCP (asset-backed commercial paper) crisis. On the financial regulatory front, Mr. Fleming participated in structuring the first global covered bond programme by Canadian issuer (RBC), and the first ever covered bond issue in Canada, also for RBC. In addition, he participated in the structuring of an innovative structured finance shelf offering for RBC in Canada. In both cases, a detailed understanding of the regulatory environment applicable to financial institutions was required, as well as, an appreciation of the related policy issues. Also has acted as arbitrator in international business matters. Andrew is a Past Member of the Continuous Disclosure Advisory Committee of the Ontario Securities Commission and of the Committee on Corporate Disclosure of the TSX. He was called to the Bar of Quebec in 1975 and to the Bar of Ontario in 1999. He is listed as one of Canada’s leading Capital Markets lawyers in The Legal Media Group Guide to the World’s Leading Capital Markets Lawyers. Andrew also volunteers as a Governor of the Shaw Festival and is Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Ryerson Theatre School.

Lori Boyce

Lori Boyce, CHS is a graduate of Queen’s University, holding degrees in History and Education.  Her professional career began in 1981 at Crown Life as a Disability Underwriter Trainee. In the past 34 years Lori has held a variety of executive positions at Aetna, Maritime, and Manulife; she has always had some degree of responsibility for Living Benefits underwriting. Currently she is the AVP of Underwriting, Risk Management, & Research and Development, Retail Markets, Manulife Financial. Lori’s focus is finding creative solutions for individual Disability, Critical Illness, and Long term Care insurance underwriting challenges and providing Living Benefits underwriting input into product development, training and field support.