DAVID SMITH, President
David currently works at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health, as the Manager of Health Promotion. David is in his fifth year on RHAC’s Board of Directors. His work within public health and in particular the link to HIV programming fueled his initial interest to join the RHAC Board. Advocating for, and championing marginalized populations continues to be a passion for him. With the changing landscape of HIV and Hepatitis C, David states it is an exciting time being a part of a Board of an AIDS Service Organization (ASO). “Working alongside such a dynamic organization such as RHAC, and contributing to RHAC's mission (through effective governance) is rewarding”. David is excited to be working on upcoming Board projects such as an extensive review of Board governance policies, continued discussion about SIS and the potential relocation of RHAC. David’s education includes a Bachelor of Sciences (BSc) from the University of British Columbia and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Ivey Business School at Western University.
NUNO DA SILVA, Vice President
Nuno has worked for 3M Canada in a number of roles for 18 years. When his partner was conducting HIV/AIDS research in Malawi, Nuno decided to visit the country and fundraise for this important cause. After the opportunity to witness the impact of HIV/AIDS on that community, Nuno was inspired to get involved locally with RHAC. As part of our board, Nuno applied his experience in private sector governance, human resources, and business management. Nuno says, “It is extremely rewarding to learn about what RHAC does for our community and, most specifically, for our clients. I’m especially interested in our ability to have an impact on the coming opioid crisis to decrease the number of overdoses in our community and the rising rates of new HIV/Hep C infections.” Nuno looks forward to welcoming new board members, developing governance policies, and ensuring the fulfillment of RHAC’s strategic plan. Most of all, Nuno enjoys the opportunity to interact with the staff and clients of RHAC, and ensure the board is always on side with its strategy, operations, and stakeholders.
MARIAM HAMOU, Secretary
Mariam is the Communications Director for the Nazem Kadri Foundation. She has worked in federal and international politics for over 10 years, and also loves to get involved on a community level. With an understanding of local needs, Mariam joined the board to help meet those needs. “I love the team I work with!” says Mariam. “I also feel as though I’m helping some of the most vulnerable people with no judgment or prejudice. I really feel it falls in line with my own beliefs.” Mariam looks forward to instituting SCS in London, Ontario and making harm reduction and housing a priority.
SHAUN BROWN, Treasurer
Shaun is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Manager of Tax Services at a public accounting firm serving Southwestern Ontario. Shaun understands the importance of giving back to the community in which he lives and works. RHAC’s mission stands out to him, being a friend and ally of those living with, at-risk for, or affected by HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.
Shaun enjoys using his financial expertise - be it budgeting, financial reporting, or strategic planning – to help RHAC achieve its goals. He is proud to stand alongside fellow Board members and volunteers to support the work of RHAC’s dedicated and inspiring staff.
Shaun is most looking forward to exploring the expansion of RHAC’s services, including crucial harm reduction initiatives, in London and Region.
Daniel has a long career working with people experiencing poverty, homelessness, and oppression in Toronto, Vancouver, and London. He currently oversees a resource center that strives to be a safe, welcoming, and useful community space to people who have been banned, barred, or excluded from other social services, community spaces, or corporate spaces. He is also a Professional Snuggler operating in London, having founded London Snuggle Therapy in 2016. Daniel says he was motivated to become a member of the RHAC board because he was “convinced that RHAC is doing the best work with the most vulnerable people.” Daniel finds it both exciting and rewarding to be a part of the board for an agency doing this kind of work. In terms of specific upcoming goals and projects, he is extremely enthusiastic about the role RHAC is playing in developing SIS in London. Daniel says he is also very happy to see RHAC working to reach out to migrant worker populations in the region, and taking a leading role in training other local agencies in internationally-recognized best practices around harm reduction. “I am honoured to be a part of this group of people,” says Daniel.
Nimish is a professor at Fanshawe College. Having stayed in South Africa, he gained first-hand exposure of HIV/AIDS as a global issue. Nimish decided to join RHAC to contribute to the leadership and strategic direction of the board and provide counsel and guidance in response to the fight against HIV/AIDS. He says the most rewarding part of being on the board is the satisfaction of knowing that through volunteering, he is making a difference in someone’s life and servinglocal residents in his community. What is most important to Nimish is growing RHAC’s presence and engagement with the communities we serve.
Michelle is the Manager of Fund Development at VON Middlesex-Elgin. Having previously worked for RHAC, Michelle joined the board to stay connected with the work our agency does. She believes strongly in the courage to do what is right and is committed to the positioning of RHAC and what we provide to the community. “I love knowing I am a part of something bigger than myself,” says Michelle. “I am very proud of the dedicated staff and the leadership RHAC has continued to provide to clients, the community and across the province.” As Secretary of the board, Michelle is passionate about fully implementing our strategic plan. She believes, collectively, we can do great things and have a stronger voice in the community to educate, reduce stigma,
and represent others whose voice(s) may not be heard.
Kelsey currently works at Anova (formerly Sexual Assault Centre London & Women’s Community House) as the Project Coordinator for the Safe Cities initiative, Youth Programming and Social Media, and is currently in her first year on RHAC’s Board of Directors. Kelsey was a SSHRC scholar during her Masters in Women’s Studies at Western University and a Gold Medal recipient for the highest graduating average in the department during her Bachelor of Arts. Kelsey’s expertise in gender-based violence and engaging marginalized youth is the basis for her commitment to ensuring a gendered lens is applied to RHAC’s policies.
Cynthia is a non-profit program leader with extensive experience in HIV and AIDS programing for women and at-risk youth. For over 8 years she has been leading the design, development, implementation and evaluation of complex community development programs. Cynthia is currently a Program Manager for Anago Resources at Genest Detention Centre for Youth where she is focused on cultivating opportunities for at-risk youth and vulnerable adults to achieve independence through integration into communities of support.
Cynthia’s passion for helping at risk persons is what led her to first role in an AIDS service organization, in Zvishavane Zimbabwe where she worked with People Living with HIV and AIDS to improve their quality of life and she has been committed to that vision ever since. She is excited at how far HIV and AIDS interventions have come and is thrilled to be working with RHAC.
“I am proud to be part of a dynamic organization like RHAC that is dedicated to serving the community with timely, relevant life-saving interventions. The response to the opioid crisis is impacting so many lives across South-Western Ontario and RHAC is expanding its services to meet this need. It’s an exciting time. I firmly believe having the ‘courage to do what is right’ will propel RHAC to even greater heights.”
Cynthia also serves on the London and Middlesex Local Immigration Council as a member of the Central Council. She is an experienced trainer in Social Inclusion and Diversity. Her education includes a BA (hons) in Humanities and Social Sciences and an MA in Development Studies.
KIMBERLEY GRAHAM (formerly Burnard)
Kim is a social service management professional with 20 years of experience in social services, social housing and human resources. She is currently a manager in the City of London’s Ontario Works office, supporting the workers and clients in a decentralized model of service. She has experience working with vulnerable people experiencing homelessness, addictions, mental health issues, victims of domestic violence and trafficked individuals. She is trained in a variety of areas including Critical Incident Stress Management, Political Acuity, VI-SPDAT, Crucial Conversations, and Compassion Fatigue. But she is most proud of the fact that she is a facilitator for the Positive Space training for the City of London.
Kim’s speech given at the AGM says it all in terms of her motivation for joining RHAC’s Board of Directors:
“I feel that everyone in our community deserves to receive services in a non-judgemental, respectful way, and that people leave our agencies with their dignity intact. Whether it is Ontario Works, mental health supports, help with addictions; it doesn’t matter. I was drawn to the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection because that is how you do business. In a kind, respectful, dignified way, while providing on-the-ground advocacy and meaningful support for the changing face of HIV. Your constant presence and activism in the community help not only to raise awareness, but go a long way to reduce stigma for the people that you serve.”
She is honoured to be a part of this group and looks forward to the opportunity.
Interested in becoming an RHAC Board Member?