Anne creighton, President
Anne came to Pflag after her daughter Amy sent a text saying “I’m gay.”
Several years later, Amy explained that she was non-binary too. Anne credits Toronto Pflag for educating her and making her a better parent. She and her husband Hugh O’Reilly have two children. In addition to Pflag, Anne is on the board of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society and recently concluded 4 years on a board committee at Covenant House.
Anne answers both office and support calls, facilitates a monthly meeting and does workshops in schools and workplaces.
She loves it all.
Mikey Ain, VIce President
Michael was born in Toronto and grew up near Don Mills in North York. After coming out in high school, Michael sought out opportunities to volunteer with LGBTQ2S+ student groups, community organizations and businesses to raise awareness of queer identity and diverse initiatives across Canada. A year after coming out, Michael's own family marched beside Toronto Pflag at the Toronto Pride Parade to show their support and allyship - it left a lasting impact. Michael joined Toronto Pflag's board of volunteers in 2010 to help enhance our charity profile, produce fundraising events, sustain peer-support services and offer his own allyship to volunteers navigating critical issues faced by LGBTQ2S+ families.
Rishi Agarwal, Treasurer
Rishi is a designated accountant, having obtained his CPA, CA in 2005 while working at Ernst & Young LLP. He is currently the Controller of Technology & Operations for the Bank of Montreal. Rishi first came into contact with Toronto Pflag in 2004 when he came out to his parents and gave them a Toronto Pflag pamphlet. Having recognized the support that Toronto Pflag was able to provide his parents, Rishi is excited help support Toronto Pflag in continuing its mission, vision and values. Rishi lives with his husband in downtown Toronto.
Vera Stambolic, Secretary
Vera is the owner of ReACT 911, a company providing First Aid, CPR, and AED training. In addition to volunteering with Toronto Pflag, she is an active volunteer member of the Canadian Ski Patrol System and a ski instructor. Vera lives in Toronto with her husband and their two straight daughters. Vera and her family have had the opportunity to meet and develop close relationships with several gay individuals and have witnessed the lack of acceptance and understanding that is often experienced by those in the LGBTQ community. By becoming an ally with Toronto Pflag, they hope to play a small part in increasing awareness, education and outreach to both the LGBTQ and straight communities.
Giselle’s lifelong passion for helping others began at age 14, when she volunteered at a children’s center to engage with severely disabled youth. Over the past 40 years, she has enjoyed volunteering with many organizations. Giselle and her husband Alan are the proud parents and vocal allies of three unique adult children, two of whom are LGBTQ2S+. One is trans and one is gay. They also have two precious grandchildren (so far). Giselle chairs the Support & Education Committee. Through Toronto Pflag, she focuses on keeping families together by offering her experience, support and compassion to LGBTQ2S+ folks and their families, and by educating people on LGBTQ2S+ issues. She often takes that further and meets/speaks with parents one-on-one. Giselle also co-facilitates TRANSceptance, a monthly peer support group for parents of trans folks, hosted by CTYS. When Giselle is not volunteering and advocating for the LGBTQ2S+ community, she runs a personal training business and spends as much time as possible with her precious family.
Ryan is a public policy professional, program manager, stakeholder engagement and government relations specialist, with over ten years experience working and volunteering in equity and human rights, social policy, health promotion, and related fields. Having previously worked in the non-profit sector as Director of Research, Policy and Development with a national LGBTQ2S+ human rights charity, Ryan now works in health promotion and prevention within the public health sector, managing health equity, mental health promotion, and school health portfolios. As a member of Toronto Pflag’s board of directors, Ryan is pleased to serve as Governance Lead, supporting the amazing moms, dads and allies who so proudly and visibly live their love for their LGBTQ2S+ children, every day.
Kathy’s background is in Cognitive Neuroscience. After learning she has a transgender family member, she discovered the huge positive impact that parental support has on trans young people. At the Gender Odyssey conference in Seattle, she heard about research confirming that, on average, the mental health of trans youth with strong parental support does not differ from their cisgender peers. She is involved in online support groups that help parents of trans youth and kids understand how to provide that support. She also serves on Rainbow Health Ontario's Gender Independent Kids Advisory Committee. Kathy is the webmaster for TorontoPflag.org.
Jason chairs the Media & Communications committee.
One of the first things Michelle did when her child texted her "I'm transgender" was to call the Toronto Pflag support line. That night she attended her first meeting and has been involved with Toronto Pflag ever since.
Michelle started her career as an investment banking librarian. About 10 years ago she decided to use her librarian powers for good and moved into fundraising sector. She currently works as Development Officer at Women's College Hospital Foundation where she manages strategy and integration of the fundraising portfolios. Michelle is on the Compassion Fund Committee for the Transition Surgeries Program at Women's College.
Michelle and her husband Chris started the first LGBQ2S+ tween program in Toronto at Skylark Youth.
Joel recognized the need for a different approach with dads of LGBTQ2S+ youth, as an alternative (or supplement) to our regular monthly support meetings. He created and runs the quarterly Dads Night Out event. He's also a lawyer, so he often contributes a legal perspective to the Board's discussions and decisions.