Get to Know Our Team

Advisory Board Members

HEATHER RICKETTS

President & Co-Founder

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Heather is a strategic, results-oriented HR leader who is skilled at designing talent management programs that align people strategies with business goals. Heather has over 15 years of HR experience and has successfully delivered winning HR strategies in high growth companies across diverse sectors, including, but not limited to retail, energy, manufacturing and home services. Based on her accomplishments, she has earned the reputation of trusted advisor and change champion. 

 

Heather worked most recently as the VP of Human Resources at O2E Brands where she was accountable for setting the strategic direction for HR functions including People Operations, Total Rewards, Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, Organizational Development and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. She has also served in Senior Leadership roles at Sleep Country Canada (Canada’s largest mattress retailer) and Metrie (North America’s largest manufacturer and distributor of finished wood products). An avid traveler with a penchant for languages, Heather has studied and worked in Japan, England and Spain and speaks three languages fluently. 

 

Heather is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she obtained an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science. She is a Certified Human Resources Leader and holds a Master's Degree in Labour and Employment Law from Osgoode Hall Law School (York University). 

 

In her free time, Heather volunteers with Camp Enterprise and rides her bike on trails in and around the Greater Toronto Area. 

ORVILLE DIXON

Director & Co-Founder

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Orville Dixon is a dynamic results driven entrepreneur with a passion for innovation, brand building and creating the ultimate customer experience. He has a wide portfolio across diverse sectors, including but not limited to hospitality, technology, restaurant operations, logistics and retail.

He is the CEO and founder of Zanzi Beach Resort, in Negril, Jamaica.

In addition to his role at Zanzi, Orville is the Global Account Manager with Cogent Communications Inc- a multinational tier 1 internet service provider. In his role, he has sourced, managed and developed key accounts such as Netflix, Script Network (Parent Co to HGTV), Stelth Communications and Global Nexus Communications.  He increased corporate revenues by more than $1.5 million and has consistently received honours for being the Top Revenue Producer in the Organization.

 

In 2005 Orville co-founded JDT Energy Drink Distribution Company in Jamaica. Within it’s first year of operations, JDT gained recognition as a leading brand and key competitor to Freeport Mobay (Redbull distribution company). JDT held relationships with 175 vendors nationally and had key accounts with major supermarkets and wholesales stores. His entrepreneurial passion is rivaled only by his philanthropic drive. He founded the first ever Reggae Summerfest in Washington in 2008.

 

The proceeds of this star studded event, which featured headliners Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths and I-Wayne were donated to the Jamaica Cancer Society.  In addition he is the Co-founder and Member of the Board with World Class Jamaica. Orville graduated from TESST College in Maryland in 2002 with a diploma in Computer Networking. Orville currently resides in Baltimore Maryland. 

KEVIN ALLEN

Treasurer

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Kevin Allen was born and raised in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, Jamaica where he attended Munro College. Kevin is a chartered accountant having obtained his qualifications from The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in the United Kingdom and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and Certified General Accountant (CPA / CGA) in Canada. He also has a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree with a specialism in Strategic Planning from the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot- Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

 

Kevin has over 15 years of professional accounting experience in audit and the financial services and insurance industries. He has worked with;  KPMG, Jamaica;  Ernst & Young, Cayman Islands; Northern Trust International Fund Administration Services (Guernsey) Limited, United Kingdom; The Insurance Company of the West Indies Limited, Jamaica.

He is currently the Manager, Financial Reporting at Empire Life Insurance Company Limited in Toronto, Canada. 

TISHA NELSON

Director

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Tisha Nelson has served as an educator and school leader in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for over ten years as a teacher, Vice-Principal, and most recently, a full-time Course Director at the Faculty of Education at York University.

Tisha has served as an instructional leader inviting educators to reimagine dominant narratives in education through a Black Feminist orientation for identifying, interrogating and disrupting barriers that perpetuate racism, classism and other forms of systemic oppression.

 

Tisha has contributed to the landscape of learning in the field of education in Ontario as a curriculum coach, blogger and facilitator of workshops and Additional Qualification courses and as an author of children’s books published with Rubicon Publishing entitled Rights and Equality,  Who’s Calling and The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Her praxis has been fueled by her passion for learning, her dedication to equity and her commitment to nurturing spaces that amplify and affirm Black voices for transformative schooling experiences. 

TASHA WILLIAMS

Director

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Tasha Williams is currently a Relationship Manager- Employee Giving with the Bank of Montreal.

This enterprise-wide role is central to the success of one of the largest employee charitable giving programs across North America. In her role, Tasha works with executive leaders across multiple divisions to plan, develop and ensure the successful delivery of the charitable giving program.

Prior to her role with Employee Giving, Tasha worked as a HR Business Partner for Operations groups at BMO Financial Group. ‎Over the last 10 years she has held progressive Human Resources roles in the financial and professional service industries. She’s an accomplished professional with an extensive proven track record of working with business leaders at all levels to build winning cultures, develop talent and leadership and HR practices that drive strategy and proven results.

JEROME COWANS

Director

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Jerome Cowans is a forward thinking, strategic-minded development professional with more than six years’ experience in project management both in Jamaica and internationally. Having risen from one of Jamaica’s most underdeveloped communities in downtown Kingston, he is now one of the most recognized Youth Development Specialists in the Caribbean. Despite his humble beginnings, Jerome aspired to change the lives of those around him for the better. 

Jerome is a true testament to triumph over adversity – he often witnessed horrific events in the neighborhood. As a natural leader, and at the young age of 13 years old, he recognized that there was a need for community-based organizations that would provide positive personal development opportunities and support for the youth in his community. He gathered likeminded individuals and together formed the LEAD Youth Group (Leaders Endeavoring for Adolescents Development) aimed at providing alternatives to a life in crime. He served as President for the first six years, managing various projects that saw the organization’s growth in every area. He was then promoted to Assistant Chairperson, a position that he maintains today.

Through his work, Jerome has been able to manage and work on several multi-million dollar projects that saw sustained development in the areas of education and peace initiatives. He has been well recognized locally and was the first Jamaican to have received both the Prime Minister and Governor General Awards for Excellence.  He has also been rewarded by several other government and private agencies as well as service clubs for his work in development.

Internationally he has received awards for his work from Canada, Sri Lanka, United States, United Nations, the Commonwealth Office, and Colombia. He also was honored to receive the prestigious Nelson Mandela Award in South Africa for development through peace. Here he was hosted by Graca Machel, widow of Mr. Mandela as they toured where Nelson Mandela lived in Soweto, South Africa.

In a speech to the young people of the Caribbean in 2015, President Barack Obama offered high praises for Jerome, highlighting his story and encouraging young people all over the world to “be like Jerome”. The very same year Jerome was awarded by The Queen of England in Buckingham Palace for his work throughout the Commonwealth.

A fierce advocate for education as a development tool, Jerome holds a Master of Science in Operations Management with distinction from the University of Birmingham, a Certificate of Leadership from the University of Cambridge as well as a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of the West Indies. Jerome is making final preparations to pursue a PhD in a development related area.

Jerome lives by the creed: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

DEBBIE CLUE

Director

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Debbie Clue is an innovative Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist with solid experience in designing and executing large and small scale projects aligned to the vision and mission of the organization.

Debbie Clue worked most recently as the Senior Internal Communications Specialist for the Scotiabank Group in Jamaica with primary responsibility for designing and executing executive, strategic & HR communications.

 

Debbie Clue joined the bank in 2007, and has held several positions including, Manager Government Affairs & Corporate Social Responsibility, Manager Public Relations, Manager Internal Communications and Senior Internal Communications Specialist where she had responsibility for developing and launching a community of internal communicators in Scotiabank’s Central and North Caribbean locations.

Prior to joining the bank, she held various positions with Government in both Jamaica and Canada, working in the areas of community economic development, enterprise development, program planning and development and social services with a specialization in homelessness and project management. Debbie Clue has also worked with the United Way of Cambridge & North Dumfries, Ontario, Canada, managing a social action research project.

Debbie Clue holds a Master of Philosophy (Honours) in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge (UK) and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Trent University, Canada. She sits on several boards and social action committees including the Advisory Board of the South African Policy Development Nexus (SAPDN), the Joy Town Community Development Project, and the Jamaica Christian Diaspora Project, to name a few.

Debbie Clue is a graduate of Leadership Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, a Cambridge Commonwealth Scholar as well as a Canadian International Agency (CIDA) Scholar.

Her Passion is Youth Mentorship and is the co-founder of Y-WISE Youth Working In Support of Each Other mentorship Group.

GISELLE THOMPSON, PhD

Director

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Giselle Thompson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Acadia University, and a Research Associate at the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement. She obtained her PhD in Sociology from York University in 2020, and is a 2021 recipient of the Comparative and International Education Society’s Ernest D. Morrell African Diaspora Emerging Scholar Award.

 

Dr. Thompson is a scholar-practitioner who describes her work as a combined articulation of critical studies in the Sociologies of Race, Education, Diaspora, and International Development that is situated in anti-racism, anti-colonialism, and decolonization in both local and transnational contexts.

MAYPLE DORRINGTON

Director

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Mayple Dorrington, a professional with over 25 years of experience built on the strong foundation of over two decades as a Business Strategist and Banking Specialist. She has held progressive senior roles in the financial industry and has lead Strategic Change Initiatives for the largest international Bank in North America, to facilitate the implementation of transformational change.

She has direct involvement in operations in Canada and other markets with footprint in a complex and highly regulatory environment with 24 Million customers across 27 countries in Caribbean, Latin America and Asia.

Mayple brings significant experience and extensive knowledge working with corporate and entrepreneurial companies, as well as leading end-to-end design solutions and change management that span diverse customer base and delivery channels. She has a proven track record in strategic design to drive high performance in operational efficiency, organizational governance, sales force effectiveness, risk management and corporate communications. 

She has demonstrated strong leadership ability and excellence in business transformation. This is evidenced in her effective design and execution by aligning relevant focus priorities with corporate strategy to drive sustainable business growth, generating tremendous business and shareholder value. Her team leadership skills include coaching, mentoring, training, development, performance management, coupled with incentives, reward and recognition programs. 

Mayple holds a MBA from Edinburgh Business School UK and a Bachelor of Science with a major in Management Studies & Economics from University of West Indies. She is a trained high school teacher, a Chartered Banker Designation, London UK, Personal Financial Planner from Canadian Institute of Bankers and Project Management Essentials from University of Toronto. 

She has been a mentor in various capacity including TRIEC Mentorship – New Immigrants to Canada, Corporate Alliances of Sponsorship, has formerly co-chaired Scotiabank United Way Canada, volunteer with Lifelong Leadership Institute in partnership with Ryerson University to enhance leadership skills and entrepreneurial mindset in black youth and is an active Think Tank member for World Class Jamaica

SEP PASHANG

Director

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Sep Pashang is a senior leader in financial institutions with a focus on enterprise agile transformation, strategic initiatives, and emerging technologies and innovations. 

In addition to this, Sep organizes TED x Talks as a curator and speaker coach and founded a social enterprise, Sustaidability, in 2004. Sustainability advocates opportunities for self-sustainability in developing communities, while utilizing and respecting indigenous wisdom. Over the years, Sustaidability has collaborated with local NGOs, municipal and national leaders, and community members in North America, Northwest Africa, the Middle East, and Central America to collaborate on health, food security, sustainability, vulnerability/adaptation, environmental degradation, forced displacement, and social innovation.

Sep is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Waterloo, with research interests at the intersection of: technology, ESG, and financial markets.

Think Tank Team Members

Angella Richard-James

Kate Moore

Lewin Carter

Faith Tull

Faith Tull

Volunteers

Chantal Petgrave

Bobbie Williams