About EmpowHERto (Toronto)

Our EmpowHERto team is made up of a group of dedicated staff and volunteers who are committed to helping young womxn and girls reach their full potential as leaders. We plan activities and programs, coordinate and host events, and encourage them along their journey to becoming their best selves. We’re passionate about our mission.

Board of Directors

Diana Gallo serves as a member of the Board of Directors at EmpowHERto. An established leader and mentor, she is a social media, digital, content and influencer marketer.

She is intrigued by the ever-changing digital landscape and its impact on retail, content creation, consumption, and authenticity. In her spare time she is an online shopping enthusiast and binges on Netflix series.

Tanekia Sloley-Bertolacci works as a supervisor at a nonprofit youth employment agency in Toronto and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for EmpowHERto.

She graduated with a degree in sociology from Laurentian University and holds numerous professional development certificates in counselling and mental health. 

Helping people realize their full potential is her passion, and she looks forward to encouraging girls and young womxn to be themselves and hold their standards high through her work at EmpowHERto. 

Maleena Thurston is a finance professional at a leading cybersecurity company. Prior to this, she was an audit manager at a public accounting firm.

Her previous roles as a leadership executive for a career development program and a community leadership manager are a testament to her natural desire to help womxn achieve success in their careers. 

“I value the importance of mentorship in developing both personally and professionally. I can attribute much of my success and opportunities to having great mentors in my life. I seek to act as a mentor for others and continue to build networks of people supporting and advocating for talented womxn.” 

Serving as a member of the Board of Directors, Tanisha Tulloch brings a wealth of professional experience in human resources. She is an HR executive at a med tech start-up and has held previous HR leadership roles in industries including hospitality, robotics and healthcare. Tanisha graduated from Ryerson University and currently holds a CHRL.

“Change is the only constant in life” said Heraclitus, and Tanisha lives by this motto. It has encouraged her to pursue changes in how young womxn are viewed in the workplace, but more importantly, how they view themselves. She believes that organizations like EmpowHERto provide a platform to curate great changes across the board and she’s very excited to be in her role. In her downtime, Tanisha enjoys outdoor activities with her husband and her son, Kingston.

Bethany is a lawyer at TAP Law, a female-owned and operated civil litigation boutique. Before joining TAP Law, Bethany articled and worked as an associate in the litigation department of a large international full-service law firm.

Bethany graduated from the University of Toronto in 2012 and received her J.D. from Osgoode Hall in 2016. Prior to joining the board at EmpowHERto, Bethany acted as Chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers. Bethany has always been focused on supporting youth through accessible programming and inclusive mentorship, and her professional and volunteer history reflects this passion.

Kirsten Ingham believes in being involved in organizations whose mission and values align with her own.

The projects she works on and roles she fulfills are chosen based on the tangible impact her decisions will make on her community and the growth of her organization. “I want to change the world and have no qualms with making my voice heard.”

She joined the Canadian Autism Society’s Board of Directors in 2020 but has been a lifelong advocate in public outreach, education and advocacy for individuals on the autism spectrum and other disadvantaged communities. 

Jenny Jiang serves as a member of the Board of Directors for EmpowHERto. She has an MBA from Western University, Ivey Business School, and became a designated CPA in 2015. Today she works in Strategy & Operations at Uber Eats. 

 In her spare time, she enjoys painting and growing vegetables in her garden. On what she hopes to accomplish while at EmpowHERto, she says, “The few but memorable female role models in my life played a big part in who I am today. I hope that through EmpowHERto, I can pay it forward and help create the next generation of strong female voices in our community.”

Christine Yoon is the senior director of Client Strategy at CIBC, where she leads a team that executes new customer acquisition and franchising initiatives. 

Over the last 10+ years, Christine has worked in a wide range of areas, most notably Strategy & Corporate Development at CIBC and Digital Technology at Sun Life. She is drawn to design thinking and innovation, which has resulted in a career of launching new sales models and digital platforms, as well as optimizing frontline operations.  

Serving on the Board of Directors for EmpowHERto, Christine wants to help pave a fruitful path for the next generation. Her advocacy in this area has carried throughout her life, including her first volunteer trip to Ecuador in grade 10, building a high school female mentorship program while at the Schulich School of Business, and leading mentorship groups in her workplace. Most importantly, Christine was inspired by her young niece to join EmpowHERto. 

Christine is AVP Portfolio Management at SLGI Global Investments, the investment manager of the Sun Life family of mutual funds. She feels very fortunate to be doing something she loves, and continues to learn every day, even after more than 20 years in the financial industry.

In addition to being a CFA charterholder, Christine has a MBA from the Schulich School of Business and a BSc (Honours) from the University of Alberta.

She believes that womxn bring a powerful and different perspective to leadership, and the foundation of these next generation leaders are the young girls and young womxn of today. Womxn are also very important contributors to the family, society and the economy. “I joined the Board of EmpowHERto so I can help create programs and a safe environment for young womxn to explore, learn and achieve their potential. I would like to share advice I have received over the years: Be true to yourself. Be kind to yourself. Embrace failure as a step to success. Most important of all….. dare to try.”

In addition to being an avid traveler, Christine also enjoys yoga, music and reading a wide range of genres. 

Marie Lampropoulos is associate counsel of Business and Legal Affairs at Warner Music Canada.  Prior to joining Warner, Marie started her career as a successful trial lawyer before moving on to the world of entertainment law at a global television production and distribution company. 

As a visual artist, she has long since recognized the healing and community-building capacity of the arts and has organized community fundraisers for various Toronto women’s shelters that showcased musical performances and artwork from local womxn. Marie utilizes her leadership skills to foster strength and community through co-creation, while looking to her inner child as her most potent muse.  As a member of the Board of Directors at EmpowHERto, Marie Lampropoulos continues her pursuit to help nurture and support womxn to have the confidence to pursue leadership roles and create their own opportunities.

 An award-winning athlete in the field of women’s hockey, Mandy Cronin is the Co-Founder of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and former goaltender in the league.

She is the founder and director of M-Power Hockey established in 2006, and has provided coaching, mentoring and consulting services for players in Toronto and neighbouring communities.  Mandy currently serves as the general manager for the Toronto Six, an expansion team in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) and was also responsible for the largest league-level sponsorship revenue for the NWHL this season.

“My entire working life from high school on has been centered on the same core values and mission that EmpowHERto was founded on. I am eager to work with the amazing group of women on the Board of Directors and to tap into my decades of experience as an entrepreneur, sports industry executive, and mentor to help continue the growth of the organization and the programming that we offer to the next generation of young female leaders.”

Executive Team

Janeen Brown is the Executive Director and Founder of EmpowHERto. She is an advocator for the well-being of womxn, building self-confidence and female entrepreneurship.

Previously, Janeen spent time managing a team for a television  company, but felt she had a greater purpose to help improve the prospects for female leaders.

She hosted a number of events that brought together womxn of different backgrounds to communicate and help each other, but wanted to have an even greater impact on their lives, which led her to found EmpowHERto. She became an entrepreneur in 2018 and has successfully created three companies. Janeen is constantly inspired by younger generations and has a drive to lead young womxn to success and achieve generational wealth. When Janeen is not hard at work, you can find her continuing to nurture her passion for mentoring younger womxn.

As director of Leadership & Development at EmpowHERto, Franca Bartella advises and oversees the management and strategic priorities of the Leadership Team. 

Working closely with our Executive Director, Franca manages key external partnerships and stakeholder relationships, and ensures every senior leader is equipped to lead their team well and fulfill deliverables. 

Prior to her current role, she served as community engagement and volunteer supervisor for EmpowHERto. Franca has a background in operations management, leadership and planning development, and also volunteer and community engagement.

Julia Brown is the director of Communications for EmpowHERto, where she oversees marketing and PR activities, assists creative teams in producing materials and campaigns to promote EmpowHERto, and she is responsible for guiding the overall messaging to the public. 

Julia’s journey with EmpowHERto began in 2019 as a volunteer PR Coordinator. She joined as a university student looking for experience in the communications field and a place where she could “use her communications abilities to support a cause close to [her] heart.” After one year she was promoted to Director of Communications.

“I’m very passionate about breaking the barriers that society places on girls and helping them overcome the struggles that many females face growing up. I think EmpowHERto can provide a lot of opportunities for leadership, self-development and socialization that are crucial as girls navigate what can be a difficult time in their lives.”

Brenda completed a BA in international relations from La Salle University (Mexico), and a Graduate Certificate in international development from Centennial College.

As an intersectional feminist, she is driven by issues affecting women, indigenous people, and youth. She is also passionate about the importance of access to financial literacy, healthcare and education. Throughout her career she has always looked for ways to innovate and improve programs directed to youth and other vulnerable communities.  Her goal is to positively impact the lives of youth and indigenous people in the GTA and help improve accessibility in areas such as financial literacy and mental health.

As the director of Content Strategy, Nia Davis leads EmpowHERto’s content marketing strategy, creating content for a targeted audience across multiple platforms.

Nia is a professional writer and editor with more than 18 years of experience crafting content for local, national and international audiences. She has worked for award-winning publications, nonprofits, and start-ups as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, managing editor and communications specialist. Nia holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a Master of Arts in journalism.

When not creating inspiring content for EmpowHERto, Nia is a freelance writer and runs an ESL tutoring company. In her spare time, she enjoys designing jewelry from repurposed objects and walking around her home city of Washington, D.C. 

Tenisha Jones is the fundraising director for EmpowHERto and oversees the strategic planning, development and implementation of campaigns throughout the organization.

Organizing donor retention, fundraising and engagement strategies, Tenisha effectively coordinates with nonprofits, not-for-profit and NGOs. Her passion for fundraising spans over 13 years. As a teenager, she started raising funds for womxn’s equality projects in Haiti.

“My hope while at EmpowHERto is to inspire the next generation to pursue their dreams, be self-reliant and influence change. I know together we will be able to reach millions of young girls and truly make a change in this world.”

She holds an honour’s bachelor’s degree in international development and psychology from the University of Toronto, and a global action and engagement certificate from Queen’s University. In her free time, she enjoys going to art galleries, to paint studios, and on adventures with her Nikon camera and an amazing playlist in hand.

Yanny Yeung is the director of People Operations at EmpowHERto, where she oversees the People Operations team in the areas of talent acquisition, volunteer relations and conflict resolution.

Yanny is an HR professional with more than 14 years of experience in recruitment, benefits administration, payroll, employee relations and employee engagement. 

“I am excited to be part of EmpowHERto, an organization that empowers young girls to be independent.” During her spare time, Yanny is an adjunct instructor of human resources and career prep, and enjoys interacting with her students.  She also enjoys learning Japanese and travelling outside of North America.

Leadership Team

Event Manager –

Marilynn Dixon and Claire Stuffins

Design –

Kelly Teo-Wong

Diversity & Inclusion –

Anisa Jama

Research & Grants –

Sawsan Nashashibi

People Operations –

Prithi Menezes

Programming –

Arlayna Clarke

Corporate Sponsorships –

Lauren Reichl

PR Manager –

Gaurav Dhiman

Community Engagement –

Andrea Benvides

Visual Content –

Dann Tardif

Community Development –

Lamiya Ahmed

Marketing Manager –

Indrani Das

Digital Content –

Kim Girard

Fundraising –

MaryAnne Panoyan

Project Manager –

Rahul Berry

“We empower our members to become the next generation of female leaders.

EmpowHERto has been providing networking events for members of all ages since its inception. As the group grew, its Founder, Janeen Brown, realized that in addition to networking events, she wanted to share knowledge and resources, and assist others in their own self-esteem journey, as other womxn have done for her. 

EmpowHERto seeks to become a resource centre that will fill the gendered leadership gap in our society by encouraging girls and womxn to find their inner leadership capabilities. This, in turn, will help create a larger number of future female leaders. 

“A resource centre that will fill the gendered leadership gap in our society”

EmpowHERto knows that diversity is essential if we are going to deliver on our mission, and we seek to have a diverse network of female-identifying members and community partners. We value the experience and contribution of every individual in our network.