Mission Statement

We support immigrant, refugee and newcomer women and their families to become fully participating members in Canadian society. As a leader in our sector, we enhance our clients’ self-sufficiency and competence by providing essential services and facilitating access to community resources.

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Board of Directors

The Rexdale Women's Centre is governed by a dedicated and committed Board of Directors comprised of volunteers who fulfill their fiduciary duties for the good of the organization. This dedicated group of individuals manages the organization’s operations through policy development and service planning. The Board of Directors also ensures organizational goals are set and met and adopts and adheres to objectives and standards for effective service delivery and fiscal management.

Their commitment ensures the future success of the organization.

Linli Chee, MBA

Linli Chee has served on the board of directors of Rexdale Women's Centre since 2013. She has been active in the Toronto community, having been on the board of 85 Broads (Toronto), and a member of the Rotary Club of Toronto, and Women in Capital Markets. Linli has a wealth of international finance experience, having worked in New York, Singapore and Toronto. She brings over a decade of corporate finance, investment banking and advisory industry expertise and is currently a Risk Manager in RBC's Group Risk Management in Toronto. Prior to her current role, she was Co-Founder and CEO of Jupiter Tutoring, a start-up specializing in online education for children aged 3 to 13. Before moving back to Toronto in 2010 with her husband and two children, she was working as an investment banker at UBS Securities Inc. in New York City. Linli holds an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Western Ontario.

Sabina Filipescu, Honours BA

After moving to Ontario from Romania in 1998, Sabina and her family relied heavily on critical community supports in the first phase of settlement. This experience encouraged her to pursue a career in the Ontario Public Service, a journey that began in 2007, following the completion of a degree in Public Policy and Administration from York University. Over the past 8 years, she has enjoyed making a meaningful contribution in a variety of policy areas, from housing and homelessness to seniors’ policy, and social assistance. Throughout this time, she has also been actively involved in the community, participating on projects such as increasing youth engagement in municipal politics, and teaching computer literacy to youth in vulnerable communities. She is excited to be a part of the Rexdale Women’s Centre, as it represents a culmination of many of the activities and personal experiences she’s had over the years, and she looks forward to becoming immersed in the community and its unique features and needs.

Dr. Valentina Vaguengueim, MBA, Doctorate

Dr. Valentina Vaguengueim is a volunteer advisor with MaRS Health Venture Services and joined the Board of Directors of Rexdale Women’s Centre in November 2014. Valentina has over 15 years of global life sciences and healthcare experience, having held various roles including management and executive positions at BioPharma Services, INC Research, Kendle Intl., Biovail and TEVA/Novopharm.

Valentina has considerable experience in the management of a number of cross-functional teams of 200+ employees including clinical operations, facility operations, recruitment, IT, pharmacy, QA, QC, training and computer validation. She has in-depth knowledge of GMP/GCP/GLP and ISO related activities, and has successfully managed interactions with national and international regulatory authorities. Valentina’s corporate management experience includes organizational design, change management, strategy development and strategic planning, business and financial analytics, and market analysis and segmentation.

Valentina holds a PhD in Technical Sciences – Pharmaceutical Technology and Biotechnology. She has been involved in the research of innovative technologies and the development and growth of a small business. To further sharpen her leadership skills and specialized executive expertise, Valentina has completed an Executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. She also sits as a member of the Advisory Committee for Clinical Research at Seneca College.

Snita Balsara, MBA, PMP

Snita has over a decade of global experience within the Tech Industry in operations, negotiations and venture investing. Her experiences span from Business Process Reengineering at IBM, driving operational efficiencies through automation to most recently, contract negotiations and managing the Investment Portfolio for a Shark on the TV show, Shark Tank. Snita serves as Secretary on the Governance Board of Directors for Rexdale Women’s Centre (RWC), a non-profit agency that serves high-need women and their families in Toronto.


Aida Bejte, MA, CMA, CPA, MBA

Aida is an authentic business leader with a "can do" attitude who believes in hard work and helping others succeed. She is passionate about the Rexdale Women's Centre and, as an immigrant to Canada herself, she wants to help in any way she can to improve the lives of women and families in need.

Aida's career has taken her from South-Eastern Europe, where she worked as a Chief Accountant for a manufacturing plant, to Ontario, Canada where she has held various senior executive positions for a variety of multi-national organizations from the Construction Equipment industry to Chemical Manufacturing, and recently in the Construction/Homebuilding industry where she heads the Finance and Admin functions of the Donald Group of Companies.

Aida is a member of the Society of the Certified Management Accountants of Ontario and holds an Executive MBA from Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Tirana, Albania.

R. Roots Gadhia

Always an advocate for the underdog, Roots represents clients facing criminal proceedings ranging from drug offences, sexual and aggravated assaults to manslaughter and murder. She has appeared across Ontario before the Ontario Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal for Ontario on both jury and judge-alone trials.

In 1991, Roots completed a combined honours degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, and graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1995. She articled at the firm then known as Pinkofsky Lockyer Kwinter and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1997. Following two years as duty counsel in courts across the Greater Toronto Area, Roots opened her own practice in 1999. She was the Criminal Lawyers Association representative for the Metro West Courthouse from 2009 to 2015.

With her commitment to defend her clients with passion and integrity came a desire to give back to the community. To that end, Roots volunteers her time, instructing at-risk youth with the Ontario Justice Education Network, LAWS Program and Mock Trial Coaching at various high schools.

Roots currently sit on the Board of Directors at the Rexdale Women's Centre, an organization dedicated to assist immigrant, refugee and newcomer women and their families to become fully participating members of Canadian society.

Sarah Jarrett, BA, PMP

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ottawa. She has 19 years’ experience as a Senior digital project manager and Business Analyst. She speaks fluent French and Spanish and has lived in England, France and Spain. She has a passion for the arts and is an amateur painter in her spare time. She’s an avid supporter of the Rexdale Women’s Centre and all their amazing work within the community. She is honoured to serve on the Board of Directors.

Fundraising & Volunteer Management
Lara Roccatani, Hons. BA

Gentiana Shyti, CPA, CGA

Gentiana Shyti is a Certified Public Accountant who holds both CPA and CGA designations. She moved to Toronto from Tirana, Albania to seek a better life opportunity in Canada in 2000. Apart from the Master degree from University of Nebraska she pursued her career in Accounting and Finance to become a Certified General Accountant in 2007. She is currently working for EOne Entertainment as Financial Reporting Manager. She has been working in various other senior finance roles since she finished her Bachelor degree in 1992. In her free time she loves to help community in various parent school boards and Ontario Girls Guide volunteer jobs and events.

Karen Sung, MBA

Karen is a marketing and project manager with over twelve years of experience. She has expertise in studio resource management, digital & print production and content management. She has worked at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Foundation Fighting Blindness and Toronto International Film Festival. Karen earned her MBA, specializing in marketing, from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. She is Marketing & Communications Manager at BoardMatch by Altruvest Charitable Services.

Fragile Tossa

Fragile Tossa has gone through two immigrations (first in France and later in Canada). She has finished her Bachelor Degree and Economics and Political Science at the University of Toronto and got her Masters of International and Public Affairs from the University of Hong Kong. Many of Fragile’s study and work experiences happened abroad, in tune with her international background. She has also explored several career paths from not-for-profit to financial services sector. Her journey has kept her curious and mindful of others pursuing major changes in their lives and after completing her MBA from Queen's School of Business and dedicating her professional career to finance, she has joined RWC as a board member to stay connected to issues that matter to her and to contribute to RWC’s mission. Native to Russia, she speaks Russian and French, loves traveling, spending time with family and meeting people from different parts of the world.

Download our Annual Reports:

Annual Report 2014-2015
Annual Report 2015-2016
Annual Report 2016-2017

Annual Report 2017-2018