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.

Sabina Filipescu, Honours B.A.

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.

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.

Snita Balsara

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.

Lara Roccatani
Hons. B.A., Fundraising & Volunteer Management Certificate

Leslie Sutherland, B.A., MBAA

Download our Annual Reports:

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

Annual Report 2017-2018