Meet the team.
We are fortunate to have the following individuals guiding our work at Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin.
We are fortunate to have the following individuals guiding our work at Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Government & Community Stakeholder Relations
Director of Revenue Operations
Julie Svensson Watt
Director of Communications, Partnerships & Giving
Director of Procurement
Hugh Hyndman is a graduate of Computer Science from the University of Toronto. He has worked in the software industry for his whole career, with engineering and management positions in Toronto, London, Singapore, and Mexico. While in Singapore, Hugh created a joint-venture company with Singapore Airlines that delivered software solutions to the ASEAN region.
In 1989, Hugh co-founded and managed Affinity Systems, a Mississauga- and Rochester-based software engineering company specializing in high-performance, low latency, software products. He sold his company to First Derivatives plc in 2015, a publicly-traded Northern Irish company specializing in front-office trading systems. Hugh led First Derivatives into new market verticals focusing on high-tech manufacturing. Hugh recently retired but is still active in developing software.
Hugh has served on the Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin Board for six years, presiding as Board Chair for four. He left the board for two years because of business commitments and re-joined in 2020. He is a member of two subcommittees of the board: Finance & Risk, and Planning & Development.
Hugh’s previous volunteer experience was with the Oakville Literacy Council, Scouts Canada, Acton Soccer Club, and Shred-for-Youth, and he is currently active in supporting the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
He and his wife Jane are long-term residents of Mississauga and Halton, living in Port Credit, Oakville, and now on their farm in Halton Hills. They have two grown sons and an uncountable number of animals.
Phil is a well-rounded property executive with thirty-five years of international experience leading teams of all sizes in the successful development, delivery and operations of projects containing hospitality, leisure, multi-family residential and retail projects. They’ve ranged in size from small specialty projects to super-regional mixed-use developments located in Canada, China, India, the UAE and the USA.
He was the Founding Chair of the Nipissing Habitat for Humanity affiliate based in North Bay, Ontario and, along with the other Board members, led the delivery of several builds from 2000 to 2006.
He is looking forward eagerly to contributing his knowledge and energy to the ongoing success of the Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin Affiliate.
Gordon Stanton, CPA, CA, is a Manager in MNP’s Burlington office. Gordon has experience working with companies in a broad range of industries, including small to medium-sized not-for-profit organizations, franchises, tech companies, manufacturing, and private enterprises.
Gordon graduated with honours from Tyndale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and now sits on the Tyndale Foundation board of directors as the chair of the finance committee.
Gordon and his wife live in Burlington with their two young kids and are actively involved with other charities focused on relieving poverty.
Cathy is a Retail Business Development Executive possessing unique expertise in merchandising, buying, planning, sourcing and inventory management combined with brand building and creative product development. In her 35 years in retail, she has developed a reputation for driving results through competencies in strategic and financial planning, proactive problem solving and decision making. She is an inspiring and motivating leader who has been successful in building team dynamics to achieve corporate goals while increasing long-term stakeholder value.
Most recently she was a Senior Director of Merchandising at Walmart Canada for 17 years where she had the opportunity to impact many different business units across the apparel and home areas that generated sales from $400 Million to $1 Billion. Her ability to create and execute business strategies rejuvenated and transformed declining businesses to produce positive results in sales, profits and market share. Cathy also created new business models that helped to reshape legacy businesses that moved Walmart into a positive position for the future. During her time at Walmart, Cathy was active with Walmart Women in Retail, Network of Women Executives in Canada and Walmart’s Walk for Miracles for Sick Kids.
Prior to Walmart, most notable, Cathy was Vice President at Northern Group for 14 years where she delivered sales in excess of $500 million and was responsible for the strategic plans, product development, financial planning, and business management for both Northern Reflections and Northern Elements. She was instrumental in the successful growth of Northern Reflections to 200 stores in Canada and the USA expansion of 300 stores as well as the launch of the men’s wear division Northern Elements.
Cathy and her husband Desmond have lived in Oakville for 29 years. They have raised their 3 children who were actively involved in hockey, lacrosse, figure skating and football throughout the years. Now, newly retired, Cathy is looking forward to giving back to her community and working with Habitat HMD.
Director, Chair of the Planning & Development CommitteeBio
Mike has been a Habitat volunteer since 2003 and has served as a Board Director on various committees and task forces since 2009.
After receiving an Honours Bus Admin (finance) degree from Wilfrid Laurier University he pursued follow-up studies in corporate finance at Harvard Business School. He is also certified in Not for Profit Board Essentials at The Institute of Corporate Directors Rotman School of Management. He has a professional background in corporate lending and investment banking. His 25-year career with TD Bank included executive leadership positions in several operating units in the U.S and Head Office Toronto. He has owned and operated a commercial finance company and has acted as a corporate financial consultant for many years.
Mike has served as a Board Director on several National Health Charities including Diabetes Canada and The National Diabetes Trust as Chair of the Audit Committee, as well as Vice-Chair of The Diabetes National Advocacy Council.
In 2014 Mike was recognized among 65,000 volunteers at Diabetes Canada as National Volunteer of the year. He and his wife Jan are avid travellers and reside in Burlington.
Lynn Fergusson, a founding Partner at Social Impact Advisors, helps non-profit and social purpose organizations across Canada focus on their results and achieve a meaningful social impact. She is a strategy coach/facilitator in the McConnell Foundation’s “Innoweave” program, helping non-profits and cross-sector collectives improve their impact. In addition, Lynn teaches Strategic Philanthropy & Leadership at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, where she has also taught Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability in the MBA program. Her background includes various leadership roles at GE, including on the National Executive and leading the employee volunteer organization in Canada.
Lynn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Business Administration from Ivey, an MBA from Schulich and a Certificate in Adult Training & Development from OISE (University of Toronto). She was a proud member of the Habitat for Humanity Halton board from 2008-2014 and is delighted to return to the expanded Habitat affiliate.
Social Impact Advisors is a Certified B Corp, meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance, using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems and offering a positive vision of a better way to do business. Social Impact Advisors is among B The Change’s 2018 Best For The World Honorees.
Mike is President and a founding Partner of COREinternational, which focuses on unleashing human capability and accelerating profitable, sustainable results for large complex businesses, and is a recognized leader in strategic organization design. Along with management of the business, he provides advisory services in a variety of industries and sectors, including communications, financial services, pharmaceutical, biotech, retail, transportation, automotive and natural resources.
Mike has a Master of Business Administration, Finance & Human Resource Management from the University of Windsor, as well as bachelor degrees in Social Work, and Sociology from McMaster University. Mike has a long history of volunteerism. He has been an HFHHM board member since 2011 as well as a member of the HR & Governance committee. Mike and his wife Lisa are Burlington residents where they raised 3 children. In his spare time, he is an avid runner, skier, and cyclist.
Director, Construction Operations. Sami is a civil engineer with over 15 years of experience in the construction industry. He was previously employed as a General Site Superintendent by EllisDon where he managed the construction operations of multiple sites.
Sami has specialized knowledge of structural foundations gained from working as a Superintendent for GFL. Sami holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Engineering from the University of Toronto and is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO).
Senior International Retailer. Lora Tisi has over 35 years of experience as an International Retailer, leading several team’s brand and business growth, including revenue and profit-building, Merchant and Brand leadership.
Most recently, as President of the RW&CO Brand for Reitmans (Canada) Limited, delivering 18 Consecutive quarters of sales and margin growth. Menswear results were particularly strong, with Product and Brand collaboration with NHL Superstars, such as PK Subban, Erik Karlsson, Morgan Reilly and Mark Scheifele, resulting in significant sales and market share increases across both genders.
In 2000, Lora became President of American Eagle Outfitters and launched the Brand across Canada. The team was successful with the banner launch, opening 46 stores, coast to coast in 108 days, exceeding first-year profit targets, and becoming the “Brand of Choice” for Canadian teens.
Prior to American Eagle, Lora spent 17 years building the four-banner, two-country, 900 store chain, The Northern Group. By leveraging the marquis brand, Northern Reflections, total sales grew to C$1Billion. Unquestionably, the US store’s result is a proud achievement, as this success eclipsed any other Canadian apparel entry into the US for sales, growth and profit.
Currently, Lora is exploring her mixed-race Six Nations Indigenous Ancestry, creating change, hope, unity and Self Determination for Indigenous Peoples, mentoring several Indigenous Companies and serving on the Board of Directors for the Indigenous Advanced Education Skills Council as well as the Board of Governors for Niagara College.
Ijeoma is the Lead Finance Business Partner for Deloitte Canada Consulting and Operate. Ijeoma joined Deloitte Canada in 2016 after moving from the UK with her family where she held various finance positions within the Investment Banking Industry. Ijeoma holds a Bachelor of Economics and Accounting (First Class Honours) from the University of London, UK.
Ijeoma is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and also a member of the Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Ijeoma and her husband, Nnamdi have three daughters, Adanna & Arianna and Amaranna and live in Oakville.
Rita Said is the Director, Analytics Strategy & Delivery, in this role she drives the strategy and delivery for Global Risk Management’s analytics program at Scotiabank.
Over the course of her career, Rita has developed a track record of success in driving results and building strong teams. She first joined Scotiabank in 2006 and has held a number of increasingly senior roles in Canadian Banking, Operations, and Global Risk Management. She was, most recently, Director Office of the Chief Risk Officer, responsible for developing and executing strategy and communications for the Chief Risk Officer with a focus on stakeholders including the Board of Directors, Scotiabank’s Operating Committee, Investors and the Analyst Community.
Rita holds an MBA and CPA. She lives in Toronto with her husband.
Dr. Shih earned his B.Sc. from McGill University and M.D. from the University of Toronto. Dr. Shih has been a resident of Burlington since 1978 and served the Burlington community with his busy Family Medicine practice in Burlington as well as serving as a staff physician at Joseph Brant Hospital until 2000. Together with his spouse, Emily, they founded Emshih Developments Inc. in 1978.
Emshih has successfully developed retail, medical buildings, retirement residences, downtown renewal and mixed-use developments including infills. Some of Emshih’s most notables are Burlington Retail Power Centre, Burloak Common, Appleby Common, Upper Appleby Medical Centre, the Taunton Luxury Rental Apartments in Oakville, the Oakvillage master-planned 100-acre community in North Oakville, the La Salle Park retirement residence and the recently completed Jacob Seniors Residence in Beamsville.
Emshih continues to expand its roster of exciting projects with innovative 15-minute communities and 8-80 lifestyle communities. Emshih is in the active planning stages of the high-density projects in Aldershot and Fairview Mobility Hubs in Burlington, and a master-planned 18 acres mixed-use community at Appleby Line & Mainway in Burlington. Emshih is proud of its unique approach to building communities that foster healthy, active and socially connected communities.
The Shihs have earned their highly respected reputation over more than 40 years of various innovative real estate developments. Dr. Michael Shih is the only developer invited by the City of Burlington to be part of the Economic Vision 2025 Advisory Committee. Emshih has received many awards in recognition of its work, including the Heritage Award from Heritage Burlington LACAC, the Environment Award from the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association, the Burlington Mayor’s Business Recognition Award for its commitment to beautifying the community, continuing growth, customer satisfaction and innovative development.
The Shihs actively participate in the Burlington community through sponsorship of various local organizations. The very first office of the Burlington Chapter of Habitat for Humanity was donated by Emily Shih. Dr. Shih served on various advisory committees for the City of Burlington such as the Burlington Community Foundation and the Board of Directors of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation.
Emshih is a major supporter of: ROCK (Reach Out Centre for Kids); BurlingtonGreen
Lauren Davey is Chief People & Culture Officer at Compass Group Canada, the country’s leading food and hospitality provider. In this role, Lauren sits on the Executive Committee for Compass Group Canada and ESS North America, guiding the people and culture strategy and operations of the $1.6B company. With a purpose first-approach, Lauren oversees all aspects of human resources including talent management, engagement, organizational effectiveness, change management, recognition and diversity and inclusion – directly impacting the lives of the company’s 26,000 employees in Canada, Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.
Lauren is a strong believer that a company’s greatest asset is its people and has worked extensively throughout her career to ensure that employees have the development and support necessary to consistently be the best version of themselves while driving results, effectiveness and engagement. Her specific areas of passion include mental health and well-being – something she has brought to Compass Group Canada through just now, a national, mental health initiative. In 2020, Lauren was awarded for her outstanding efforts with the Woman of Distinction Award by HR Awards Canada.
Prior to joining Compass Group Canada, Lauren held HR leadership positions throughout her career in Fortune 500 companies, and international and North American roles in financial services, telecom, pharmaceutical and insurance. Lauren holds a degree in psychology from the University of Guelph, is a Coach and holds a Leadership certification through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). She is the proud mom of three grown boys, and lives in the Greater Toronto area with her husband and 3 golden retrievers.