Mission

Start Proud, formerly known as Out On Bay Street, facilitates the professional development of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) students as they transition from school to career in order to build a national network within the LGBTQ+ community.

Vision

To empower members of the LGBTQ+ community to be Canada’s leaders of tomorrow; where all institutions embrace inclusiveness within the workplace and diversity within the workforce.

Values

Diversity & LGBTQ+ Inclusion
We believe that our differences make us strong, compassionate and competitive.
Leadership
We believe in professional excellence, self-improvement and changing the world around us.
Community
We believe in contributing and collaborating with others to make an impact.
Opportunity
We believe every student and young professional should be given the tools, resources and knowledge to be successful.
40
Year-Round Events
80
Sponsors
5
Cities
4
Conferences

Meet the Team

Executives

Kary Cozens
President

Kary Cozens is a student at the University of Toronto, Trinity College studying political science with a focus on global political systems and political economics. This is Kary’s third year volunteering with Start Proud, having worked to build the Start Proud brand at campuses across Canada with the student outreach team. Kary is excited to be joining the Executive team this year on to help LGBTQ students across Canada make the leap from university into the workforce.

Arron Lin
Vice President, Human Resources

With over 7 years of working in the financial service/banking industry, Arron found his passion in Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) space within corporate environments. He is known for his compassionate leadership style as well as non-stop learning attitude.  Arron holds a BA Behaviour Psychology degree from The University of British Columbia and is currently finishing his Master of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Queen’s University. Aside from work, you can typically find Arron on the mountains doing outdoor activities (hiking, snowboarding etc.) and crushing Catan with his friends.

Adam James
Corporate Secretary

Victor Zhao
Corporate Treasurer

Victor is an Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, specializing in financial service tax. Victor successfully wrote CFE in 2018 and graduated from Master of Accounting program at Schulich School of Business. Victor enjoys hiking, reading, and swimming during his spare time.

Sascha Beinert
Finance Assistant

Board of Directors

Janet Spreitzer
Director & Chair

Janet has done a lot in her life, and wonders how she was able to do it all.  She’s worked in the finance industry for over 15 years in various capacities including Operations, Training and Development, Project Management and is currently a Director of Global Resourcing at Manulife Financial.  Janet is an avid advocate for LGBTQ inclusion and is currently co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group for Manulife Financial.  In her spare time (like she has any) Janet can be found running a start-up UX design company with her wife, or renovating their Junction home. Janet is passionate about travel, fine wine, and fancies herself a bit of a bon vivant. She also drinks way too much coffee.

Paul Saguil
Director

Paul Jonathan Saguil is Associate Vice President, Anti-Money Laundering, Canadian Banking at TD Bank Group, where he leads the teams responsible for anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing issues relating to the Canadian Payments business, and oversees key governance processes, including innovation risk management, customer risk strategy, risk assessment methodologies, and training. He was formerly Senior Counsel in TD’s Legal Department, managing complex litigation, disputes, and investigations involving TD’s various businesses in Canada and internationally. He previously practised litigation at Stockwoods LLP and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, all levels of courts in Ontario, the Federal Court, and various administrative bodies, including the Ontario Securities Commission, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. He received his Hons. B.A. (Philosophy) from York University in 2004 and LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2007. He was awarded the Dean’s Gold Key in 2007 and an Alumni Gold Key in 2013, and currently serves on the Alumni Association Board. Before being called to the Bar of Ontario, he served as a judicial clerk to the Honourable Justice Phelan of the Federal Court. He is an active member of the Canadian/Ontario Bar Association and Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, serves as the Chair of the OBA’s Equality Committee and the Law Society of Upper Canada Equity Advisory Group, and is a member of the Board for the 519 Community Centre and Community One Foundation.

Tony Giannopoulos
Director

Tony is currently a Senior Manager in Home Equity Finance at RBC, where he leads product development and digital strategy. He has experience in marketing, sales, distribution strategy and portfolio management across a number of businesses and segments within personal and commercial banking. He is also a vice chair of RBC Pride, RBC’s ERG for LGBTQA employees. Along with his business knowledge, Tony has prior industry experience in cybersecurity where he developed a deep understanding of data and network security, risk and regulatory compliance. He holds an MBA from Schulich School of Business and a Bachelor of Engineering from McMaster University. Tony has previously volunteered with Start Proud for 3 years in executive and student marketing leadership roles. He first attended the Out On Bay Street Conference in 2011 as an electrical engineering undergraduate student.

Caroline Tutakiewicz
Director

Caroline Tutakiewicz is the Director and Head of Investigations in Financial Crimes at RBC. Caroline has over five years of experience in executing RBC’s risk management strategy and balancing increased expectations from regulators while leveraging strategic relationships to support lean national growth. She has extensive experience in talent acquisition, retention, and development in both the private and public sectors. Prior to this current role, Caroline was a Senior Manager of Terrorist Financing and Organized Crime Investigations wherein she led high-risk, highly sensitive investigations that continue to have significant impact on Canada’s regulatory framework. Caroline previously founded and served as CFO for an international non-profit that worked to reintegrate former victims of human trafficking from Brazil into local workplaces. Currently, Caroline is a vice chair of RBC Pride, RBC’s ERG for LGBTQ+ employees, serves on the Board of Directors for MADD Toronto, and has committed over eight years of volunteer service with the Ministry of the Attorney General, utilizing Indigenous restorative justice practices to divert youth from formal judicial proceedings.

Dan Fricker
Director

Dan currently leads Creative Operations at Shopify and is earning his Master’s in Business at Cornell. Prior to this, Dan was a founding member of the leadership team for Shopify Studios, an in-house brand entertainment arm that creates feature-length films, episodic television shows, digital video content, and other formats. He’s the former Head of Social Media for both Shopify and CBC, has developed digital marketing strategies with TELUS and CTV News, and taught at the University of Toronto. He and his husband are also the proud owners of vacation rental properties in Prince Edward County, ‘Welcome to the Dans’.

Mike Smith
Director

Mike is Associate Vice President, Legal at TD Bank Group, where he leads the legal team supporting TD’s Wholesale Bank, including TD Securities investment banking and capital markets activities, global markets, global trade finance, correspondent banking, syndicated lending and cash management. He was formerly Associate Vice President, Legal, supporting TD’s Corporate Development team in considering and executing on acquisitions, divestitures and strategic investments. Mike also focuses on bank regulatory matters impacting banking activities and strategic investments, including with respect to the fintech industry. He previously practiced at Blake, Cassels & Graydon where he advised clients on corporate and securities matters including public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, disclosure requirements for public companies, restructurings and general corporate matters.

 

Adnan Haider
Director

 

Carina Gabriele
Ex-officio Director

 

Out On Bay Street

Matthew Cantagui
Vice President, Out on Bay Street

Marco Rocco Briganti
Head of Operations, Out on Bay Street

Marco is a recent graduate from the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Ryerson University. He is currently employed at Expedia Group, working with market managers and hotel partners to capture revenue-related opportunities, to ensure the benefit of our mutual customers. He was previously the Vice President of Events for the 10th Annual Ted Rogers Management Conference. There he created and executed the vision and design for the conference, building off of ideas from fellow executive team members to bring to life one of North America’s top student-run business conferences.

Out West

Julian Liao
Co-Vice President, Out West Conference

Julian is a Product Designer at WealthBar, where he helps to shape the future of retail investing. As a founding member of the Out West Conference, he strives to bring novel and diverse programming to the West Coast. He is passionate about the community and empowering future leaders to learn, grow, and connect.

Adrian Talingdan
Co-Vice President, Out West Conference

Hello everyone! My name is Adrian Talingdan and I am one of the two Co-VPs for the Out West Conference hosted in Vancouver. My work with Start Proud began just last year as the Out West Logistics Associate for our inaugural conference. My hobbies include indoor cycling, eating, anything urban planning related, and the Big Brother reality TV series. I’m nearing my fourth year working with INDOCHINO Apparel where my role for the past year and a half is the Retail Operations Coordinator. Should you need any suiting advice, feel free to reach out. Cheers!

Ash Mishra
Associate, Logistics

Ash is a hospitality professional who has worked in various hospitality operations with both niche and upper-midscale clientele in four different countries i.e. New Zealand, United States, India & Canada. With Start Proud, Ash is committed to providing the right platform to every individual within the community by empowering them to become future leaders from learners. Ash is currently working as a Night Audit/Guest Experience Supervisor with one of the Marriott brands in Vancouver. In his leisure, Ash loves to spend his time with the local community through which he believes that he can always give something back. Feel free to connect with him, it will be his pleasure to assist you in any way.

Clay Hamilton
Associate, Marketing

Catherine Li
Associate, Student and Community Outreach

Catherine is going into her 3rd year studying Business and Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. Originally from Toronto, she has a passion for bringing people together and hopes to do more within Vancouver’s LGBT+ community. B.C. is nothing short of beautiful scenery, and as a fitness nut who loves to hike, Catherine plans to make this place her permanent home.

Luigi Ronchi
Associate, Sponsorship

David Friedland
Associate, Sponsorship

David is a newcomer to Vancouver, having worked across the country over the last few years in the political and legal worlds. Armed with an HR and Marketing degree he’s worked on Parliament Hill, managed a legal team in Edmonton, and worked extensively in Alberta politics at all levels.

David now works in stakeholder relations and communications with a local Member of Parliament. He’s spent the last year working with the Canadian Jewish community driving multi-partisan political engagement across the Prairies and British Columbia and is excited to network with more folks across the Vancouver region with StartProud.

Amy Hu
Associate, Sponsorship

New Precedent

Venture Out

Coming soon.

Mentorship

Gary Grant
Director, Mentorship

Gary has been working in the HR space for 20 years with a key focus on leadership development and talent management. Currently Director of HR for Metro Inc., he is passionate about building programs that empower growth and develop potential. Gary was brought onto the Start Proud team to create their mentorship program and has been managing its execution since 2016.

Joel Black
Program Manager, Toronto Mentorship

Gary has been working in the HR space for 20 years with a key focus on leadership development and talent management. Currently Director of HR for Metro Inc., he is passionate about building programs that empower growth and develop potential. Gary was brought onto the Start Proud team to create their mentorship program and has been managing its execution since 2016.

Awards

John Pehar
Vice President, Leaders To Be Proud Of

John is currently in the Career Management Program at OSFI, working in the Small and Medium Sized Banking Group. It is his fourth year volunteering with Start Proud, having previously led Start Proud’s scholarship program prior to moving to the Leaders to Be Proud Of portfolio. He holds a BA in Economics and an MA in Business Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University. In his free time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, reading and travel.

Hannah Frazer
Associate, Communications, Leaders to be Proud Of

Derek Eickmeier
Associate, Logistics, Leaders to be Proud Of

Derek holds a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo where he studied Actuarial Science and Statistics. He currently works for Precima, a global retail strategy and data analytics company, managing the suite of Merchandise Solutions they offer. In his free time, Derek enjoys travelling and staying active through a variety of sports like ultimate frisbee, beach volleyball, squash and running.

Derek is thrilled to be joining the Start Proud team in his first year with the organization.

Marketing

Ksenia Ioussoufovitch
Vice President, Marketing

Anthony Graziani
Associate, Content Strategy

Aidan Messom
Manager, Student Outreach

Dylan Peters
Associate, Student Outreach

Dylan is an undergraduate student completing his final year of history at Carleton University in Ottawa. Dylan has been fairly active on campus, serving on executive positions in organizations such as AIESEC and Carleton’s Sports Business Club. He has also been an active member with Carleton’s Fall Orientation, serving three years in various leadership positions. In his spare time, Dylan enjoys getting a chance to write and listen to the latest music album!

Geoffrey Handelman
Associate, Business Programs

My name is Geoffrey Handelman. I was born and raised in Toronto Canada. I currently attend Ryerson University with a major in hospitality and tourism management. This year on campus I am the student president of Hillel Ryerson, as well as on the executive committee for Students Supporting Israel, and a peer mentor for incoming students in the hospitality and tourism management program. I am also highly involved in my programs student council as a second-year student representative. Along with volunteering for Start Proud in my spare time I love to read, play saxophone and piano, play sports and hang out with my family. I look forward to further contributing to this amazing organization, and seeing it grow and flourish as the year progresses.

Marco Castelli
Associate, Student Outreach

Jason Kung
Associate, Public Relations

Jason Kung is a communications professional with experience in strategic communications, crisis monitoring and analysis, event coordination, and multimedia production in both the public and private sectors. Over the past 10 years, Jason has worked across Hong Kong, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal to deliver compelling, creative, and cutting-edge communication solutions to his clients, including the Government of Canada, Cadillac Fairview, TJX Canada, Heart and Stroke, and Tangerine. Jason is excited to work with Start Proud in empowering LGBTQ+ youth to be Canada’s leaders of tomorrow and advancing their professional development from school to the workplace.

Pranab Shah
Manager, Regional Marketing

Sponsor Relations

Andres Perez-Vilarino
Vice President, Sponsorship

Andres comes to the role of VP Sponsorship for the 2019-2020 year excited to continue the work of previous volunteers in expanding our community outreach and connecting more LGBTQ+ talent to roles and organizations in which they can thrive. Prior to the new appointment, Andres served as the Corporate Treasurer for Start Proud for 3 years, where he coordinated the national financial reporting of the organization. Beyond Start Proud, Andres has been involved in various student organizations such as DECA U, Model United Nations, Endowment Funds, and Student Associations where he has endeavoured to help students create their own networks and level-up their professional skills. Outside of volunteering with Start Proud and other organizations, Andres works at EY as a Senior Staff Accountant in the Financial Institutions Assurance Group, and is avidly involved in the digital advancement of the audit space. Feel free to ask him about building relationships, moving organizations forward, and video games (he will talk for hours).

Kevin Noguera
Vice President, Business Development & Strategy

Kevin has been an avid Start Proud volunteer over the past 5 years and since has undertaken various roles from Student Ambassador to most recently VP of Sponsorship, where he led the attraction of new sponsors for multiple initiatives across the organization. Kevin holds an Honours BA from York University in Political Science and Communications and is passionate about volunteerism and activism. When Kevin is not networking, you can find him at the nearest beach or doing wine tasting with friends.

Maha Ali Khan
Relationship Management Lead

Matthew Cormier
Relationship Manager

Dilawar Azhar
Relationship Manager

Dilawar is a CPA, CA and currently works as a Senior Consultant – Corporate Finance & Restructuring at FTI Consulting. Dilawar is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and in addition to his involvement with Start Proud is also part of the Diversity Ambassadors program at FTI Consulting.

David Wiecek
Relationship Manager

Ty Calwell
Relationship Manager

Eddy Ji
Relationship Manager

Isaac Wong
Relationship Manager

Web & Information Technology

Adrian Leung
Vice-President, Web & Information Technology

Adrian is passionate about making an impact on healthcare and its delivery, and has a background in operations and system transformations.  He is currently studying health administration at the University of Toronto, focusing on health policy, quality, and technology.  He spends his spare time with his family and friends, and reading up random topics on news sites and Wikipedia.  Adrian is excited to see where this new adventure in Start Proud will take him!

Steve Puglia
Manager, Data Operations

Nathan Wu
Manager, Web Development

May Cai
Associate, Web Development

May is a McGill graduate with studies in finance and accounting. She has a background in startups, real estate development and operations. May is passionate about continuous learning and seeking efficient ways to solve problems. Outside of work, you will find her hitting the slopes, refining her tennis skills on court or planning her new travel adventure. This is May’s first year volunteering with Start Proud and she excited to be joining the Web team and making an impact!

Shawn Oliver
Associate, Web Development

Calgary Regional Team

Lorne Graburn
Co-Chair, Calgary Regional Team

Michael Velcic
Co-Chair, Calgary Regional Team

Matthew Hayes
Associate, Calgary Regional Team

Matthew is on the management team at Nordstrom Chinook Center in Calgary, Alberta, where he oversees their Women’s Trend department. He studied History and French at Mount Royal University, and believes that giving back is the only way in which one can begin to make a difference in the community. Working for a diverse company such as Nordstrom, whose corporate values mirror those of Start Proud, reinforces the need to provide positive workplaces, that foster’s inclusiveness and allow people to express their true individuality. Working with a team of high spirited individuals continuously reinforces the need to provide safe work spaces that encourages employees and student’s alike to be themselves.

Mark Matlock
Associate, Calgary Regional Team

Sean Delsnider
Associate, Calgary Regional Team

Jack Olson
Associate, Calgary Regional Team

Montreal Regional Team

Yaneric Bisaillon
Vice President, Montreal Chapter

Yaneric is a Human Resources Advisor, Eastern Canada, for Alimentation Couche-Tard. He specializes in labour relations and performance improvement. He attended both McGill and uOttawa. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion have always played an important role in his career. In his spare time, Yaneric likes to travel abroad and rediscover Montreal.

 

Francis Senecal Leboeuf
Associate, Montreal Chapter

 

Thierry Vigneux-Salesse
Associate, Marketing

Former Industrial Designer, Thierry is completing a Master in Entrepreneurship and Design at ESSCA School of Management, France and Université Laval, Québec. He is also working on The Other Hand startup project to design VR exercises for Hand’s rehabilitation with associates.

 

Mélanie Le Berre
Associate, Communications

Mélanie Le Berre is a physiotherapist specialized in pelvic floor rehabilitation and graduate student in the PhD program in Rehabilitation Sciences at Université de Montréal. She graduated from the Physical Therapy program at McGill University in 2014. Her main project touches on women’s health and the organization of healthcare services. She started to get involved with Start Proud in 2016 as a member of the organizing committee for the planning of the first event in Montreal. Inspired by the continuing success of the organization, Mélanie is looking forward to be part of the next steps of the Start Proud adventure.

 

Ottawa Regional

Kent Evans (He/Him)
Vice President, National Capital Region

Kent is an articling student at Borden Lander Gervais in Ottawa. He recently completed his law degree at the University of Ottawa and his master’s in international affairs at Carleton University. Previously, Kent worked as a Trade Policy Officer in North American Trade Negotiations at Global Affairs Canada. Prior to his time in Ottawa, Kent completed his degree in Political Science and Theatre Studies in his home town of Regina at the University of Regina. He also worked as an actor which included developing and touring a one-person show, Small Boy DREAMS, in both Canada and the United Kingdom. 

Kent became the Vice President, National Capital Region in May 2017. His work as VP focuses on growing the team’s presence in Ottawa and Gatineau and facilitating opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community. Prior to serving as VP, Kent was Law Relations Manager for two years. 

Kent is proud of the achievements of the Start Proud Ottawa team and is looking forward to what the future holds.

Connor Moen (He/Him)
Events Manager

Connor Moen is the Events Manager at Start Proud Ottawa where he partners with local organizations and community members to pull off alluring socials in Canada’s capital. Connor brings over two years of professional experience in the non-profit sector and a decade of experience as a volunteer. He was formerly the National Coordinator for the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) and Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union where he oversaw fundraising, communications, and team building. Connor obtained his Political Studies degree from the University of Saskatchewan and was a CANADEM Election Observer in the 2019 Ukraine Elections. Connor currently works as a political staffer.

Connor spends his free time baking, learning French, and fiercely cheering on the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Nick Schiavo (He/Him)
Public Sector Manager

Nicholas Schiavo is a Manager of Policy and Government Relations with Impact Public Affairs and the Executive Director of No Conversion Canada – a national, grassroots, non-profit coalition to ban conversion therapy in Canada.

Previously, Nicholas worked with Fisheries and Oceans Canada on the G7 Task Force and with the Green Party of Canada. Over the years Nicholas has worked with a number of global institutions, including the Commonwealth, the World Bank Group and the United Nations. From 2017-2019, Nicholas was the Program Director of the Young Diplomats of Canada and in 2018, he was selected as a Future Leaders Connect Fellow by the British Council to develop a long-term policy action plan on LGBTQ2+ rights with the University of Cambridge.

Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours Specialization in International Relations from Western University and a Master of Political Management from Carleton University. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter @NickSchiavo_.

Justin Clorey (He/Him/They)
Law Manager

Justin is a second-year law student at the University of Ottawa. Currently, they work part-time at MDK Business Law in Centertown, supporting lawyers practicing primarily in commercial contracts and litigation. Before moving to Ottawa, Justin graduated from the University of Prince Edward Island with a Bachelor of Political Science. Working in various roles across campus, such as the Student Union and a founding member of the sole queer advocacy group on campus, Justin gained a passion for advocacy. During their studies, they work in varying roles for the legislature of Prince Edward Island, in the third party and clerk’s office as well as Elections Prince Edward Island.

Justin is excited to begin to work with groups off and on the UOttawa campus and is also a member of SOGIC (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee) for the Ontario Bar Association.

Trisha Booth (She/Her/They)
Creative Manager

In addition to an undergraduate honours degree in History from the University of Ottawa (2009 – 2016), Trisha also studied at the master’s level in History at Concordia University (2016 – 2019): where her research focused particularly on the history of museums in Canada. The catalyst to her studies were many years of experience within the heritage field; working at The Museum of Jewish Montreal, The Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Bytown Museum, and the National Gallery of Canada. 

As Creative Manager of Start Proud Ottawa, Trisha is very excited to create accessible and compelling promotional material to widen community outreach. 

When not focusing on heritage or graphic design, Trisha can be spotted biking along the many great bike paths of Ottawa.

Kyle Thomas (He/Him)
Tech and Startups Manager

Kyle was born and raised in Northern Ontario and relocated to Ottawa in 2017. He graduated from Nipissing University in 2013 with his Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree, specializing in Marketing and Organizational Studies. After relocating to Ottawa, he has been an active member of Ottawa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. He currently works with Invest Ottawa as the Entrepreneurship Services Lead where he gets to interact with entrepreneurs daily and network within the community.

Kyle is passionate about empowering others, including breaking down any barriers for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and ensuring the tech ecosystem is a welcoming space for all. This has led to his involvement with the Start Proud team. In his spare time, Kyle is always looking for his next travel adventure, exploring the city, and spending time with friends.

Jose Jimenez (He/Hm)
Associate

Jose is currently in his third year of the Bachelor’s in Public Affairs and Policy Management program at Carleton University. As a student in public policy, Jose is driven by the idea of serving the greater good. After working at the Canadian Digital Service, Jose became passionate about using technology to improve how governments serve people. Whether it be protecting people’s private information, improving service delivery, or making sure that every Canadian has internet access; Jose is a proud policy geek and techie.

A firm believer in multidisciplinarity, Jose is committed to bringing people with all kinds of talent together. Curious by nature, Jose is is always eager to learn new things, develop new skills, and meet new people, making him excited to be a part of the Start Proud team!

Dylan Peters
Outreach Manager

Nicole Hilliard
Community Outreach Manager

Nicole is a third-year law student at the University of Ottawa. She completed her Bachelors degree in Social Justice and Peace Studies at Western University. As Community Outreach Manager, she hopes to promote more diversity and inclusion at Ottawa events.

Tanner Tallon
Associate

Tanner is a recent graduate (Class of 2018) of the Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting Specialisation programme from the University of Ottawa. He attended his first Out On Bay Street Conference in 2013 and has been part of the Start Proud team in Ottawa since 2014. Tanner’s role as part of the team has included strategic guidance, event organisation, and community outreach.

When he is not working, Tanner keeps busy at the gym, curling in the winter, biking in the summer, and reading queer lit all year long.

Tanner is currently on a voyage in France until late September when he will be returning to Ottawa. He will then be starting a position with the Department of National Defence.

Toronto Regional

Oren Kamen
Vice President, Toronto Initiatives

Samira Hafezi
Associate, Toronto Initiatives

Angela
Associate, Women’s Events

Angela currently is a Policy Advisor and Executive Assistant to a Toronto City Councillor. She has always been politically active and has participated in several political campaigns. Angela has volunteered for Pride Toronto durning World Pride and the Human Rights Conference as well as PrideHouseTO. 

Angela holds a Bilingual Specialization in Political Science with a certificate in Law and Social Thought from Collège Glendon; York University. Outside of work and volunteering, she considerers herself to be a Foodie; reviewing restaurants and managing her Food account on Instagram. 

Vancouver Regional

Preston Parsons
Chair, Vancouver Regional Team

Preston is a lawyer at Overholt Law, a boutique labour and employment law firm located in downtown Vancouver. He attended both Lakeland College and Athabasca University for his Commerce undergraduate degree and received his law degree from the University of British Columbia. In addition to practicing law, Preston is a figure skating coach and has been active in the Canadian Bar Association both within British Columbia and nationally on executives of the Young Lawyers Forum and the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identify Conference Forum.

Kevin Hill
Associate, Vancouver Regional Team

Bari AbdulRahman
Associate, Vancouver Regional Team

Aaron Cho
Associate, Vancouver Regional Team

Laura MacDonald
Associate, Vancouver Regional Team

Michael Howcroft
Associate, Vancouver Regional Team

Michela Fiorido
Associate, Vancouver Regional Team

Michela works as a lawyer at Harris & Company LLP mostly practicing in the areas of privacy, human rights, and labour and employment law. She holds a law degree from the University of British Columbia and was called to the bar in 2015. Along with volunteering with Start Proud, Michela also helps organize the annual Hooplaw basketball tournament and also assists sports leagues in adopting trans*-inclusive policies. When not at the office, Michela spends her time playing in various queer sports leagues around the city, her favourite being Queer Van Hoops.

June 16, 2018
Christian university Trinity Western loses fight over law school at Supreme Court
Xtra

June 15, 2018
SCC affirms 7-2 Ontario and B.C. regulators’ denial of accreditation to TWU’s proposed law school
The Lawyer’s Daily

June 15, 2018
Advocates ‘delighted’, school ‘troubled’ by Trinity Western court decision
The Toronto Star

August 2, 2017
Supreme Court justice offers explanation for LGBTQ decision
The Globe and Mail

August 1, 2017
Supreme Court reversal allows LGBTQ groups to take part in case involving B.C. Christian university
The Toronto Star

June 29, 2016
Treasurer’s statement on Court of Appeal’s decision on TWU
Newswire.ca

Ontario appeal court upholds law society rejection of TWU law school
Canadian Lawyer Magazine

Private Christian university loses appeal at Ontario’s top court
Sudbury.com

Ontario Appeal Court upholds law society’s stand on Trinity Western University
The Globe and Mail

Ontario appeal court upholds decision not to accredit evangelical law school
The Toronto Star

Equal access to law school beats religious freedom, court rules
Daily Xtra

July 3, 2015
Ontario court upholds LSUC’s denial of TWU accreditation
Canadian Lawyer Magazine

July 2, 2015
Trinity Western’s planned law school takes another hit
Vancouver Sun

July 2, 2015
Ontario law society’s decision to refuse Trinity Western accreditation upheld
The Globe and Mail

July 2, 2015
Ontario court finds Trinity Western covenant discriminatory
Daily Xtra

July 2, 2015
Ontario court upholds Law Society’s decision not to accredit Trinity Western University
The Toronto Star

May 31, 2015
B.C. fundamentalist university to challenge Ontario law society decision

The Globe and Mail

May 14, 2015
Barring evangelical law school’s graduates ‘not reasonable,’ argues federal government
Toronto Star

May 4, 2015
TWU decision unreasonable, federal government argues

Canadian Lawyer

November 11, 2014
Law students as B.C. government to rescind TWU approval

Daily Xtra

November 7, 2014
OUTlaws want B.C. government to reverse TWU law degree approval

Canadian Lawyer

October 1, 2014
Out on Bay, OUTlaws Named Interveners in TWU Hearing

Paralegal Scope Magazine

September 30, 2014
Toronto LGBT groups see court action

Xtra

September 29, 2014
See no students, hear no students: Are law societies listening to us?

Canadian Lawyer

August 27, 2014
LGBT groups seek intervenor status in Trinity Western case

Xtra

May 5, 2014
TWU believers bear false witness

CBA National Magazine

For more information, please contact:

Paul Johnathan Saguil
Director, Board of Directors
Start Proud

OUTlaws contacts can be provided upon request.