Meet Our Advisory Committee Members

YWiB Toronto would like to formally introduce you to our Advisory Committee Members. The advisory committee members will help us ensure that YWiB programs and initiatives are current and relevant to the communities we serve. We are excited to have these exceptional women as part of YWiB’s advisory committee members. Welcome ladies!

Diviya Lewis

Diviya was part of YWiB Toronto back in 2016. She was a speaker at the YWiB Toronto launch Conference that year and then joined the organization as the Director of Community Engagement. She then supported the former President as co-President, and now is proud to join the Board of Advisors. As a woman who has been in both industry and as an entrepreneur, her values align with YWiB’s and she is excited to support the growth of the organization. She hopes to advocate for mental wellness of women in Toronto, and share insights from her diverse background with the team.

Diviya Lewis, is a Mental Health Therapist, Founder of Choose Gratitude & LIFO® accredited workshop trainer/facilitator. She provides individual, couple and group therapy in Toronto in the Bloor West area of the city. A former researcher, she strives to connect the insights found in the field of psychology and psychotherapy with interactive and relevant exercises, and she conducts lunch'n'learns, psycho-educational workshops (for a range of industries including tech, financial, entrepreneurs, non-profits, etc.), and has spoken at various Conferences (i.e. Conference Board of Canada Workplace Mental Health Conference, Young Women in Business Conference) on wellness, resilience, and positive psychology.

Choose Gratitude strives to bring the insights from the field of positive organizational psychology to workplaces and organization through presentations & workshops. Choose Gratitude uses an evidence-based approach, disseminating research of the various factors that improve our well-being and happiness. Presentations and workshops are informative and interactive, tailored to unique challenges of today, and typically include both psychoeducation, discussion as well as a hands-on practical opportunity for practice of tools shared.

Project Gratitude is her latest passion project. Project Gratitude is a documentary web-series, which takes the form of round-table discussions on the topic of appreciation, and how it manifests within our personal, as well as professional lives. This initiative focuses on obtaining perspectives from a wide range (i.e. gender, age, industry, role, sexual orientation, religious views, attitudes towards gratitude) of individuals within the city of Toronto. The purpose of this web-series will be to dig deeper about issues that millennials face in our rapidly changing society (e.g. our fears, ingrained beliefs, challenges in relationships, social media landscape), and what role (if any) gratitude has in the lives of Torontonians.

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Catherine Vendryes

We are pleased to have another previous YWiB member as a part of our advisory committee, Catherine Vendryes. She served as the Vice President, Community & People for Young Women in Business Toronto. Catherine is a storyteller. With a background in digital communications and literature, her focus is on translating brand messages into artful communications to capture audiences' imaginations. She currently works as the Marketing & Communications Specialist at Munich Re, Canada (Life) and in her spare time organizes zine workshops. Her passions are community building, storytelling, and arts programming.


Rachel Kelly

Rachel’s first “real” job was a typical 9-5 desk gig where she would spend most days daydreaming how she would redesign the office and where her next adventure would be. When the reality of freelancing with an unstable paycheque hit her hard, she decided to make some lemonade. She spent a year researching coworking, studying the market, searching for an office space, battling renovation nightmares, 'till she was finally able to open her very own coworking space, Make Lemonade. Now she's on a mission to make sure women-identified entrepreneurs are connected with the resources to make their own lemonade.

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Chanèle McFarlane

Chanèle McFarlane is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Do Well Dress Well, a career lifestyle website for women. The site provides valuable content on topics such as personal branding, networking, conferences, style and career development. Chanèle also leads Confidence Through Conferences, a non-profit initiative created to get more diverse women into conferences and networking events by minimizing the financial barrier. Through this work, Chanèle has become a sought-after conference consultant for her expertise in developing unique programming and curating diverse speakers. With her experience in developing compelling personal and corporate content, Chanèle is also a member of Humber College's Professional Advisory Committee for their Content Strategy program. Chanèle is a passionate freelance writer and speaker and has been recognized as one of PR in Canada’s Top 30 Under 30, one of the Top 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada and one of the Top 25 Women of Influence.

Chanèle says The most exciting thing about being a part of YWiB's advisory committee is that “I'll get to play an important role in creating professional development opportunities for young professional women in Toronto. I truly believe that the women in our city have incredible potential to become global leaders and with the right programs and networks - they'll achieve it!”


Niduk D’souza

Niduk D’souza has been a nonprofit leader and advocate for over 17 years. From working at the grassroots with small community organization across Africa and Asia to large donor organizations in the UK and North America, Niduk has helped hundreds of nonprofits raise more money, think strategically and implement their programs effectively. In 2006, Niduk helped to build Kenya’s first free children’s library - Nguuni Children’s Education Centre. Over a decade later, over 100,000 children have read, studied and played here.

In 2018, she launched her latest social business, Impact With Intention, an online educational platform for nonprofit leaders. Taking her years of experience teaching and practice in the field of helping nonprofits both online and in-person she has designed this educational and learning resource for small nonprofit changemakers and leaders to strengthen their capacity across 4 pillars: Governance; Fundraising & Communications; Project Management and; Monitoring & Evaluation.

Niduk has also recently joined the leadership team at UP Fundraising, where she is leading a new division focused on fundraising strategy and stewardship.

Previously, Niduk founded and ran an international development consulting practice working global across all major development focus areas. In 2018, her practice was acquired by PGM Africa. She has also served on the boards of a number of nonprofits from development charities such as The Haller Foundation, Livingstone Tanzania Trust to arts based nonprofits such as The Red Betty Theatre.

Earning the Max Rotman Humanitarian Award, Niduk is also recognized as a community influencer for visible minorities and women by the Canadian Armed Forces.

Niduk holds a Bachelor of Arts specializing in Industrial Relations from McMaster University. She conducted a review of minimum wage policy in Ontario for the Ministry of Labour. She continued further academic work in worker’s rights, economics and law, at the London School of Economics and Political Science earning a Masters in (Economics) International Management and a Masters in Research Methodology and Statistics at Middlesex University while pursuing her doctoral research. Most recently she completed a case study on Coal Mining in Mozambique and the Leading of Nonviolent Social Movements at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has published and presented at numerous conferences.


Rita Houkayem

From Canada’s most cosmopolitan city, Rita is a proud Torontonian but also a spirited global citizen on a mission to positively impact youth and women through her work and activities. With a Master’s degree in International Affairs specializing in International Development Policy, she currently works for the Government of Canada at the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development as a Policy Analyst. She focuses on various issues and programs related to Internet governance and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and works with different international organizations to empower communities and girls in accessing ICTs. She has also been recently nominated as a focal point to ensure that Canadian policies developed in the Department are gender-sensitive and inclusive of all groups of people. Rita had the recent opportunity to work at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris as an international development consultant, providing support in programs and publications on gender equality and comprehensive sexuality education.

Rita’s globetrotting nature, adventurous spirit and polyglot skills (English, French, Arabic and Spanish) have been enriched through her constant encounters with dazzling cultures, remarkable people and astonishing places. While she considers herself a citizen of the world, she is also an active leader in her local communities and has founded a national chapter which seeks to promote her culture and connect her diasporic community together. She is also the United Nations DPI/NGO Representative for her cultural organization and promotes its initiatives at the UN platform in New York.

She is currently a Miss Universe Canada 2018 National Finalist and will be representing Canada internationally in the coming months in Colombia. Through this experience, she has won the Humanitarian Award for successfully engaging her community in raising awareness and funds for SOS Children’s Villages, an international charity she holds very dear to her heart. She is currently an SOS Ambassador and continues to do a lot of advocacy and charity work for orphaned and abandoned children. Her years in pageantry have surrounded her by brilliant-minded women and remarkable opportunities for self-growth. Through her experiences, she has had various opportunities to mentor women and is really looking forward to developing and engaging with the Young Women in Business!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. With that in mind, Rita hopes to become an influential leader for her community, country and world and believes that she can reach her goals successfully with an army of strong ambitious women by her side. Thrilled to have YWiB be part of that journey!

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Janelle Chalouhi

Janelle Chalouhi has an extensive background in nonprofit management and fundraising consulting across the globe. Currently the Head of Business Development at Communitech, Janelle is responsible for private revenue generation for the organization. Prior to that Janelle was at the University of Waterloo where she was the Director of Principal Gifts responsible for any philanthropic partnerships that exceeded $1 million.

In the years before 2013, Janelle was Assistant Director to the Medical Director at St. George University Medical Center in Beirut, Lebanon. Also in Beirut she was Founder and CEO of her own Fundraising and nonprofit management consulting firm (Addo International Consulting). From 2003 to 2009 Janelle lived in NYC where she was Director of a Capital Campaign at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY and Executive Director of the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Foundation in Valhalla NY. Before 2003, Janelle also worked for CCS Fundraising a PR and fundraising firm out of NY where she worked on both the Archdiocese of Washington DC and Boston Campaigns.

A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts (a private Jesuit University) with a double major in Political Science and Studio Art. A Masters in Business Journalism from Hofstra University.

Born in Chatham Ontario, Janelle and her family are happy to have moved home and now reside in Waterloo Ontario.

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We would like to thank these wonderful women for sharing their insights and expertise with us, and the YWiB Community.
Welcome to our Advisory Committee!