We are excited to announce Achev’s new Board of Directors and Non-Director Committee and extend a warm welcome to all new members joining this year. Their expertise, advice, and diverse perspectives will help in shaping Achēv’s Vision 2025 strategic plan and put a renewed focus on our clients and future growth opportunities.
Please meet our new Board and Non-Director Committee members:
Board of Directors
Marlon Blake, MBA, CPA, FCCA
Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee
Marlon has over 15 years of experience working in senior level leadership roles in financial services, not-for-profit and consulting industries. He is currently the CEO of Optimal Growth Financial, responsible for crafting the strategic direction and long-term vision of its start-up investment fund. Before that, Marlon was the Director, Finance at ICES, where he provided financial and operational leadership, accounting expertise and guidance to the organization. He was also the Director of Finance at ACT, where he provided strategic leadership and vision for the financial functions of the organization. In addition, he worked in senior roles at Optimal Growth Consulting, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, and the Government of Bermuda.
Marlon has strong leadership experience in financial reporting, strategic planning, analytics, risk management, process automation, governance, project management, mentoring and coaching people.
Marlon holds a Master of Business Administration from Oxford Brookes University, CPA, CGA designation from CPA Ontario, and he is a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant.
Vice-Chair of the Human Resources & Compensation Committee
Ruth Woods has more than 35 years executive experience in professional services management, investment banking and consulting. She has held the position of Chief Operating Officer of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where she was responsible for Finance, IT, HR, Facilities and Administration. Prior to Osler she was a founding partner of Hugessen Consulting Inc, Senior Vice President; Global Head of Human Resources at Scotia Capital; and a Founding Director of Women in Capital Markets.
Ruth is currently on the board of Scarborough Health Network and has served on the Bishop Strachan School and Royal St. George’s College Boards of Governors as Vice-Chair and Chair respectively, and on the board of Kinross Gold Corp.
Ruth graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters of Business Administration, and from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics.
Non-Director Committee Members
Non-Director Member of the Strategic & Risk Management Committee
Akshat Jhaveri (AJ) has over 18 years of experience in serving Fortune 500 clients as a trusted advisor for their critical Business and Technology initiatives. AJ is currently a Director at Accenture where he focuses on partnering with Crown corporations in helping them realize their vision to modernize the way they do their business and serve their communities better. He does so by advising them on critical components that drive success for such a vision like Target operating models, Data and Analytics strategy, Change Management and Technology Transformation. He also partners with them in execution of that strategy enabled through robust governance and controls.
Before Accenture, AJ was with Cognizant where he served as the lead Partner for one of the largest Global Financial services serving them in their technology and operations transformation journey across various Insurance, Group Benefits and Wealth/Asset management. Prior to that, he has spent years as a management consultant in advising some of the Top Financial services companies to improve their business results as well as customer and community relations.
Through the years, AJ has been involved in several fundraising initiatives that support causes related to ending Hunger, Blood Donation, Breast Cancer research and participating in initiatives aimed at supporting youth in receiving support needed to be successful.
Megan has her undergraduate degree in Industrial Relations from McGill University and her Masters in Industrial Relations and Human Resources Management from Queens University and holds an advanced certificate in trust management.
AJ holds a MSc in Software Engineering from a Top Engineering university in India.
Darrell Pinto, MBA
Non-Director Member of the Governance & Nominating Committee
Darrell Pinto is a senior executive who has honed his strategic consulting and people-focused leadership in Toronto, New York, London and Shanghai at companies spanning private and public financial markets, pharmaceuticals, media and non-profits. He thrives in situations where he can combine solving big problems through design thinking. Through his commitment to volunteerism and community building he believes that we are all stronger if we can find ways to help each other be our best. He co-chairs along with Senator Ratna Omidvar the national Refugee Jobs Agenda Roundtable, a working coalition of 100 Canadian organizations collaborating to find meaningful jobs for refugees. He is also host of a national talk show on New Canadians TV.
In his spare time, his adventurous streak has driven him to hike to Mount Everest base camp, cage dive with Great White sharks, plant 50,000 trees, teach improv, and work on an alpaca farm.
Darrell earned an undergraduate degree in Philosophy/History from the Western University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.
Leo Gomes, LL.M, MBA, CFE
Non-Director Member of the Finance & Audit Committee
Leo Gomes is a trusted advisor who has been involved in the business advisory, internal audit, and risk management areas for close to 20 years. With solid international and multi-cultural work experience, Leo held leadership roles at different organizations and industries, such as lead National Oil & Gas in Qatar, and Fortune 500 Energy & Utility company in North America and Caribbean, most recently Capital Infrastructure and Transit Development Government company in Canada. Leo serves as Board Vice-Chair for Re-Imagine Ontario in the non-profit sector.
Leo holds Master of Laws from York University – Osgoode Hall Law School, and Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Bellevue University. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Catholic University of Minas Gerais – Brazil. He is a Member of The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
We also want to congratulate and welcome Epsit Jajal as the new Chair of the Board.
Epsit Jajal brings 25+ years of senior leadership experience from a range of diverse industries including banking, consulting services, insurance, mining, construction, telecom, high tech, retail, software, energy, and various levels of the public sector. Mr. Jajal specializes in implementing organizational transformation initiatives designed to dramatically improve organizational profitability and enterprise value by leveraging innovative and strategically important digital solutions. His areas of expertise include leading global teams responsible for digital strategy, technology services, finance, professional services, and business operations.
Combined with his globally recognized academic credentials in business (MBA from Western University’s Ivey School of Business), finance (CPA, CMA) and outsourcing certification (University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business), Mr. Jajal provides insightful perspectives to Achēv that help the management team continuously enhance its operational effectiveness and positive impacts on clients.
Under this evolving leadership, we will continue to position Achēv as a sustainable, inclusive and client-focused organization that successfully delivers youth, employment, newcomer and language services across the GTA.
Achēv’s CEO Tonie Chaltas and senior leadership team look forward to working together with all Board of Directors and the Non-Director Committee members over the next term.
As we welcome our new members, we’d also like to extend a heartfelt thanks to our outgoing members: Lawrence Eta and Aneesa Mohammed. Thank you for your dedication and contributions in our work.
Thank you to all who serve on the board. We can’t wait to see how our highly experienced board members will further our vision of helping people discover their potential and achieve their purpose.
To view all of Achēv’s Board Member profiles, visit our Meet The Board page.