Mississauga news story
November 18, 2022

We’re excited to share that Achēv has been featured in the Mississauga News! The article covers the launch of our women’s services pillar and discusses how we are helping immigrant and racialized women develop skills and find better and more meaningful jobs.  

Achēv’s women’s pillar empowers our team to be more intentional about how we are helping women identify and access the employment, language, newcomer, youth and other services they need. To read the full article in the Mississauga News, click here. Learn more about our Women’s Services here.

November 9, 2022

Achēv, one of the largest providers of employment, newcomer, language, and youth services in the Greater Toronto Area, launches a new service offering dedicated to women who face unique barriers in securing employment, settling in a new community, and building the networks they need to thrive. Achēv is committed to increasing its support to this integral segment of our society. 

“We support women across the continuum of their lives, from first jobs and settlement to skills development and charting career paths,” said Achēv CEO Tonie Chaltas. “Achēv’s dedicated Women’s Pillar will allow us to provide more targeted support to the more than 50,000 women and girls who access our employment, language, and newcomer services each year.” 

Canadian businesses must diversify their workforce to remain competitive and meet 21st-century labour demands. But women, particularly newcomer and racialized women, face barriers to full-time, meaningful employment. It takes immigrant and racialized women longer to integrate into the labour market than men. They also earn less median income in a year compared to Canadian-born and non-racialized women. 

“We are increasing our work with employers to build pathways to employment and help set women up for success in the workplace,” explained Ms. Chaltas. “Broadening and extending women’s workforce participation, particularly for newcomer and racialized women, is critical to addressing our current and future labour shortages.” 

“I know firsthand some of the challenges that women in the workplace face, especially if they are a newcomer or a woman of colour,” said Jessica Luh Kim, a consultant at Seasons Retirement Communities. “Seasons Retirement Communities is proud of the work we do with Achēv to empower women in the workplace.” 

Achēv is actively seeking opportunities to expand our women’s program offering and to collaborate with employers and partner organizations. Learn more about Achēv’s women’s services at https://achev.ca/services/women-services/  

Readers choice awards graphic
November 3, 2022

We are pleased to announce that Achēv has been named the Diamond Winner of the 2022 Mississauga News Readers’ Choice Awards in the Best Non-Profit/Foundations and Best Employment Agency categories! The Diamond Award is the highest-ranked category, followed by Platinum and Gold.  

Every year, the Mississauga News holds the Readers’ Choice Awards to recognize local organizations for their achievements. Thousands of people from the community are encouraged to nominate and vote for their favourite businesses and/or professionals in Mississauga. The Mississauga News Readers’ Choice Awards is one of the most respected and reputable consumer awards in Mississauga. Achēv’s win in two categories is indicative of our dedication to our clients, commitment to making a positive difference in the diverse communities we serve, and an acknowledgment of our achievements throughout the year. 

Our win this year would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our staff, partners and clients!  

September 28, 2022

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 Blake

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.

Ruth Woods
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

Akshat Jhaveri
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.

September 19, 2022

We are excited to share that Achēv has been featured on the September 15 edition of the Toronto Star as part of the “Supporting Canada’s Newcomers and Refugees” campaign. As a hub of newcomer services, we discussed how we make sure that our clients are primed and ready to apply for jobs by providing them with the support they need to successfully transition into their new lives. The article also explains how newcomers get one-on-one settlement and career support at Achēv and can also improve their English and French skills through language assessments, our online language classes and class referrals.

Here is the full Toronto Star campaign with our article: http://project.mediaplanet.com/26422.pdf

Achev RBC news
August 15, 2022

RBC Meeting Place Opens at Achēv’s Newcomer Information Centre

August 15, 2022, Mississauga, ON – Newcomers living in Mississauga now have more support than ever, through a new partnership between Achēv and RBC that provides helpful services and timely advice to those who are establishing new lives in Canada.

Representatives of both organizations, government officials and newcomer clients came together at Achēv’s Newcomer Information Centre at 50 Burnhamthorpe Road to celebrate the opening of RBC Meeting Place, a unique resource centre for new Canadians. This location will be staffed by expert RBC Newcomer Advisors who will help people of all cultures with their banking and financial needs as they settle into their new community. In addition to one-on-one advice and support, RBC Newcomer Advisors will host group seminars ranging from careers in finance to networking and personal brand building, with a special emphasis on youth. The addition of RBC Meeting Place rounds out Achēv’s robust newcomer services, which include employment, language assessment, youth programs and newcomer settlement and referral services. Together, Achēv and RBC are helping newcomers get to know their new community and navigate their settlement journey.

“There are so many barriers that can hinder the growth and success of new Canadians. It’s important to never forget about the journey that newcomers face,” shared Shorouq Alkayyali, Assistant Branch Manager, RBC as she recalled her own challenges when she arrived in Canada. “Achēv and RBC can play an integral part in helping newcomers understand the Canadian landscape while providing the support needed to set them up for success.”

“Achēv is pleased to collaborate with RBC. Our two organizations have come together based on shared values and a common approach to serving our clients and community. We are both committed to putting each client at the centre of what we do,” said Tonie Chaltas, CEO, Achēv. “Together, we are providing clients with an integrated and seamless settlement journey, helping them access the services and advice they need to find meaningful employment and establish new lives in Canada.”

RBC has been providing advice and solutions to newcomers for over 150 years across Canada and offers phone services in up to 200 languages. More recently, RBC’s Newcomer teams have brought their expertise, resources, products, and services to new Canadians through community partnerships and in RBC Meeting Place locations nationally.

“We’re committed to making it easier for new Canadians to get established, succeed and thrive in Canada,” said Tom Parisi, Regional Vice President, RBC. “That’s why we’re so pleased to be co-located with Achēv here in Mississauga – so we can continue to support newcomers with their financial needs and more, as they adapt to life in Canada.”

Media Contact:

Kristen Neagle, Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships, Achēv

Achev featured on national post
April 28, 2022

We are pleased to share that Achēv has been featured in the National Post. The article discusses how we empower diverse newcomers and Canadians to achieve their career goals and build successful futures. It also features one of our clients, Mohit Mundra, who shared how Achēv was able to help him find meaningful employment and smoothly transition to life in Canada as a newcomer. To read the full article on the National Post, click here.

March 29, 2022

Toronto, Ontario – March 29, 2022 – Achēv has announced they will be hosting their largest hiring event of the year once again in partnership with virtual events platform vFairs. The Achēv Spring 2022 Virtual Hiring Event is free to all job seekers and will seek to fill over 200 open positions with top employers in the Greater Toronto Area. The event will be held on April 7, 2022, from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Registration is required to access the event and can be completed here.

The Achēv Spring 2022 Virtual Hiring Event will offer diverse job seekers the opportunity to discover new employment opportunities, present their resumes, speak directly with employers and participate in on-the-spot interviews.

Job openings include positions in Banking, Business Development, Cleaning/Sanitation, Customer Service, Finance, Food Services, General Labour, Health Care, Hospitality, Human Resources, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Office Administration, Quality Assurance, Security, Skilled Trades, Transportation and Warehousing.

Participating employers include RBC, TD Insurance, HSBC, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), Tangerine-Scotiabank, Maple Lodge Farms, Gategroup, Bamfords Produce, Paladin Security, Sofina Foods, Martin Brower, FDR Financial Debt Recovery, Arima, Toro Aluminum, FirstService Residential, CLS Catering Services, Amcor, Brainvire, Frendel Kitchens and Pointcare Health.

“We are pleased to be hosting Achēv’s Spring 2022 Virtual Hiring Event, our largest virtual hiring event of the year,” said Tonie Chaltas, Chief Executive Officer at Achēv. “This virtual event is a great opportunity for job seekers in the Greater Toronto Area to connect with leading employers from a multitude of industries. At Achēv, we strive to ensure an inclusive economic recovery by providing diverse job seekers with the right opportunities they need to achieve their career goals.”

“We are very happy to once again work with Achēv to produce a high-quality virtual event that fosters efficient hiring for all types of candidates within the Greater Toronto Area” said Muhammad Younas, vFairs CEO. “We look forward to helping both hiring employers and candidates across the region fill roles and achieve their goals through the vFairs platform.”

Event registration is open now.

About Achēv

Achēv is a leading charitable organization that delivers employment, newcomer, language and youth services. We offer comprehensive and personalized programs of the highest quality to help people achieve their full potential. Each year, our dedicated team of nearly 400 staff serves over 100,000 clients through virtual services and multiple in-person locations across the Greater Toronto Area. We are committed to making a positive and lasting difference in the diverse communities we serve.

Media Contact

Joy Qiu



About vFairs 

vFairs strives to deliver top-class virtual events for all audiences, with an intuitive platform that recreates physical events through an immersive online experience. With a range of powerful features and dedicated support for users around the world, vFairs removes the hassle from organizing, exhibiting at, and attending events such as conferences, trade shows, and career fairs. vFairs is a 2021 Mid-Market Leader in the Virtual Event Platforms Category by G2.

Contact the vFairs team to learn more or request a demo to see a virtual event in action or visit www.vfairs.com

Media Contact:

Brianne Snell




Achev RBC collaboration
March 22, 2022

We are pleased to announce that starting March 21, 2022, Achēv and RBC are launching an exciting new partnership that will help bring more services and advice to newcomers in the Mississauga area.

RBC has opened a Meeting Place within our Mississauga-City Centre location. This inviting space will be staffed by expert RBC Newcomer Advisors, who are dedicated to helping people of all cultures with their settlement needs, including banking, engaging their new community, and introductions to community partners who can help them get settled.

RBC has been providing advice and solutions to newcomers for over 150 years and offers phone services in up to 200 languages. Over the last few years, these RBC Newcomer Advisor teams have been bringing the people, resources, products and services of RBC remotely to newcomers to help them thrive as they create a new life here.

Achēv and RBC share common goals aimed at connecting people to opportunities that help them achieve their full potential. Both our organizations have teams of highly skilled and dedicated staff, and we continue to work with partners, businesses and government to help our clients through the pandemic and their settlement journey in Canada. Ultimately, our shared hope is that through partnerships like this, we can help more newcomers receive the support and services they need to succeed.

We look forward to sharing a space with RBC and a long and successful collaboration!

Trillium news release
February 25, 2022

Mississauga, Ontario – February 25, 2022 – In February 2021, Achēv received a $144,400 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to identify digital solutions to enhance its resilience and capacity in serving clients and the community. The project was completed in November 2021 and will support the organization’s digital transformation journey for years to come.

“I am thrilled with the announcement that Achēv, a cornerstone organization of my community, is benefitting from support offered by the OTF’s Resilient Communities Fund,” said Natalia Kusendova, Mississauga Centre MPP. “These funds, which have been used to help their organization recover from the impacts of COVID-19 with an increased emphasis on digitizing service provision, will be sure to increase accessibility and efficiency and, in turn, better serve vulnerable communities in both Mississauga and beyond.”

Achēv used this grant to research options and develop digital solutions, such as a client relationship management (CRM) tool, to better engage clients and improve their service experience. “It is critical that we understand the evolving needs of our clients in a timely, centralized way and use technology to connect them with the services they need, when they need it, and in a format that works for them,” said Tonie Chaltas, CEO of Achēv. “The impact of this OTF funded project cannot be underestimated as it has allowed us to develop a customized solution to better support our clients.”

Achēv aims to change people’s lives as they discover their potential and achieve their purpose. It is one of the largest non-profit providers of employment, youth, newcomer and language services in the Greater Toronto Area, serving over 91,000 clients in 2020-21. During the pandemic, the organization quickly adapted tools and processes to provide more online services in record time, providing essential community supports to job seekers, women, newcomers and youth. Further information can be found at www.achev.ca.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.


Media Contact:

Kristen Neagle
Government Relations & Strategic Partnerships, Achēv

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