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Board of Directors

Toronto Wildlife Centre is governed by a volunteer board of directors that truly believes in helping wildlife and the community through education, rehabilitation, and conservation.

Garry Gibbs, BA, LLB – Chair

Gary Gibbs is the founding partner of boutique law firm Gibbs & Associates. A graduate of the Osgoode Hall Faculty of Law, Gary is recognized as a leader in the fields of construction law and insurance and has been on the National Post’s “The Best Lawyers in Canada: Construction Law and Insurance” list since 2007. Brought up surrounded by pets, Gary now has a home full of happy rescue cats and dogs. A Toronto Wildlife Centre volunteer since 1997 (including many years as board chairman), Gary was re-elected to the board in 2015.

Kevin Empey, CPA (CA), CHE, AMP – Vice-Chair and Treasurer

Kevin Empey is currently providing advisory services to the Ministry of Health, Hospitals and Long-Term Care homes.

Kevin retired from being President and CEO of Lakeridge Health (hospitals in Durham Region) for 8 years and earlier was Vice President Finance and EVP at University Health Network for 10 years. He had prior executive roles at Peel Memorial Hospital and St. Michael’s Hospital. Kevin worked in Northern Telecom before switching to health care.

Kevin is a Chartered Accountant (now CPA) and graduate of Harvard’s Advanced Management Program.

Kevin’s personal interest is nature and the environment, and he is an active birdwatcher. He joined the TWC Board in 2016

Lisa Gibbens, BA, MISt – Secretary

Lisa has almost three decades of communications and marketing experience in the private, non-profit and public sectors, including more than 15 years with the Ontario government. Previously Board Secretary at the Toronto Humane Society, Lisa joined TWC’s board in 2016. When not hiking through Toronto’s ravines with her dog or listening to jazz with her cat (both THS alumni), you’ll find Lisa gardening or avidly consuming the latest political, local and international news.

Barbara Fanning, MLS, MBA

Barbara Fanning has over 20 years of experience leading fundraising research programs at healthcare and educational non-profit organizations. A librarian by profession, she earned her MBA from the Ivey Business School. A supporter and enthusiastic volunteer of the Toronto Wildlife Centre since 2014, Barbara joined the board in 2016.

Karin Ots, BPHE, LLB

Karin Ots was called to the Ontario Bar in 1988. She is currently Senior Vice-President, Regulatory and Government Relations at Aviva Canada where she leads Aviva’s public policy and government relations work. Karin serves on a number of industry and government committees. She is also on the Board of Directors for Northern Birch Credit Union.

Selene Hur, BA, MISt

Selene Hur is the Manager of Prospect Development & Research at the YMCA of Greater Toronto. With a background in fine arts, nonprofit management and information systems, she has worked in the fundraising sector for over 20 years. Aside from work, Selene currently serves on the boards of Apra International and Kappa Kappa Gamma Toronto Alumnae Association. Selene adores and spoils her 3 rescue cats. Selene joined our board of directors in 2016.

Maria Kouvas, BA, CFA

Maria Kouvas brings with her more than 15 years of progressive experience in the Capital Markets sector in a Finance, Accounting and Regulatory Reporting capacity. Her most recent role was the Director of Finance at GMP Securities LP, and prior to that she held senior roles at RBC Capital Markets and E*Trade Canada Securities Corporation. Maria is a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Labour Management Relations from the University of Toronto. She is a loyal supporter of the Toronto Wildlife Centre, having volunteered with them since 2013. Maria is an avid animal lover, traveller and baker. She shares her home with a well-trained rescue cat named Mija.

Nabila Tisha, BA, CFRE

Nabila has rescued animals for as long as she can remember, and everything she seeks to do in animal welfare is in dedication to them.

With a decade of fund development and progressive sales leadership roles across Fortune 500 and social enterprise spaces, she never strayed far from working with non-profits. As the Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations at Globalfaces Direct, Nabila oversees multimillion-dollar donor acquisition portfolios for numerous non-profits. Her experience will support TWC in sustainably diversifying its revenue streams to remain a first-class organization for staff, volunteers, and most importantly, the animals in its care.

Nabila joined the TWC as a volunteer Nursery Assistant in 2017 and our Board of Directors in 2021. She also serves on the Board of Toronto Humane Society and cherishes spending time with her rescue pup, Lemon.

Derrick Araneda

Derrick is a Partner at Stosic & Associates, a government relations firm based in Toronto. From 2016-2018 he served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Health & Long-Term Care of Ontario. Prior to his public service roles, Derrick worked in both Japan and Spain for high-growth start-ups in the education and technology spaces. He holds a BA in Political Science from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver as well as a MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. Derrick enjoys spending time with his two rescued rabbits.

Diana Turchin, MD, FRCS(C)

Diana Turchin has a medical degree from the University of Toronto and practiced orthopaedic surgery for more than 15 years.  Her interests in birding and bird photography led to a passion for protecting nature and wildlife.  She has extensive advocacy and volunteer experience with nature and wildlife organizations.  A lifelong animal lover, Diana shares her home with two indoor cats.  Her other interests include hiking, travel, playing the violin and classical guitar.  A volunteer with TWC since 2021, Diana joined the TWC Board in 2023.