The Game Changers Executive Committee consists of 33 young leaders passionate about sport and its ability to improve the future of Toronto’s youths. Our members have come together from diverse industries and backgrounds; each bringing their own unique skills and experiences to the table.
The Executive Committee covers events, sponsorship, marketing and communications, and general membership . We love collaborating and dreaming up bigger and better ways to achieve our fundraising goals, and channel our efforts toward making a positive and lasting impact on our community.
AUSTIN BANASCO, Co-Chair
Austin Banasco is Vice President at Boutique Inc.., an experiential marketing agency operating across Canada. Previously, he has held various marketing and sales positions at tier one CPG companies including L’Oreal and Revlon. He holds a BBA (Honours) from the Schulich School of Business at York University.
DR. NICOLE FOLLAND, Co-Chair
Dr. Nicole Folland is the CEO and Managing Director of Athlete Excellence Inc., a mental performance coaching service for young, aspiring, and professional athletes. Nicole has competed internationally as both a dancer and an equestrian and has represented Team Canada at the World Dance Championships in Riesa, Germany. Her passion for sport and understanding the connection between the mind and body of high-performing athletes led her to complete a Ph.D. in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour.
CAROLYN HAWTHORN, VP Membership
Carolyn lives and works in the great city of Toronto. As the University Relations manager for Wilfrid Laurier University’s Toronto Office, Carolyn cultivates partnerships in Waterloo and Toronto focusing on Laurier’s community oriented spirit, innovative ideas, and go-getter attitude. Carolyn is the outgoing chair of the Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto Young Professional Committee. She holds a BA from Western University, a post-graduate certificate in Fundraising and Volunteer Management from Humber College and a MA in Leadership from the University of Guelph. Carolyn plays volleyball, runs, is in a book club and is an avid (Toronto) sports fan.
LEALA MCINERNEY, VP Championship Gala
Leala is a passionate and powerful communicator. Having spent her career in the learning and development space, she is a global brand representative, international speaker, content creator and communications strategist. A committed and engaged Torontonian, Leala has also been a Director with the Liberty Village Residents Association for the last 7 years, championing many of their events and philanthropic initiatives
EDGAR VERGARA, VP General Membership & Speaker Series
Edgar has spent his career in the finance industry and is currently a Vice President in the High Yield Capital Markets group at RBC Capital Markets, focused on debt advisory, structuring and origination. Prior to RBC Capital Markets, Edgar worked as a Portfolio Manager at Stanton Asset Management focused on high yield credit. Originally from Montreal, Edgar is a die-hard Toronto Raptors fan and is committed to the success of MLSE Foundation. He is particularly interested in helping kids use sports to help them further their education.
NICOLA D'SOUZA, VP Marketing And Communications
Nicola D'Souza works in Communications for the President and CEO at Ceridian. She has worked in communications and cause marketing for the last 10 years. A proud Western University grad with a Public Relations Post-Graduate Certificate from Humber College, she is a huge advocate of education. An avid Toronto sports fan, she truly believes in the power sport has in bringing communities together. MLSE Foundation is an organization close to her heart because it gives kids facing barriers opportunities to play sports, to thrive and to just be kids in a safe space like MLSE LaunchPad.
RYAN ADAMS, VP Sponsorship
Ryan currently serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships at RBC Ventures, a new arm of RBC committed to moving 'beyond banking' that creates meaningful solutions that touch every Canadian.
Previously, Ryan served as the Head of Global Business Development at WE (Free The Children), leading a team of 20 fundraising professionals across North America and the UK. After completing his Master’s degree at the President Clinton School of Public Service, he began his career at McKinsey & Company, working in their Social Sector Office, Through his career in both the private and social sectors, Ryan brings a commitment and enthusiasm to problem solving, relationship development, and strategic innovation resulting in significant business growth.
Ryan cares deeply about his community, country, and planet, and in additional to MLSE Foundation Game Changers, also volunteers with Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, SickKids, and UCC. He lives in Toronto with his wife Michelle and dog Tyson, loves sports, long runs, and animals, and is one of those annoyingly passionate vegans.
HARRY SALE, VP Innovation
Harry has been at RBC Dominion Securities since 2013, and joined the Game Changers Executive Committee in 2016. He currently sits on the Charitable Giving committee at his RBC Branch and has been involved in a number of philanthropic endeavours both at RBC and personally. He is an avid sports fan, and focuses on playing golf, rowing, bike riding, hockey, and motor racing. Harry’s belief that the impact sports has on people of all-ages is powerful, and is committed to support the initiatives put forward by the MLSE Foundation and MLSE LaunchPad.
MEGAN ELLISON, Director - Marketing and Communications
Megan is a passionate and driven fundraising and events professional who has committed her career to various causes across the GTA and Ontario – including United Way, Camp Ooch and – most recently - the MLSE Foundation where she spent 3 years managing the Foundation’s corporate partnership portfolio. As the new Associate Manager of Events with United Way Greater Toronto, she is now using her sponsorship and event experience to engage new corporate event partners to fight local poverty across the York, Peel and Toronto regions. Megan is a dog lover, golfer, traveler, volunteer, and avid Toronto sports fan. Her love and passion for sports and philanthropy has brought her back to support MLSE Foundation through this year’s Game Changers Executive Committee. She looks forward to helping change the game for youth facing barriers in our community!
LINDA TU, Director - Golf Classic
Linda is an associate at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP with a focus on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. Linda advises both public and private companies, institutional and strategic investors and investment dealers in a variety of industries. Linda also provides pro bono legal services to not-for-profit organizations and holds a BCom from the University of Toronto and JD from Queen’s University. Prior to joining MLSE Game Changers, Linda was involved in programs advancing literacy in local Toronto schools. Linda believes that good things come from being involved in sports and recreation and looks forward to supporting the MLSE Game Changers to advance its youth-focused initiatives.
SOPHIA WALTER, Director - Golf Classic
Sophia Walter has a strong background in Food Science and Business. She is the Technical Sales Manager at Powell May International, where she manages the sales of ingredients to major food manufacturers across Canada, innovation projects, and the technical team. Sophia has been involved in sports from a young age; including horseback riding, field hockey, running and soccer. She is currently an avid endurance runner, focusing and training for trail races, marathons and ultra marathons. Sophia is also a passionate sports fan, from hockey to formula 1 racing, and is excited to contribute to helping youth experience the power of sports.
RAY MURCHISON, Director - Creative Design
Ray Murchison is a Visual Designer at Achievers, an HR tech company that focuses on employee recognition. Ray has almost a decade of experience as a Visual Design professional with a comprehensive understanding of multidisciplinary design principles. Ray graduated from Seneca College Graphic Design program and has furthered his knowledge of design by completing the part-time Web Development program at HackerYou and through various other online continuing education courses. He has a passion for all things creative and values the impact that a strong visual presence can bring to an organization. As an active member of the design community, his mission is to implement creative and effective design techniques to achieve practical and inspiring solutions.
JESSE PROUT, Director - Marketing and Communications
Jesse is a lifelong sports fan who is currently an Account Coordinator at CTV focusing on Bell Media's conventional channels. He has previously held multiple positions with the London Knights Hockey Club, starting as the In-Game Coordinator and eventually becoming an on-air host for KnightsTV. After graduating from Western University and Fanshawe College’s collaborative Journalism program he began writing on the official websites, blogs, and social media pages for professional athletes like Odell Beckham Jr, Melvin Gordon and Kirk Cousins. He transitioned into being a Social Media Content Strategist for a San Diego-based publishing company, Hive Media Group, before moving to Toronto in 2019. For Jesse, being able to play on multiple teams in many sports growing up has shaped nearly every aspect of his life and he looks forward to being able help impact the lives of other children through sport while being a part of the MLSE Foundation Game Changers.
CHIRAG SHETH, Director - Marketing and Communications
Chirag is currently a Marketing Communications Specialist with Microsoft, responsible for social media strategy, content creation and thought leadership programs, as well as internal/external communications for the Canadian Services team. Prior to joining Microsoft, Chirag worked for an analytics consulting company called Newcomp Analytics as a Marketing Specialist and as a Community Coordinator with the Housing & Residences Department at the University of Waterloo. Chirag is a proud University of Waterloo alumni, graduating in 2017 from the Honours Science and Business Co-op program. Sports have always played a huge role in Chirag’s life, but especially growing up. Participating in sports can teach many life lessons, and it is Chirag’s goal to help ensure other kids have access to that opportunity.
DANIELLE GALARNEAU, Director - Marketing and Communications
Danielle excels in providing exceptional experiences to clients working in the event planning industry for Hala Events & Communications Inc. Danielle has had the opportunity to work on international award-winning events like the Tim Horton Children's Foundation Black Tie Gala, Breast Cancer Society Mother's Day Walks, Right to Play Heroes Gala and many more. She has also been working for the VIP Experiences team at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment for the past couple of years. Her experience managing complex logistical events and her ability to overcome any obstacle with professionalism and poise sets her apart. Danielle holds a bachelors degree in Kinesiology from Western University and a post-graduate certificate in Sport & Event Marketing. While her love for sports began when she was a child, her personal experiences have led to an appreciation for how influential sports can be in someone's life. Danielle is passionate about giving back to her community and is looking forward to aiding youth facing barriers in Toronto through MLSE Foundation Game Changers.
SCOTT MASON, Director - Sponsorship
PAUL MACCHIONE, Director - Sponsorship
JUAN SANTANA, Director - Sponsorship
Juan Santana is an investment banking Associate at Osprey Capital, a mid-market focused investment bank specializing in mergers and acquisitions. A dynamic professional, he started his career within high-growth technology companies and is passionate about creating long lasting relationships. In addition to his role within Game Changers he co-founded a not-for-profit organization called EduGate, helping underprivileged students in Latin America receive exposure to global curriculums through education technology. Having been born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Juan understands the importance of empowering youth and providing an outlet for them to develop, learn, and build a strong ecosystem. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.
JAY MCCAULEY, Director - Sponsorship
Jay McCauley is a PR and event management professional. He has implemented strategic communications plans and executed large-scale events for a variety of clients, including: Aldo Shoes, Parajumpers, L’Oréal Group, Saucony, and Citizen Watch Company, among others. Jay has pitched and secured coverage in top-tier media outlets such as: CTV Morning Live, CTV’s Your Morning, CTV’s The Social, CP24, The Huffington Post, FASHION Magazine, and Elle Canada.
Jay has extensive experience in event curation, having managed several client events at the Toronto International Film Festival and working as an aide on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2015 National Tour. Jay is passionate about philanthropy and has assisted with various charitable events, including: ‘Raps City Social’ in support of the MLSE Foundation, ‘Party in our Crib’ in support of Sinai Health Systems, the ‘All-Star Gala’ in support of Sickkids Hospital, and ‘Boobyball’ in support of Rethink Breast Cancer.
Jay is a strategic, effective, and ambitious young leader, always quick to think about the next big campaign, whether in PR or politics. Outside of his career, Jay can most likely be found teaching a spin class at Toronto’s own Spokehaus, working out at Barry’s Bootcamp, or out for dinner with his friends.
KASHIF ARSHAD, Director - Sponsorship
Kashif has a media and communications background and joined the Game Changers Executive Committee in 2019. His passion of sports has led him to a career as a Reporter for Global TV and a Sports Anchor for CTV Kitchener. Kashif has also worked behind the scenes at TSN as Manager of News and Information and CBC as Associate Producer, working on digital production during the 2018 Winter Olympics. He is an avid sports fan, believes in the power of organized sports while positively impacting the lives of youth and bringing communities together. Kashif has a philanthropic background being a part of multiple charity organizations and working with the MLSE foundation; he looks forward to #ChangetheGame.
DANIEL D’ERCOLE, Director - Sponsorship
Daniel is currently a Marketing and Brand Strategy Manager at St. Michael's College School and is a graduate of Ryerson University BA in 2016. Daniel has worked as a consultant at Scotiabank Arena as well as Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment and has been coaching minor hockey in the Greater Toronto Hockey League for the past 5 seasons. He has a philanthropic background and is excited to further grow the extensive reach that the foundation currently has on youth in sport in the GTA. Daniel understands and appreciates the importance of participating in team sports because it provides a supportive community for those who are active in team activities no matter what age.
JOSH HARRIS, Director - Sponsorship
Josh Harris works on the Suburban Retail Group with CBRE as their Director of Landlord Services. The team focuses on Retail Leasing and Investment Sales across Ontario. He is also the Co-Founder of Bacchus & Barley, a leather goods designer and manufacturer for both retail and wholesale. Prior to joining MLSE, Josh was the Co-Chair of St. Michael’s Hospital Young Leaders annual Golf tournament. Josh grew up playing numerous sports and is looking forward to providing future generations the opportunity to be empowered by sport and the invaluable influences it has on one’s life.
MAX MUNOZ, Director - Sponsorship
Max Muñoz is an Associate in the advocacy department of Gowling WLG’s Toronto Office. Max’s practice covers a broad range of litigation areas, but is mainly focused on class actions, acting primarily for defendants in product liability, competition and securities-related matters. In his free time, Max volunteers to act as counsel for families requiring legal assistance at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. He is also a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law.
FAIRUZ HOQUE, Director - Sponsorship
Fairuz is a Senior Associate in the Deal Strategy Group at PwC, prior to which he was in the Assurance Practice. Fairuz received his BBA from the Schulich of Business at York University and in his spare time can be found cheering for the Raptors or trying out new restaurants. He is excited to support MLSE Foundation initiatives to make a positive impact for youth.
ROSALIND PYPER, Director - Sponsorship
Rosalind works as Legal Counsel at Wajax Corporation where her practice focuses on corporate/commercial law although touches on many other areas of law including litigation and intellectual property. She is a member of the Young Women in Law Committee, a not for profit organization supporting female lawyers in the early stages of their practice, and was a member of a committee which organized events to raise funds for a national charity which runs and supports programs for at-risk youth. Rosalind believes that participation in sport has a strong positive influence on youth and is excited to support the MLSE Foundation’s youth-focused sports initiatives. Rosalind previously ran national-level cross country and in her spare time she plays volleyball, attempts to improve her golf swing and recently ran a half marathon.
ADAM BUDD, Director - General Membership
Adam has 10-plus years of commercial real estate experience in the US and Canada, having directly originated and executed on almost $1 billion of financing transactions. He’s currently the Vice President and Greater Toronto Area Practice Lead Debt Capital Markets at JLL. He graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business in 2004. As a part of the National Debt Markets team, Adam is responsible for providing real estate debt brokerage and advisory services with a focus on growing and leading the Greater Toronto Area practice group.
SARAH ROSS, Director - General Membership
Sarah is currently a new member of the events team for the MS Society. She is responsible for assisting and facilitating elements of the Bike fundraising initiatives in the foundation. She previously worked at a new credit card company called Brim Financial. She worked in their Partnerships department, and then transitioned into the Operations department. She graduated from Acadia University in May 2018 where she completed two BA Undergraduate degrees and played on the Women’s Varsity Volleyball Team. She completed her first degree in Environmental Sustainability Studies, and then completed her second degree in Sociology. With this final degree, she conducted an honours thesis, investigating the gender inequality present within the varsity athletics program at Acadia University. Sarah has played volleyball since she was 8 years old, and now coaches young female athletes with Phoenix Volleyball Club. Playing on the Varsity volleyball team while at Acadia University, she was also the co-president of the Athletic Council for three years, facilitating and organizing various fundraising events on the campus and in the town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
DAVID BOOTH, Director - Championship Gala
David is an accounting & finance professional with a passion for sports. Growing up playing hockey, he recognized the benefits of being involved in sport at an early age and how crucial they were to building the values he uphold today as a working professional. Through the MLSE Foundation Game Changers Program, he is looking to provide today's youth the same opportunity to succeed in sports, school and their unique aspirations.
MONICA SCAGLIONE, Director - Championship Gala
Monica Scaglione is a proud Media and Journalism Graduate from Western University. Working in National Television Sales for CTV Network at Bell Media, Monica understands the importance of making meaningful connections. Prior to working in Sales, she created TV magic for Canada's #1 daily entertainment show, etalk. Monica excels in communicating, planning and organizing events. She enjoys personal styling and fashion and has worked at Tiffany & Co. as a Sales Professional for the last 7 years. This is her second year "changing the game" with the Executive Committee of MLSE Foundation Game Changers. Monica was a part of many extracurricular activities as a child that have helped shape who she is today, including competing in ballet for over 10 years and playing soccer throughout her childhood. Being a team member on several accounts brought her so many memories and happiness. She hopes to share the joy that she has experienced with youth facing barriers in our community.
CHRISTINE STOGIOS, Director - Championship Gala
Christine is a Team Lead at Cancer Care Ontario, leading the design and execution of Ontario's colorectal cancer screening program. Prior to this, Christine began her career in healthcare by volunteering at Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic at Western University leading her to complete her Masters of Science in Physiotherapy at McMaster University. While her love for sport began far before, her experience has led to an appreciation for the powerful benefits that participation in sport can bring. Christine is looking forward to changing the game for youth in our city with the rest of the team.
BROOKE JAMIESON, Director - Speaker Series
Brooke Jamieson graduated from the MIT program at Western University with a minor in writing. Since then, she's gained the event experience working as a Sales Manager at XL Lifestyle, and most recently, as an Account Executive at 7 Communications. Here, she manages multiple luxury automotive brands to assist in the planning and execution of their events. Brooke was a general member on the MLSE Game Changers last year and has taken on more responsibility as the Event Director for the Speaker Series. She can't wait for the exciting year with the MLSE Game Changers.
DAVID KWOK, Director - Speaker Series
David Kwok is the Entrepreneurship Manager for YSpace, York University’s technology and food incubator in York Region. Under David’s leadership, YSpace incubated 23 ventures in it’s first year of operation and helped companies generate over $2.4 million in revenue, raise over $1.3 million in funding, and create 71 new jobs. Prior to joining York University, David held various roles at The DMZ at Ryerson University, ranging from business development to creating programs for incubated startups. His main achievement was building out the DMZ Sandbox program to become a talent and startup development hub for the community.
In addition to this, David has a strong passion for youth development and sports as he is a basketball enthusiast. With his passion, David co-founded ZerotoStartup, an educational venture focused on creating curriculum for maker spaces that combines business, technology, and personal development for youth. He is also involved with several non-for-profit organizations including SAGE Canada, a youth entrepreneurial program as the former National Country Coordinator and Pledges for Change, a community-based youth empowerment program as an Advisory Board member.