Marvin M. Bernstein
Marv Bernstein,B.A., J.D., LL.M., is a lawyer with 34 years of experience and currently holds the position of Chief Advisor, Advocacy for UNICEF Canada, which he assumed in September 2010. From 2005 to 2010, Marv served as Saskatchewan’s second Children’s Advocate, where he was an independent officer of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly. Marv had 28 years of advocacy and senior leadership experience in the child welfare field in Ontario prior to moving to Saskatchewan. He served from 2001 to 2005 as the Director of Policy Development and Legal Support at the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies in Toronto. For 20 years previous, he served as Chief Counsel to the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, and for 3 years before that, he acted as in-house Counsel to the Children’s Aid Society of York Region in Newmarket, Ontario .
Kerry Bowser has been a foster parent with the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto since 1997 and was a Community Home for the agency from 1992 – 1997. Currently he runs a Specialized Foster Home for Toronto CAS. He was elected to the Board of directors in 2006, but did not seek re-election last year for personal reasons. Mr.Bowser is the Senior Program Director for the Yonge Street Mission, overseeing all of its downtown operations, and formerly served as the Senior Pastor of Yonge Street Mission’s Church at the Mission.
Raquel Clarke is a former youth in care of the CAS of Toronto. She is has completed a four year degree in Criminology at York University and is studying to complete the LSAT exam to attend Law School. She currently works as a law clerk and is determined to become a lawyer and fulfill her dreams.
Gerry holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Alberta. Currently, she recently retired as the Director of Education for the largest School Board in Canada - TDSB, a post she has held since 2005. Gerry is looking forward to donating her time, energy and experience to serve on the Board of the CAS of Toronto.
Karen is the Executive Director of Yorktown Family Services which includes Yorktown Child and Family Centre and YorkTown Shelter for Women. She has extensive experience in research and offering keynote speaking engagements relating to Social and Family Services.
Rex Hagon has a degree in Sociology from U. of T. with a specialty in Communication & Interpersonal Relations. In 1985, after a 40 year career in the Canadian film and television industry, he formed Rex Hagon & Associates to provide Executive coaching and Management training in the area of Effective Business Communications. Rex has always been community minded having served for a number of years as President of his local Ratepayer’s Association and as President of ACTRA, the Alliance of Canadian Television & Radio Artists. He has been an active Board member of CAS of Toronto for over 3 years, serving as Chair of the Communication Committee, and is no stranger to the world of adoption: his sister was a Ward of the agency in 1954 and as well his two older sons were adopted in the ‘80’s. Rex’s younger children are now 14 and 16. On a personal note, he enjoys cooking, and has a deep love of the outdoors: particularly back river canoeing and hearing the sound of loons in the early morning.
Barbara Hopper, EVP & Chief Operating Officer of TIM-BR MART, has more than 25 years experience as a finance and business strategist, change agent and business partner. She has held senior leadership roles through start-up, survival, turnaround and growth phases. She has a passion for the overall business – aligning business groups, integrating business teams, processes and technology and has successfully lead strategic initiatives domestically and internationally in various branded companies in the manufacturing, retail, distribution and financial sectors. Her board experience includes Big Sisters of Ontario and A Cappella Services for Young Women. She remains committed and sensitive to issues that impact children and their families. Barbara Hopper holds Commerce & Economic degree from University of Toronto and a Masters of Business Administration. She is also a Chartered Accountant.
Victoria holds Bachelors of Law and Education Degrees from the University of Toronto. Currently, she is Deputy Director, Legal Services Branch, Ministry of the Environment. Her past Board experience includes the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and the John Ross Robertson Child Care Centre. In her current position, Victoria Chairs the Diversity Committee for the Legal Services Branch.
Niru possesses Bachelors Degrees in Civil and Common Law and a B. Comm. from McGill. In addition, she holds a Certificate from the International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France. Since 2006, she has been a Director on the Board of the Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights and in 2008 became a Director on the Board of Manor Road Nursery School. Over the past several years, Niru has provided legal services to the Walkerton Inquiry, the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services, and the Electrical Safety Authority.