Priya Ramesh Mehta
Over her 15+ year development career, Priya has served as a front-line fundraiser and philanthropic consultant with full-spectrum experience in strategic planning, fundraising activation, board engagement, campaign planning and overall operations management. She has had the pleasure of working with numerous high-net worth individuals, corporations and foundations, engaging them with the not for profits she has represented and garnered their support in a meaningful way. Through her career, she has raised over $25M, and structured fundraising campaigns ranging from $5M to $100M. Priya has a deep and thorough understanding of the cultural sensitivities and nuances that come with international fundraising.
Director of Program Development and Strategic Partnerships
Leah has diverse life experience working on social change projects across the globe. In 2018, Leah led the tree-planting project at GPS and fell in love with the school, students, teachers, and the bright community. After working at Impakt Foundation to develop employment programs for newcomers in Toronto, she is now helping VCF to advance its mission through exciting planning and growth. Leah is extremely committed to the success of the community and the organization.
Director of Administration
Alice is responsible for overseeing the VCF budget and liaising between our donors and service providers, ensuring all donations reflect our school ethos. Alice works closely with both the Indian and Canadian Boards and their respective auditors. For Alice, the students at GPS are a true reflection of the high-quality work that has been done and will continue to be done at GPS.
Board of Directors
Theresa Mersky, Chairman
Theresa is the driving force behind the school, from its inception to the thriving place it is today. Theresa worked in finance and consultancy for 20 years and joined the York School Board and became heavily involved in education. Theresa grew up in rural Arkansas with a mother who taught her from an early age that education was the ticket to a better life. Theresa remains steadfast in this belief, as she has personally experienced the rewards of education and continues to see it benefitting so many children at GPS and beyond.
Seth is the former Senior Managing Director of Onex and Vice Chairman of Gluskin Sheff, where he built and managed relationships with the firm’s clients and business partners. Seth has been vital to the success of VCF and GPS since its founding, including ensuring the school has financial stability and the resources needed to achieve its mission. Seth has brought financial expertise and strategic guidance to the VCF board since its inception.
Justin is the current Associate Head of Academics at the York School. A board member of GPS since its founding, Justin also led the first York School Service Learning Trip to India. Justin is thrilled to lend his expertise to the strategic planning and development of VCF and GPS, and has enjoyed watching the GPS school grow from its humble beginnings to the amazing centre of learning it is today. He believes learning can only happen when health, heart and spirit align, and GPS is a living and thriving example of this today.
Dr. Samir Gupta
Dr. Samir Gupta is a respirologist and clinician-scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Gupta joined the VCF board in 2009, inspired by the vision and early successes of GPS. Dr. Gupta is very active in the GPS community, where he co-founded and now leads the GPS Health Program. His greatest reward has been seeing the once malnourished children become healthy and revel in the learning experience at GPS.
Christine, a lawyer who specializes in children’s law, joined the VCF board in 2014. Since that time, her admiration for the work of the school has continued to grow and far surpassed anything she ever imagined. In an area of great poverty, GPS is a beacon of learning and wellbeing for the students and staff alike. Christine is delighted to be able to serve on its board and support GPS’ continued growth and success.
Amit is a registered Portfolio Manager responsible for managing Private Clients and Family Offices at Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. As an immigrant to Canada, Amit and his family continue to have strong roots in India. They have been volunteering and contributing towards charities with a focus on education and poverty eradication. Amit is helping spread awareness amongst the Indo-Canadian community and providing his financial expertise towards fundraising efforts for VCF and GPS.
David is the former Executive Director, Admissions, at Greenwood College School where he worked for 18 years as a teacher, coach and member of the Senior Leadership Team. David is a graduate of McGill University and the University of Toronto Law School, and practised corporate-commercial law for 16 years with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin in Toronto. David is currently a member of the board of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and previously served on the board of a Canadian public company and as a member of the Independent Review Committee of two Canadian public mutual fund groups. David is a passionate believer in the mission, vision and values of GPS and is very pleased to join the board of GPS.
Kimberley’s portfolio in the NGO space spans 18+ years, and in this time she has worked for local and international healthcare organizations, partnered with entities in the private and public sector, and collaborated with internal and external teams on both the project development and programming implementation sides. Kimberley’s intrigue to the vision, mission and values of VCF, prompted her to join our Board of Directors in May 2022. In her own words, she is particularly intrigued by our commitment to countering all aspects of multi-dimensional poverty and the profound impact we’ve made over the last decade in this space.
Kate Thornley Hall
Kate is an interior designer in Toronto and mother of three. Her children, all GPS volunteers, fell in love with the school and inspired Kate to visit in 2017. She joined the board later that same year. The school and the community are a constant source of inspiration to Kate, who feels honoured to be involved in the work that the school is accomplishing.
Lyane van Schaik-Munk
Lyane is the founder of Scarlet Boutique and works with foundations to help them reach their development goals. Lyane joined the VCF board in 2012 after volunteering for the organization, and is thrilled to support fundraising for the school. In all her years involved with VCF, a major highlight continues to be visiting the school and meeting diverse volunteers from across the globe.
Kyle Mersky is a lawyer and works in business development at Hydro One. Kyle has grown up engaged in the efforts of VCF and GPS, watching and supporting it as it grew from a “simple” undertaking of opening a school in an impoverished community, to an example of how to transform an entire village through high quality education and community engagement. He is inspired on a daily basis by the impact of both VCF and GPS and the continued success of the children and families they serve.