President: Alf Kwinter
Alf earned his law degree from the University of Toronto in 1970. In 1974, Alf and his classmate Morris Singer founded the firm of Singer Kwinter. His firm, Singer Kwinter, is consistently named by Canadian Lawyer magazine as a top personal injury firm in Canada.
Read his complete profile here: Alf Kwinter’s Profile
Marcia is a Christian and well-rounded woman who gave her life to the Lord when she was eleven years old. Her mom taught her at a tender age that one of the best things one could ever do in life is to give and care for others. Marcia said, “There is no greater investment we can make than to invest in someone’s life”. She believes that as we serve others that we too are enriched. As we give to others, our lives are made better. Marcia lives her life doing just that and it pays off as she has been recognized many times for her commitment. Marcia was the recipient of many Awards, including the 2009 Shining Star Award (Honorary) recognition at York University, Mother of Distinction Award and also The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012. Marcia is the Executive Director of the Tamara Gordon Foundation, to which she has expended much time and energy.
Marcia has volunteered in many facilities such as churches, schools, nursing homes, universities, not for profit housing organizations, and is presently a volunteer coordinator at the building in which she currently resides. The tenants, Board members and staff think very highly of her and the work she does. She reaches out to youth in the community and encourages them to pursue their dreams. Together with her daughter, they conduct back-to school events distributing supplies to students and inviting community leaders and media personnel to encourage them.
Her daughter was injured at the age of 16 due to a skiing accident, became paralyzed and is unable to do many things for herself. Tamara said “My mom did not just extend herself to the family but to others as well”. Despite having to deal with a child with a disability, as a single mother she often seeks out the elderly in her building and surrounding areas and provide them with meals, gifts of fruits and other items on special days, including Christmas and Thanksgiving Day dinners so they would not feel forgotten. Not only did my mother place great emphasis on our physical development at home, but she taught and emphasized spiritual values as well. Church was a part of our general routine and it was that spiritual experience that helped us through the most difficult days of coping with my disability. These are just microscopic examples of the way she goes above and beyond to ensure that her “family” and those around her are cared for emotionally, physically and spiritually”.
Considering the battles Marcia has fought, awarding multiple degrees would not been enough to inspire others who are physically challenged. Her disabilities include Reflex Systematic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS), fibromyalgia, hernia, heart attack, stroke, diabetes as well as a cancer survivor.
Do you know the difference between a river and a swamp? A river takes in water and gives out water so others can benefit. A swamp takes in water but never releases it. We are not supposed to be swamps in life, we must be rivers that give our water so others can live and thrive. When we leave this spot that we now occupy on earth, we will be remembered by others not for what we have done for ourselves, but for what we did for others, not for what we took from others but what we gave to others, not for how rich we made ourselves but how we enriched the lives of others.
“One of Marcia’s motto is, “I am one. You are one. But together we are many.” And when we pool our individual resources, love and support, we can create a sea of change in the ocean of this life; the kind of change that makes the world a better place.
Dr. Roma A. Hewitt
From early childhood, Roma has had a deep love for the Lord; this has driven her to continuously pursue a greater knowledge of Him and of His divine purpose for her life. This journey has not been without its oppositions, but through a passion to fulfill all of God’s will for her life, she has triumphed over them all.
Her developed knowledge of, and intimacy with God, allows her to provide Biblical counseling to individuals and families in a variety of settings. Her goal is to assist them in bringing all areas of their lives into accurate alignment with the principles of the Kingdom of God. She believes strongly in the pursuit of purpose and maximizing one’s potential in order to fulfill God’s destiny for one’s life.
As an inspirational and motivational speaker, she is a sought after speaker at church services, seminars, women’s meetings and other church events, both in and outside of Canada. She was also one of the keynote speakers at a Pastors’ Leadership Conference in Manila, Philippines and regularly ministers in Haiti at women and pastors conferences.
Roma’s ministry also extends into the business world. As a professionally qualified Accountant, Roma owns and operates Reliable Accounting & Tax Services, where ministering to her clientele of small and medium-sized businessmen is an integral part of the complete success package she offers them. Her clientele also includes an increasing number of church ministries. Roma assists church leaders in the effective development of the operational aspects of their ministries.
She is the founder of Arise Shine Ministries, and the head of Congress Corporate Canada, a Kingdom business initiative of Congress- WBN. She is on the leadership team of the Elijah Centre Embassy Toronto, Canada where she worships.
Roma serves on the board of several organizations including Signet Christian School, Join the Family Christian Ministries and Radiant Life Ministries.
Roma has a Doctorate in Divinity & Teaching and a Master’s degree in Theological Studies. She is a Certified Pastoral Counselor and the current Dean of Business at Canada Christian College & School of Theological Studies.
An inspiring woman both spiritually and educationally, Roma serves as a great role model to her three children, four grandchildren and all those connected with her.
Nancy Xia sustained a spinal cord injury when she was 18 years old. At the time she had just graduated from high school. She took a year off for rehabilitation and went back to school as a first year student at University of Toronto. Being one of the few students living with a physical disability, school was not always easy. Unlike most people who are able to have a part-time job to support their tuition and the cost of daily living, students with disabilities are less likely to work at the same time while meeting the demands of life and school. Fortunately, with the help from many scholarship foundations specifically designated for students with disabilities, Nancy received a significant amount of financial support. Besides their monetary value, they also served as a motivation and encouragement to work harder in school. It took Nancy 7 years to finish her 4-year degree. She graduated with a Bachelor Science degree major in Human Psychology. Five months after graduation, she was hired by Spinal Cord Injury Ontario and has been working ever since. Nancy decided to take part in the Tamara Gordon Foundation because she believes in its cause and mission. She is forever grateful for the financial support that she received during the seven years as an university student. She hopes that she can return the blessing by helping others achieve their educational goal. Nancy has recently published her memoir: Leap — Into the Mind of a Suicide. It’s available on Amazon.
Osmond A. Lyons
Osmond immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1970 and studied Civil Engineering at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute and Mechanical Engineering at Seneca College. He worked in the Toronto Transit Commission’s Engineering Department as a Civil and Mechanical Engineering Draughtsman and Designer for twenty-two years, and as a Senior Construction Inspector in the Construction Department for sixteen years. During his years at the TTC, Osmond was involved in the design and construction of the Spadina Subway, the east and west extensions to the Danforth Subway, the Harbour Front Light Rail Transit and the Scarborough Rapid Transit. Before retiring from the TTC in January 2013, Osmond was a Senior Construction Inspector and Community Construction Liaison on the construction of the billion-dollar Sheppard Subway and the one hundred million dollar Mount Dennis Bus Garage at Black Creek Road and Eglinton Avenue West.
Osmond enjoys gardening, watching soccer and American football. (NFL) He is a volunteer with the Tamara Gordon Foundation and is one of the Foundation’s directors.
Candace Grey was born in Kinston, Jamaica, she migrated to Canada at the tender age of four and has lived there since. Candace has always had a heart for people, to help them in any capacity. At the age of twelve, she gave her life to Christ. Candace went on to study sociology at York University, where she has received her B.A and is currently working towards her masters.
Candace is currently employed at the Toronto Transit Commission as a driver, she is involved with the different outreach programs initiated through her division. She also is involved other outreach programs that stem out of her church and within the community.
At the age of twenty-eight, she was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer and it turned her life, upside down. At the same time she faced the reality of a failed marriage, she did not know how to pick up the shattered pieces of the life that she had grown accustomed to. But with the loving support of her family and friends and her renewed trust and relationship with God, she was able to go through a dark time in her life, with a smile on her face, never losing hope.
Since this time Candace has found a new zeal for life, sharing her testimony and love for Christ and others with her positive attitude, charismatic personality and her hope for a brighter future. She stands for equality, equity and opportunity.
Candace believes being a part of the Tamara Gordon Foundation is truly an honor, Tammy has turned a tragic accident into a story of hope, fulfilling her dreams of helping others and impacting change. People that may not have had the opportunity to reach their highest attainable goals without the helping hand of the Tamara Gordon foundation.
Candace hopes that all will reach their fullest potential and their highest calling no matter what adversities they are faced with; in a world of impossibilities all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us. Pushing past the boundaries, breaking glass ceilings, walking unapologetically in our truth on the path we were called to is living beyond our wildest dreams.
Michelle Obama is quoted as saying, “You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”
Pastor Patricia Wynter
Patricia Wynter is an ordained Minister with the Church of God. Commission by God to preach the word she has ministered the WORD OF GOD in various denominations:
- As keynote speaker at Retreats; Conventions; Seminars and Prayer Conferences.
- As a teacher in Sunday School, Bible Study, and New Concert Class
- In children, youth, women’s, and mission ministries.
- Developed various Bible Studies for Women’s, Youth, Children’s, Evangelism, and Adult
- Developed a daily devotional that is distributed via email to more than 200+ participants
Patricia sphere headed several community initiatives to bring about change and to bridge the gap between the Church and the community. Initiatives like the Youth Education Program (YEP) to address youth violence in the Malvern and the Birchmount community and a yearly Health Awareness Day to educate and promote healthy lifestyle.
Patricia was a palliative volunteer for many years with the Victorian Order of Nurses, Toronto branch. Her volunteering and Mission work in the community gave her a close look at the hardship facing individuals and communities. She noticed that the recurring themes are the lack of strong spiritual foundation; positive support system, and proper financial planning, which creates at risk neighborhood where lack is the norm.
In 2010 Patricia answered the call of God to work among “the least of these” in the downtown community of Regent and Moss Park. Patricia drafted a program model that helps foster change through personal empowerment, coupled with a systemic and sustainable plan, to create the changes needed to improve lives. And that is the aim of “The Centre of Hope Ministries” – A place where broken lives are restored through Jesus Christ.
The Centre of Hope model and teach authentic Christianity and is building an overcoming Church out of broken lives through the power of Jesus Christ. The Centre of Hope ministries is the place where truth meets life. People gather together not just to accumulate more Bible knowledge. It is a serious submission to the authority of God’s Word by obeying what He commands.
Patricia’s confident walk is grounded in Philippians 1:6, “…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” So, she looks for small victories, celebrating them and giving praises and thanks to God. Confident that, as she partners together with the Holy Spirit and by faith, keep doing what the Bible teaches to do, years down the road, the community will be transformed according to the grace and riches of Almighty God!
Monica Tessier earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto in 1993, followed by a law degree from Queen’s University in 1996. She has practiced at both national full service law firms as well as boutique litigation firms. Over the last several years, Monica has focused her law practice on the area of Health Law. In addition to being a lawyer, she is a proud mother of two children.
Professionally, Monica also spent some time at a structured settlement firm where she worked to achieve settlement of catastrophic personal injury cases and cases of sexual abuse. It was at this time that she first learned about Tammy’s journey.
When Monica first met Tammy, she was at once affected by her strength, determination and courage. Given all of the hardships that Tammy had overcome and all of her amazing achievements, Monica found her modesty to be remarkable. As a mother herself, Monica was also truly inspired by Marcia Gordon – a tireless mainstay of strength for Tammy.
Since first becoming involved with the Tamara Gordon Foundation, Monica has had the privilege to meet and speak with many TGF scholarship recipients, each resilient with remarkable gifts. To be in the presence of these young people is, to say the least, a humbling experience.
Monica is deeply honoured to serve as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.