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Board of Directors 2021


Saeideh Akhkan
Saeideh Akhkan is a documentary filmmaker who has been involved in many projects as a producer, scriptwriter and director since 2000. She holds a master’s degree in physics and has recently finished the CAP program- Certificate in Cultural and Artistic Practices for Environmental and Social Justice at York University. Saeideh has been working as a science journalist, photographer and documentary filmmaker for over twenty years.

One of the major projects she has been involved with is a wildlife documentary titled: Iran's Wild Side, a co-production with National Geographic Wild in 2018. Akhkan has won many awards for her work, including the Wildscreen Panda Award (United Kingdom) in 2008, and the International Wildlife Film Festival Award (United States) in 2007.


Moriba Baker
Moriba Baker has worked in post-secondary academia for the past 15 years, serving in various capacities, such as Dean, Professor, Senior Instructor and Senior Manager. He has lectured at several Universities internationally especially in the areas of Business, Sport, Policy and Law and he continues to undertake research in those aforementioned areas.

His Doctoral studies at the University of the West Indies - St. Augustine, are in Social Policy. His research was the first of its kind in the Caribbean region, by focusing and utilizing a unique approach of both business and social science methods to conduct policy evaluation of sport.

His Master in Business Administration (MBA) was attained from Coventry University, England. His dissertation focused on the feasibility of professional sporting leagues in developing countries. Through his research, he has been able to greatly assist in the development and sustainability of several professional leagues in the Caribbean.

Finally, he possesses a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of London, England as well as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. In Wisconsin his majors were Behavioral Science and Law, and Spanish.


Laura Balbinot
Laura Balbinot, Treasurer, has been a resident of Etobicoke since 1993. Laura’s professional career holds a handful of financial management leadership roles focusing on finance, accounting, strategic planning and business development. Laura’s biggest professional acknowledgement was during Laura’s tenure at Molson Coors Canada, where she was honoured with the 2015 CFO award. Laura has also held other leadership roles at companies like Warner Bros. Time Warner and Canadian Tire Corporation. In addition, Laura has served as Board Treasurer for Silver Creek Preschool aiding with budgeting, forecasting, portfolio positioning, strategy and cash flow while reporting to the board and Annual General meetings. Laura is very proud to had been part of the Board that championed maintaining Silver Creek’s home within Etobicoke.

Other volunteer roles, include Board Treasurer for Communications + Public Relations Foundation and a few earlier years at the Toronto Catholic District School Board where she was involved in fundraising and special events. These are just a handful of recent events in Laura’s professional and volunteer life. She brings to the NPCC her committed financial accountability, responsibility, and focused sustainability to better the community. Laura received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto and received her CPA, CMA professional designation in Ontario. Laura also holds a Master Controller Certificate.


Jenneen Marie Beattie
Jenneen Marie Beattie, Secretary, received her BFA from OCADU, and participated in an artist residency at the Winchester School of Art, UK. She graduated with Honours from Humber’s Arts Administration and Cultural Management postgraduate program and interned with the Toronto Biennial of Art exhibitions department.

Currently, she programs community-engaged public art with Mural Routes. Her work in textile-based media investigates the connections between memory and fabrics. The work attempts to capture and preserve memories, it addresses notions of souvenir-ship, conservation, and keepsakes. Additionally, the work contains an embedded message around repurposing materials, sustainability, and supporting local markets.


Marrianne Bridge
Marianne Bridge’s career over the last twenty years focussed on compliance, risk and strategy, as well as governance matters. She is currently Vice Chair of the board of CAA Club Group. Marrianne graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BMath and is a FCPA, FCA.
Marrianne has volunteered for several organizations including the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario division, St John Ambulance, Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto, and a community church. She also volunteered for many years with what is now CPA Ontario, including on their governing council and as Chair of the Discipline Committee. Marrianne is an avid quilter and a member of EQG. She is looking forward to working on the board of NPCC and to giving back to the community she has called home for most of her life.


John D. Fleming
John D. Fleming, Founder and President of Fleming Advisors International, is a broadly experienced life insurance professional with knowledge of both domestic and global markets. A trusted, respected industry leader, his proven record of accomplishments is representative of both strategic vision and hands-on direction.

With his 40+ years’ experience of top-level management in the insurance and financial services industries, Mr. Fleming’s perception and judgment are much in demand among Senior Executives in the industry.

Currently, he serves as Vice-Chair of the Central Etobicoke Community Hub Initiative, a not-for-profit organization working to establish a facility to meet the many needs of its underserved community in Toronto. Jack received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen’s University. In addition, he has completed advanced business programs at Columbia University (EMBA) and Babson College (LLIF).


Daniel Hengeveld
Daniel Hengeveld is the Vice President of Investment Attraction with Toronto Global, the Toronto Region’s economic development agency, where he advises global firms exploring expansion and growth opportunities in North America. Previously, he worked in both infrastructure development and finance, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Guelph, as well as a Master of Business Administration from McMaster University.


Akshata Naik
Akshata Naik is an internationally recognized, talented visual artist and an arts educator. She is a newcomer to Canada and soon after she arrived in 2017, has widely shown her interactive art with several communities across Toronto.

Most recently, she exhibited ‘Bloody Boats 2.0’ at the Gladstone Hotel as part of Nuit Blanche 2019 edition and was also invited as the guest artist by the town of Collingwood to lead an experiential public art project and her piece, 'Frozen Voyage' is installed at the council chambers, townhall of Collingwood. She also presented at the Gathering 1.0 organized by Cultural Pluralism in the Art Movement Ontario (CPAMO), at Emergence Symposium organized by Neighbourhood Arts Network and Toronto Arts Council and at Neilson Park Creative Centre in 2018.

Akshata has exhibited internationally in the UK, India, and Canada. In 2016, she had her first solo show, "Bloody Boats" at the Artcore Gallery, UK which was very well documented by BBC and Derby Telegraph. She is also a recipient of the Newcomer Artist Mentorship grant by Toronto Art Council in 2019. Akshata is currently working as Programs and Gallery Manager at Arts Etobicoke and is a resident of Etobicoke.


Alejandro Navarro
Alejandro Navarro is a multifaceted business technology professional with over 25 years in leading organizations to the launch of cutting edge technologies, management solutions and delivering excellence in project delivery and client management. Collaborative, innovative, and solutions -oriented executing deployment and operational life cycle elements from conception to launch.


Brenda Shewchuk
Brenda Shewchuk, President, has had a long career focused on project management, business processes improvements, communications, and delivering outputs on time and on budget. She is an innovative and results driven leader with successes building cross-functional teams and motivating and directing employees. Brenda is a graduate of the Rotman School of Business, Executive Human Resource Program and holds a BSc Psychology, from Waterloo, and MSc Information Resource Management from Syracuse University and a Diploma in Adult Education from Sir Francis Exavier University.

Brenda has been President of the Board of NPCC for the past 3 years and has been a member of the Etobicoke Quilters Guild for 15 years, just completing 6 years as Membership Convenor. Other volunteer work includes facilitating Zoom sessions for the Etobicoke Quilters Guild twice a week throughout the covid crisis. Previously Brenda was a board member at Interim Place, a shelter for abused women for 10 years.

Staff Members: 

Lovepreet Kaur, Customer Service Representative

“Even Kings and emperors with heaps of wealth and vast dominion cannot compare with an ant filled with the love of God.” ...
With such thoughts, Lovepreet Kaur is a strong believer in god and humanity. She hails from a small village in Punjab, India. She completed her Bachelor of Commerce from Government College in Amritsar and decided to come to Canada for higher studies.

While completing her Accounting diploma at Sheridan College, she came across a job opportunity at Neilson Park Creative Centre. Now she has begun her career with NPCC as part-time Customer Service Representative. In previous jobs, Lovepreet worked as a tax accountant in Best Account Consultants (Mississauga) for three months in her summer holidays. Here at Neilson Park Creative Centre she is now connecting to and celebrating a richer life through the arts.
Petra Nyendick, Executive Director
Originally from Toronto, Petra Nyendick moved to Indiana in 2001, living in Indianapolis and Terre Haute. After realizing the need for a commercial art gallery in Terre Haute, Petra became founding director of 333 Visual Art Gallery. The success of that gallery and attached working studio morphed into the launch of Halcyon Contemporary Art Gallery at the Sheldon Swope Art Museum. Petra’s success as owner/operator of Halcyon and director of the Swope Art Museum’s Summer Youth Art Program led to her opportunity to become Executive Director of Indiana State University’s Community School of the Arts.
While in Indiana, she was a member of Arts Indiana’s Regional Advisory Council, and a member of the board of directors of various arts organizations: The Terre Haute Children’s Choir, Blues at the Crossroads Festival, and Wabash Valley Art Space. At Art Spaces, Petra also served as Chair of the Site Selection and Acquisition Committee.
Most recently, Petra served as the Executive Director of Silence: Guelph’s Portal For Adventurous New Sound Events, an innovative arts centre dedicated to presenting diverse, challenging, sustainable and accessible art and musical practices. While in Guelph, Petra served on the Guelph Arts Council board, chairing the Communications Committee.
These positions are the most recent facet in a life’s work in art; a long, strong involvement in the arts as a successful artist, agent and arts organizer. She brings to the NPCC her committed vision of the guild of the creative community and its importance to society as a whole.
Petra received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors at York University in Toronto and a Master of Fine Arts with distinction at Indiana State University.


Matthew Summers, Customer Service Representative

Matthew Summers is an Illustration student currently in his second year at OCAD University.

Art has been a lifelong interest to Matthew and he has been drawing for as long as he can remember. He continues to practice and improve through his classes and is currently learning more about analogue and digital painting. He's painted a few murals, one of which is in his old high school Etobicoke Collegiate Institute.

Music is another passion that was pursued in middle school with his participation in the band program where he learned to play the trumpet. As his interest in music grew he started taking piano lessons as well. However, what really captured his attention was a small music class in high school that introduced students to electronic music and production. He has continued creating music electronically outside of school and this has allowed him to draw upon many genres for inspiration for his own music. 

Matthew was introduced to NPCC when he started working as a summer camp counselor and this last summer he worked as an instructor for the summer camp. He enjoyed working at NPCC over the summer and so when the opportunity arose to continue throughout the year as  a Customer Service Representative he gladly took it.


Alonso Rodriguez

Alonso is from Lima, Peru. With a Bachelor in Business Administration and previous experience in the corporate sector, he decided to expand his background by studying the Arts Administration and Cultural Management program at Humber College in 2019, where he graduated with honours.

Alonso's relationship with NPCC started in January 2020 when he joined the staff as an intern. He has also volunteered at the Toronto Biennial of Arts, the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Arts and supported as Finance Coordinator for Culture’s Compass: a virtual conference sponsored by Humber’s Center for Creative Business Innovation (CCBI) in partnership with Work in Culture.


Cory Therrien, Facilities Coordinator

Cory Therrien is an administrative and marketing professional with a diverse range of professional experience in areas such as office management, purchasing, event coordination, and product and brand analysis and departmental budgeting. She has a B.A.A. in Office and Administrative Studies and a certificate in marketing from Ryerson University.

Cory is a believer in life-long learning and strives to acquire new skills and knowledge in her work, continuing education studies and art and calligraphy classes.

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