Course Faculty

DiverseCity onBoard Faculty

Meet our team of subject matter experts and leaders in the governance field. Together we have developed high quality, self-paced e-learning governance training, supplemented by webinars and in-person sessions. These courses are available to all individuals. They provide learners with the skills, knowledge, and resources to make an immediate contribution to governance boards in the non-profit and public sectors.

Ruth Armstrong – Board Essentials

Ruth ArmstrongRuth Armstrong founded VISION Management Services in 1986. A dynamic presenter, teacher and facilitator, she has provided leadership development and consultation to more than 350 public, private and non-profit organizations in Canada and the United States. Ruth is a recognized expert in Governance and Strategic Planning.

On the significance of board essentials

The quality and contributions of our boards in the nonprofit sector exist on a continuum: from adding value to the effectiveness of an organization; to playing a neutral cheerleading role; to preventing an organization from achieving its mission. A Board Essentials Course prepares board members to add value appropriately within the boardroom by offering their skill sets and perspectives as part of the governing team.

An essential area of knowledge includes an understanding of the nonprofit sector and its role in Canadian society – the sector is substantially different from the business and public sectors. Within this context, the essentials include an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of board members so they can govern effectively. The sector continues to benefit from the increasing availability of governance courses and the expectation that board members educate themselves. Building on the basics – it becomes possible for the governing team to expand its ability to make a difference in achieving a collective vision.

On the value of governance training and DiverseCity onBoard

The governance training offered by Diversity onBoard fills a gap in the sector. Many organizations are not structured or resourced adequately to provide quality training to their boards. Training needs to be an ongoing activity as organizations constantly revitalize their boards by bringing in new board members. DiverseCity onBoard’s training is accessible as an online resource and provides information that board members need to fulfill their critical role in the boardroom.

Terrie-Lynne Devonish – Legal Roles and Responsibilities

Terri Lynn sitting at tableTerrie-Lynne Devonish is the Chief Compliance Officer, North America for Aon and in that position is responsible for providing compliance advice and guidance to Aon’s business units in Canada and the United States. Terrie-Lynne received a B.A. from Collège Glendon, York University in 1992 and an LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1995. She was called to the Ontario bar in 1997. She is a member of the Legal Leaders for Diversity, a member of the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, and is a Director of the National Theatre School of Canada. She served as a member of the Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund Board of Trustees, and was a member of the York University Board of Governors from 2005 to 2013. Terrie-Lynne was one of the finalists in the ZSA/Financial Post’s Canadian General Counsel Awards, in the Leaders of Tomorrow category in 2007, and was chosen as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ in 2007.

On the significance of legal roles training within board governance

 Good governance includes understanding board members’ legal obligations and responsibilities, not only so that the board can stay on the right side of the law, but also so that the board fully understands its role from a legal perspective and can meet its obligations for the benefit of the organization and its stakeholders.

On the value of governance training and DiverseCity onBoard

 There are many benefits to governance training, but what makes DiverseCity onBoard training unique is that it is inclusive and takes into account the many backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints of all those involved in community boards.

Lois Fine – Finance Fundamentals

Lois FineLois has over 30 years of accounting experience in the non-profit and charitable sector. She is the Director of Finance and Information Technology at YWCA Toronto, and has consulted widely in the sector, serving agencies, private and public foundations, as well as government funding bodies. Lois has taught financial workshops for the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, the Maytree Foundation, United Way of Greater Toronto and for the Emerging Leaders Program at the Schulich School of Business. She is a member of Imagine Canada’s Advisory Council, the Accounting Standards Oversight Council and is Treasurer of Playwrights’ Guild Canada, as well as the Queen West Community Health Centre. Lois is committed to issues of social justice and building strong social movements and community services. She is also a produced playwright, with her first book coming out in the Spring of 2016.

Why is finance an important part of governance training?

Board members will often receive financial statements at regular intervals throughout their term on the board. At the very least, the board will be asked to approve the Audit and the Budget.  Board members will be well-served to know how to read these statements so that they can provide the check and balance that the organization requires. A set of financial statements will provide clues to the Organization’s financial health. The budget is the blueprint for spending and service provision for the year.  Budget updates at regular intervals will provide information to ensure that the organization is on track to meeting its goals. Financial statements are often a doorway into larger discussions about the organization’s mission, vision and strategies. The finance module will prepare board members with the tools they need to read and understand financial statements.

On the value of governance training and DiverseCity on Board

DiverseCity onBoard is a critical program in our City, providing valuable training to prospective and current board members. The course prepares board members for what their roles and responsibilities are on a board, with material that is relevant and relatable.  Board members trained by the DiverseCity onBoard courses bring so much to the organizations they serve and are hugely respected for their contributions.

Hamlin Grange – Commitment to Diversity

Hamlin GrangeHamlin Grange is a diversity and inclusion strategist. He believes a deeper understanding of how culture affects human interactions is a vital perquisite in today’s fast-paced diverse world. He is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a powerful tool that assesses and develops the level of individual and team awareness and sensitivity towards cultural differences and commonalities. He has served on numerous boards.

On the significance of a commitment to diversity course

Good governance is fundamental to the success of any board of directors – whether corporate or not-for-profit. To be an effective board, a commitment to diversity and inclusion should be just as important as being fiscally responsible for the resources of the organization, meeting the unique needs of stakeholders or providing members a rewarding experience. A commitment to diversity should be more than just good intentions; there should be measurable and tangible outcomes for the organization and board members must hold senior leaders of the organization accountable for meeting or even surpassing these objectives.

On the value of governance training and DiverseCity onBoard

Board members are correctly expected to bring certain necessary and critical skills to help an organization achieve its strategic objectives. However, board members are not always “fully formed” when they join boards. Ongoing training for board members will ensure effective governance and a create a sense of shared responsibility. DiverseCity onBoard provides organizations and individuals – especially those from historically underrepresented groups – an opportunity for personal and professional development that will have a lasting impact.

Ingrid Pregel – Risk Management

Pregel_IngridsmallIngrid Pregel serves clients as a management consultant, facilitator and executive coach. Her career spans three decades including 25 years with KPMG and most recently as Prinicpal of iPCi. Ingrid works with a wide range of organizations in the private, not for profit and broader public sectors to increase the effectiveness of people (Board, management, staff and stakeholders) in accomplishing vision, mission and strategic goals. Ingrid collaborates with client teams on projects that involve governance effectiveness, strategic planning, enterprise risk management, process improvement and leading change. Her work typically involves the customized design and execution of stakeholder consultation strategies as well as working together with the organization’s executive team to conclude useful, implementable strategies and improvement opportunities. Over the past 30 years, Ingrid has demonstrated her skills as a seasoned professional, comfortable in a wide range of milieus, able to bridge the gap from theory to practical, with a particular skill in helping groups achieve consensus on solutions and in enabling individuals to discover innovative ways forward. She holds an MBA from York University, a Certified Executive Coach (CEC) from Royal Roads University and is a Fellow Certified Management Consultant (FCMC).

On the significance of risk management

The TSX Guideline 1B states the following as part of the overall stewardship responsibilities of a Board of Directors “(b) the identification of the principal risks of the corporation’s business and ensuring the implementation of appropriate systems to manage these risks”. In 20 Questions Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations Should Ask About Risk Chartered Accountants of Canada state “good risk management – the oversight of which is one of the key responsibilities of a board of directors”. These two authoritative sources unequivocally anchor risk management in the heart of effective governance. As the private sector focuses on risk management, expectations increase from regulators and the public that not for profit organizations will do the same. Increasing uncertainty and ease of information exchange underline the need to know the organization’s risk profile and ensure efforts to manage it. Regardless of the size of the organization and its resources, all not for profit directors need to be conversant with both the theory and practice of risk management.

On the value of governance training and Diversecity onBoard

Expectations are high among the public, donors and other stakeholders that not for profit organizations are well managed. This requires all directors to be conversant and knowledgeable about risk management; it is not sufficient to assume lawyers and accountants will take care of this aspect of governance. Although much has been written on the subject of governance, good training that combines theory with practical application is not easily accessible for everyone already on a board of directors or wishing to join one. DiverseCity onBoard’s program offers an excellent opportunity for anyone to benefit from comprehensive governance training at a very reasonable fee. And, it also offers intact Boards or Governance Committees high quality material to level set the knowledge of directors as a spring board to identifying opportunities to improve effectiveness.

Helen Hayward – Strategic Planning

Helen HaywardHelen is a strategic advisor with a national consulting firm, Western Management Consultants, on organizational effectiveness for public and not for profit sectors. She has trained many boards and executives on board governance, designed and facilitated strategic planning and performance management. She serves on the boards of hospital, college and community service agencies.

On the significance of a strategic planning course within governance training

The board’s key role is in setting direction for the organization and then ensuring controls are in place for their implementation. To exercise this role, the board plays a critical and active role through an articulated planning process and making clear decisions on the strategic directions or priorities of the organization. This will provide the basis for operational planning, budgeting and performance management of the senior executive.

On the value of governance training and DiverseCity onBoard

For not for profit boards, the governance role and expectations are not always clearly set out. The duties of a director is becoming more complex and requires specific knowledge and skill sets to be an effective steward and overseer of an organization. Undertaking governance training is essential to the good health of any organization. The on-line offering from DiverseCity onBoard is valuable, easy to access and offers valuable insights from practitioners.

Cathy Mann – Resource Development


Cathy MannAs the President of Cathy Mann & Associates Inc, Cathy helps clients develop the infrastructure and culture of philanthropy required to build sustainable development programs.  In her role as Academic Coordinator and an instructor at Ryerson University’s Fundraising Management Certificate program, Cathy breaks down complex matters into achievable actions.  During her 5-year tenure as Executive Director, Frontier College Foundation received the 2007 Award for Excellence in Fundraising for Small Shops from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals. Cathy is an active volunteer and frequent speaker.  With the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Toronto Chapter, she held many roles:  V.P. of Professional Development, mentor and founder of its Inclusion and Equity Committee. Occasionally, she plays her ukulele in public.

On why resource development training is needed

Most charities have no shortage of ideas or programs on how to support their cause or address needs in their communities. Every charity shares a shortage of money to implement their ideas and programs to support their cause or address needs in their communities. That’s why a course on resource development is critical to a general governance program. If you’re serious about making a meaningful contribution to organizations you care about, as a board member, you must understand and be prepared to participate in your organization’s resource development program. Fundraising is a team sport. And as a senior volunteer, you’re a critical member of that team.

On why governance training is important

Each day, 86,000 charities in Canada are alleviating suffering, researching breakthroughs, teaching young and old, offering spiritual guidance, creating art and making a difference. The charitable sector delivers critical contributions to our society. It needs leaders who understand the complexity of our sector and who have the skills to lead important causes. Governance training like that offered by DiverseCity onBoard delivers the broad knowledge individuals need to be leaders who can help make a difference in our world.