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Build a Dream purple hard hats from WFS Ltd.

OUR STORY

Our Story

There are still many barriers holding young women back from career opportunities in skilled trades, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), emergency response, entrepreneurship, and advancing women in society. 

This gap in industry is depriving Canadian businesses of the innovation that diversity brings.

This is why we exist.

Build a Dream is a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives to ensure equitable opportunities for EVERYONE to succeed.In short, we believe in the power of diversity and the edge of advancement it provides.

Since its inception in 2014 in Windsor, Ontario, Build a Dream has delivered programs to inspire young women; providing confidence, filling workforce skill gaps, and offering a new perspective for workforce problem-solving.

We collaborate with speakers, community leaders, and businesses to inspire female students, women and under-represented communities through virtual conferences, career discovery expos, workshops, and hands-on learning programs.

We connect industry directly to students, facilitating awareness and career exploration. By doing so, we help businesses attract, recruit and fill their talent pipeline, while also supporting them to advance their internal talent moving forward. Additionally, we focus our passion and expertise on providing resources, workshops and best practices to engage businesses, driving diversity and inclusion initiatives across all industries.

We are all in… to explore innovative paths in creating synergy and a winning workforce!

Working collaboratively, we can continue to close the workforce gender gap, and lead diversity and inclusion initiatives across Canada.

ALL IN. WE WIN.


MEET THE TEAM

Nour Hachem Fawaz

NOUR HACHEM FAWAZ

President and Founder

Nour draws on 10 years of experience as a workforce advisor, mentor, and influencer to inspire youth to make informed career choices that challenge the status quo. Her outreach and advocacy has resulted in numerous awards including the University of Windsor’s Alumni Association “Odyssey Award”, the Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor (WEST) “Innovation Award”, and the Leadership Windsor Essex “Alumni Award of Distinction”.

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AMANDA WATSON

Chief of Staff

Amanda has over a decade of experience working in corporate and professional services industries, as well as social-enterprise and non-profit sectors. Amanda’s work-life philosophy is built on the cornerstones of female empowerment, grit and seeking meaning in everything she does. This has propelled her work with the  Build a Dream team, as her latest effort to help fuel a new generation of young women who are redefining the meaning of work on their own terms.
Amanda holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminology from the University of Ottawa and lives in Ancaster with her husband and son.

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Ann Hetherington

Director, Sponsorships

Ann has had the privilege of working in the private and public sectors for over four decades as a marketing, public relations, and events professional. Her most recent position as Director of Marketing at St. Clair College in Windsor provided her with the opportunity to develop strong partnerships in education and the industrial sectors. Her volunteer pursuits include many years as a Rotarian where she held numerous chair positions in public relations and event planning. She was also the local Chair for the Easter Seals Telethon for more than five years. Ann achieved her foundation in business thanks to a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Windsor. Years of lifelong learning have filled in the rest of the blanks.

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Kassey Gonzales

Event Manager

Kassey’s experience spans over a decade in marketing. Prior to joining Build a Dream, she spent 10 years in professional services, managing in-person and virtual events for a Bay Street law firm, and is responsible for expanding their marketing portfolio. Passionate about empowering young people, Kassey is excited to apply her skills to the non-profit sector and work on projects that will help young women shape and navigate their future. She holds a degree in Communications from McMaster University and a post-graduate certification in Advertising Management from Sheridan College. Kassey lives in Stoney Creek with her fiance and their dog, Winston.

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Clarine Chan

Clarine Chan

Project and Events Associate

Clarine is an enthusiastic academic who has over 2 years of experience in contributing to community enhancement as well as experience working professionally in a variety of sectors spanning from oil & gas to retail management. She is an advocate for ensuring the next generation challenges societal norms and is devoted to giving back to the community in any way possible. Clarine holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business and works towards being able to make a positive impact in all that she does.

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Victoria Rose

Victoria Rose

Marketing

Victoria Rose has 20 years’ experience in marketing and project management in different sectors including tech and manufacturing. She spent 8 years in the tool and die industry working her way up to Project Coordinator where she was responsible for special projects (like continuous improvement and apprenticeships) and purchasing steel and components for die builds. Victoria has dedicated much of her time to advancing community projects revolving around women/youth in sport and food security. She started as a volunteer with Build a Dream, driven to encourage more women to explore rewarding careers like those found in advanced manufacturing. Victoria holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management, a Marketing Certificate, and is a graduate of the Manufacturing Leadership Certificate Program.

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Delaney Krieger

Brand Ambassador

Delaney attended Build A Dream Expos in high school where she connected with The Carpenters Union Local 494. Upon completing her secondary school education, she signed in as a Drywall, Acoustic and Lathing Applicator. Now in her second term, her job consists of a variety of different tasks from steel stud framing to drywall boarding to installing ceiling systems. Her goal is to inspire change within the industry, making it better for future generations of women pursuing the skilled trades.

Rebecca Chenier

Brand Ambassador

Rebecca began her career in the skilled trades six years ago through a WEST (Women’s Enterprise Skills Training) and St. Clair College program for Industrial Millwright Mechanic. From there she acquired a job at Centerline as a machinist apprentice. She took on the apprenticeship as a single mom with three kids, working full time, and balancing school at night. She completed her 3 year apprenticeship, developing many skills along the way, and is now a Red Seal Machinist. Amid the pandemic she started working at the college at night as a teaching assistant for the apprenticeship programs. Although happy in her career with Centerline, when an opportunity arose to become a mechanic at Hiram Walkers, she couldn’t resist the exciting career change. She is currently transitioning into this new role, and is a master tackling big life changes. Her goal is to simply let women know these careers exist and are available to them. And to be a resource, as needed, to those just starting out or considering a career in the skilled trades.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Chair of the Board  Teresa Piruzza, External Affairs, FCA CanadaVice Chair of the Board  
SecretaryJonathon Azzopardi, President, Laval
Board MemberFrank Abbruzzese, President, AlphaKOR | Co-Founder, WEtech Network Alliance
Board MemberDina D’Andrea, Associate, Bezaire & Associates

OUR REACH

Dotted world map of Build A Dream's impact: Canada, USA, Haiti, India, Turkey, Brazil, UAE, Lebanon, Australia, New Zealand and UK.

Build a Dream President & Founder, Nour Hachem-Fawaz, has worked on projects around the globe, connecting youth to new opportunities. Participants in these programs often go on to continue the programs or work on initiatives where their impact also creates positive change. Build a Dream has sparked a positive feedback loop – one with the capacity to forever change the perceptions of women and youth in society.

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