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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 utilizes her 13 years of experience as a workforce advisor, mentor, and influencer to inspire youth to make informed career choices that challenge the status quo. Her experiences are not just limited to the workplace. Nour watched her mother struggle and persevere as she started and grew a successful auto parts company in a male-dominated field. Through her work with other non-profits, she dreamt of the idea of Build A Dream and decided to go full force with the organization to bring it to life. She is a passionate force of nature and a workforce disruptor, challenging ideas and companies views of women in the workforce and how we can improve them. 

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Masters in Business Administration

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Ann Hetherington

Director of Partnerships

With over four decades as a marketing, public relations, and events professional in both private and public sectors, Ann is Build a Dream’s ‘secret weapon’ with an incredible talent for fostering relationships and partnerships within our community.  Her volunteer pursuits include many years as a Rotarian where she held numerous chair positions, as well as chairing the local Easter Seals Telethon for five years. Ann’s extensive experience at St. Clair College provides the organization with unparalleled comprehension of post-secondary and apprenticeship programs. 

 Education: Bachelor’s degree in Communications. 

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Victoria Rose

Victoria Rose

Director of Projects

Victoria 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 where she was responsible for special projects (like continuous improvement and apprenticeships) and purchasing steel and components for die builds. She started as a volunteer with Build a Dream, driven to encourage more women to explore rewarding careers like those found in advanced manufacturing.  

Education: Masters Certificate in Project Management, Marketing Certificate, Manufacturing Leadership Certificate Program. Currently enrolled for BBA at Yorkville University. 

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Karen Smallwood

Karen Smallwood

Director of Operations

A fountain of knowledge and a connector at her core, Karen has 20+ years’ experience supporting the growth of women in the workforce and working on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives for large organizations. From building gender equitable teams to facilitating opportunities for women to pursue new career paths, Karen passionately believes that gender equity and inclusivity are central to the strength of an organization. 

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies

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Kassey Gonzales

Event Manager

Kassey spent 10 years managing 300 in-person and virtual events each year for a large Toronto Law firm. She is excited to apply her event skills to the non-profit sector, working on an expanding portfolio of projects that will help young women shape and navigate their future. 

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from McMaster University, Post-graduate certification in Advertising Management, Sheridan College. 

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Clarine Chan

Clarine Chan

Project and Events Associate

Clarine is an enthusiastic academic with 2 years’ experience in contributing to community enhancement and working professionally in a variety of sectors. 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. Her goal is to make a positive impact in all that she does. 

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration, Schulich School of Business 

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Jaquelyn Bezaire

Events Associate

Jaquelyn’s 3 years of event experience gained her a spot as an intern with the Canada Summer Jobs program, but her energy and ideas have made her a permanent fixture on the Events team. She’s passionate about volunteerism and has been the lead for Relay for Life through the Canadian Cancer Society and Brock University. 

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing 

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Chelsea Humphreys

Engagement Associate

Originally an intern with the Canada Summer Jobs program, Chelsea now applies her 4 years of event planning, social media marketing, writing, and public relations experience as part of Build a Dream’s Marketing team. 

Education: Public Relations Diploma, Web & Interactive Advertising Certificate, Human Resources Management Certificate 

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Harpreet Brar

Events Production Specialist

Harpreet has over 7 years of experience in the marketing and events industry. From working in editorial to corporate, to now in the non-profit sector, she hopes to inspire and elevate young women to help them succeed.  

Education: Diploma in Media Communications 

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Delaney Krieger

BRAND AMBASSADOR:
Year 2 Carpentry Apprentice

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.

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Rebecca Chenier

BRAND AMBASSADOR:
Red Seal General Machinist

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  Frank Abbruzzese, President, AlphaKOR
TreasurerDesiree Norwegian, Owner & CEO, Atunda
Board MemberJon Azzopardi, Former Treasurer, President of Laval International
Board MemberTeresa Piruzza, Former Chair, Director of External Affairs & Public Policy at Chryslers
Board MemberWalter Garrison, Economic Development
Board MemberJennifer Khan, Construction
Board MemberNkechi Nwafor-Robinson, Tech/Finance/Entrepreneurship
Board MemberJustine Janssen, Human Capitol Management/Finance
Board MemberJunior Sirivar, Legal
Board MemberJelissa De Torres, Construction – Skilled Trades
Board MemberColin Toop, Construction – Skilled Trades
Board MemberEdwin Tam, Education
Board MemberJennifer Ho, Finance

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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