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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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Patricia Simone

Director of Grants and Programs

Patricia, our extraordinary Director of Grants, is the luminary force that graces our organization with unparalleled dedication and a spirit that radiates positivity throughout our office. Her patience is a virtue akin to that of a saint, providing a steady and calming influence that transcends the challenges of the grant landscape.

In the often intricate world of grants, Patricia stands as a beacon of unwavering commitment and expertise. Her ability to navigate the complexities of grant applications and funding opportunities is nothing short of remarkable, earning her the well-deserved admiration of both colleagues and partners alike.

Justine Keller

Senior Manager, Events

Justine is the Director of Events here at Build a Dream, and is a bit of a Jill of all trades. She has a birth doula certificate from CAPPA, a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from the University of Guelph, and an End of Life Doula certificate from Douglas College. When she is not organizing amazing events, you can find her supporting new and growing families through her business, Love the Bump.

Justine is a spreadsheet enthusiast, a boy mom, an ice cream addict, and self-professed birth nerd. She loves spending her down-time watching bad television, hanging out with her sister, and failing pretty hardcore at pub trivia.

Jay Patel

Data Analyst & Metrics Coordinator

When it comes to all things tech, Jay’s our guy! He graduated from the Data Analytics program at St. Clair College acquiring several skills, and talents which help to turn data into actionable insights, unlocking the potential for groundbreaking solutions and is eager to continue helping us all dream big together! He’s also the unsung hero of our coffee corner, ensuring that our coffee machine is kept clean and stays in top-notch condition.

While off the clock, Jay likes to spend time watching his favorite sports like soccer and Formula 1. When he’s not crunching data or cleaning coffee machines, you’ll find him sharing the excitement of the game with his friends.

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Brandon Clarke

Industry Relations Coordinator

Brandon holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, accompanied by a minor in Human Resources.

Outside the professional sphere, Brandon‘s enthusiasm for the Miami Dolphins, an NFL team, is truly infectious. You might catch him in the act of passionately discussing plays with the TV, as if the players could hear the cheers and advice. When not engrossed in football, Brandon finds solace in the company of friends, sharing laughter and creating memories. A self-professed Netflix aficionado, he is no stranger to immersive binge-watching sessions of any series that captures his interest.

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Pinky Sabhnani

Employment Programs, Lead

Pinky is a dedicated Project Manager with a passion for bringing ideas to life. Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology Honors with thesis, as well as minors in Business Administration, she thrives on understanding human behaviour and optimizing processes.

When she is not immersed in project timelines, you’ll find her engrossed in the world of books or exploring new coffee shops. She runs a TikTok account where she delves into the captivating universe of books, sharing her thoughts, and humour.

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Claudio Greco

Manager, Events

Nothing brings people together like an event! Creating unforgettable experiences, one event at a time is Claudio’s undeniable passion. Big or small, he loves to make ideas come alive.

Claudio is committed to excellence as the Event Manager for Build a Dream through team collaboration and to sharing his knowledge with others in creating incredible, awesome events. Build a Dream, Claudio feels privileged and excited to work with such a talented and passionate team to focus on that special niche that will inspire, motivate and connect all the right synergies for a winning and meaningful event.

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Karamjit Sohal

Graphic Designer

Karamjit, our in-house wizard of design wonders, can turn any idea into pure magic! He’s practically the Dumbledore of our office, weaving creativity spells with his graphic design prowess. When he’s not conjuring up visual masterpieces, you’ll find him wielding a cricket bat, watching cricket games, and enchanting everyone with his lively cricket chatter!

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Chloe Smyth

Social Media Coordinator

Chloe studied at Brock University graduating in in 2022 with a bachelor’s in applied science. She then changed paths and went to Niagara College’s Social Media Management graduate program and graduated from that in 2023.

Chloe owns her own social media boutique called 89 Social Club and a wedding content creation business called 89 Wedding Club. She is also a social media nano influencer and I have the time to dedicate to it!

Chloe likes to spend her downtime watching her favourite shows like Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl. She also likes to spend her spare time trying out new cafes and taking her dog Freya on adventures. Before she moved to Windsor she would spend her free days in Toronto hanging out with her best friend.

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Jenna Bossaer

Director of Operations & Culture

Jenna is our Human Resources Manager at Build a Dream. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/Social and Applied Human Sciences from the University of Guelph, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management from Conestoga College. Jenna brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team, having served as an HR professional across various sectors and industries and is passionate about creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture, where everyone feels valued and empowered.

Outside the office, Jenna is a true coffee enthusiast and when she’s not sipping on her favorite brew, you’ll likely find her with a good book, exploring worlds through literature. She believes that books, much like people, are invaluable resources that offer new perspectives and insights.

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Alisha Lesperance

Trades Women Support Coordinator

Alisha has a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from St. Clair College and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Queens University. She is a mom to 2 kids, 3 cats and 1 dog. In 2023 she started a small soap and candle business called Tell The Bees Unique Products. She also enjoys travelling Ontario with her partner, her children and her camera. She loves nature photography. She is an avid collector of old books, tarot decks, and crystals. She enjoys reading, gaming, crafting, and sleeping.

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Delaney Krieger

BRAND AMBASSADOR:
3rd Term 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 third 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 at 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

Board ChairNkechi Nwafor-Robinson
VP, Technology Operations & Services (TOS) and Cloud Transformation, Export Development Canada
TreasurerDesiree Norwegian, CPA, CMA
Owner & CEO, Atunda
Board MemberJon Azzopardi
President, Laval International
Board MemberFrank Abbruzzese, Past Chair
President, AlphaKOR
Board MemberJunior Sirivar
Partner, McCarthy Tetrault LLP Litigation Group
Board MemberJelissa De Torres
Apprentice Carpenter and Welder, Caisley Developments Ltd.
Board MemberColin Toop, RSE, ME, PMP
Project Manager, Plan Group Inc.
Board MemberDr. Edwin Tam
Associate Professor, Acting Associate VP, Academic, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Windsor
Board MemberWalter Garrison, ABD
Board MemberJennifer Ho

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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