President Lenton Confirms 2017-2018 York University Alumni Board

The York University Alumni Board (YUAB) welcomed York University President & Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton for its first meeting of the 2017-2018 academic year. The YUAB is a presidential advisory committee on matters of alumni engagement. Working closely with Alumni Engagement, Division of Advancement, the YUAB members bring together a diverse set of experiences to enhance York University’s reputation, celebrate philanthropy, and increase alumni and student engagement.

At this meeting, changes in the YUAB leadership were formalized and four new YUAB members were welcomed, and a productive discussion on enhancing alumni programs ensued.

Randy Williamson (LLB ‘88) ended his tenure as Chair of the YUAB and passed the baton to Francesca Accinelli (BFA ‘92). Accinelli has been a longstanding volunteer of York University and the YUAB, and has most recently served as Chair of its Alumni Networks Committee, where she made significant contributions in expanding the various regional and interest-based alumni networks.

“I’m truly humbled to accept the recommendation of the York University Alumni Board to become its new Chair,” said Accinelli. “It is my hope that our board will fully harness its diversity and the individual strengths of its members, so that we can better engage our alumni and instill a greater sense of York Pride in our graduates.”

 Lenton formally appointed four new members to the YUAB: Krystal Abotossaway (BHRM ’13), Michael Eubanks (BA ’93), Shamshad Madhok (BAS ’89, and Nadine Spencer (BA ’94, BA ’04). Each new board member brings with them a strong commitment to York, and depth of experience in engaging diverse communities.

“I am delighted to work with such a dynamic group of individuals who are committed to York University and who reflect so well both the potential and the diversity of our student and alumni communities.” said Lenton.

YUAB new appointees (L-R): Krystal Abotossaway (BHRM ’13); Michael Eubanks (BA ’93); Shamshad Madhok (BAS ’89; and Nadine Spencer (BA ’94, BA ’04)


Read more about new appointees

Krystal Abotossaway (BHRM ’13) is a proud member of Aundeck Omni-Kanging First Nations and Chippewas of Rama First Nations. She serves as President of the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada (APAC)—a membership-based and leadership-focused organization that connects, supports, and promotes outstanding leadership within the Aboriginal Professional Community. Krystal is also involved in diversity programs at TD to recruit and retain top talent enterprise-wide.

Michael Eubanks (BA ’93) is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the LCBO, and has more than 25 years of entrepreneurial and technology experience. Michael’s extensive experience also includes past positions as the President of Smart Toronto and Vice President of Information Technology E-commerce and Operations at the Retail Council of Canada. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors for North Toronto Soccer Association, The Canadian Club of Toronto, and the Impakt Corporation.

Shamshad (Sham) Madhok (BAS ‘89) is an associate partner with PwC Canada, and is the National Deals Risk and Quality Leader. In her role, she provides risk and quality advice to PwC Deals partners and staff. Sham was also part of a pioneering team who established the Women's Initiative Network in 1994 at Coopers & Lybrand and she was one of the first PwC partners to participate in PwC's Women in Leadership initiative. She is a former governor of the Board of Governors and Audit Committee of the North York General Hospital, and a former director on the Board of the Canadian Hearing Society, Toronto Chapter. She has completed the “Get on Board” governance training program with the Canadian Board Diversity Council. Sham is a Chartered Accountant, holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and is a graduate of the Women's Leadership Forum at Harvard Business School.

Nadine Spencer (BA ’94, BA ’04) is the CEO of BrandEQ Group Inc, a global marketing and communications agency that specializes in brand development and market growth strategies. She also serves as President of the Black Businesses and Professional Association (BPPA)—a non-profit, charitable organization that addresses equity and opportunity for the Black community in business, employment, education, and economic development. She has over twenty-five years of experience in marketing and brand management. She has also held senior positions in several organizations, including Director and Producer of The Delicious Food Show by Food Network.

Two YUAB members also took on greater leadership responsibilities. Michelle Dagnino (BA ’02, MA ’03, LLB ’06) was nominated to succeed Accinelli as Chair of the Networks Committee. Bart Zemanek (BA ’07, MSc ‘10) was also nominated to serve as Chair, Awards and Scholarships. Layth Gafoor (BA ’02, LLB ’06) will continue his role as Chair, Nominations and Governance.

In addition to the new Committee Chairs, Vice Chair positions were created for each YUAB Committee. Monika Federau (BA ‘86) will serve as Vice Chair, Nominations and Governance; Paul Nguyen will be serving as Vice Chair, Awards and Scholarships; and Ali Badruddin (BBA ‘09), a non YUAB member, will be serving as Vice Chair, Networks.

Click here for the complete list of board members and their positions.

The Board concluded their first meeting with a successful discussion of York’s Alumni Programs.

“We made great progress on our priorities this past year,” said Guy Larocque, Executive Director, Alumni Engagement. “I’m excited to see what the upcoming year holds and very confident about the continued evolution of our alumni board.”

The next scheduled YUAB meeting is Dec. 11, 2017.