• Mandie Abrams

    Executive Director

    Mandie has been associated with the non-profit world, both in Canada and internationally, for almost 20 years. Her areas of experience and expertise include community development, organizational policy and program development, capacity building, training and facilitation and fund development activities. Mandie has worked with Habitat for Humanity and the Government of the Northwest Territories and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration with a concentration in International Development from Rutgers University.
  • Ken Tang

    Project & Data Manager

    Ken has worked in the Hospitality industry for over 10 years, starting in the back of the house in restaurants and hotels, then moving through various roles in front of the house including management. Armed with an understanding of the Hospitality sector, Ken supports trainees on their pathways to success. Prior to joining the team at HWTC, Ken was a Literacy and Basic Skills Instructor at the Labour Education Centre and is committed to helping unemployed and underemployed workers upgrade their skills. He continues to teach computer classes to Hospitality workers across the GTA. Ken holds a BA from Brock University in Geography and a Geographic Information System Certificate from Ryerson University.
  • Cheryl Lochnan

    Recruitment & Placement Coordinator

    Cheryl is a Certified Human Resources Leader with an HR Management Diploma from Ryerson and over 10 years of experience in recruitment and retention, training and development, disability claims management, records management, policy development and legal compliance, in both union and non-union environments. She has also worked in Canada’s Hospitality and Food Service sector, giving her the experience to effectively and compassionately engage with our training participants. Cheryl is an adventurer and a lifelong learner, dedicated to nurturing and investing in the personal and professional development of herself and her community.
  • Lina Garcia

    Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator

    At HWTC Lina is looking after community outreach for new entrant recruitment, and building relationships with community partners across Toronto. She also supports the Industry Engagement Manager in effective job matching and referrals of candidates to positions following their completion of training. Lina was a Realtor for 9 years in her past residing city of Barrie where she realized her passion for community outreach through her organizing and running of the Barrie Latin Festival. She also has experience in recruiting retired fire officers for public relation positions for a US-based company and has studied Political Science at Laurentian University. She is passionate about people and welcomes the opportunity to connect with all HWTC participants.
  • Geraldine Vickers

    Recruitment and Placement Coordinator

    Geraldine was born in Toronto, ON and has worked and lived in British Columbia, Massachusetts and Colorado. Her first hospitality job was serving VIP’s in the President’s Lounge at the Rogers Cup Tennis series at York University (formerly Players International Tennis). She knew that hospitality was something she enjoyed and she continued to develop her professional skills in several facets of hospitality. Geraldine brings 20+ years of hospitality operations experience (culinary, restaurant operations, retail) and 5+ years of Recruitment experience to her role with HWTC. She is a graduate of George Brown College’s Culinary Management program and attended Concordia University in Montreal. She is an advocate for the underemployed and youth population and is passionate about helping individuals reach their professional goals.
  • Jasmine Porter

    Talent Development Manager

    Jasmine has worked in the fields of Hospitality and Design/Construction for over 20 years, most recently overseeing Operations for ICI Design & Construction. Jasmine honed her Hospitality expertise while working at Fredricton's historic The Lord Beaver Brook Hotel and The Toronto Hunt Club. Jasmine is an active volunteer with The Children's Breakfast Club.
  • Ghazal Niknazar

    Project Manager

    Ghazal Niknazar is a researcher and project manager with over fifteen years of experience in the field of adult education and training – both at program level as well as on research and policy fronts. Most recently, Ghazal worked as a researcher, project manager and community engagement specialist at Metro Toronto Movement for Literacy (MTML) and Essential Skills Ontario (ESO) focusing specifically on adult training and employment issues in the context of Ontario’s complex social service system.
  • Imesia Ewan

    Job Coach

    Imesia joined HWTC with a progressive career in human resources, employment services and coaching and earned her designation as a human resources professional in 2004. Most recently Imesia was HR Manager at the world’s largest Courtyard by Marriott hotel located in downtown Toronto where she was introduced to HWTC.  Imesia has a passion for personal and professional development, spending several years of her career solely focused on organizational learning, individual development and training. She obtained coach training through the Coaches Training Institute and the Centre for Right Relationship which changed the way she related to people to help them achieve their goals. Imesia holds a BA from the University of Windsor in Dramatic Arts & Psychology and an honours post graduate certificate from Humber College in Human Resources Management.
  • Grace E. McDonald

    Journey Coach

    As a Journey Coach, Grace is responsible for taking care of counselling and wraparound support for our trainees. In addition to her counselling expertise, she has more than 15 years of experience in both the hospitality and education industries —a unique combination of professions that is the perfect fit for Hospitality Workers Training Centre. Grace has a passion for performing arts and has received professional training in music, theatre and dance.
  • Pansy Huynh

    Bookkeeper & Office Coordinator

    Pansy has over five years of bookkeeping and office management experience. She manages the accounts and provides administrative support for both HWTC and Hawthorne Food & Drink, our social enterprise restaurant. Pansy believes in playing an active part in community development and started being involved in relevant projects at a very early age through the Community Builders Youth Leadership’s 3-year program. In this program, she worked on areas of inclusion, non-violent conflict resolution, and peer support listening. She has also volunteered with JUMP Math, a charitable organization dedicated to educating young children in the joy and understanding of math, provided one-on-one training with students. In her free time, Pansy likes to engage in photography, baking, travelling and enjoying good food.
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Get to know the team at our social enterprise training restaurant Hawthorne Food & Drink.

Meet the team