• 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

    Director, Programs & Services

    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.
  • Geraldine Vickers

    Recruitment and Placement Specialist

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kristina Morgan

    Communications Manager

    Kristina Morgan is a strategic communications professional with over 10 years’ experience in the nonprofit, government and education sectors specializing in strategic planning and implementation of creative focused and effective communication campaigns and initiatives aimed at creating and maintaining relationships and building awareness. Ms. Morgan is a graduate of the University of Westminster London and holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Communication from University of the West Indies.

    Director of Operations

    Phil has expertise in the areas of organizational development and people and change management. He began his career working in Food Services and Restaurants and has worked in retail for Canada’s largest grocery store operator. In this role as Director of Operations he oversees operations of the organization including the recruitment and selection, training, placement and employment of participants. In his spare time Phil is a community volunteer having served as President of youth football club and as a community member on the Ajax Recreation Advisory Committee. He currently serves as a Board Member of Carea Community Health Centre and is a Grant Reviewer for the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Phil is a collaborator who is continually looking for opportunities to bring people and organizations together. Phil has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from York University in Toronto and has recently been awarded a Fellowship in the Aspen Institute, through its affiliation with the Metcalf Foundation and the Toronto Sector Skills Academy. Phil has 3 kids and resides in Ajax, Ontario.

Get to know the team at our social enterprise training restaurant Hawthorne Food & Drink.

Meet the team