Our Board of Directors

Director Margot McCurry

Margot McCurry

Chair

Margot has had a lifelong passion for literacy. As an educator and as a volunteer, she has experienced the joys and rewards of assisting students become confident readers and writers. She is a graduate of University of Waterloo, Carleton and Western and continues to be a “life long learner”. She has participated in many boards and volunteer associations including Soroptimists International. As a board member, Margot seeks to support the work of the team at The Literacy Group. She enjoys many outdoor activities, especially those involving water.

Jack Rehder Director

Jack Rehder

Vice Chair

Jack joined the Literacy Group as a tutor in 2012, and has worked with learners ranging from age 25 to 65. He is a firm advocate of life-long learning for everyone, and believes that this learning can take many forms beyond traditional academics – acquiring new life skills, developing physical skills, and embarking on a journey of self-reflection can all contribute to the learning and growth of the individual. Jack works as the Executive Officer at the University of Waterloo overseeing budget, human resources and infrastructure for the Faculty of Mathematics. He enjoys travel, especially to locations where he has an opportunity to dive.

April Souwand

April Souwand

Secretary

April  has been a volunteer tutor for The Literacy Group for almost two decades. She has recently retired from her career as a professional land use planner, and now dedicates some of her free time to helping out on The Literacy Group board of directors, in addition to being a one-on-one tutor. With her experience and education as a municipal land use planner, some of her key skills include communication and policy development. She is very passionate about the importance of literacy in our society, which she feels has become even more important in the digital age. Some of her other pursuits include golf, dog agility, horseback riding and travel. She is pictured here with her miniature schnauzer “Louie” who she competes with in dog agility trials.

Andrew Swatridge portrait

Prashanth Promod

Director

Prashanth is a visionary leader, a data science professional and a budding philanthropist. He graduated from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India and believes in challenging conventional thinking and leveraging analytics to drive decisions. Prashanth has also served as Chairman of Sangarsh, an annual fund-raising concert focused at aiding the needy sections of the society. He believes that literacy is not a privilege to a few but a right for all and is working towards transforming lives into smiles. In his spare time he enjoys cycling and exploring new places.

Director Julie Chretien

Julie Chretien

Director

Julie has been in recruitment and selection for over 20 years. She has become a trusted advisor for workforce planning to many levels of leadership across Southwestern Ontario in a variety of industries. In 2021, she finished the Human Resources Management Graduate Program at Conestoga College to supplement a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration. In addition, she gained her CHRP through HRPAO and is completing the requirements for the leadership level of certification.

Julie has volunteered for literacy programs since she was in high school. Growing up in a small town in the southern U.S. gave her insight into how low literacy touches every part of person’s life. She began volunteering for The Literacy Group in 2019 and continues to see how important literacy is in finding meaningful work and dignity as a human being.

Emily Grzyb Board Director

Emily Grzyb

Director

Emily  is a proud member of the board of the Literacy Group and has tremendous respect for it’s ongoing contribution to literacy in the Waterloo Region. As a credentialed teacher with over fifteen years of experience in education, Emily is committed to supporting literacy in her community. In 2020, Emily founded Grand River Tutoring, a Kindergarten to grade 12 tutoring company located in Cambridge. Prior to that she has a background in both Adult and Elementary Education in both Toronto and California. She has worked as a general classroom educator, adult educator and now she specializes in supporting children to gain skills and learn to love reading.

Image of Diana Elkin

Diana Elkin

Director

Diana is a career intelligence and security professional and the founder of Method Intelligence, a threat intelligence and strategic security analysis organization. Previously, she has occupied a variety of positions throughout her career and has worked with the Department of National Defense, Halton Regional Police Service, and Research in Motion. Diana has always been passionate about promoting literacy and seeks to apply her project management and fundraising experience to help others. She regularly provides resume building services in the community in order to help individuals obtain gainful employment. In her spare time, Diana enjoys arts and writing.

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Ibrahim Musa

Director

Ibrahim brings with him a multitude of different skills and experiences accrued in both academia and extracurriculars. With a BA in political science, a postgraduate certificate in sustainable business management and previous board experience, Ibrahim is a versatile member of the board. As someone who has tutored others outside of TLG and currently in the process of acquiring his TEFL certification, Ibrahim thoroughly enjoys empowering others through literacy and self-improvement.

When he’s not engaged with work or volunteering he enjoys camping, hiking, and anything else that involves being outdoors in nature.

Rahul Desai

Rahul Desai

Director

Rahul is an undergraduate, Health Science student at the University of Waterloo. Rahul is an aspiring physician who has a passion for improving the lives of others. He advocates for better access to care and for reducing inequalities that exist in the healthcare system. Furthermore, Rahul is involved in learning the different aspects of care through his co-ops and volunteering experience at University Health Network, Sunnybrook Health Science Center and Scarborough Health Network. He believes that through his experience in patient care, he would be able to help those who were not given the same opportunities to read and write. He is particularly interested in health literacy and education to empower individuals to make healthier choices for their health. Besides his passion for learning and helping others, Rahul loves connecting with nature by visiting trails, parks and open spaces throughout the city, province and country.

Rick Shanahan

Rick Shanahan

Officer. Treasurer

Rick is a retired CPA who has been a volunteer tutor with us since 2018 . In addition to assisting TLG learners achieve their goals , Rick is also an active member of KW’s Oldtimers Hockey league and an occasional golfer .

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