Board of Directors
Vice President of Strategy
Zain Velji is the Vice President of Strategy at Northweather — a communications technology and branding firm specializing in branding, custom development and engagement. Prior to joining Northweather, Zain spent three years at Hill+Knowlton Strategies as a Senior Campaign Strategist specializing in campaign strategy, grassroots advocacy and behavioural economics. Prior to that, Zain was a Senior Public Policy Analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society and the Principal of a sole-proprietorship communications and strategy firm called Canspring Strategies.
Zain has just completed a term as the Volunteer Vice-Chair of External Relations for the Ismaili Council for the Prairies, and will now be taking on the new role of Special Projects Lead. In 2013, he was nominated to sit on the board for Calgary Reads, and became Chair of the organization in 2014. Furthermore, he sits on the board for the YMCA Calgary and co-founded the political podcast, “The Strategists.”
Vice President, Human Resources
Sun Life Financial Canada
Sylvia Moretti is a Human Resources executive with over 20 years of experience in multinational institutions. She is currently Vice-President of Human Resources at Sun Life Financial Canada, where she oversees the Canadian Human Resources operations including talent management, recruitment, compensation, employee relations and learning and development. She previously held the position of Vice President of Human Resources at TD Bank Group, where she worked for over two decades, and Vice President of Human Resources at Great-West Life.
Sylvia is a certified diver, has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, is a Running Coach for the Running Room and has been a regular volunteer at the Weekend to End Breast Cancer.
Robin Taylor is a Partner in PwC’s Canadian Risk Assurance Services working with clients to improve governance practices, risk management, compliance and control effectiveness. He has over 24 years of professional experience. He is a UK and Canadian qualified chartered accountant, and began his career in external audit, before moving into forensic accounting and then internal audit services within risk assurance.
Robin currently focuses on Canadian financial services companies and over his career has worked with many public and private sector companies, government, and not-for-profit organizations. He has a BA from Cambridge University. He lives in Toronto and has three children at junior and kindergarten level.
Jane Kilburn Boyle
Founder and Principal
Jane Kilburn Boyle is the founder and Principal of Kilburn Communications. Established in 2007, Kilburn Communications is a full-service boutique communications and project management firm assisting both public and private sector clients in achieving their communications and event management goals.
Prior to launching Kilburn Communications, Jane worked at TD Bank Group for 15 years, most recently as the National Community Relations Manager overseeing corporate donations and sponsorships, and as the Chief Diversity Officer at TD Waterhouse, where she focused on finding employment opportunities for underrepresented groups and fostering leadership opportunities for women within the bank.
Jane holds a BA from McGill University and a MA from the University of New Brunswick. She lives in Toronto, with her husband and two sons, and is actively involved in the community.
Orca Book Publishers
Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore
Heather Kuipers is the founder and owner of Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore in Toronto which celebrated ten years in business in 2016. Ella Minnow serves both the public as a retail storefront and schools through sales to libraries and in-school book fairs. Prior to this, Heather spent ten years at home raising three young children and volunteering in the community. Heather has a Masters of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Heather is currently on the Board of Directors of Beginnings Family Services which supports families through infant and embryo adoption and family care centres across Ontario. She is also on the Family and Children’s Leadership Team at Little Trinity Church providing oversight and hands on assistance to all aspects of planning and programing. Heather values idea sharing and collaboration and is therefore involved with a group of independent book sellers re-building an association to support bookselling in Canada.
Martin and Associates Sales Agency
Michael Martin and Margot Stokreef founded Martin and Associates Sales Agency in 1999. The agency’s core business is representing trade book publishers and distributors in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. They sell to a diverse customer base including bookstores, toy stores, gift shops, garden centres, tack shops, museums, public and school libraries. Martin and Associates Sales Agency attend the Toronto Gift Fair, Ontario Library Association Expo in Toronto, and regional book fairs in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Prior to entering the book business, Michael worked for a direct marketing company that sold office supplies through a catalogue across Canada. The experience acquired in customer service and sales in both French and English has proven to be a valuable asset in creating opportunities for growth in the book trade.
Founder and Director
Read to Me!
Carol McDougall has been working in the field of children’s literature and literacy for over 40 years, starting as a children’s librarian at the Toronto Public Library and then as Librarian for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. She is the founding Director of Read to Me!, Nova Scotia’s hospital-based early reading promotion program. Carol has been juror for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and was former chair of Word on the Street Halifax. Carol helped to establish Nova Scotia’s Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award and was Atlantic officer for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
Carol has worked as an editor and publicist and taught writing for the children’s market at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. She is co-author of the Baby Steps series of board books, and she also writes for adults — her novel Wake the Stone Man won the 2014 Beacon Award for Social Justice Literature. For her work in literature and literacy, Carol was awarded the 2005 Mayor’s Award for Cultural Achievement and the 2010 Women of Excellence Award.
Karen McMullin is the national publicist for Nimbus Publishing, working out of Toronto. Previously, she was the Publicity Manager for Dundurn Press, Publicity and Marketing Manager (Kids) for Penguin Group Canada, Promotions Manager for Stoddart Kids, and Promotions Coordinator for Owl Books (now Owlkids.) Karen has appeared on BTV, and Canada AM, and has given presentations at CANSCAIP, Humber College, and most recently appeared as a panelist at the Eastbound conference in St. John’s, NF.