• Home
  • News
  • President's Message, Jane Graydon 2021-2022

Message from ICF Toronto Chapter President, Jane Graydon


February 2022

This is my final President’s message. I have been honoured to serve you, our ICF community, as President again this past year. It gives me great pleasure to introduce Alicia Saint as your new President, effective March 1. Alicia brings over 15 years of Senior Leadership corporate experience and is a passionate change agent. She will undoubtedly be an amazing ICF Chapter President. This is Alicia’s fourth year on the Board, where she led the new Corporate Outreach Portfolio and Awards:

  • securing corporate sponsorships for our conferences
  • expanding awards beyond PRISM, to introducing Lifetime Achievement and Individual Contributor
  • partnering with HRPA, including raising ICF visibility at their conference
  • establishing a partnership with ACMP, co-creating the first 2019 Fall Symposium that resulted in her being chosen for the ICF Global ACMP/ICF Task Force

Thanks so much to all of those who participated in our AGM and a warm welcome to our new Board members:

  • Jatin Sanghavi, Marketing & Communications
  • Leslie Shank, Secretary
  • Ralph Cochrane, Corporate Outreach & Annual Awards

We are grateful that you’ve chosen to dedicate your time and talent to our ICF community and we welcome your fresh perspectives.

I want to extend a special thank you to our three departing Board members.

  • Robin Mahadeva, thanks so much for your bright creativity and for leading a very successful conference - EVOLVE 2021.
  • Jalyn Anderson, over the last two years as Secretary, you have taught us about governance, kept us organized and even updated our Bylaws. Thanks Jalyn for your encouragement and professionalism.
  • Barb Rosen Schreiber, our Past President and seven year Board member! Barb launched Coach Connect along with Meena Kaila-Gambhir, leading to receiving ICF Global’s Award of Giving on behalf of our Chapter. As President, she shepherded our Chapter through that challenging first year of COVID, consistently demonstrating her caring leadership. Barb, you were always there for me and our Board and community, and I am eternally grateful.

I look forward to your continued friendship and engagement within our ICF Toronto community.

To my other fellow Board members, I have nothing but admiration and gratitude for your ongoing commitment, creativity and passion. You have stayed true to our values and purpose – a huge thank you to:

  • Gaby Cameto, Community Outreach
  • Hossam Bakir, Treasurer
  • Itopa Sulé, Digital Transformation
  • Jenny Barkan, Membership
  • Kirk Fox, Programming/Member Meetings
  • Shahab  Anari, Programming/Member Meetings

At ICF Toronto, we support Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice. On February 4th our Board started planning our 2022/23 strategy with the DEISJ lens. February is Black History month, an opportunity to grow as coaches and celebrate the heritage and culture of African-Canadians. Toronto History Museum’s Black History Month YouTube Playlist has creative short films and conversations from Black, Indigenous and artists of colour, operating under the principles of anti-oppression, anti-colonialism, and anti-racism.

Thank you for your support and friendship that has helped me to lead our Chapter, now over 1200 strong! Staying connected and engaged are key ingredients to a thriving chapter. Let’s continue to build together.

January 2022

I hope you enjoyed some peace and joy through the holidays, despite so many holiday plans being thwarted. I felt blessed skating through fresh snow on a deserted lake with my grandkids. As the new year of 2022 begins, I am excited about the opportunities for coaching and for ICF Toronto as a thriving community.

Your ICF Toronto Chapter is rife with opportunity for 2022! We got off to a great start this January with Janet Harvey sharing 'The Antidote to Othering is Belonging'. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion programming is a core area of our EDI Strategy. Thanks again to our EDI team for their dedicated service in 2021.

Thanks also to our 418 members who completed the Member Survey in December and to Jenny Barkan and the Membership Committee for initiating and managing it. Your Board will be integrating the survey results into our 2022/23 plans.

We’d love your active participation this year, so please...

    • Complete your proxy in advance of our AGM (for members with paid activity fee only, log into your account and then click here). Once again, we have some great incoming Board members on our proxy, so please show them your support.
    • Register today for our January 26 AGM immediately followed by the 'I Love Mondays' presentation where you can gain CCEUs.
    • Nominate someone (or yourself) for an award (nominations due by January 31, 2022).
    • Volunteer to serve on a committee: Programs, Community Outreach, Membership, Communications, Corporate Outreach or EDI.
    • Share your ideas for ICF Toronto by emailing me at jane@icftoronto.com or contacting any Board member before February 5. We are developing our strategic plans and really want to hear from you.

I look forward to your involvement in our Chapter and seeing you on Zoom on January 26th!

December 2021

The holiday season is upon us and fingers are crossed that families and friends will be able to safely come together this year. It’s a great time to rejuvenate and reflect on bringing more joy to our lives and to the world, and to share with those who are less fortunate. I have been reflecting on what brings me joy and I must say that in addition to cuddling and playing with my four grandkids, walking in the forest, witnessing my clients discover their true selves and seeing this ICF community connect, makes my heart sing. What brings you joy? How can you bring more joy into your life in 2022?

As we wrap up 2021, I am so grateful for our Board and volunteers who, working together, have accomplished so much as a chapter:

    • Robin Mahadeva and team delivered an outstanding five day EVOLVE 2021 virtual conference with rave reviews
    • Leslie Shank and Wendy Thompson and team created a powerful Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy
    • Jenny Barkan and team created a new Member Handbook and Survey. ICF Toronto membership has grown 20% year over year—to 1128 members
    • Gaby Cameto led International Coaching Week with 46 coaches supporting 14 not-for-profit organizations
    • Shahab Anari and Kirk Fox created exemplary professional development and member meetings with a real focus on building community, with 23 events throughout the year
    • Alicia Saint worked with Ralph Cochrane and team on awards, as well as with Jalyn Anderson on enhancing Corporate Outreach, working with ICF Global on Coaching in Organizations, and partnering with ACMP
    • Barb Rosen Schreiber was a wonderful colleague for me and our Board, and she led our Board Nomination Committee (Nance MacLeod and Glennie Mercer)
    • Hossam Bakir kept our finances in line and we are leaving 2021 in a very healthy position
    • Itopa Sulé supported Bachir Chehab to transition our chapter to Microsoft 365 and SharePoint

Don't forget to:

    • Vote—please submit your proxy as soon as you can. Members will receive an email with these details shortly.
    • Register for our meeting January 12 with Janet Harvey, and our AGM/Meeting January 26.
    • Submit your nominations for ICF Toronto awards by the end of January.
    • Volunteer for ICF Toronto so we can get 2022 off to a great start!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays!

November 2021

I am super excited about EVOLVE 2021, ICF Toronto’s virtual conference Nov 15-19. Don’t worry, it’s not more Zoom meetings… EVOLVE 2021 will be inspirational, with many takeaways that you can apply to help serve your clients and grow your business, on a new conference platform. If your calendar is looking pretty full already, know that registrants will also have access to recordings. For those of you who are renewing your credential this year, you can earn up to 38 CCEUs. It’s not too late to register. Please join us so you can make a bigger impact addressing the significant challenges our world is facing today. Huge thanks to Robin Mahadeva, our Conference Chair, and the entire conference team!

At our strategy meeting last weekend, our Board met and was blown away by the work of the ICF Toronto’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy Formulation Committee. In 2020, Leslie Shank and Wendy Thompson volunteered to co-lead the committee and for the last year their amazing team of Ann Fogolin, Barb Rosen Schreiber, Brenda Van Rossum, Daisy Wright, Eileen Bonetti, Gisela Smith, Hossam Bakir, Jill Kirson, Shahab Anari, and Komal Smriti have been modelling diversity and inclusion. The Board will be digging into the recommendations over the next few months. You will be hearing more about our DEI Strategy and how you can get involved early in 2022.

Be on the lookout for a brief member survey landing in your email this month. We really want to hear from you so we can help ensure our chapter is offering what you want. When you see the survey, please reply. It will only take a few minutes.

It’s award nomination time, so please consider who you would like to nominate or encourage to apply themselves this year.

Thanks to our Board nomination committee who is interviewing for 2022/23 Board positions. Once again, we have had fantastic Board nominees step forward this year - thank you! Be on the lookout for your proxy so your voice can be heard.

Hope to see you at EVOLVE 2021!


October 2021

The countdown is on… EVOLVE 2021 is just around the corner, November 15-19!

Our annual conference is our signature event which has consistently garnered outstanding participant feedback. This year it’s going to be better than ever with our lineup of exceptional speakers, networking and fun over five days. Thank you to those who have already registered. We will be in touch in the coming weeks regarding what to expect and how to make the most of your conference experience! I’m looking forward to connecting with you as we experience an innovative and interactive conference platform. We’re not sold out yet… so register today.

Did you know we have the sixth largest ICF chapter in the world? We are growing and now have over 1000 members… 1059 as of the end of September, to be exact. If you have not yet paid the ICF Toronto Chapter annual Activity Fee, please do so to take full advantage of complimentary professional development meetings, conference discount, and more.

The ICF Toronto Awards nominations open November 1, and the details are available now at www.icftoronto.com/Awards-2022. Nominate yourself or a colleague for some of these awards.

I would like to recognize our Past President, Barb Rosen Schreiber this month for her tremendous behind-the-scenes work for our chapter. In addition to working on the Board Nomination/Selection, she has been pulling together our Annual Activity Report and supporting the Conference, among other things. I am so grateful to have her support and guidance. Thanks Barb!

September 2021

I hope you were able to spend some quality time with family and friends this summer despite our ongoing pandemic. After many years of back-to-school routines with my kids and now grandkids, September always feels like a fresh start. It’s a time to take stock, establish new routines, update goals, etc. ICF Toronto is offering lots of opportunities to consider as you contemplate your September start.

Firstly, there are some great opportunities to volunteer with ICF Toronto. One of these opportunities that we encourage all our volunteers to consider is a Board position. Nominations are open, so please consider submitting a nomination for yourself or a colleague who wants to join our diverse 2022/23 Board of Directors - before October 8. Please also consider helping with our Communications portfolio and Coach Connect pro bono coaching, among others - www.Icftoronto.com/volunteer.

Secondly, you can sign up today for early bird pricing for our annual conference - EVOLVE 2021. Robin Mahadeva and her team have created an outstanding lineup of speakers and sessions for you.

Thirdly, have you considered applying or nominating someone for an ICF Toronto award? Nominations open November 1st! Alicia Saint, Vice President and Director of Corporate Outreach and Annual Awards, along with Ralph Cochrane, Lead Judge, are continuing to improve our awards program. It’s easy to apply! Don’t be shy! www.icftoronto.com/awards

Welcome back to the Board Kirk Fox, who was a member of the Programming Committee and is now bringing his many years of designing and delivering learning programs to our Chapter as our new Director of Programming. Kirk is teaming up with Shahab Anari to bring you many amazing sessions to help you develop your business and as a coach.

I’m looking forward to joining in the upcoming programming and other ICF Toronto activities with you.

August 2021

Hello Greater Toronto Coaching Community!

Your Board and committees have been bringing their creativity to design a vibrant fall of experiences to help develop our community. It’s time to consider how you’d like to get more involved, as we will be inviting volunteers, Board nominations, Award nominations, Coach Connect participation, as well as hosting many events, including our annual conference.

Register now for EVOLVE 2021 at early bird rates. Join your colleagues November 15-19 for five inspiring days of learning, connection and powerful insight. Visit the ICF Toronto EVOLVE 2021 event site to see our full agenda.

We are grateful for our many volunteers. You can make a difference while getting to know some amazing coaching colleagues by volunteering with ICF Toronto. We are looking for two volunteers to join our Communications/Marketing team with the leadership of Board member, Itopa Sule. We are also looking for a leader for our Programming portfolio and a volunteer to work with Shahab Anari on hosting Member Meetings. We are grateful to Ingrid Palmer for her strategic contribution to the Programming portfolio. Perhaps you’d like to provide pro bono coaching as a participant in our Coach Connect program. Please share your contact information and specify areas of interest https://icftoronto.com/volunteer. We will then reach out to you to learn more about what you’re looking for and discuss opportunities.

Thanks to our members for renewing both your annual ICF Global membership and your ICF Toronto Activity Fee. This funding helps ensure a strong association for the future.

July 2021

It’s July, and it is fantastic to enjoy the summer and celebrate the lifting of many COVID restrictions. We can’t wait to see you! We have heard from many of our members, especially those from outside the GTA, that they appreciate the virtual offerings, so your Board has discussed virtual meetings being part of our future, in addition to getting together in person. Stay tuned as Ingrid Palmer and Shahab Anari have been planning some impressive programming for the fall.

Robin Mahadeva and her conference organizing team have been developing an outstanding lineup of world-class speakers who will offer incredible insights and takeaways for coaches. If you know of any potential conference sponsors, please contact robin@icftoronto.com. Save the dates November 15-19, 2021. A link for early bird Evolve 2021 registration is coming soon!

I wanted to do a shout-out to two Board members that play vital roles for our Chapter behind the scenes. Jalyn Anderson, Secretary, with her extensive Board Governance expertise keeps us all organized – not an easy task in addition to her support of Alicia with the Corporate Outreach Portfolio. Hossam Bakir has recently taken on a Board Liaison role with our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team, in addition to his busy role as Treasurer. A huge thanks to these, and all our Board members!

A few months ago we asked you to consider volunteering with our Chapter and now we have strong energized committees across most of our portfolios - so thank you! We have new volunteer opportunities to lead or support our digital transformation. If you have a strong technical/process background and would like to learn more about this opportunity, please let us know.

ICF Toronto is a vibrant chapter because of you. We appreciate your contributions, engagement and feedback, and I look forward to continuing our journey together.

June 2021

Our world needs coaching.

Recent events in Kamloops, B.C. and London, Ont. remind us that we cannot and should not remain silent in the face of discrimination. As coaches, we thrive on helping clients see biases or perspectives they may not have considered. We also need to acknowledge that we have unconscious biases within ourselves, our organizations and our overall communities. We realize that some biases may be unconscious or unintentional, yet as a Chapter, we want to continue to purposefully challenge ourselves.

ICF Toronto’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy Committee came together six months ago, after our Diversity Dialogues were held last summer. This dedicated team has been working to formulate our EDI strategy. Let’s support each other as we feel the frustration, sadness and anger that is associated with discrimination, and come together to take action for inclusivity. Let’s each of us courageously explore this topic within ourselves, so we as coaches can help others in our communities do the same.

Thanks to the 46 ICF Toronto volunteer coaches who provided over 150 participants from 14 not-for-profit organizations with pro bono coaching during International Coaching Week (ICW) in May. A huge congratulations to the ICW Committee and Gaby Cameto, whose exceptional leadership made a big difference in our community.

Hats off to Jenny Barkan for the new Member’s Handbook and all of her work as Membership Director.

Also, thanks to Robin Mahadeva, our Conference Director, who is announcing the themes for our fall conference today.

I hope to see you at the special ICF Toronto Networking Event on June 23, 6:30-8:00pm.

Enjoy the re-opening of Ontario, including those patios!

May 2021

Happy International Coaching Week, May 17-21. During this annual celebration, ICF Toronto joins chapters from around the world to educate the public about the value of working with a professional coach. Thank you to all the coaches who signed up to provide pro bono coaching to non-profits in our community, enabling more members of the community to experience coaching. Please “like,” “love,” “comment,” and “share” to help engagement for our events #ICFTorontoICW and #ICW2021. Share how you are celebrating the power and impact of coaching this week.

Your Board of Directors, including our newest Board member, Ingrid Palmer, Director of Programming (welcome Ingrid), has been working tirelessly to plan and bring you a full calendar of events that include:

ICF Toronto is growing and this month surpassed 1000 members. Let’s work together to sustain a thriving chapter and support one another as we make a difference in our community. If you haven’t renewed your ICF membership or you’d like to join, it’s not too late! You can do either by following instructions here. Also, be sure to visit https://icftoronto.com/join-icf-toronto to pay your $100 activity fee and get the best value for your membership.

ICF Global has added two new Communities of Practice – Coaching Supervision and Coach Training - bringing the number up to 11.These communities are a member benefit and offer a great way to connect with virtual groups of coaches interested in the same topic, while earning CCEUs.

Claim your ICF digital badge to give your personal coaching brand additional credibility and show clients that you are committed to coaching excellence and ethical practices.

April 2021

Spring is here and we are ready for new beginnings, warmer weather and vaccinations. Never did I dream I’d be mentioning vaccinations in an ICF newsletter. After receiving my vaccination on Saturday I felt a deep, almost overwhelming sense of gratitude. It is now almost a week later and I still feel the power and warmth of gratitude. I am thankful for all of you who have chosen to support the Chapter and renewed your ICF Toronto membership. The Toronto Chapter activity fee provides our chapter with the financial stability so that we can plan activities and bring more value to coaches and the clients we serve.

"Defying Challenging Times" is this year’s International Coaching Week (ICW) May 17 – 23 theme. Gaby Cameto and our ICW Planning Committee is partnering with non-profit organizations from various sectors to provide pro bono coaching sessions. A big thanks to the many coaches who are choosing to donate their coaching services to make coaching available to people who would not otherwise have the opportunity.

Now is a great time to get involved as an ICF Toronto Chapter volunteer, as your Board is planning implementation for our new strategy. We are making progress with our Learning/Professional Development Strategy, our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and our Digital Transformation Strategy. We are working on a new member handbook and conference, corporate outreach, and volunteer engagement as well. Please visit www.icftoronto.com/volunteer.

As professional coaches, we have never had a more important role to play in society. I hear about ICF Toronto coaches providing absolutely incredible life changing support to their clients through these unprecedented times. Please remember to put your own oxygen mask on first – take care of yourself. With the lockdown in Ontario continuing and new variants all around, stay safe and reach out if you need help.

March 2021

I am honoured and humbled to serve you as President of our globally recognized, award-winning chapter, as of March 1, 2021. I am grateful for the great leadership of my predecessor Barb Rosen Schreiber and the entire Board and volunteers who addressed the many challenges of the pandemic with creativity and compassion.

I look forward to the opportunities this year to learn and work with your new Board:

Alicia Saint
Barb Rosen Schreiber
Gaby Cameto
Hossam Bakir
Itopa Sulé
Jalyn Anderson
Jenny Barkan
Robin Mahadeva
Shahab Anari

This talented group of people and their commitment to supporting coaches, is amazing. I am inspired by their commitment to the Chapter and all of their achievements.

ICF Toronto is impactful, thanks to the dedicated service and passion embodied by our membership. What you may not know is how much work goes on behind the scenes in order to support our 900 members and our community. We are looking for members who want to contribute their talents to support our ambitious strategy and growing community. You will have a chance to get to know other wonderful coaches, learn and make a big difference. There are many different ICF Toronto volunteer opportunities now available to support Marketing and Communications, Conference, Programming (including Director) and Events, Membership Engagement, and Community Outreach (including International Coaching Week) for this coming year. What area might you be interested in? Please let us know by visiting www.icftoronto.com/volunteer.

I hope to see you at a virtual Chapter meeting soon. And you are always welcome to contact me or any Board member with questions and ideas. We appreciate you!


14845-6 Yonge Street Suite 185  Aurora, ON, L4G 6H8
T: 416.960.4791 x3   F: 416.929.5256  info@icftoronto.com