People Directory

Our team is the heartbeat of our collaborative efforts, comprising diverse experts from various fields. Each member brings unique skills and perspectives, uniting to drive innovation and impact in the health sector. Together, we are more than just a team; we are a community committed to transforming healthcare across Africa.

People Directory

Photo of Christine Arsenault

Managing Director

University of Toronto Scarborough, African Impact Challenge, The BRIDGE

Photo of William (Bill) McConkey

, PhD

Academic Director, New Venture Program, and Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

African Impact Challenge, University of Toronto Scarborough, The BRIDGE

Photo of Celestine Nema

Program Coordinator, Entrepreneurship & Work Integrated Learning - Management Department; Projects Lead - African Impact Initiative

University of Toronto Scarborough, African Impact Challenge, The BRIDGE

Photo of Sharon Ngugi

Marketing Manager, African Impact Initiative

African Impact Challenge

Photo of Dave Fenton

Assistant Director, External Relations

University of Toronto Scarborough, The BRIDGE

Photo of Efosa Obano

Founder & Manager of the Black Founders Network; Founder of African Impact Initiative

University of Toronto, African Impact Challenge, The BRIDGE

Photo of Jamila Parker-Ismail

Program Coordinator, African Impact Initiative

African Impact Challenge

Profile

Christine Arsenault

Managing Director

University of Toronto Scarborough

Christine Arsenault is the Managing Director for the University of Toronto Scarborough’s Management Department, which houses all of the University’s business co-op programs and The BRIDGE; the department’s commitment to Work-Integrate Learning and Entrepreneurship. 

She has been involved in co-operative education nationally and internationally for 20 years including leading Co-op and Work-Integrated Learning Canada as President in 2012/13, as a board member of the World Association for Co-operative Education and previously chairing the Canadian co-op research committee.  In 2018, she received the U of T Scarborough Principal’s Accomplished Leader Award.

While completing her M.A. she led award-winning research that compared English Language Learners and native English speakers and their success in job searching and recent published research on work-integrated learning’s influence on entrepreneurship. Under her leadership, U of T’s innovative Management and International Business Program was designed and implemented and the department has fulfilled its commitment that ever graduate should have a work-integrated learning experience.

Profile

William (Bill) McConkey, PhD

Academic Director, New Venture Program, and Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

African Impact Challenge

UTSC grad Professor Bill McConkey spent two decades in the early-stage venture world before returning to the University of Toronto, Scarborough to join the Department of Management, teaching courses in Operations, Product Management and Entrepreneurship.

Bill has supported countless students as they launched new ventures, whether in the classroom, through co-curricular initiatives or co-op terms. Bill is involved in several student organizations, including MCC The Management Consulting Club, LIVE Competition and the department’s new Sales club. Bill is Academic Director of the campus’s New Venture Program, and sits on the Board of Advisors and Board of Directors of a number of Canadian companies.

He and his wife Monica and their five children – and new puppy – live in Stouffville, Ontario.

Profile

Celestine Nema

Program Coordinator, Entrepreneurship & Work Integrated Learning - Management Department; Projects Lead - African Impact Initiative

University of Toronto Scarborough

Celestine Nema is a Program Coordinator for Entrepreneurship and Work-Integrated Learning at The BRIDGE, an entrepreneurship accelerator in the Management Department at the University of Toronto, Scarborough.

She also acts as the Projects Lead for the African Impact Initiative, a University of Toronto partner that runs the African Impact Challenge, a startup incubator program that  supports young African entrepreneurs to create viable solutions for the most pressing challenges within their communities. Celestine’s career spanned public service for almost a decade before pivoting her career to focus on her passion for entrepreneurship, youth education, and youth development.

Profile

Sharon Ngugi

Marketing Manager, African Impact Initiative

African Impact Challenge

Sharon Ngugi, a distinguished Pan African Change Leader and Marketing Guru, is committed to driving positive change across Africa through the art of storytelling. As the Marketing Manager for the African Impact Initiative, she harnesses her multifaceted skills to inspire transformation.

A “Brand Whisperer” and “Favorite Storyteller,” Sharon recognizes that stories possess the extraordinary power to ignite social change. She masterfully employs storytelling to amplify the impact of the African Impact Initiative’s projects. Sharon’s narratives not only raise awareness but also forge genuine connections with audiences, motivating them to become catalysts for change.

Recognized as a LinkedIn Top Voice & Influencer, Sharon utilizes her influential platform to share compelling stories of resilience, progress, and hope from Africa. Her dedication to illuminating these narratives has not only expanded the Initiative’s outreach but has also ignited thought-provoking dialogues about the continent’s potential.

Sharon’s innovative marketing strategies, coupled with her passion for storytelling, position her as a driving force behind the organization’s growth and success. Her ability to seamlessly blend storytelling with impactful marketing has not only made her an industry influencer but has also led to tangible change within African communities.

Through her visionary leadership and distinctive approach, Sharon inspires others to join the African Impact Initiative’s journey toward a brighter, more prosperous future for Africa.

Profile

Dave Fenton

Assistant Director, External Relations

University of Toronto Scarborough

Dave Fenton is the Assistant Director of External Relations with the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC).

He leads a team of relationship managers that support Management’s accredited co-operative education program, and oversees the curricular work-integrated learning (WIL) program through The BRIDGE. One such initiative includes the African Impact Challenge (AIC), launched in 2020 alongside through the African Impact Initiative.  The AIC empowers African youth to realize the change they wish to see in their communities through the development and launch of technology-driven social impact startups.  The AIC was recognized by the United Nations as one of the top 50 solutions in the 2020 Youth Solutions Report for Sustainable Development.  Dave has been published in Cooperative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada’s (CEWIL Canada) e-book “The Practice of Co-op and Work-Integrated Learning in the Canadian Context”, presented publications at the WACE International Research Symposium, the World Association of Cooperative Education (WACE) World Conference, the CEWIL Research Spotlight, and serves as facilitator of Global WIL Modules.  Dave holds a Master of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto.

Profile

Efosa Obano

Founder & Manager of the Black Founders Network; Founder of African Impact Initiative

University of Toronto

Efosa Obano started and manages the Black Founders Network (BFN), which supports Black entrepreneurs across Canada with capital, community, and capacity building.

He also started and leads the African Impact Initiative (AII), which enables early African innovators to create solutions to challenges in their communities. He has expertise in using technology to create social impact, invest with impact, and build early-stage ventures. For this work, he has been recognized by the United Nations and the Ontario Minister’s Award of Excellence.
 
Prior to these, he led a team that guided start-ups on their digital transformation journeys with Dell Technologies Canada. He also led community outreach for Dell Canada’s Social Impact Team & Dell Canada’s Black Networking Alliance. He received Dell’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award for this work. He is an alumnus of the University of Toronto, where he specialized in Strategic Management.

Profile

Jamila Parker-Ismail

Program Coordinator, African Impact Initiative

African Impact Challenge

In her role as Program Coordinator, Jamila assumes a pivotal role, diligently overseeing, co-managing, and orchestrating the implementation of business development initiatives at The African Impact Initiative.

She brings years of experience to the realm of Program Incubation, where her primary focus lies in nurturing Entrepreneurial Development. Jamila’s profession is underscored by her exceptional organizational acumen, a knack for fostering team synergy and networks. Her portfolio extends across multiple African countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, Lesotho, Kenya, and Nigeria.