Agatha Love is Board Chair of the Board of Directors, a role in which she combines her unique blend of non-profit and government experience to manage and provide leadership to the Board of Directors of SuiteLife Arts for Youth. She is a long-time advocate for youth empowerment and education. Agatha is passionate about community involvement, cultural diversity, leadership development and strengthening the arts community in Toronto.
Agatha has an undergraduate degree in Humanities from York University and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Public Administration and Leadership from Ryerson University. She has held various administrative positions at the City of Toronto over the last 6 years. As well as holding other operations management roles, she has volunteered at several non-profit organization's in the GTA area including, Toronto's Youth Assisting Youth to empower youth and help gain life skills. International development and cultural diversity have always been a great interest to her.
Agatha is an advocate of change in the community and works on developing her leadership skills by engaging with the community through volunteerism. With a keen interest in governance and policy, Agatha applies her knowledge to further the mission and values of SuiteLife Arts for Youth.
Ashley is a creative professional with almost 10 years of non-profit and administrative experience. She specializes in volunteer management and is excited to switch roles by serving as a volunteer. She currently works at CPA Ontario as a BPR Analyst and has held previous positions at CFA Society Toronto. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts with majors in English and Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. She also holds the Certificate in Facility Management from the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and the Claritas Investment Certificate from CFA Institute. She is currently looking for her next learning opportunity.
When not working her corporate job, she keeps her imagination alive by being the blogger and jewelry designer "Bright Shadows" www.brightshadows.me
When she's not exploring the city she's making DIY projects and eating nut-free cupcakes.
Denese Matthews is a dancer, singer, actor, choreographer and producer whose been performing over thirty years throughout North America.
Inspired by Josephine Baker who adopted 12 children from around the world (dubbed The Rainbow Tribe) to afford them better opportunities, Denese conceptualised and founded SuiteLife Arts for Youth (SuiteLife) in April 1996. Her objective was to provide free intensive multi-disciplinary performing arts workshops to young people (14 - 25yrs.) – making quality arts education accessible to all youth. Denese has been successful in her endeavours, SuiteLife is moving into its 20th year!
To afford young people additional arts opportunities, Denese created the youth-led initiative StArt Youth Presenting Art (StArt YPA) in the Scarborough Village area - mentoring a dedicated group of young people who have taken the challenge of creating and implementing an annual youth arts festival for their peers, therefore becoming positive role models and contributors to their communities. Denese is extremely proud of the youth’s accomplishments. StArt Youth Presenting Art is moving into its 7th year.
Saw Tun is the Chief Marketing Officer on SuiteLife's Board of Directors. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics & Business from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Laurier University. His passion for marketing, brand building, and sales analytics will help further SuiteLife's mission & vision while positioning it to be an integral youth focused non-profit organization within the GTA.
He brings to the table key sales & marketing skills and strategies that make him an effective CMO who will lead the organization’s brand building efforts. Saw currently works in the CPG industry as a Commercial Planning Manager on the National Accounts team... working with some of the leading companies in the restaurant, hospitality, and entertainment industries. His passion for strong brands can be seen by the brands that he represents every day.
As a long-time advocator of youth education through arts & sports, he was drawn to the mission of SuiteLife Arts for Youth. He hopes to make a lasting positive impact to the SuiteLife Arts for Youth brand as a member of the Board of Directors.
Marie Lampropoulos is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors, a role that allows Marie to combine her law background and fundraising experience with her creative pursuits. As someone who has used art and music as an important form of expression since a young age, she is enthusiastic to support this exploration in the next generation of youth.
Marie started painting in high-school, discovered the magic of live music at Queen's University where she studied Biology, became a big fan of theatre during law school, and has recently started trying her hand at poetry. Always interested and inspired by various art forms, Marie has focused her legal studies in creative applications, earning a concentration in Intellectual Property as part of her J.D. and a Certificate in Entertainment Law in 2018. She is licensed in Ontario (2014), New York (2013), and Massachusetts (2012).
Recognizing the healing and community building capacity of the arts, Marie has organized fundraisers for various Toronto women's shelters that showcased musical performances and artwork from local women. Marie utilizes her leadership skills to foster art and community through co-creation, while looking to her inner child as her most potent muse.
Chief Marketing Officer
Discovering the Artist in You
Cherise Solomon started dancing at the age of 14 in her first year of high school. Little did she know, dance would become her life passion. Cherise is an avid performer who has danced with multiple dance companies in Toronto including, The Girls Club and Boss Dance Company. She has performed in venues throughout the GTA such as the Gladstone Hotel and Wildflower. You can also see Cherise in commercial work for Carefree and the Ontario Road Builders Association.
Cherise is a multi-disciplined individual. Currently she is studying New Media at Ryerson University, and is part of the New Media Social Team that focuses on connecting students from all years to create and learn new skills together.
Presently, Cherise is the Assistant Festival Manager of StArt Youth Presenting Art (StArt YPA), which is a multi disciplinary youth art festival based in Scarborough. Cherise has been with StArt YPA for over 4 years, because she wants to give Scarborough youth a starting point from which to explore their creative fields, and to go beyond.
Cherise has a creative mind bustling with ideas, therefore she works with companies that can help her gain skills – resulting in her becoming a better artist and positive contributor to her community.
Michael Sniderman is the Chief Legal Officer on SuiteLife's Board of Directors. In this role, he combines his legal expertise with his passion for the arts and youth education.
Michael was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2017 after earning his Juris Doctor at Queen’s University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At law school, he was a Managing Editor for the Queen’s Law newspaper and Social Coordinator for the Queen’s Law Student Society. These roles let him flex his creativity while enabling him to plan charitable events for great causes.
Michael’s background puts him squarely in line with SuiteLife’s values. Having played music since he was a babbling toddler, Michael is always looking for opportunities to help young people tap into their artistic potential. While working at a summer camp for 6 years, he also learned to emphasize the importance of youth education and empowerment.
Chief Legal Officer
Connie Tong is a member of the Board of Directors, who represents a youth perspective in increasing arts engagement in her neighbourhood of Scarborough. She combines her artistic practice and community development experience as a Festival Manager for StArt Youth Presenting Art.
Connie is an artist + designer + art educator, who has a Bachelor's degree in Design in Material Arts and Design at OCAD University.
She has held various roles in the arts and culture sector, working in non-profits and public institutions. Connie has a passion for arts education – facilitating art workshops and programs in her local neighbourhood and organizing community arts events. She held positions within the City of Toronto as a Diversity Events Coordinator, Art Instructor, Youth Program Supervisor, and has spearheaded community mural projects in Scarborough. Recently she received a small grant to turn her passion into a business with her event planning company called cater2create, which focuses on planning and facilitating social and community events.
Connie is always looking for opportunities to stimulate her creative spirit. She is a peer mentor who inspires youth to collaborate, and connect with people and places in order to develop awareness and understanding around them.
Connie Xi is the Treasurer on SuiteLife’s Board of Directors, a role in which she combines her experience as a Commercial Banker and the passion for art education and empowerment.
Connie has an undergraduate degree in Statistics from Simon Fraser University and Post Graduate Degree in Economics from Carlton University. She has held various positions in one of the major banks in Canada in the areas of portfolio management, risk management and commercial banking. Connie has volunteered at number of non-for- profit organizations before joining the board at SuiteLife.
Connie’s personal life is fill with arts, from music, dance to theatre and visual arts. Her personal experience have taught her the transformative and healing power of art. Connie is always looking for opportunities to help more people to be exposed to arts and to be empowered by arts.
Chief Technology Officer
Jack is a technology professional with a knack for data analytics. He holds the CAIA and CFA charter and has extensive experience in operational efficiency, insight analytics, data re-engineering, and process automation. In addition to SuiteLife, he also sits on the board of Etobicoke Historic Society and the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts.
Jack believes that it is an untold truth that certain aspects of today’s education system is fundamentally flawed. Today, the ultimate goal of an education is to land a job, yet corporations are focusing on increasing efficiency, which eliminates jobs. The solution in its ideology form, is simple: innovation, which leads to new perspectives, new ideas, and eventually new businesses that create jobs. Jack joined SuiteLife Arts for Youth because art, unlike any other field or discipline, by definition inspires innovation. With Samual Morse as a quintessential example: a painter who invented the telegraph and co-developed the Morse Code, Jack contends that the intriguing agency that’s required for innovation is incredulously found in the passionate, un-deterministic, beautiful and yet sometimes fortuitous practice that we call ... ART.
Business and innovation requires art, yet art itself is a business. Jack is a dedicated advocate for transferring cardinal business and financial skills to young artists. He believes there’s an significant untapped market in the realm of unique design – whether it’s fashionable clothing, one-of-a-kind accessories, or a long-lost artistic trade. All artists need is the right set of “tools”, whether it’s a pair of double pointed bamboo needles, a robust round-nose piler or perhaps a set of social-media marketing skills.
© SuiteLife Arts for Youth