Core Team

The people within organizations drive a mission. Of course, all missions require a strategy.

While some strategic plans are necessarily complex, our strategy is simple. To deliver our twofold purpose, our strategy is directly tied to the personal objective of each team member. Get to know what motivates us, and how we intend to add value to your organization, the people currently and soon to be in it, and the public more broadly.

President and Managing Partner

Jason Murray

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Over the course of his career, Jason has worked on 300+ executive searches as well as a range of EDI services in partnership with client companies. Prior to founding BIPOC Executive Search Inc., Jason worked at a multinational executive search firm as well as a boutique search firm before that. For part of his career, he worked in the Consulting Division of Deloitte & Touche as the Human Capital and Strategy & Operations Supervisor. In this position he provided organizational management and HR services to the 994 individuals in the division, and was a respected voice around matters of equity, diversity, and inclusion and increasing representation throughout the organization.

Jason has a community-facing orientation, and currently serves as Chair of the Board for the Toronto Fringe Festival. He has done work with a number of organizations that have a deep and abiding commitment to representation in the workforce, including the Canadian Board Diversity Council, G(irls)20, and Pride at Work Canada. He has facilitated EDI workshops and talks for a number of organizations and initiatives, including the African Canadian Women in the Public Service Network (ACWPS), Business for the Arts, Innovators Alliance, National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities, Supply Chain Canada, Social Value Matters, and The Walrus.

Jason holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, and a Master’s degree in Management from Boston University. He is certified in unconscious-bias decision making and iOS app development, and has completed courses on predicative data analytics and the ethical use of artificial intelligence in recruitment and retention.

Principal

Sedina Fiati

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Sedina Fiati is a frequent panelist, moderator and facilitator in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion, and the arts. Sedina has 10 years’ experience in workshop facilitating, coordinating panels and incorporating anti-oppression practises into organizational processes. Recent panels and workshops include: Indie Arts Coalition, Stratford Symposium 2019, Reel World Film Festival 2019, Making Space for Conflict with the AFC, CTV’s Your Morning, and Woke 2.0 Social Justice Workshop series. Sedina was the co-chair of ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity Committee and councillor and 2nd VP of council for Canadian Actors’ Equity Association. Sedina believes in radical empathy and generosity as we chart our way to a better future and stronger organizations.

Sedina holds a BFA in Music Theatre from the University of Windsor.

Research & Data Analyst

Chad Martin Stauber

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Chad Martin Stauber (he/him), is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. He has an extensive background in recruitment both at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (Academic Affairs portfolio), as well as from executive search work in a boutique firm. Chad brings deep experience to project management and is a prolific writer and researcher.

Chad holds a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto, and an MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Researcher

Zo Vandekas

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An Intercultural Relations graduate from Ryerson University, Zo is multilingual (Spanish, Greek, English) and has a passion for facilitating constructive client-facing experiences. Zo has invested a considerable amount of their academic, professional, and volunteer experiences conducting market research, providing literacy training, and curating sales and promotional programming for organizations in the non-profit sector, as well as for the education and food and beverage industries. Prior to working for BIPOC Executive Search, Zo’s most fulfilling professional endeavors have consisted of diversity work in the non-profit space, which included establishing inclusive educational environments for youth.

Director of Operations

Erica Ing

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Erica has worked in both a boutique and international executive search firm, and has gained considerable experience providing operational, client service, and delivery support within a variety of sectors, including real estate, public sector and academia, and leadership coaching and assessment. As Erica brings invaluable insights, judgment, and intelligence to executive search processes and professional services, at BIPOC Executive Search she is an integral bridge between clients, candidates and the BIPOC team.

Erica holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University.

Principal

Candice Frederick

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Candice has over 15 years’ experience working within community agencies and educational institutions; she started her career in social services with the City of Toronto, went on to be Director of Student Services at Randolph College, and most recently has worked as a faculty member at George Brown College. Candice also spent time as a mental health and addictions therapist as well as a counselling manager.

Candice has facilitated workshops and taught classes on anti-oppressive practice. She is frequently asked to facilitate group sessions on anti-black racism and the impact of racial trauma on the black community. When teaching or facilitating, Candice provides a space to engage in mindfulness and to explore intersectionality. Her work is rooted in strengths-based practices, equity frameworks, and trauma-informed perspectives. She is most proud of her community volunteer work centering decolonization and economic redistribution efforts.

A published writer, Candice has engaged in social work training and has a Master’s of Education (M.Ed.) in Counselling Psychology from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

Consultant

Shirley Ley

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Shirley Ley (she/her) is a social justice informed psychologist (Oregon, USA) who is committed to bringing racial justice to the forefront of all healing, consultation, and educational endeavours. For the past several years, she has worked in higher education settings in the United States providing expertise on equity, diversity, and inclusion related matters.

Shirley has a personal investment in supporting industries that are committed to dismantling oppressive structural and systemic practices that disadvantage racialized communities. Her philosophy to the work is informed by her political identity as a woman of Color, critical race and liberation theories, and community-centered healing practices. To facilitate the structural changes that are needed to sustain diverse and inclusive work environments, she forges relationships, by the way of educational programming, consultation work, and community-based healing events, with people across disciplines, inviting them to become allies in creating environments that allow racialized peoples to affirm their potential and to realize their inherent worth.

Shirley Ley holds a Master’s of Education (MEd) degree in counselling psychology from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) from Adler University – Vancouver campus.

Researcher and Project Coordinator

Nair Rui Lim

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Nair Rui Lim brings over ten years’ experience working with some of the most prominent companies in the pharmaceutical industry in both Canada and Brazil. She has also worked with organizations in the critical area of research and development as well as logistical support. Born and raised in Brazil to Korean and Italian families, Nair is a citizen of the world having lived in Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, and speaks multiple languages (English, Portuguese, French, and Spanish).

Nair began her education in one of the most prestigious universities in Brazil—the Federal University of São Paulo, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Pharmacy and Biochemistry—and received an Advanced Biotechnology diploma from Seneca College.

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Partner

Helen Mekonen

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Helen brings 16 years of experience in executive search recruitment and has built a proven track record of identifying, attracting, assessing, and hiring top diversity talent.

Prior to joining BIPOC Executive Search Inc., Helen worked at a boutique executive search firm in Toronto. Here, she concluded several searches where mission-critical talent—who have since proven to be key additions to client teams—were sought. Prior to this, Helen was a consultant at one of the leading global search firms helping clients across North America with their talent acquisition needs. She holds diplomas in Business Marketing and Business Administration from George Brown College.

Helen is a member of the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario. She is multilingual—fully bilingual in English and Italian, and conversationally proficient in French and Spanish.

Principal

Stacy-Ann Buchanan

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As a mental health advocate and award-winning presenter, Stacy-Ann brings an array of experience to the service and training sections of BIPOC Executive Search. Her award-winning documentary, The Blind Stigma, made Canadian history when it debuted as the first documentary produced in Canada that examined mental health in the Black community. She is listed as one of the 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada, one of the 150 Black Women Making Canada Better and one of the 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health.

As a highly respected motivational speaker with engagements that include TEDx and Bell Let’s Talk, Stacy-Ann’s work encompasses dismantling how mental health is perceived within the Black diaspora, stimulating dialogue in an effort to fuel resources, and orchestrating safe spaces for black voices to be amplified and helping them reclaim their narratives.

Stacy-Ann enjoys giving back to the community, and is a co-donor of The Buchanan Scholarship—a scholarship awarded to a first-year university student entering a Liberal Arts or Fine Arts program.

Researcher and Project Coordinator

Stephanie La

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Stephanie La (she/her) is a Toronto-based professional with a specialized background in Retail Operations and Management. With experience working at an international executive search firm, Stephanie brings project management, research, and operations experience to BIPOC Executive Search and plays an integral role in client delivery and operational support. She has served a number of industries while in the executive search business across sectors (private, public, and not-for-profit).

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Retail Management, from the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.

Researcher

Isabela Solis-Lozano

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Isabela Solis-Lozano is a proud Latina with a track record of success as an administrator, researcher, theatre artist, and producer. In all aspects of her work, Isabela is committed to creating equitable and accessible space for BIPOC folks to thrive, which is especially made possible through her work as a Researcher with BIPOC Executive Search.

Isabela has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa in English and Theatre as well as a Graduate Certificate in Arts Management from Centennial College. While at the University of Ottawa, Isabela proudly served as President of the Undergraduate English Students Association.

Partner

Urmilla Khan

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Urmilla brings 20+ years’ experience leading recruitment, talent acquisition, and career coaching services in the not-for-profit, private, and public sectors. She has worked in complex, dynamic environments, and has created innovative programs that have enhanced recruitment efficiencies, as well as diversity and inclusion in recruitment. She has also supported organizations with their compensation and onboarding programs, and over the years has contributed to her clients’ organizational strategies and growth.

Migrating to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago over 25 years ago, Urmilla has helped numerous executives, internationally trained professionals and newcomers to Canada along their career trajectory. She has hired thousands of professionals in a variety of industries and across functions, including Engineering, Healthcare, Information Technology, Logistics and Pharmaceuticals.

Committed to making a difference and influencing positive change, Urmilla takes an active role in the community and empowers people to do their part in creating a more inclusive, peaceful, and sustainable planet.

Urmilla is a graduate of the Human Resources Management Program at Sheridan College, and is a member of the Human Resources Professionals Association.

Researcher and Consultant

Laurie Toulouse

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Having called Toronto home since 2003, Laurie Toulouse (member of Serpent River First Nation) has developed a successful career in Corporate Retail Marketing and Management, most notably with Hugo Boss, Ted Baker and Civello. With a specialty revolving around education and development, Laurie shares her personal and professional experiences in creating programs aimed at promoting an inclusive and diverse workplace. Away from work, Laurie enjoys walking the many ravines in Toronto with her family.
Strategic Advisor

Rahul Maheshwari

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Rahul Maheshwari is a strategic advisor at BIPOC Executive Search Inc., and brings a key eye to advising on executive appointments that enable transformation, growth, and greater diversity within organizations. Rahul adds to BIPOC Executive Search through his deep experience in the financial services sector as well as manufacturing.

Alongside BIPOC Executive Search, Rahul works as a consultant in project finance transactions and other finance-related services. Earlier in his career, he worked at global manufacturing firms where he was part of engineering and strategy teams (both in North America and the Middle East).

Rahul holds a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto.

Researcher

Daniel Coca

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Daniel Coca (he/him) is a Nicaraguan born, Toronto based professional with a background in project and data management as well as executive support services. Having worked in a wide range of industries in both Canada and the US—from large corporate settings in healthcare data and energy delivery, to small boutique law firms—Daniel brings with him a wealth of experience in planning, reporting and client management. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Toronto.