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Evelyn Wilson - President

In 1996, Evelyn Wilson co-founded Open Arms to International Adoption, a non-profit federally registered adoption agency facilitating adoptions from The Peoples Republic of China. She served as President for 10 years and oversaw the expansion of Open Arms in terms of both numbers of families served and a host of supportive services and programs for adopted children and their families such as festive children's parties, family picnics, newsletters, baby care seminars, parent in-waiting events, grandparent teas and dragon boat teams.

In 2005 Evelyn worked with a group of adoptive parents who had a heart for the Chinese children who would never be adopted and faced a bleak future with extremely limited opportunities for education and the social-emotional supports of a family. Open Arms Children's Foundation grew out of their combined hearts.

Professionally, Evelyn is an educator with an Honours Physical and Health Education degree and a Masters in Arts Degree. After retiring from the position of Superintendent from the Toronto District School Board, she worked as an independent consultant for The Ministry of Education, The Council of Ontario Directors of Education and small businesses. Evelyn is currently a Co-ordinator of Leadership Programs in the Faculty of Education at York University.

Over the years, Evelyn has worked as a volunteer in her community. She and her husband John are blessed with two wonderful adopted Chinese daughters who fill their days with joy and "keep them young".


Deborah Maw - Vice-President

Deborah Maw has been the Executive Director of Open Arms to International Adoption, a licensed adoption agency that specializes in adoptions from the People's Republic of China, for 10 years. She has also been actively involved in the formation of the Open Arms Children's Foundation and its fundraising activities.

Deborah has participated in a wide range of volunteer and board positions with numerous non-profit organizations, and has served as president of the Rosedale-Moore Park Association, the Junior League of Toronto and the University Women's Club of Toronto. She has a professional background in history and museum studies, having graduated from the University of Toronto with both a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master's Degree in Museum Studies. However, after adopting two children from China, she changed her professional and volunteer focus in order to help other families to adopt children from China.


MaryAnn Crichton - Board Member

MaryAnn Crichton has had a life-long fascination and interest in China. She has seen the country develop, beginning with one of the first individual visas issued in 1981 and has visited many times since then. In 1996, MaryAnn joined the first Board of Directors of Open Arms to International Adoption, a non-profit federally registered adoption agency facilitating adoptions from The Peoples Republic of China.

Professionally, MaryAnn is the Global Head of a Management Consulting Practice within Hatch, a Global engineering and construction firm with 20 years of project experience in China. Mary Ann has B.Sc. Chemical Engineering and a M.B.A. She has 30 years of international business experience in strategy, new business development, marketing, finance and public policy development. She has worked on a broad range projects for financial institutions, companies, potential investors and government agencies. She is a former merchant banker.

MaryAnn is currently on the Board of the Ontario Mining Association and Chairs the newly established Education and Outreach Committee. She volunteers with a number of groups in her community. MaryAnn has been active in the Canadian Women's Foundation and Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO). In 2006, she was awarded the Ontario Public Service Award for her co-founding the Women in Engineering Advisory Committee, updating the Engineering Awards and other PEO committee work.

MaryAnn is a single mother and is blessed with two wonderful adopted Chinese daughters.


Julia Ouellette

As a newly appointed Board member, Julia Ouellette brings experience in fundraising for not-for-profit organizations. She has been actively involved in the visual arts and the disabled community.

Julia is parent to 3 children. The youngest is adopted from China.


Kathryn Soden - Secretary

Kathyrn Soden joined the OACF board in 2008. She is the mother of three amazing children. Her youngest, a wonderful daughter, was adopted from China. Prior to taking on parenting full time, Kathy was the Director of Corporate Finance at the Ontario Securities Commission. Since then, she has spent time volunteering for various organizations such as the Adoption Council of Ontario and serveral schools.

Though not currently practising, Kathy is a Chartered Accountant.


Laura Isidean

Laura Isidean joined the Board in 2011.

Laura has 20 years of financial services experience. She recently retired from her position as Managing Director and Global Head of FX Sales at Scotiabank, Global Banking and Markets, where she worked with clients to manage currency exposure. She graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance. She is also a a CFA Charterholder.

In addition to her work with the Board, Laura is an active member of Women in Capital Markets, the Toronto CFA Society and United Way's Women Gaining Ground.

She and her husband are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter, adopted from China in 2010.


Lisette Gelinas

New last year, Lisette brings almost two decades of experience in marketing along with a passion for the Children's Foundation born of her desire to help make life better for children in orphanages. Lisette has volunteered for the silent auction fundraising committee for the past several auctions and enjoyed it so much she asked how else she could help.

Lisette is mother to one beautiful daughter adopted from China.


Murray Rice

New this year, Murray and his wife Joanne, adopted their daughter Jocelyn in August 2011 through Open Arms to International Adoption. Murray is a biomedical engineer working at the University Health Network. Volunteering is an important part of his life and has included teaching physically and mentally challenged children, building homes with Habitat for Humanity and helping homeless with Out of the Cold.

Adopting from China has brought a great gift to his life. Being involved with the Open Arms Children's Foundation and raising funds to help orphans in China is a rewarding way for him to keep a connection with China.


Angus Armstrong

Also new this year, Angus was a Toronto Police Officer for 27 years ending his service in 2003 as Lead Diver for the Underwater Search and Rescue Team of the Toronto Police Marine Unit. Angus became Harbour Master and Chief of Security for the Toronto Port Authority in the Spring of 2003 with the operation of Billy Bishop Airport and the Port of Toronto as his main responsibility.

Angus is also the President for Open Arms to International Adoption and the President of the CSAC at Saint Dennis Catholic School in Toronto.

In addition, Angus is a board member for the Association of Canadian Port Authorities.


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