SSE Ontario Team
SSE Ontario is volunteer-driven and enjoys the support of hundreds of exceptionally passionate and loyal supporters.
As a result, the School is able to maintain a very small core, paid staff and a dozen or so associates that collaborate on specific projects for different periods.
If you are interested in working with us, kindly sign up for job postings here.
SSE Ontario Core Staff
Chryssa Koulis – Co-Managing Director
Chryssa got her start in the non-profit sector at a very young age – at age eight she became a fundraiser for the Heart & Stroke Foundation through their Jump Rope for Heart program. As an adult she has worked in non-profits like The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, the Artists’ Health Centre Foundation and the MS Society. She even found her way back to the Heart & Stroke Foundation but this time they paid her for her fundraising efforts.
Despite her long history working in the non-profit sector, Chryssa’s true calling was more entrepreneurial. Again at the tender age of eight, Chryssa started selling Florida oranges and grapefruits in Flemington Park, where she grew up, so that she could go on a school field trip to Cedar Glen. Not only did she raise enough money to secure her place but she earned enough to send several classmates on the field trip as well. These sales skills and business savvy served her well in completing her MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business.
Chryssa came to a crossroads a few years back where she felt very much like Goldilocks. She tried working in non-profits but that didn’t quite fit. She got her MBA but that didn’t really feel right either. She realized that she was looking for something that combined the good work of non-profits and the principles of business to be able to do well and do good at the same time. Fortunately, she found that perfect fit with the School for Social Entrepreneurs Canada and in 2013 she graduated in the school’s first cohort to become a Social Entrepreneur Fellow. During the program she launched a social venture called peopleshare where organizations can access people on demand to help non-profits do good work even with very limited budgets. In addition to working on peopleshare, in 2014 she joined the School as Learning Manager and now has the pleasure of helping others launch their own social ventures.
When she’s not thinking about business models and value propositions, Chryssa volunteers on the Board of the North York Community House, does a lot of home renovating (not by choice) and is completely devoted to her tiny dog.
Marjorie Brans – Co-Managing Director for Impact
Marjorie Brans is your average Vietnamese-Chinese-German-Scottish-Irish girl with small town Southern roots. She leads the team at the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Ontario and is the Canadian ambassador for the League of Intrapreneurs. Prior to SSE, she regularly consulted on social & environmental sustainability with Fortune 500 multinational corporations in the financial, retail, extractives, fast-moving consumer goods, beverages, and transportation sectors.
Professionally, Marjorie is most proud of having initiated and led HARITA (now R4), a project backed by global insurance giant Swiss Re. The project succeeded in creating one of the world’s first viable micro-insurance products for climate change adaptation, on the way to being scaled in 5 countries. An evaluation of the first four years of the project by the Rockefeller Foundation showed that compared to farmers not participating in the program, insured farmers increased their savings by an average of 123 percent, and female-headed households increased the area of land they cultivate by approximately 35 percent.
Marjorie has held roles as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at NESsT, a social venture capital fund active in ten emerging economies, and as Senior Policy Advisor at Oxfam in the area of business and global poverty. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and academic institutions.
Andrea Telfer – Director of Operations
I have been very fortunate in my 30-year career to have had the opportunity to work for great companies, with great people in many parts of the world. One of the ventures that I was involved in was an entrepreneurial startup involved in creating a sustainable solution to an environmental issue.
This experience tweaked my interest in social innovation, social impact, and social finance. As I learned more, I wanted to learn even more, and connected to people in the sector. I found my way to the School for Social Entrepreneurs and its inspiring mandate. It also supported my interest in education–an ambition lost in the pursuit of a more traditional business career.
So I volunteered for a couple of years—essentially becoming an intern—learning more about the School’s embracing of new solutions to societal challenges, the challenges of social innovation and impact, and not surprisingly, the wide range of technology available to organizations today. It is an opportunity for me to keep on learning, to share my experience and expertise, and to work with a venture that is having an impact on our communities.
Eventually I transitioned from volunteer to staff; doing so has allowed me to interact and support a diverse, engaged, passionate, incredibly talented and committed group of colleagues, students, and partners. The School is creating an ever expanding community of like-minded individuals and organizations to support the concept and realities of social entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, making connections across the country and around the world.
And what can I bring to the School? I believe that my experience in the corporate and entrepreneurial sector allows me to bring a view of how all the parts of an organization can work effectively together, an unflappable nature, a sense of humor, attention to detail and skills that support the ever changing priorities of a startup organization. I hope it is a fair trade.
SSE Ontario Associates
Ruchika Arora: LinkedIn Profile
Nina Chandarana: LinkedIn Profile
Marilee D’Arceuil: LinkedIn Profile
Renee Devereaux: LinkedIn Profile
Emmay Mah: LinkedIn Profile
Brina Ludwig-Prout: LinkedIn Profile
Jerrold McGrath: LinkedIn Profile
Sheila Murray: LinkedIn Profile
Denise Pinto: LinkedIn Profile
Maggie Prout: LinkedIn Profile
Hilary Robinson: LinkedIn Profile
Heidi Schaeffer: LinkedIn Profile
Vince Schutt: LinkedIn Profile
Andrew “Tuggs” Togobo: LinkedIn Profile
Robert Wakulat: LinkedIn Profile