Staff & Trainers

To empower women to become confident and skilled leaders, New Beginnings Support Program relies on our dedicated team of caring professionals. With extensive backgrounds in Not-For-Profit, Coaching, Learning and Development, Recruitment, and People Management, our program participants are fully supported throughout their time with us. Many of our program participants stay in touch with our Staff and Trainers, far beyond their completion of our program.

Our Staff

Denise Whitter

Executive Director, New Beginnings Support Program

Ms. Whitter has a BA from Ryerson University (now known as Toronto Metropolitan University) and received her certification in Support Program Facilitation from the Women’s Counselling, Referral & Education Centre. She has over 15 years of experience in the social service industry, and has worked with numerous charitable organizations, including Youthlink Inner City, and the Childhood Cancer Foundation – Candlelighters. Ms. Whitters continues to support our community and is regularly looking for opportunities to expand our program reach, maximizing the number of women we support.

Meegan Scott

Planning and Performance Manager

Meegan Scott, B.Sc. Hons, MBA, ATM-B, CL, PMP is committed to the mission and vision of the New Beginnings Support Program.

As a corporate strategist, planning, marketing, research, execution, and performance improvement falls within her expertise. She is a Jamaican-born consultant and practitioner with almost 20 years of helping organizational leaders across industries and geographical borders to get better results from their strategy development, planning, and execution processes. Her most recent endeavours included components that were grounded in Making Markets Work for the Poor and Women’s Economic Empowerment.


Avani Vaishnav

Project Manager-Retention Specialist

MBA, University of Connecticut, Business Analytics and Corporate Finance; MS, Illinois Institute of Technology, Cell and Molecular Biology; BS, St. Xavier’s College, Biotechnology, Biochemistry

She is passionate about women’s equality, human rights, and sustainability. Ms. Vaishnav has diverse experiences in varied fields ranging from clinical/pre-clinical research and market research to business development.

Thakshila Pitadeniya

Social Media Specialist and Office Assistant

Post Graduate Diploma – Social Media and Marketing Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka; B.Sc. Marketing Management 

She is committed and passionate about empowering women, advocating for human rights, and promoting sustainability. She brings her expertise in digital marketing and administration to help manage the organization’s social media presence and office operations.

Life Coaches & Trainers

Karen Richards

Certified Life and Career Coach

Ms. Richards was born and raised in London, England. Immersed in the corporate world for 20 years, she wore many hats in finance, marketing and event planning. But feelings of burnout and unfulfillment swept through her. Ms. Richards found herself at an eye-opening coaching session, where she gained understanding and a new-found excitement towards her next life chapter: helping others as a Certified Life and Career Coach who are searching to revamp their lives with success, guidance and direction. Now, Karen helps women navigate their lives on emotional, physical, mental, professional and spiritual levels.

Nicole Stibbe

Certified Health and Life Coach

Nicole has spent over 25 years in the corporate space as a leader, mentor, and strategic advisor to large corporations. Nicole is an accomplished health and wellbeing expert with the ability to lead effectively through organizational change and conduct root cause analysis. Through her work in the corporate space, Nicole realized that true change happens at the individual and personal level and is focusing on helping people find their true passion and direction. Nicole is a certified health and life coach and utilizes her corporate experience to work passionately with individuals to draw attention to and fulfil their life, health, and career goals. She achieves this through a collaborative partnership focused on simple yet empowering habit changes that lead to lifelong transformational shifts. Nicole works closely with her coaching clients to navigate hurdles, effectively negotiate their position, and move towards goals with grace and ease.

Deborah Jestin

Certified Life Coach and Trainer

Deborah Jestin is the owner and principal coach at Rise and Shine Life Coaching. Her focus as a coach is to help people become the best version of themselves as they move forward toward their goals. Prior to Coaching, Deborah spent the last 30 years in Education. She taught the many different primary grades and held a variety of leadership positions within the school and received her Master of Education from York University. Deborah has been an active leader in her community. Her roles have included Flato Markham Theatre Advisory Board, Markham Public Library Board (Serving as Chair 2011-2014).

Kristina Ejem

Boxing and Functional Nutrition Coach

Coach Kristina aka KJEM is the founding partner of Girls Just Wanna Box, a gym and boxing lifestyle brand. She is a Toronto fitness expert with many roles in boxing and fitness over the past twenty years including the female provincial boxing coach in 2017/2018. Her mission is to empower women through the real sport of boxing. Her approach to women’s wellness is grounded in movement and functional nutrition. Teaching women ‘health is wealth’ but health is not just for the wealthy.

Nkechi Nwafor-Robinson

Inspiration Speaker and Trainer

She is an entrepreneur, author, professional athlete and inspirational speaker, devoted to uplifting people and helping them live more fulfilling and purpose-driven lives — but that’s not
all. An experienced Information Technology professional with more than 20 years in the I.T. space. She has held a variety of progressively senior roles most recently, Associate Vice President, Segment Technology Executive at TD Bank Group.

A graduate of Concordia University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics, with a minor in Computer Science. In addition, she has completed a Financial Acumen Executive MBA Program at Rotman’s School of Management and recipient of the 2020 WXN Most Powerful Women in Canada – Top 100 Award for her dedication to empowering and championing others and influencing change.

An advocate for helping others, Nkechi founded Empowered in My Skin, a grassroots organization that focuses on Personal Leadership development.

Ayanna Sealey

Certified Performance Coach and Trainer

Ayanna has a Master’s degree in performance psychology to help people, high-level executives, and athletes, realize their potential and achieve peak performance.

She started out as a professional dancer with over 30 years of training at the Alvin Ailey School in New York City. Performing on Broadway and in the Disney’s The Lion King and the Stratford Shakespearean Festival). Ayanna imparts her personal experience of becoming a world-renowned performer, despite an on-going battle with Lymphedema, to help others actualize their own potential. Through her acclaimed Neuro Emotional Technique (NET), Ayanna helps clients identify and release subconscious blocks; a practice that would take traditional psychologist years to achieve.

After coaching throughout New York, London, Zurich, Geneva, and Mexico, Ayanna launched Magic Markers, Inc. in 2020, a 1:1 and group program designed to help leaders rebuild confidence, regain power, and unlock their full potential. Today, Ayanna remains the mental performance coach behind high-performing executives at PepsiCo and athletes at the Ontario Basketball Team.

Jennifer van Amerom

Performance Management Coach and Employment Specialist

Ms. van Amerom is the CEO of Refine Management, a consulting firm that focuses on the two key assets of any organization – their people and their brand. Refine works with business owners, executive leadership, marketing departments, and human resources. With over 17 years of experience in the recruitment industry, Ms. van Amerom is also the VP, Revenue Operations at Vivo Team, the Executive Director, Canada for The Sumaira Foundation, and a part-time faculty with George Brown College.

Elizabeth Butler

EGB Coach

Ms. Payea-Butler is a highly skilled Master Trainer of NLP with a Specialty in DHE, has been certified by Dr. Richard Bandler, and is the co-creator of NLP and inventor of DHE. As the founder of NLP Possibilities with DHE Ms. Butler has successfully assisted clients to accomplish their wishes, dreams, and goals since 1993. Her seminars and workshops help individuals of all ages and companies realize their personal and professional goals.