About Us

About Us

In 2007 the Province of Manitoba announced a commitment to bring child advocacy centres to Manitoba as part of Tracia’s Trust: Phase 2 of Manitoba’s Sexual Exploitation Strategy. The first phase of developing Manitoba’s centre included creating a space for child victims and their parents/caregivers, including a child-friendly interview room, family room, and waiting room, as well as an independent, highly trained forensic interviewer.

Toba Centre for Children & Youth (formerly Snowflake Place) opened in 2013, offering this safe, neutral, family-friendly setting and in 2015, two forensic interviewers began conducting interviews of children and youth.

Since that time, we have conducted over 2,100 interviews and been witness to the challenges that children and families face when attempting to navigate the systems responding to child abuse. It is our goal to evolve our centre into a fully functioning child advocacy centre for Manitoba.

With over 2,100
interviews of children
from 58 communities
in Manitoba, no
matter what corner
of our province a
child resides, we are
here to listen.

Our Mission

It is Toba Centre’s mission to restore the health and wellbeing of those affected by child abuse through a coordinated, community response.

Our Vision

It is our vision that every victim of child abuse, and every child witness to violence, is heard, helped, and healed.

Our Values

At Toba Centre, we believe:

  • Freedom from abuse and exploitation is a basic human right
  • Every child has a right to feel safe and protected
  • Child abuse is both a community problem and community responsibility
  • Children and families can heal from abuse

Our team:

  • Personifies inclusivity and diversity
  • Prioritizes the highest standard of care above all else

Our Board

Don Smith
DON SMITH

Chair

CEO/Owner, Vital Life Inc / Occupational Rehab Group of Canada (retired). Don developed a sustainable business that was purchased in 2017 by the national company, CBI Health. Don has years of experience as a therapist and before that was a probation officer, specializing in working with adolescent sex offenders. Don is very involved in philanthropic work and has a passion for ensuring children have the futures they deserve. 

Chris Thorne
CHRIS THORNE

Treasurer

Chris is the Vice President of Corporate Development with Titan Contractors in Kenora, ON. His previous experience includes 3 years in Corporate Finance/Banking with Roynat Capital; and 5 years prior to that in Public Accounting with KPMG LLP in both the Assurance and Tax practices. Chris also holds Board/Committee positions with World Police and Fire Games 2023 and Kenora Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation. His experience focuses on the overall financial health of the organization while bringing passion to its worthy cause. He and his wife Janessa have 2 tenacious daughters, which gives rise to his fervour for all children & youth in Manitoba to feel safe and have every chance at success.

Lori Duncan
LORI DUNCAN

Secretary

Lori is the owner/operator of an HR consulting firm and an Instructor in the Applied Commerce and Management Education Program at Red River College. She has extensive experience in HR and business operations leadership, both in Canada and the U.S. The opportunity to contribute to something meaningful is extremely rewarding for Lori, especially when it impacts children, families & community.

Sheila North
SHEILA NORTH

Director

Sheila currently works as a Journalist at CBC News Network. She was a former Director of Strategic Partnerships at Legacy Bowes, a former CICD Director at UCN, a former Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), and a former Chief Communications Officer for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. Sheila is a former CTV journalist and documentarist, and was nominated for a Gemini Award as a CBC journalist. As a film maker, Sheila released a documentary, 1200+, about missing and murdered Indigenous women girls (MMIWG) featured on CTV in 2019. Sheila is also a new, proud Kokum, which has only served to strengthen her desire to ensure all children are safe. 

PAUL
PAUL KRESTANOWICH

Director

Paul Krestanowich has been a Partner and Certified Financial Planner at Holland Financial for over 20 years. He has extensive board experience and volunteer service including being Past President of several charitable and amateur sports organizations. Paul and his wife Cory (grade two teacher) have four active teenagers and love being involved with youth activities/charities. We love to see all kids reach their full potential in life and look forward to helping Toba Centre with its new initiatives and reach its goals.

John Douglas
JOHN DOUGLAS

Director

John is the President of Douglas Group Communications Inc., and a former Senior VP of Canwest Global Communications. He has more than 20 years of experience at the executive level leading organizational change and communication strategies. He takes a business-focused approach that builds relationships of trust and respect. John has significant community and corporate board experience and has contributed enormously to our community. He is very excited to lend his experience and expertise in support of children and families impacted by abuse. 

LEIHLANI
LEILANI KAGAN

Director

Leilani Kagan is a partner at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP whose practice focusses on tax, corporate reorganizations, tax, trusts and estate planning, charities and NPOs, and business law. She began her articles with the firm in 1998 and joined the partnership in 2005.  In 2008, Leilani was a recipient of Lexpert’s “Rising Stars” award, recognizing Canada’s 40 Leading Lawyers Under 40.  Upon learning about the goals and purpose of Toba Centre, Leilani immediately stepped forward to lend her expertise, passion and commitment to the cause.

DAVID
DAVID EGGERMAN

Director

David Eggerman is the Regional Vice President for Qualico’s operations in the Manitoba and Saskatchewan region.  He began his career with Qualico as a regional controller and in the years leading up to his appointment of Regional Vice-President in 2020, his role grew to be more involved with operations and the Company’s business development strategy into new markets and enhance the company’s vertical business model.  It is very rewarding to work with an organization that has a meaningful impact on people in our Province.

Our Strategic Leadership Team

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Our Community Council

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Our Executive Team

Christy Dzikowicz
Executive Director

Christy leads the team at Toba Centre, implementing the organization’s strategic plan, overseeing program and funding development, and working collaboratively with service providers involved in the response to child abuse throughout Manitoba. Christy is spearheading the evolution of Toba Centre to a fully functioning child advocacy centre where the recovery needs of children and families take precedence over systemic processes and system outcomes.

Christy has worked in the area of child maltreatment for over 20 years, both for mandated services and within a charitable organization.

Christy

Karen Chymy
Director of Operations

As the Director of Operations, Karen oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization, policy and program development, and interagency collaboration. As the organization transforms, Karen is responsible for managing the internal growth, internal system development, and assessing both the service needs and the outcomes of service delivery.

Prior to joining Toba Centre, Karen worked at a charitable organization focused on child exploitation and within mandated services responding to child abuse.

Karen

Lorraine Maciboric
Director of Community Engagement

Lorraine joined Toba Centre (TEAM TOBA) in January 2021 as Director of Community Engagement. She is actively recruiting volunteers  and donors to ensure the fundraising campaign meets its  goals and the expansion of Toba Centre benefits from the experience and expertise of engaged community members. Lorraine’s passion and career have always focused on enabling children and youth to reach their full potential. She brings a wealth of experience, connections, knowledge, and passion to her role.

Lorraine’s background includes teaching, sales, marketing, and fundraising, as well as leading two multi -million dollar private foundations in supporting children and youth education and development across Canada.

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Lorraine

Jennifer Wood
Culture and Inclusivity Advisor

In her role of Culture and Inclusivity Advisor, Jennifer provides guidance on cultural programming, gatherings, and ceremonies, with a particular focus on Indigenous culture.  Toba Centre staff, board, and volunteers benefit from her cultural mentorship. This position is vital in ensuring Toba Centre is welcoming, culturally competent and inclusive in our operations, as well as in our service to the community.

Jennifer is Ojibway and comes from Neyaashiinigmiing First Nationin Ontario. She has organized some of the largest and most important Indigenous conferences in Canada. Jennifer has also been involved in initiatives that seek women’s equality, including the National Inquiry into Murdered, Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. She is also a member of the Canadian Review Tribunal Panel.  

Jennifer Wood
Photo credit: National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Our Community Partners