About Us

About Us

Toba Centre for Children & Youth (formerly Snowflake Place) was created in 2013 to provide a safe, child-friendly setting for children impacted by abuse or witness to violence, and their caregivers, to meet with service providers and to be interviewed by highly trained forensic interviewers. Services expanded in 2020 with the addition of case navigation support services aimed at ensuring the well-being and recovery of children and their families. In 2023, we moved to our current location in Assiniboine Park.

Within our new space, police, social work, medical, and other support services work together to serve children and families. This coordinated response serves to reduce potential trauma to children and families and improve services overall, while preserving and respecting the rights, mandates, and obligations of mandated agencies.

With over 3,300 interviews of children from communities across 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

DAVID
DAVID EGGERMAN

Chair

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.

LEIHLANI
LEILANI KAGAN

Vice-Chair

Leilani Kagan is a partner at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP whose practice focusses on tax, corporate reorganizations, 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. In 2022, she received the designation of Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.) by the Manitoba Government for her outstanding integrity and leadership, and significant contributions to the legal profession. Upon learning about the goals and purpose of Toba Centre, Leilani immediately stepped forward to lend her expertise, passion and commitment to the cause.

Don Smith
DON SMITH

Past 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. 

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.

JACK EWATSKI

Director

Jack Ewatski is an Academic Chairperson at Assiniboine Community College. He oversees the Public Safety and Social Services Worker programs as well as the college’s security operations. Jack’s career with the Winnipeg Police Service spanned 34 years. He was an investigator in the initial Child Abuse Unit and later served as Chief of Police for 9 years. Following his retirement, Jack was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Trinidad & Tobago Police Service. In his spare time, Jack officiated in the Canadian Football League and obtained his private pilot’s license.

As a firm believer in Toba Centre’s multi-disciplinary approach, Jack wants to play a part in its goal to restore the health and wellbeing of those affected by child abuse through a coordinated, community response.

Chris Thorne
CHRIS THORNE

Director

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 3 tenacious daughters, which gives rise to his fervour for all children & youth in Manitoba to feel safe and have every chance at success.

kathryn
KATHRYN GRAHAM

Director

Kathryn Graham is a Partner with MNP’s Consulting group based in Winnipeg.  She joined MNP in 1999, and lived and worked for 10 years in Brandon before returning to Winnipeg.   Kathryn focuses in the areas of strategy and planning, public policy, economic development, industry analytics and organizational effectiveness, including governance.  She works with a wide range of clients from owner managed business and industry associations to large public sector and crown organizations. She has also worked extensively with Indigenous organizations and individuals from across Canada.  Kathryn holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Manitoba and is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC).  She is married with two children in University of Manitoba.  Kathryn has previously served on the boards of Child and Family Services of Manitoba and the Fred Douglas Society and on the Council of CMC-Manitoba.  She is also a member of the Community Investment Committee for the United Way, and volunteers for the Winnipeg Folk Festival.   

Wayne
WAYNE RIVERS

Director

David Wayne Rivers is a retired CEO of Procurity Inc. and currently serving as a consultant to Procurity for wind up and legal matters. His area of specialization is in business management, government, relations, education/teaching/training, and sales and marketing. He has more than 25 years of board experience, he served organizations such as Metis Economic Development Fund, Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation, the Canadian Association for wholesale distributors (CWDA) and the Canadian Association for Pharmacy distribution management. [CAPDM]

Reg
REG KLASSEN

Director

Reg Klassen has spent thirty plus years serving students in a variety of communities and educational situations and currently serves in his ninth year as the Chief Superintendent of Frontier School Division.

He holds bachelor’s degrees in Theology, Arts, Education, and a master’s in Educational Administration. Prior to his appointment as Chief Superintendent he worked in both private and public education in a variety of capacities including guidance counsellor, resource teacher, classroom teacher, vice principal, principal, and Superintendent.

Reg has served as the Chair of Canadian Association of Mennonite Schools and Manitoba Federation of Independent Schools Education Committee. He has also served as the President for the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents, and the Canadian Association of School System Administrators.

Reg is married to Karyn who is recently retired from her role as a resource teacher. They have two married sons, one daughter, and five grandchildren.

Our Strategic Leadership Team

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Our Team

Christy Dzikowicz
Chief Executive Officer

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

Jennifer Short
Manager of Cultural and Support Services

In her position of Manager of Cultural and Support Services, Jennifer is responsible for the direct management of the Case Navigation Program and for the development and implementation of Toba Centre’s Cultural Competency, Inclusivity, and Diversity Strategy.

Jennifer is a proud Red River Métis woman who has strived to reduce systemic and colonial harms associated with victimization for over 20 years. She has endeavoured to bring cultural inclusivity, with a focus on Indigenous reconciliation, to the forefront of her work. In her many roles at Victim Services, Manitoba Justice, she has gained extensive experience and knowledge on the criminal court process and its impacts on children and youth.

Jennifer Short

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 Nation in 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

Dr. Sarah Heath
Research/Evaluation

In her role as an Instructor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Winnipeg, Sarah provides research and evaluation guidance to Toba Centre staff. She is the Principal Investigator on a research project run in partnership with Toba Centre entitled Understanding Delays and Duplication: An examination of child abuse case processing in Manitoba, which is funded by the Manitoba Law Foundation. Sarah holds a PhD in Education with a specialization in program evaluation from the University of Ottawa. Her dissertation focused on the involvement of youth in collaborative program evaluation.

Prior to joining the University of Winnipeg, Dr. Heath conducted research and evaluation in the field of criminal justice as a Public Servant at Public Safety Canada, Correctional Service Canada and the Department of Justice. She has also collaborated on research and evaluation projects with The eQuality Project, St. Leonard’s Society of Canada, the University of Ottawa Centre for Research on Education and Community Services and the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

Dr. Sarah Heath
Toba Bison
Kayla Kurys

Executive Assistant/Office Manager

Narek
Narek Khachatryan

Manager of Finance
& Grants

Toba Bison
Brynne Marnoch

Manager of Communications

Toba Bison
Marina Lovell

Community Engagement Coordinator

Emily
Emily Richard

Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator

Tammy
Tammy Robinson

Case Navigator

Jessica
Jessica Huzyk

Case Navigator

Kelsey
Kelsey Todd

Case Navigator

Latoya
Latoya Gaude

Case Navigator

Jessica
Jessica Peacock

Case Navigator

Sarah
Sarah Craine

Case Navigator

Toba Bison
Amber Meyer

Case Navigator

Toba Bison Icon
Patricia Braun

Case Navigator

Toba Bison Icon
Mikayla Wiens

Case Navigator

Toba Bison Icon
Silvija Boskovska

Case Navigator

Mike
Mike Chiborak

Forensic Interviewer

Theresa
Theresa Pickering

Forensic Interviewer

Stephanie
Stephanie Levesque

Forensic Interviewer

Gordon
Gordon Doll

Forensic Interviewer

Duke
DWW Duke
Booster
DWW Booster

Our Community Partners