ABBR Our Team | Pencils for Kids

Our Team

We thank our team members for their hard work and commitment to improving the lives of people in Niger.

Head shot of Robin Mednick, President and Executive Director

Robin Mednick

President and Executive Director

Robin Mednick is a founding member and President of Pencils for Kids, a Canadian charity that works in Niger, West Africa, giving children and women the opportunity for education and income generation. In addition to having an M.A. from Oxford University in Politics and Economics and a degree in Law from Osgoode Hall, Robin’s accomplishments include creating and co-editing the bestseller, Heroes in Our Midst, Top Canadian Athletes Share Personal Stories From Their Lives in Sport, establishing the Urban Leadership Awards Program for the Canadian Urban Institute, serving as Manager of Canada House in the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Manager of Special Events at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and acting as Coordinator of 170 athletes who were ambassadors for Toronto’s Olympic Bid. For two years she worked as the Executive Producer of the Good Life Radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio. Robin received the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal for her work in Niger in 2018.

Head shot of Michael Williams, Vice President / Director of Strategic Connections

Michael Williams

Vice President / Director of Strategic Connections

Michael has spent 20 years in the Retail and Customer Service environment and has a Masters in Human Resources. He meticulously plans, develops, and inspires confidence among those around him. Michael is a General Manager at Staples.

Michael is a faith driven person who has a passion for helping those in need. Not taking ‘no’ for an answer, he responds to any challenge with kindness, persistence, and the moral obligation to do the right thing. He draws from his deep sense of inner faith to work on his tasks knowing that going the extra mile at the end is only the beginning of the journey.

Head shot of Brad Gibson, Director of Partnerships

Brad Gibson

Director of Partnerships

Brad is a performance driven senior executive with a strong financial background. As a Chartered Accountant, he is passionate about adding value to organizations and measures his success through bottom line enhancement. He has an outstanding track record of developing dedicated, high performing teams. Brad has extensive experience in the consumer packaged goods, automobile & financial services industries and is assisting in our fund raising activities and strategy development. Brad is an avid golfer and was a member of the organizing committee that contributed over $1 million dollars for cancer research in the name of Canadian golfing great, George Knudson. With a young son, Brad is a firm believer and supporter of education.

Head shot of David Kraft, Chair of the Executive

David Kraft

Chair of the Executive

During the past 20 years David has been associated with Strategic Communications, a firm that specializes in research, communications and fundraising for the not-for-profit sector. As Director of Research (Research and Engagement) he has designed and led quantitative and qualitative research projects, strategic planning and communications campaigns for dozens of clients including the Canadian Labour Congress, the Law Society of Upper Canada, Greenpeace, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, and the Canadian Sport Film Festival.

At work and as a volunteer David has helped form and build many community based organizations, specializing in helping groups articulate their vision and clarify their mission. David was attracted to Pencils for Kids because of its vision of global social justice, and its commitment to grassroots organizing and community networking as an effective way of solving complicated problems.

Together with his wife Debbie Field, David runs Beautiful North Back Country Travel, guiding canoes trips throughout Ontario during summer and fall. David and his family live in the Parkdale area Toronto.

Head shot of David Crombie, Senior Advisor

David Crombie

Senior Advisor

David Crombie is a former Mayor of Toronto, Member of Parliament, and has served as Federal Cabinet Minister. He served as Chancellor of Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto and was conferred to the title of Chancellor Emeritus in 2006. He has received a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from the University of Toronto for his contribution to his native Toronto and a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from the University of Waterloo for his contribution to the quality of life of Canadians and the environment. A member of many community organizations, he was Chair of Ontario Place Corporation, the Founding Chair of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and President of David Crombie & Associates Inc. He also served as Chair of the Advisory Council for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). David Crombie has been appointed as an Officer to the Order of Canada.

Head shot of Molly Killingbeck, ChPC, Chair / Director of Educational Activity

Molly Killingbeck, ChPC

Chair / Director of Educational Activity

Molly has over three decades of experience in sport as an athlete, coach, administrator, event planner and organizer. As an athlete, she represented Canada in the sport of Athletics in several multi-sport games and won numerous medals including a silver medal at the Olympic Games. She is a Chartered Professional Coach; she coached the men’s 4x100m relay team that won a gold medal at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games (Atlanta, Georgia).

Molly enjoys spending time with her family; she uses her sport experiences to promote health and wellness in local communities. She believes sport and physical activity contribute to one’s long term health. Killingbeck is actively involved in numerous committees on a local and national scale, and is a supporter of charities focusing on youth and physical fitness.

Head shot of Louise Sherman, Treasurer / Director of Programs

Louise Sherman

Treasurer / Director of Programs

Louise Sherman is the Pencils for Kids Program Director and Treasurer. Louise spent one of the best months of her life representing P4K in Niger in November 2008, living and working with the kids who are the direct beneficiaries of our programs. While there, she had the opportunity to truly understand the needs of these wonderful people. She developed and implemented a theatre program and a book club, both of which culminated in a fabulous presentation by the kids for parents, the community, the village and civic dignitaries.

Louise has her MBA from Queens University and presently works as an independent management consultant specializing in process improvement and redesign, project management and strategic plan development. Her other philanthropic contributions have been with C.A.R.E., working with baboons in South Africa; Pretoma, working with sea turtles in Costa Rica; SMVS working with children in India and; a branch of IWAF, working with wild animals in Northern India; Na’ankuse in Namibia doing animal rehabilitation and; Orphans Africa in Tanzania teaching at their orphan schools in Mwaji.

Head shot of Dan Galbraith, Vice Chair / Director of Photography/Videography

Dan Galbraith

Vice Chair / Director of Photography/Videography

Dan is a graduate of the Photography program at Ryerson University and spent 9 years managing the Corporate Communications Department at Sears Canada's Head Office before establishing his own production company in 1996. Managing corporate events and photo assignments have taken Dan across the country and around the world. An accomplished photojournalist and producer, Dan has covered Pan Am, Commonwealth, Olympic, Paralympic and Francophonie Games as well as a number of other sporting and corporate events over the past 30 years. Dan and his family live in and love their Toronto Beaches neighborhood.

Head shot of Ian Chalmers, Vice Chair / Director of Communication

Ian Chalmers

Vice Chair / Director of Communication

Ian is the founder and Creative Director of Pivot Design Group in Toronto. He sees design as a strategic driver to improve the health and well-being of people, services and organizations. This translates directly into the innovation of the project, but more importantly, it impacts the well-being of a shared livelihood.

A graduate of OCADU, in both Fine Arts and Communication Design, Ian has over 20+ years of expertise in Design Thinking, User Centered Design and works in HealthCare and with not-for-profit organisations.

Head shot of Gilda Rovan, Executive Business Manager

Gilda Rovan

Executive Business Manager

Gilda Rovan, BA, RNT, DiHom(Pract) is the Administrator for Pencils for Kids. She received her BA from the University of Toronto and was an Elementary School Teacher for the North York Board of Education. Her business experience as the former General Manager and Vice-President of a weight loss company and Owner and Operator of a Toronto esthetic salon is an important asset to her role as Administrator. Gilda is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and a graduate of the British Institute of Homeopathy and has a private consulting practice in North York. For more than nineteen years, Gilda has co-owned, operated and lectured at the Nutritional Preceptorship Program, designed to educate alternative health care practitioners. She is presently a Faculty Member and Curriculum Advisor of the Edison School of Nutrition.