Pride Toronto announces new Executive Director

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Pride Toronto is excited to announce the selection of our new Executive Director, Sherwin Modeste (he/him), who begins full time as of December 1, 2020. 

Sherwin Modeste is a dynamic, passionate, and seasoned executive leader with over 22 years of combined experience providing strategic and operational leadership to large interdisciplinary teams, including designing, implementing, and evaluating programs and services that address health inequities; and improving the quality of life for Toronto’s most vulnerable individuals and communities. 

Sherwin has a proven track record in the successful management of major projects involving multiple stakeholders across the City of Toronto, provincial and federal levels of government, and public, private, and not-for-profit organizations. Sherwin most recently served as Director, Community Health Services at Vibrant Healthcare Alliance where his portfolio included responsibility for health promotion, supportive housing, and building and property maintenance. 

Sherwin’s leadership was instrumental as Vibrant transitioned its services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sherwin moved 100% of Vibrant’s health promotion programs to virtual delivery and played a key role in implementing community support in the form of wellness packages and hot meal delivery for over 200 clients weekly across the city. He worked closely with other members of the senior leadership team to support community flu clinics and COVID-19 testing.

Prior to that, Sherwin was employed at Toronto Community Housing as the Manager, Grants  Development and Sponsorships, where he grew an operating budget to over $4M after successfully establishing new partnerships, and soliciting funds from government and private sector companies. 

“Over the past few months, the board met with many great potential candidates for this position. In the end, Sherwin rose to the top because of the fantastic combination of his passion and empathy, work history, community knowledge, and lived experience.” said Samantha Fraser, Co-Chair,  Board of Directors at Pride Toronto. “We are so very excited and enthusiastic to be welcoming Sherwin to the team at Pride Toronto and look forward to collaborating with him as we move forward into 2021.”

Sherwin has a passion for advocacy and the promotion of human rights and equity issues at the local, regional, national, and international levels in support of removing systemic barriers that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential. This is illustrated by Sherwin’s leadership roles, including National Diversity Vice-President and member of the National Pink Triangle Committee for the Canadian Union of Public Employees; and member of the Canadian Labour Congress Human Rights Committee. In those roles, Sherwin advocated tirelessly for workers’ rights, including workers from racialized and marginalized communities, and LGBT2Q+ communities. 

Sherwin comes to Pride Toronto during an extremely challenging time for the arts, culture, entertainment, and tourism industries, with these sectors among those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. While these sectors face great uncertainty, Sherwin’s vision, leadership, and dynamic energy will ensure Pride Toronto’s continued commitment to showcasing the talent of local LGBT2Q+ artists and entertainers, and to working closely with community partners. Sherwin is committed to engaging and empowering LGBT2Q+ communities at all levels to ensure that equity, diversity, and inclusion continues to be a core part of future community outreach and action.

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