Women in Food Industry Management

Board of Directors

Barbara Onyskow, Chair of the Board

Barbara Onyskow graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science – Biology Major. She is currently the National Purchasing Manager for ADM Milling Company, responsible for eight plants across Canada. Barbara is trained in Value Based Safety and directs the Safety Committee for the Mississauga Head Office. Her extensive background in Quality Control for both Masterfeeds & Maple Leaf Flour Milling, in combination with her R&D experience with Maple Leaf Grocery, provides invaluable insight into her commodity purchases.

Barbara has been a WFIM Board member for 20+ years. She is currently Chair of the Board and Treasurer. Barbara has previously been responsible for Events, Marketing, Membership, Sponsorship & Volunteers. An active volunteer, she is also a member of the Second Harvest Food Raising Committee.


Celestina (Tina) Parise, Director of Membership

Celestina (TINA) Parise is a passionate, results oriented professional with over 15 years of human resources management experience working in automotive, plastics, food and now in the insurance industry. Tina is a highly skilled, "hands-on" Human Resources professional. She has a genuine and friendly management style that enables her to connect to many individuals. As the HR Director for ProBenefits Consulting, she creates policy and procedures around best practices for administering benefits and pension plans. Tina holds a Bachelor of Administration and Information Management, BA from Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, ON, where she focused most of her studies on Human Resources. When she is not trying new foods, cooking up a feast, or eating at some of the most desirable places to eat across the GTA, Tina is busy mother of 3 planning her next big adventure around the world. Travel and spending time with her husband and three children is a big part of who she is.

Jo Dakin, Director of Events

Jo Dakin received a Honours degree from the University of Toronto with a Specialist in Sociology. She started her career as the Communications Director for the Ontario Sailing Association which found her working with sailing clubs and associations across the province. Jo left the work force for 8 years to be there for her 3 young boys in their formative years. Upon re-entering the work force she took a role at Kelly Services as a Recruiter for a 4 week temporary placement which lasted 4 years, 19 years later, Jo is still in the recruitment business. Jo currently holds the title of Director of Recruitment for Hanna Castle Recruitment Solutions which is a firm that specializes in permanent and contract placement in the Food & Beverage Industry

Carol Zweig, Director of Business Development/Events Team

Carol has been attending WFIM events for over five years and is a first time board member. She is responsible for co-coordinating and planning the Academy event. A dedicated mother with three children, Carol has constantly seen the need and responded to challenges relating to children with severe food allergies, including her own. She invented and successfully marketed a product to improve the use of the auto-injector for all people who have allergies, and has remained involved and dedicated to improving the lives of families who deal with food allergies on a daily basis. After entering the work force in the food industry, Carol has become a leader and achieved successes with a number of companies who service the industry. Through her roles in sales, business development, and account management, Carol responds to various client needs and continues to build strong relationships with key industry stakeholders.

Mariana Macovei, Events Team

An enthusiastic Food Industry professional, Mariana Macovei is currently in a Technical Service role with Ingredion Canada, and has formerly worked as Food Safety Coordinator at Maple Lodge Farms plus had prior Technical roles at Nestle Canada & Wild Flavors. Mariana has a B.Sc. in Food Production Engineering from Sibiu, Romania, is also a Certified HACCP Auditor, and holds a Yellow Belt Six Sigma certification. Mariana is currently part of the enthusiastic WFIM Events Team, and previously was Director of Events for WFIM. She enjoys SF literature, chocolate and helping others (with former roles as Volunteer Mentor for Newcomers to Canada). Mariana is a true believer of the proverb "What goes around comes around". In her current role with WFIM she is truly looking forward to be a supporter of its members, connect with Food Industry Colleagues, and work with the Events Team to create a new "WOW" level.

Brenda Seto, Director of Marketing

Brenda is a University of Waterloo graduate, studied Economics, Marketing and the School of Life. She held several Marketing positions in food, toy, cosmetics, paper goods, entertainment and apparel, with the likes of the Knotty Pine, Maple Leaf Grocery, Specialty Brands, Robin Hood, Mattel, Revlon, Sandylion, Trends and Bioworld. Her entrepreneurial spirit and corporate experience resulted in the start of a consulting business to help companies grow through industry connections, skills and expertise in marketing and licensing through brand extension strategies and partnerships.

Through the years, Brenda has enjoyed volunteering and running community and company events such as Heart & Stroke, United Way, Canada Transplant Games, University Alumni Residence Reunion and High School Events. When first invited to attend a WFIM event, Brenda was instantly inspired and quickly became involved to help develop the organization's goals to support, develop and connect the best women at the table. After becoming a member, Brenda joined the events committee in 2013, was appointed board member and is now Director of Events for 2015 to 2016 season. A lifelong learner, passionate participant and advocate in personal fitness training, health & wellness, Brenda believes it is never too late to be the best you can be!

Jen Pioch, Marketing Team

Jen graduated from Conestoga College’s Advertising and Marketing Communications program at the top of her class. She has since worked for highly reputable food manufacturing companies, such as Kraft Heinz Canada and Give & Go Prepared Foods (the makers of those delicious two-bite® brownies!). Her passion for food, paired with her tenacious drive to produce positive results, has given her the ability to help build successful brands and launch hundreds of food products into the Canadian and U.S. markets. Jen joined WFIM to surround herself with likeminded professionals whom are making an impact by demonstrating strong female leadership within the food industry. Her aspiration is to give back to the community through her volunteer work and offer support within the WFIM network. With her time off, you may find Jen on Instagram, waiting in line at one of her favourite food trucks, or traveling the world.

Tolu Olutunfese, Director of Volunteers 

Tolu Olutunfese is a professional, and highly skilled Food Scientist who specializes in Food Product Development and Commercialization. Tolu majored in Food Engineering, and graduated with honours in 2003 from LAUTECH, Nigeria. She has since then worked with dynamic global organizations like Nigerian Flour Mills, Cargill Foods, TDL Groups and Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd. Her passion for food and creativity led her down the path of Food Quality Assurance for four years, and then to Food Research, Development and Commercialization in the last eight years. Tolu is known by colleagues as an excellent, knowledgeable, and results oriented scientist, and by friends as an amiable, supportive and loyal friend. Tolu looks forward to a future of leadership and making positive impacts in the food industry. She is excited to volunteer with WFIM, introduce and connect with food industry colleagues, and friends to the opportunity that being a WFIM member provides.

Stephie Fung, Director of Finance

Stephie is a CPA, CA with over 5 years of experience in the industry, working with both food retail and food manufacturing clients in the Consumer Markets Audit practice at KPMG. Recently, Stephie spent two years working in London, UK. During that time, she seconded to KPMG’s Operational Transformation group, focusing on helping public sector clients become more efficient. Before moving to London, Stephie was involved as the Sponsorship Coordinator for her local chapter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Run for the Cure. Promoting causes for women and networking with like-minded professionals has always been a passion of hers. She is very excited to be joining such a great community of women and is looking forward to getting to know everyone on the team!

Debbie MacDonald, Treasurer

Debbie MacDonald has been in the food industry for 30+ years and is currently the Regional Sales Manager, Canada for Clasen Quality Chocolate, a privately-owned manufacturer of chocolate and confectionery items, based in Madison, WI. Prior to this she was the Director of Sales for Olam Canada Company, and National Sales Manager for ADM Cocoa. She is a graduate of Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Applied Arts from the School of Business. She has held various board positions with the Associate Members of the Confectionery Manufacturers’ Association of Canada as well as the Brampton Co-Operative Nursery School. In her spare time she is the mother of two teenage boys and enjoys playing tennis. She is looking forward to volunteering with WFIM and connecting with strong women in the food industry.

Mary Vanda Jezerinac, Board Secretary

Mary holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) degree in the field of Chemical Engineering. Her passion for and involvement in the food industry has led her to roles in R&D, manufacturing and business environments. As Sr. Technical Analyst at Research Development Consulting Inc., Mary managed the food and beverage client portfolio for SR&ED government grant applications. She provided regulatory insight on R&D project compliance and was responsible for the preparation, evaluation and successful submission of food industry SR&ED claims.

Now at Normerica Inc., Mary holds the position of Product Manager on the Marketing Team. She is presently involved in packaging standardization and optimization.

Nancy Klassen, Director - Website Specialist/Scholarship

Nancy is a two-time graduate of the University of Guelph, with a B.Comm and MBA, both degrees focussing on the hospitality industry. Nancy managed restaurants such as Pizza Hut, Wendy’s and Krispy Kreme before deciding to move to her second career in Human Resources. She completed her diploma in Human Resources Management through McMaster University, and successfully achieved her CHRL designation.

Her HR career started with Talon Retail Strategies, and then she moved with the company when they acquired Kerr Bros. Limited. Back in the food industry, Nancy’s career has progressed, and she has been able to utilize her previous restaurant experience to assist Kerr’s to achieve and maintain SQF certification.

Nancy joined WFIM in 2010, and soon after was appointed to the board as Director of Volunteers, and then Chair of the Board for a 3-year term.  As Chair, Nancy spearheaded the move of the website to a new Association Management System, and she now remains on the board in her current position of Director - Website Specialist, and Chair of the Scholarship Committee.

Shannon Brayton, Director of Registration

Shannon Brayton is an enthusiastic, driven, results-oriented Sales Professional in the Food Industry. Before graduating from the University of Guelph with a degree in Biochemistry, she met representatives from LV Lomas at a university job fair and never looked back. She worked in the marketing department for 3 and half years developing a great understanding of the company culture’s and product offering and has been in sales with LV Lomas for over 4 years. As the Strategic Account Manager, Shannon is in charge of managing and developing relationships with key customers including National and multinational food accounts. Shannon is passionate about working technically with her customers to develop new products or to improve or innovate their current lines. Her favorite part of her career is that she gets the opportunity to continuously meet new people and develop new relationships to learn from their experiences.

Andrea Struther, Director Member Benefits

Andrea Struther has over 25 years in purchasing, global sourcing, product engineering, direct import and team building. She has worked for Molson Breweries, Sandylion Sticker Designs, Bunge and Wolseley Canada. She enjoys mentoring and supporting others in achieving their career objectives. Andrea has three children and has fostered at risk youth with her husband of 33 years.

Diana Tuszynski, Director Sponsorship

Diana Tuszynski is the President of The Benefit’s Edge Insurance Services Limited, a benefit consulting firm that specializes in the design and management of benefit plans for small businesses and start-ups. A results oriented professional with an entrepreneurial spirit, Diana has more than 25 yrs experience advising clients in the food, manufacturing and business services industries. A creative person, Diana enjoys working with business owners to help their companies grow by finding innovative solutions to attract and retain their best employees through enhanced benefit plans. Diana has served on several boards of not-for-profit organizations including the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and Brock University Alumni Association as well has led volunteers in community fundraising activities. Early in her career, Diana worked in retail bakery management and food import/distribution in sales and business development. A WIFM member since 2014, Diana looks forward to her role as Director of Sponsorship which she assumed in 2016 and helping WIFM reach its goals in attracting, supporting, developing and mentoring so that our members can be The Best Women at the Table.

Ann Watterworth, Director Legal

Ann is a senior partner in the Business Law Group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell, as well as a member of the mining group.She has a corporate practice with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions. Ann enjoys working with family-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs. Ann has significant experience in leading both Canadian and International mergers and acquisitions and in the drafting and negotiation of complex commercial agreements ranging from joint ventures and strategic alliances to supply chain and transport agreements. Ann has acted as external commercial counsel for corporations in a wide variety of industries, including mining, healthcare, food, automotive parts, building materials, printing and other industries in the manufacturing sector. Ann also frequently acts as counsel to Canadian subsidiaries of international corporations and assists international corporations with setting up their Canadian operations.

Kirsten Benneter, Events Team - Golf

Kirsten Benneter is a passionate, enthusiastic Food Scientist with a love of all things food and travel. After completing a Graduate program in Food Science at McGill University, she made the big move from Montreal to Toronto. Kirsten has been working for Giraffe Foods Inc. for the last 3.5 years, currently leading the research and development team in the role of R&D Project Manager. Kirsten has been attending WFIM events since 2013, and is excited to make her debut on the WFIM Board as Events Team – Golf Co-Chair.

Sanja Kivac, Director Mentoring

thanks our Generous Annual Sponsors: