AITO Board of Directors
Ted Wood, Chair
Ted has been active with Amnesty International for many years and is Chairperson of Amnesty Group 142 with its main focus being Indigenous Rights issues. Ted served as a Director-at-Large of AITO for the past year volunteering on committees and providing input on regulatory issues. Ted is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a retired Chief Financial Officer. In his professional capacity he served on a number of corporate boards. He is currently Director and Treasurer of a charitable organization as well as manager of its Facebook page. In his spare time, Ted enjoys vegetable gardening, curling and cycling.
Duncan Garrow, Vice Chair
Duncan has been a member of Amnesty International for 4 years, and a Director at Large for 2. His involvement with Amnesty began, and continues, as a member of the Church of the Redeemer Action Circle. He holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Toronto and an Associates Degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. In over 20 years as an actor, he has toured and performed in almost every city and town in North America. During that time he has also organized student workshops, classes, and seminars. His passionate belief in the importance of engaging and inspiring our youth makes The Speaker's Bureau one of his favourite roles with AI. Duncan has twice emceed events with the Iran Action Circle commemorating Yalda, as well as the sold out "Weaving Hope" event on behalf of Indigenous Peoples in Colombia. He is a member of the committee that worked to update the AITO bylaws, and recently directed and performed in the play "The Last Walk of Adolpho Ich," at the AITO Regional Meeting. In addition, Duncan has worked with the UNHCR, and for 2 years emceed their World Refugee Day celebration held at Dundas Square.
Lisa Swainston, Secretary
Lisa has been a member and volunteer of Amnesty International for 12 years. She has been the Secretary of AITO since July, 2012. Lisa is also the Chair of Group 18, and a member of the Action Network on Women's Human Rights (ANWHR). She has participated in various human rights campaigns and actively supports initiatives to promote women's rights, indigenous rights, and corporate accountability. Lisa works at the Ontario Council for International Cooperation as the Membership and Administrative Manager. She holds an Honours B.A. with majors in Criminology and Sociology and minors in French and Aboriginal Studies, from the University of Toronto, and Certificates in Project Management from Humber, Fundraising and Volunteer Management, and Practical Management Strategies from George Brown. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys watching films, listening to music, reading, traveling, and crocheting.
Patricia Grenier, Treasurer
Patricia Grenier joined Amnesty International in 1988. With management and organizational skills from her professional background and employment she brought these skills to the position of Chair, Group 18 in Toronto, and eventually Treasurer of the Group. From 1989-1992 she was a director on the National Board of AICS. Throughout that time always heavily involved in AITO. After stepping down from the Board, she became treasurer of AITO and eventually also assumed the bookkeeping functions. In the nineties and early 2000, AI undertook two international mandate reviews. Patricia chaired both of the Toronto teams. The mandate statement drafted by the Toronto team was adopted by AI Canada and then served as the basis at the international level for a revised Mandate statement. In the ensuing years Patricia took on the role of New Members’ Orientation Coordinator and Volunteer - Merchandise Coordinator.
Meryll David-Ismayil, Director at large
Meryll David-Ismayil has been involved in community service since the age of 18, and has been an Amnesty International member for ten years now. First she worked as a volunteer at Amnesty France headquarters in Paris, in Refugees section and Human Rights Education section. From September 2014 to December 2015, she was the President and the Secretary of the francophone group in Toronto, and she has been a Director-at-large of the AITO Board of Directors since July 2015.
Meryll has initiated several successful projects in Toronto; the last one is the French language classes on Human Rights. She is always trying to attract new people to Amnesty. She is currently Visiting Scholar at York University where she teaches Political Science.
Yannis Koumarianos, Director at large
Yannis has been involved with AITO as a volunteer since 2015, in the Business, Human Rights, and Indigenous Rights action group, the Iran Action Circle, and Groupe 50 Francophone group, as well as assiting in various events such as the Human Rights Film Festival and World Water Day.
Aside from Amnesty, Yannis works for Save the Children, overseeing children's rights and education bilateral programs in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa. He is an active member of the Toronto Friends of Refugees, a refugee sponsorship and advocacy group made up of community members and friends. Yannis has an M.A. in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Toronto, and has worked in the field of heritage language education for many years, having taught formally and informally in 6 countries. His interests include minority language rights, indigenous rights, children's rights, child participation, and issues relating refugees and displaced peoples, among others. He currently speaks 5 languages fluently.
Tony Roost, Director at large
Tony Roost is a musician, singer, songwriter and producer born and raised in Toronto. He is the Creative Director of the One Fire Movement which is an artist collective that fundraises for charities. They create music projects, special events and festivals to spread the message of “We Are One”. One Fire Movement has worked on projects for Amnesty International, Nellie’s Women’s Shelter, Covenant House, Red Door Shelter and Scott Mission. Tony first became interested in helping Amnesty International in 2010 writing letters for the “Write for Right’s” campaign. Since then he has fundraised through special events, music projects and participated in street actions. He volunteered and hosted a workshop at the Regional Meeting in 2014 called “Art and Revolution”.
With a professional background in Marketing Management he seeks to help Amnesty International in any way that he can.