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Howard Tam: Urban Innovator, Principal and Founder

Howard Tam, MSc.,BASc. is a Urban Planner and Designer. He holds a Master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Hong Kong and a Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Toronto. As Founder and Principal at the ThinkFresh Group, Howard has consulted with government agencies, non-profits and community groups to design strategies, human-centered programming, create business plans and facilitate community engagement. Previous clients include Westbank Corp., Centre for Social Innovation, Ontario Non-Profit Network (ONN)Metrolinx, Learning Enrichment FoundationUniversity of Toronto’s Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance and Scadding Court Community Centre .

Raised in Toronto, Howard loves his home town and aspires to make it a better place to live, work and play. Prior to founding the ThinkFresh Group, Howard worked as a Policy Advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure and was a Business Analyst with the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

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Waeza_HeadShotWaeza S. Afzal: Creative Maverick, Associate

Waeza brings a creative edge to every pursuit she engages in. She completed her undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Toronto. She went on to pursue an MSc in Geography with a specialisation in Sustainable Cities from King’s College London where she attained scholarship in the field of urban policy and sustainable environmental management.

Waeza brings extensive experience in engaging diverse communities, marketing and sustainability. As Program Director for a conference production company, she spent several years building partnerships and creating educational content with leaders and key stakeholders in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Working with a UK social enterprise on domestic energy assessments, Waeza consulted and engaged with communities on sustainable building practices. Waeza also has experience in procurement having worked with the Correctional Service of Canada’s Regional Headquarters where she helped maintain heritage properties. Currently the Marketing Director for Curry Original Restaurant, Waeza is responsible for developing marketing strategy and manages the company’s social media presence and online customer relations.

In her spare time Waeza focuses her energy on artistic pursuits.  She is passionate about expressing herself through art, photography and poetry and is also an avid Cinephile.

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Estuardo Ibarra: Collaborative Placemaker, Associate

Born and raised in Toronto, Estuardo has a strong appreciation for the diversity of cultures and communities that exist throughout growing cities. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University in 2013, where he gained valuable experience engaging communities throughout Toronto.

Estuardo has worked as a planning consultant in partnership with Toronto-based community groups on projects that have aimed to increase community identity, resolve spatial design issues, and provide recommendations on the design of built form. Estuardo also carries out work for the Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area, where he focuses on streetscape design projects and enhancing the pedestrian realm via the implementation of improved infrastructure, greenery, and public art while engaging closely with the Parkdale community.

Estuardo is passionate about creating healthy and enjoyable urban spaces that encourage social cohesion by combining creative design with sustainable practices. He aspires to demonstrate how an understanding of the relationship between an environment and those who interact with it can be creatively applied in the design of urban spaces in order to achieve sustainable growth throughout cities and their communities.

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