EFLS’ excellent reputation has been built in part by its high standards for membership on its board of directors. Each of EFLS’ board and committee members are highly educated, professionally employed and strongly committed to promoting the importance of financial literacy in the community.
Justin Wong: Board Chair
Justin is a Chartered Accountant who works for ATCO Electric in the Business Plan and Forecasting group. He has been actively involved both in his profession as well as in the community serving on several Boards and with several organizations. He is passionate about personal financial management and educating the public about financial literacy. He has also volunteered by presenting financial basics to Junior High students through Junior Achievement as well as being the Edmonton area lead for the CPA Financial Literacy group.
Paul Topilko: Secretary/Treasurer
Paul is a designated professional with MNP LLP, a large national accounting firm. He moved to Edmonton in 2005 to begin his Bachelor of Commerce degree, which he obtained in 2010 from the University of Alberta. He completed his chartered accountant designation in 2012. Paul has a passion for financial literacy and wishes to impart his expertise with the Society and its stakeholders.
Josh Noble is a Alumni Relations Manager with The King’s University College (TKUC). In this role, Josh works to connect alumni to their alma mater.
Josh moved to Edmonton from Lloydminster seven years ago. He holds a Bachelor of Psychology degree from The King’s University and he is currently pursuing his Masters of Arts in Communications and Technology. Josh is a proponent of financial literacy and education for all ages.
Gaurav Sobti is an Associate in the Private Investments group at Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board. He is a part of a team which makes investments in private equity and infrastructure. Gaurav moved to Edmonton in late 2012 from Toronto. Gaurav is a Chartered Accountant and graduated with a bachelors degree in Biotechnology/Chartered Accountancy and a Masters of Accounting from the University of Waterloo. Currently, he is a Candidate in the Chartered Financial Analyst program. Gaurav believes that financial literacy is of uttermost importance at a time when Canadians are experiencing record household debt levels.
Bona is currently working at Alberta Health Services as a senior financial analyst and holds a Certified Management Accountant designation. She moved to Edmonton in 2005 from South Korea. Bona believes that delivering financial literacy is a great cause for our community and she hopes to contribute to this in any way possible.
Bio to follow
Kip is a senior project manager with a large multinational engineering consulting firm and specializes in the area of project finance and public infrastructure development. Kip is a professional engineer with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, a graduate engineering degree from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and an MBA from the University of Alberta. Kip has lived in Edmonton since 2000 and believes that financial literacy is a basic skill that all people should have the opportunity to develop and apply in their daily lives.
Lenka joined the board in February 2014. As a professional accountant and a business school graduate with an industry experience in banking, insurance, government, and technology, she brings a strong background in strategic planning, finance, operations, and risk management to the Society. Since moving to Edmonton, Lenka has been actively involved in the community, serving on several non-profit board of directors and volunteering with art organizations and Edmonton festivals. As a board member of EFLS, she is committed to making a difference through delivering high quality financial literacy education that provide people with tools to achieve financial capability.
Maria A. Tchir: Executive Director
Maria joined EFLS in May, 2014. With her many years’ experience in business management, accounting, marketing and customer relations, and her extensive education and interest in psychology as well as commerce, Maria brings a unique perspective to the role of Executive Director. Her passionate interest in financial literacy education arises from a rich personal understanding of the emotional issues the disadvantaged often face in becoming more skilled in money management, as well as a strong commitment to sharing information that contributes to the financial well-being of all members of the community.
On a personal level, Maria believes that money can be the root of a great deal of good, that everyone can benefit from increasing their commitment to building a secure financial future for themselves, and that our community and our country in turn also benefit from the increased financial solvency and self-reliance of its citizens.
Harry Wong: Office Administrator
Harry joined EFLS in February 2004. His background includes graduation from the NAIT Business Administration Program as well as diversified work and volunteer experience in office and retail settings. Born and raised in Edmonton’s inner city under adverse and impoverished conditions, he provides EFLS with a unique and empathetic perspective of the struggles facing financially disadvantaged citizens in our community.
Harry firmly believes that when it comes to effectively managing your personal finances; ”It’s not about how much money you make, it’s about how you manage it”. He also believes that regular savings habits, always having an emergency fund, frugality and being a savvy shopper can go a long way to achieving personal financial solvency and stability.