Director of Education, Toronto Film School
Campus Principal, Davisville Campus

With over 20 years in the fashion industry, Paula brings extensive experience in fashion merchandising, retailing and wholesale.

Paula transitioned into a fulltime career in education as the Chair of the Fashion Marketing & Merchandising program in 2003.

In 2009 Paula acquired additional responsibilities, Chair of the Fashion Design program and the Campus Principal role, adding Chair of the Graphic Design & Interactive Media program in 2012 to her portfolio.

In 2014 Paula was promoted to Director of Education at Toronto Film School, where she oversees the management of nine diploma programs, across three campuses in Toronto; along with working closely with the Director of Toronto Film School online at Yorkville University in New Brunswick.

Building partnerships and relationships both nationally and internationally is a key component of her responsibilities.

Paula is currently on the board of Apparel Connexion, a member of Fashion Group International and the Affinity Apparel Group. She is a graduate of York University.

DONNA GILPIN | Co- Program Director

Her career began on Spadina Avenue after graduating from Seneca College from their Fashion Arts Program in 1984.

Donna joined Sears Canada Inc. and began a 17 year career with them. Her experience with Sears included retail as well as corporate exposure. The most recent position she held was that of a Product Manager in the Mens and Kids wear departments developing seasonal apparel. This allowed her to travel all over the U.S and Europe for samples/ market shopping seeing firsthand what was really going on in the world of fashion. She also travelled to Hong Kong, Shanghai and China to negotiate prices, with the suppliers.
In 1990 she began an 18 year career teaching part time at Seneca College.

Donna was awarded with an Excellence Award at Seneca College in 2004.
Donna’s many years of experiences allow her to bring to the table her extensive understanding in: Private Branding, Product Development Process, Manufacturing knowledge, and extensive Fit Analysis and Patternmaking skills. Her ability to understand the many facets of the industry and communicate it effectively to others is an asset she brings to the courses she teaches here at the Toronto Film School and the students she teaches.

KEITH RICHARDSON | Co- Program Director

Keith first studied architecture and environmental design at the Ontario College of Art (OCAD). Realizing the similarities of Environmental and Fashion design – both involve turning two-dimensional materials into three-dimensional items – fashion became more prominent in Keith’s career.

Keith studied at the prestigious Galasso School of Design in Toronto, learning couture techniques of patternmaking. After graduating, Keith went on to George Brown College, where he studied industrial methods of garment design and manufacturing.

Keith spent 10-years working in Miami, for numerous sportswear companies, and after returning to Toronto, began to teach at the Academy of Design. Keith has won numerous awards for his work in fashion, he continues to design and has published a textbook “Introduction to Stretch” a patternmaking manual for knits and stretch fabrics.


Amy is the CEO of Net Directives, Inc.; a company focused on the providing Creative Web Solutions and Innovative Marketing Strategies and has a client base that encompasses national corporate clients to local entrepreneurs.

She specializes in Social Media Strategies, Search Engine Optimization, Local Business Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Video Development and Video Marketing.


Doris Montanera is an award-winning freelance writer and editor with more than a decade of experience. Along with a stint as the editor of Style magazine, her work has appeared in top publications such as The Globe and Mail, National Post, Chatelaine, Elle Canada, Best Health, Flare, Glow, Style at Home, and others.


Trained at Toronto’s Ryerson University, the Regina native began his own successful line, “Farley Chatto”, while still a student and was soon chosen as one of the top ten young Canadian designers to watch. He was subsequently given the opportunity to live and work in New York, Paris, Milan and Chicago, collaborating with numerous international top designers.

Upon returning to Canada, he refined his Haute Couture skills through an extensive private clientele that has now grown to span the globe.
As his reputation expands, Farley’s unique talents and expertise are also being sought out in broader circles, from furniture companies to magazine publishers to cutting-edge choreographers such as Tedd Robinson and Edouard Lock.

He has provided costuming for productions at Paramount Studios, Warner Bros Studios and Mirvish Productions in Toronto. Celebrity clients have included Simone Denny, Duran Duran, Natalie Imbruglia and Elton John.

Farley has been labeled in the fashion media as one of the top eight designers in Canada. David Clemmer, a Toronto celebrity stylist, recently referred to Farley in an interview with the Toronto Star saying, “Everyone needs a Farley”.


At age four James cut up a wedding dress trying to make clothes for his Barbie doll. James passion did not end there and attended V.C.C.-Fine Arts- for textile manipulation, and Ryerson Polytechnic for Fashion.

After graduation came a 10-year stint as a noted fashion designer. James then worked for 12-years as Chair of Fashion at the Academy of Design and then as the Director of the School of Fashion at AOD.

After working in fashion education, James then started his own line: TEXTI’LL in the past 5 years. Shows include: SKIN: in the Cooler at MADE, The One of a Kind (Toronto), Originals (Ottawa), The Cabbagetown Festival, The Queen West Art Crawl, pieceWORK (Gladstone Hotel), Radiant Darkness I (Toronto), Radiant Darkness I (Cambridge) as well as several private commissions, including work for the Government of Ontario.


John started his advertising career in Los Angles at the prestigious Art Center College of Design, where he received a BFA. His schooling and talent lead to a career based in Los Angles, Chicago and Toronto. Through an ongoing career in different countries for more than 25-years, John has been honoured with hundreds of awards for creative excellence; he has been an Art Director, Creative Director, Partner, owner and mentor.

John has a wide-range of experience in marketing, promotion, and putting it all together in advertising campaigns. John has creating over 500 TV commercials, hundreds of radio commercials and countless print pieces. He has also had the good fortune of working with some of the best in the marketing business both in the U.S., Canada and around the world. He is currently pursuing his MFA, teaching at the Toronto Film School and running an advertising/design agency.


Karen A. Aboud is the principal of K.A.A. Business Solutions and is a senior executive with 25-years experience in the retail industry. Karen has extensive expertise in planning, analytics and training to help businesses optimize their growth potential. She is renown as a subject matter expert and has earned her respect throughout the industry.

Karen has worked at Hudson’s Bay Company, The Bay, Ryerson and the International Academy of Design. Her client list covers all of the retail industry from cosmetics, jewellery to apparel. Her current clients include Jones Apparel Group Canada, Garbo Group, Bestseller, Esprit Canada Wholesale Inc, Chateau D’Argent, Diamonair and Quicksilver Roxy.

Karen loves to teach and is an inspiring trainer and coach. She has authored many training programs within the retail industry and has coached all levels of management. Karen has been teaching for 10-years where she has developed new courses and also mentors numerous students.


Martyn Lee was introduced to display and communication arts while working at a heritage museum, in his southern Ontario hometown. Having an artistic and aesthetic sensibility, an interest grew. A career of being creative in a three dimensional way, with possibilities to educate, persuade or evoke emotion appealed to him.

After studying fine art in post secondary school, Martyn went on to graduate from a Visual Merchandising Arts program. This was the launching point into an exciting 19-year career.

As a Visual Presentation Specialist, he took every opportunity to move through his field gaining exposure, experience and education. Martyn is proud to have worked at two of Toronto’s leading department store, flagship locations.


Michelle is an accomplished event specialist and is President of Paradigm Events Inc. Michelle was the winner of the 2005 Canadian Event Producer of the Year Award, and nominated for the 2006 and 2007 Canadian Event Producer of the Year.

Michelle represents the true essence of entrepreneurship. Michelle started Paradigm Events in 1996 and specializes in conference and special event planning. Michelle’s passion for planning started with the original creation The Art of Fashion; an organization dedicated to supporting up and coming designers in Canada by providing them with opportunities for exposure and business development.
Since the event’s introduction, The Art of Fashion has provided opportunities for emerging Canadian designers with over 20,000 attendees. The annual Design Competition and has benefited charities such as Theresa Group, A Child’s Voice Foundation, Sunshine Dreams for Kids and Rethink Breast Cancer. Art of Fashion was awarded “Best Public Entertainment Event” in 2008.


Over 15-years of Milorad’s career has been spent designing and focusing on the latest trends in Graphic Design. In those years he has expanded his knowledge of various levels in digital communications and kept up to date with all technological advances.

Along the way he has worked with a wide range of clients and companies delivering some of the most creative and advanced digital media work for both on-line and print. Some of the companies include: Rosewood Marketing, Central Dental, Swiss NF Metals, In-house Publishing and Forestadent Canada (Canadian-German Division).

Milorad is teaching here at the Academy delivering industry standard professional expertise in and out of the classroom, and the best part of it is that he enjoys every moment of it.


Pat Kline began her career as the Director of the Communication Arts program at Seneca College and taught in the English division. Pat left Seneca to co-found Finishing Touches, a high-end fashion store known for its impeccable taste, customer service and commitment to fashion.

For many years, Pat, and her partner, designed and produced two private lines for retail in Finishing Touches. These lines developed a very loyal following and received substantial editorial coverage.

In 2000, the City of Toronto’s Fashion Excellence Committee voted Finishing Touches as ‘Best Independent Retailer’. Pat always remained connected to the academic environment: she has served on the Advisory Committee at Humber College, has spoken to many fashion classes and as a mentor to students. Finishing Touches was also cited for its involvement with both charities and high schools.

Pat founded the North Yonge Business Association (forerunner of the current BIA) and has been instrumental in turning the area into a vital retail community. Pat received an Honours B.A. from McMaster University, and spent a graduate year at Queens.


Rick has an extensive experience in business. He has experience in HR, marketing and sales. Rising successfully to National Sales Manager and in marketing to Director of Marketing and onto the level of Managing Director.

Currently Rick owns and runs his own Marketing and Sales consulting company with clients including: Walkers Shortbread, Lazzaroni Biscuits, Guylian Chocolates and Advertising Standards Canada. Rick has taught Marketing, Psychology, Communication skills and Professional Selling at Ryerson and Academy of Design for over 19-years.


Originally from Montreal, Rob headed west and spent several years in Calgary before returning to Toronto. He has distinguished himself in the industry in buying, sales management, marketing, and training roles with several major retailers before beginning his teaching career.

Robert had developed and taught courses for both private sector and public post-secondary institutions specializing in the marketing and computer area until becoming full-time faculty at the Academy of Design in 2001.Rob was honoured to receive the Faculty Excellence Award from the Academy in 2000 for ‘outstanding long-term consistency in achieving high-quality work in the classroom, administratively, and with co-workers. Robert was one of four faculty members selected by students and colleagues to represent the Toronto Campus of the Academy as Educator of the Year in 2004 and again in 2007.

Rob holds a Diploma in Social Science (Psychology) from John Abbott College (1976), Montreal, and a Diploma in Business Administration (Human Resources) from Mount Royal College (1981), Calgary. A lifelong learner, he continued to attend courses and seminars completing a Teaching Effectiveness Certificate at Humber College (2000) and his B. Ed. (Adult Education) from Brock University (2003) and holds his M. Ed from Brock University (2009).


Rossie Kadiyska has been with the Academy of Design since 2003. She has M.Sc. in Physics, MBA (Marketing and Finance) and Master in International Economic Law.

She has brought to the school industry experience in project management and Finance, marketing management, strategy consulting and business negotiation. Her diverse educational background and experience enables her to teach across various AODT departments.


Suzanne Pollock has 23-years of expertise as a retail executive. She has seen and done it all. Before becoming a consultant, Ms. Pollock was the Director of Planning and Purchasing at Sporting Life Inc., leading them into a period of financial and profitable growth.

During her tenure, she became a recognized and respected leader in the Toronto Fashion Industry. She began her career as a salesperson and with hard work and dedication she rose rapidly in the business. Suzanne has become an independent consultant, guiding growing companies through the organizational and growth process.

Suzanne holds a BA from the University of Western Ontario. She also graduated Summa Cum

Laude with an AA from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.


Passionate about all things creative, Gabrielle Lasporte is a tenured and talented bilingual Graphic Communicator with over 14-years experience in the design industry. She has worked with various clients including non-profit, corporate and retail industries over the years and continues to expand her design portfolio through her design studio.

Gabrielle is also a visual artist mainly designing works using the relatively unknown medium of Modern Batik Batik (creating artwork by applying wax and dyes on fabric.) She stays connected to her visual artist roots through her participation in many events such as Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, The Artist Project and various art collective events.

A strong believer in making things happen for oneself, she has co-created the Déesse Collective which is a collaborated project bridging the gap between art and jewellery. She has also presented diverse curated events within the GTA.


Cynthia’s experience in the fashion industry is unparalleled. Her diverse fashion career spans over 15 years working as the creative force behind several Canadian retailers, where she has held positions as a Fashion and Style director collaborating with buyers, designers, marketing and creative teams on product design, merchandising aesthetics, style direction to brand development and advertising direction. Florek regularly travels the globe to research fashion trends at designer runway, tradeshows and retail level, in addition to observing emerging street style trends. Using her creativity and business savvy, she gathers this research and engages her audience with a plethora of knowledge that cultivate an innovative and approachable fashion aesthetic.

Her expertise and discerning eye, has garnered rave reviews from media & industry insiders, making her a sought after consultant for fashion & creative direction. Cynthia’s grass roots as a fashion designer allowed her to hone her skills by designing lines for several labels before she ventured into her award wining line, CINCYN. The label was the winner of Elle Canada’s & Toronto Fashion Incubator “New Labels” fashion award and successfully showed at Toronto, Vancouver and New York fashion weeks. The label garnered multitude of media coverage in WWD, Fashion Television, Fashion File, Flare, Elle, Fashion, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star and more. Florek is perfectly positioned as a fashion editor & spokeswoman and has presented trends and style tips on Marilyn Dennis, Breakfast Television, America’s next top model, CHCH morning show, CTV, Global BC, Rogers, Canadian Living, Chatelaine, and more.


Elena Beveridge is a marketing communications and event specialist with 10+ years’ experience creating strategic marketing and PR programs that build customer awareness, strengthen brand loyalty and drive revenue. Armed with a degree in International & Comparative Studies and Political Science, and a Post-Graduate Certificate of Public Relations from Humber College, her first role was at award- winning agency APEX Public Relations. She went on to become the Marketing and PR Manager with Four Seasons Resort Whistler during the height of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and rebranded and launched the Resort restaurant called Sidecut. Ms. Beveridge then returned to Toronto as Marketing Director for startup BITE Beauty which was recently acquired by Sephora. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur herself, she oversaw a US-based consumer goods awards program in partnership with Better Homes and Gardens magazine and a Toronto-based marketing research firm. In April 2015, Elena founded Beveridge Marketing and continues to create profitable consumer demand for SMEs and international startup businesses spanning fashion, tech, banking, education, and hospitality both for consumer-facing and B2B clients.


Beryl Sherman has had an extensive retail career of over 25 years with Hudson’s Bay and The Bay. She began as a management trainee and held several positions in both store operations and buying functions. Her most recent position was as Vice President of Strategic initiatives. Prior to that she was as a Divisional Vice President responsible for financials, vendor negotiations, and Merchandise and Marketing Strategy for a large number of merchandise categories. She has extensive experience in managing large teams and mentoring executives. Beryl has a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from McGill University

Shannon Willard

Janet Lewis

Kirk Pickersgill