Ada Vrana – Chair
Investigator, College of Nurses of Ontario
Ada has a Juris Doctor from the University of Windsor – Faculty of Law and is a member of
the Law Society of Ontario. She has been working in the field of health professions regulation for the past 5 years.
Ada has been playing soccer since the age of 12 with the Islington Rangers club in Etobicoke, as well as on various indoor and intramural teams over the years. She has been playing competitively in the Premier Division of the Women’s Division Soccer League (WDSL) with the Islington Rangers.
Ada has been involved with NUTMEG Soccer as a volunteer coach and head coach since 2017. She has witnessed first hand the positive impact that soccer can have on children, and the importance of access to sports in general, regardless of gender or socioeconomic status. Ada is passionate about growing NUTMEG so it can continue to provide soccer training to the children and youth in our communities and foster their learning and development.
Javier Díaz – President & Co-Founder
Head of Data Science, Phenomic AI
Javier was born and raised in Mexico City where he learned to play the sport and started his love for the game. He moved to Toronto in 2007 to increase his experience in the fields of biology and human health, as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. He quickly became involved in initiatives using soccer as a tool to integrate adult immigrants and Canadians. Javier and his co-founders, Jon Ellis and Alicia Luciani, launched NUTMEG Soccer in 2015 to help families to provide recreational activities to their children in a fun and safe environment. Javier has had various backstage roles at NUTMEG, but ultimately, he enjoys putting pieces together to help the NUTMEG team to do their magic at every NUTMEG session. He has also been a coach at NUTMEG, because nothing equals the joy of those smiling little faces learning soccer and gaining confidence inside and outside the field!
Senior Manager, KPMG LLP
Mannie grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, playing soccer from a young age and supporting Manchester United since he was 8 years old. He lived in the UK for a year before moving to Canada where he works as an accountant. He plays soccer recreationally with friends, in addition to playing slightly unhealthy amounts of FIFA in his spare time.
Mannie believes in the enormous positive impact team sports has on children, as it teaches
them the importance of teamwork, discipline and social skills. He appreciates the opportunity to be able to contribute towards this impact through NUTMEG.
Management Consultant, Kearney
Shivam is passionate about using data and analytics to solve important business problems
as well as key social challenges. He has been working as an analytics consultant for over
Shivam has also been a soccer fan for over two decades; he plays recreationally in Toronto and has penned his thoughts on soccer for various India and UK based websites. Shivam is a strong believer in the power of sports in helping children to developed critical life skills. NUTMEG is Shivam’s way of giving back to the Toronto community while combining his two-decade-long love for soccer with his passion for numbers.
Finance Lawyer, Ecojustice Canada
Tanya joined NUTMEG in 2022, being drawn to NUTMEG’s mission to provide inclusive and safe spaces for underserved children to play soccer and have fun. Growing up in a soccer-loving home, Tanya experienced first hand how the sport has the power to build connection and community. Although not a particularly talented soccer player, Tanya has always enjoyed competing, getting outside and playing soccer with family and friends.
Tanya is a lawyer at an environmental charity working on climate change issues. On the weekends, you can often find Tanya watching English Premier League matches and kicking around a ball at a local park. Tanya hopes to help NUTMEG expand its outreach, allowing even more children and youth to grow their confidence and connections through soccer.
Natasha Zapanta – Director
Senior Lifecycle Operations Manager, Circle
Ever since Natasha can remember, she has been extremely passionate about the awesome game of soccer! Soccer has helped Natasha be motivated, confident, and a team player – she hopes that she can help young children be that way too through NUTMEG! Natasha has been a Coach since 2018, and joined the Board of Directors as of January 2023, heading up all marketing initiatives. Natasha is so excited to contribute her 9+ years of marketing and education experience to provide the best soccer and social education for youth so they can grow up to be compassionate and empowered leaders.
Genevieve Gingras-Hills – Director
Finance Lawyer, Ecojustice Canada
Soccer is a wonderful sport! Not only does it bring people together, but it is also a great activity to foster confidence and other life skills. Throughout the years, Genevieve has found lots of support in soccer communities and have been able to boost her confidence through sport when she needed it the most. Living outside the city, you probably won’t see her often at the sessions, but she looks forward to the opportunity to help the next generation find community and confidence, as well as other life skills through NUTMEG’s programming by assisting with background tasks.
Evelyn Sham – Director
Physical Scientist, Environment and Climate Change Canada
The opportunity to be a day camp counselor for over five years has allowed Evelyn to witness first-hand the importance and impact of play in the development of healthy, happy children. In 2019, she enthusiastically joined the NUTMEG team as a Session Manager to continue helping to make play more accessible to children in the community – this time in the form of soccer! Through applying her interests in marketing, graphic design, and information management, Evelyn aims to further the reach of NUTMEG programs and keep spreading the power of play.
Bir Singh – Director
Technical Business Analyst, Concannon Business Consulting
Bir was born and raised in England but now a permanent resident of Canada. He’s been watching and playing football (soccer as it’s called here) for most of my life and would consider it my favourite team sport to also watch and play! He was also an ex dance teacher, teaching all age groups, so he’s confident that he can communicate some good football knowledge with the kids. Bir joined Nutmeg because he really wants to give back and to be able to give back taking part in something he loves would be incredible! He looks forward to the experience!