PCA Executive Members 2023-2024
Malinda Francis – Chair
Malinda Francis (Mali Docuvixen) grew up in the neighbourhood on Condor Avenue, since 1986. She returned after being away for a decade for school and living away from the City. Mali Docuvixen is a documentary filmmaker, radio host, independent theatre producer as well as a personal support worker in homecare. She was a Member At Large for a year, and was on the Nomination & Election Committee for two years in a row
She has been a member of various Boards of Art Organizations and Collectives across the city. In her current film she documents grassroots reconstruction projects that are Haitian/Diasporic/Driven. She has been following and documenting Haitians to Haiti building, reforestation projects since the January 2010 Earthquake.
Vice Chair – Vacant
Martin Pollak – Treasurer
Martin has been a Pocket resident since 2005 and lives with his partner, Susan Paterson, on Hunter Street. He was born in England, trained there as a chartered accountant, and has lived in many countries through his profession.
He retired from the business community in 2015, loves cars and English football and is always looking for projects to occupy his time. Martin is happy to be part of The Pocket and loves the vibes in this unique neighbourhood.
Desiree de Barros – Secretary
Desiree and her family have lived on Earl Grey in The Pocket since 2017 and appreciated how special this community is as soon as they arrived. Being part of the PCA allows her to do one of her favorite things . . . get to know more neighbours!
Desiree has worked in financial services for the majority of her career and looks forward to supporting the community with various skills that have been acquired over time.
Meredith Kushnir – Communications Coordinator
Meredith and her family have been proud to call the Pocket home since 2019 when they moved to Queen Victoria Street. They love being a part of this unique community and Meredith is thrilled to have the opportunity to give back.
Currently working for Cabinet Office, Meredith has over a decade of experience in communications and research roles in government and non-profit organizations. She is looking forward to bringing her savvy communication skills to enhance information flow for residents of the Pocket.
Leah Pollock – Membership Coordinator
Leah has been a happy member of The Pocket community since 2021. Along with her husband and 4 year old daughter, she lives on Boultbee Avenue and can often be found socializing with her amazing neighbours at the dead end (aka scooter zone) at the top of Boultbee.
Leah is the Head of HR at a renewable energy company and has previously worked in tech, fundraising, and micro financing for non-profits alongside a credit union. She is excited to take on the Membership Coordinator role and get more involved in the many exciting Pocket community initiatives run by the PCA.
Rebecca Ross – Events Coordinator
Rebecca is dedicated to learning and self-exploration, and in the current role of CYCP for a Toronto elementary school, has solidified her ‘north star’ — community care. Her academic vocation has held an instrumental role in ‘springboarding’ to current professional endeavors and setting the foundation overall for a long career ahead dedicated to social services.
A recent addition to the Pocket, Rebecca and her long-term SO felt ‘at home’ within moments of their arrival in April 2023 (living on Earl Grey Road), and have enjoyed exploring its unique history and beautiful tree-lined streets. Rebecca looks forward to becoming a helping hand in the mission toward the Pocket’s long-term cohesion and vibrancy — rooted in a meaningful sense of belonging among all residents.
Gail James – Member at Large
In 2001, Gail became the proud owner of a Lydia Court home and has found our community so supportive, kind, friendly and involved in a multitude of activities and ethical issues. She finds it rewarding to be involved in what is happening around her, so she joined our Neighbourhood Support Committee and is a Street Captain.
Gail has been a passionate classroom teacher locally and abroad — an occasional teacher and physics presenter for Scientists in School, a Future Aces educational consultant and an adjunct professor. She is now Treasurer of TDSB Occasional Teachers. She would be delighted to return to the PCA Executive as a Member at Large.
Peter Farncombe – Member at Large
Peter and his family have lived on Boothroyd Avenue since 1991. He looks forward to contributing now by joining The Pocket Board as a sort of ‘miscellaneous affairs’ representative – fitting in to support the work of other Board Members and the community as a whole. He will apprentice himself to learn the ropes and help out where possible.
Peter moved into The Pocket after years of life in the Bain Housing Cooperative, where as a member of the Board and various committees he worked to keep the community intact. Over the years he has also volunteered with other organizations in the broad social services sector, (e.g. the former ‘Youth Services Network of Metro Toronto’). He has a long professional career with provincial government and arms-length agencies. These days his main interests are music, cycling and writing.
Eadit Rokach – Past Chair
(This is not an elected executive position)
Eadit has lived in The Pocket since 2007. She has been a lawyer for 22 years and an assistant Crown attorney for the last 18 years.
She is a co-founder and director of Wildfire: Lighting up LGBTQ+ Legal Culture, a non-profit organization that aims to strengthen the LGBTQ+ community by hosting fundraising events for LGBTQ+ causes and programs. Since 2016, Eadit has coached high school students for the mock trial tournament run by the Ontario Justice Education Network. She currently mentors a law student at the University of Toronto, and in the past mentored an LGBTQ+ youth recovering from a drug addiction.
Eadit is very excited about contributing to the community that has been so welcoming to her and her partner. She hopes to give back and create more connectedness in this special community.