Our Team - The FOLD

Our Team

The FOLD Foundation relies on a strong team of staff and volunteers to carry out its year-round mission.

The Board of Directors

The Board of Directors works year-round to strengthen the reach and impact of the FOLD Foundation.

The board is a team of passionate individuals who hail from the publishing, business, and financial sectors in Brampton and throughout the GTA. They meet bi-monthly to ensure the FOLD Foundation’s sustainability and to support the FOLD’s successful and strategic growth.

Ishta Mercurio
Ishta Mercurio-Wentworth
Chair
Felicia Quon
Felicia Quon
Director, Sponsorships and Special Projects
Teri Vlassopoulos
Teri Vlassopoulos
Treasurer
Ashish Seth
Ashish Seth
Secretary
Mark Richardson
Mark Richardson
Director
Karen
Karen Mason
Director, Kids Programming
David Burga
David Burga
Director, Adult Programming
Ishta Mercurio

Ishta Mercurio-Wentworth

Chair

Ishta Mercurio is the co-author of Bite into Bloodsuckers, a work of non-fiction for children about blood drinking bugs and other critters, and is the author of Small World, a picture book illustrated by Jen Corace about our big and small place in this vast Universe.

She is a founder and co-organizer of the Canadian Kidlit Fundraising Gala, initiated in 2018. She is also a member of SCBWI Canada East’s Inclusion Committee and an administrator of the SCBWI Canada East Rising Kite Diversity Award. She lives and writes in Brampton, ON.

Felicia Quon

Felicia Quon

Director, Sponsorships and Special Projects

Felicia Quon is Vice President Marketing & Publicity at Simon & Schuster Canada. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Felicia is a regular lecturer at the Creative Book Publishing program at The Humber School of Creative and Performing Arts, and at Simon Fraser University’s Master of Publishing Program. Prior to joining The Fold, she was on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

Teri Vlassopoulos

Teri Vlassopoulos

Treasurer

Teri Vlassopoulos is a CA, CPA, with over 15 years of experience in finance, specializing in tech. She is currently the Director of Finance and Controller at FreshBooks. She is also the author of a novel, Escape Plans (Invisible Publishing) and a collection of short stories, Bats or Swallows (Invisible Publishing), which was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for best first collection of short fiction. She works and writes in Toronto

Ashish Seth

Ashish Seth

Secretary

Ashish Seth is a writer and educator from Brampton, Ontario. He writes fiction and creative nonfiction. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Professional Writing and Communication program and has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. In 2009, Seth published Come on Baby Take a Chance with Us: Issues in Psilocybin Mushroom Use, a collection of essays on the scientific study of psilocybin mushrooms. It was published by Life Rattle Press. His piece “Paul the Fox: A Biographical Portrait” won runner up in Epiphany Literary Journal’s 2017 Creative Nonfiction contest in New York. He is currently working on his first novel.

Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson

Director

Mark Richardson is a realtor and one of the founding members of the FOLD Foundation Board of Directors. He lives in Brampton, Ontario.

Karen

Karen Mason

Director, Kids Programming

Karen is a founding member of the FOLD Board of Directors. She is a graduate of McGill University and the University of King’s College, with degrees in political science and journalism. Her love for arts and media have married several times over with stints in radio, film, television, print, and arts administration, with a focus on fostering opportunities of under-represented voices. She is a co-editor of T-Dot Griots: An Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers with Steven Green. Karen is a seasoned performance poet and mother of two who makes her home in Brampton, Ontario.

David Burga

David Burga

Director, Adult Programming

David Burga is a Peruvian born Canadian geologist and writer. His work has appeared in Big Truths and Lockjaw Magazine. Excerpts of his novel, The Devil’s Gold, were published in issue 4 of Burner Magazine and issue 2 of The Lunaris Review.

The FOLD Staff

The FOLD Staff include founder and Artistic Director Jael Richardson and Communications and Development Coordinator Amanda Leduc, who execute the day-to-day efforts of running a charitable organization.

Once a month, the staff hold planning meetings where committed volunteers exchange ideas to improve festival programming, accessibility, sustainability, and hospitality.

A separate planning team devoted to children’s literature was established in May 2019 to plan and prepare for the first FOLD Kids Bookfest in 2019.

Jael
Jael Richardson
Founder and Artistic Director
Amanda Leduc
Amanda Leduc
Communications and Development Coordinator
Jael

Jael Richardson

Founder and Artistic Director

Jael Richardson is the author of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lesson, a Father’s Life, a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The Stone Thrower was adapted into a children’s book in 2016 and was shortlisted for a Canadian picture book award. She is a book columnist and guest host on CBC’s q.

Richardson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and lives in Brampton, Ontario, where she founded and serves as the Artistic Director for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD). Her debut novel, Gutter Child, is coming January 2021 from HarperCollins Canada.

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Amanda Leduc

Amanda Leduc

Communications and Development Coordinator

Amanda Leduc is the author of the nonfiction collection Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability and Making Space, out now from Coach House Books, and the novel The Miracles of Ordinary Men, published by ECW Press in 2013. Her next novel, The Centaur’s Wife, is forthcoming from Random House Canada in 2021.

Amanda has an MFA in Writing from the University of St. Andrews, UK. She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where she serves as the Communications and Development Coordinator for the Festival Of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and stories.​

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FOLD logo

FOLD 2020 Planning Team

  • Louisa Atto
  • Cat Belshaw
  • David Burga
  • Kristen Johnston
  • Shoilee Khan
  • Chelsea LaVecchia
  • Amanda Leduc
  • Ricky Lima
  • Karen Mason
  • Alex Platt
  • Natasha Ramoutar
  • Jael Richardson
  • Fiona Ross
  • Lamoi Simmonds
  • Monika Trzeciakowski
  • Léonicka Valcius
  • Meg Wheeler
  • C.J. Zvantiajs
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FOLD Kids Bookfest Planning Team

  • Toni Duval
  • Karen Mason
  • Nadia Hohn
  • Calyssa Erb

Accessibility Advisory Committee 2019

The Accessibility Advisory Committee works year-round to ensure the FOLD effectively supports and advocates for authors and guests with disabilities. Through regular surveys, the committee provides advice and on-going feedback on programming and production matters that improve the work of the FOLD.

  • Bronwyn Berg
  • Rhonda-Lee Dynes
  • Dorothy Ellen Palmer
  • Adam Pottle
  • Fiona Ross
  • Rahma Shere
  • Rasiqra Revulva
  • Amie Gaudet

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