J. Storey, Suitcase Party social media ambassador. 
twitter @suitcasepartyto / instagram @suitcasepartyto


Our inaugural Suitcase Party wouldn’t have been possible with the lineup of impressive young professionals who make-up the SCP committee. These 25 rising Torontonians come from a wide range of backgrounds — real estate, finance, PR, marketing, legal, health, design, events, (the list goes on) — and have played a huge role in bringing #suitcasepartyto to life. So, without further ado, let’s meet some of them:



KRISTEN BROPHY, Design Co-ordinator, ASTOUND Group

Why did you get involved with the Suitcase Party Committee?
I volunteered for the CAFDN Holiday Party last year and fell in love with the organization. I wanted to get more involved somehow and when I first heard about the Suitcase Party I thought it would be a perfect fit. A lot of the Foundation’s events are targeted towards an older demographic so it was exciting to see that they’re tuning to a younger audience. It’s been a wonderful experience coming together as a committee to help sculpt and set the tone for the first Suitcase Party.

What are you most looking forward to at the SCP?
I’m excited to spend some time with friends as well as make some new connections and hopefully meet some really interesting people.

What does “philanthropy” mean to you?
To me philanthropy is all about generosity. At this stage in life, I’m not able to be incredibly generous in a monetary way but hope to give back in other ways, like time and connections.

What do you currently do?
I’m the Design Coordinator at ASTOUND, a fully-integrated global design and fabrication house. We provide turn-key solutions for events, exhibits and environments and have offices in Toronto, Las Vegas and San Francisco. My job, among other things, includes working closely with the design team to provide viable and strategic solutions for a wide range of clients. I also sit on the marketing team and design a lot of our marketing collateral and outreach as well as provide sales support where needed.

ID-100278648Why is networking important for young professionals?
Networking is important because so many opportunities come from the connections you make. Whether it’s reconnecting with an old friend or meeting someone new you never know what opportunities could arise. Networking events like the Suitcase Party allow for these connections to be made. Young professionals are always looking for new stimulation and new opportunities equal new experiences.

Who is your favourite young leader?
My favourite young leader is will.i.am. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at Dreamforce this fall in San Francisco and was blown away. He recently launched his own company, i.am+ which focuses on wearable technology. His first big product launch is the PULS which he spoke to at the conference, explaining all the features and how he’s reimagined the smart phone experience with functionality at the forefront of his design. The most captivating part of the talk was when he spoke to why he does everything he does. He comes from a pretty rough area where most kids end up getting involved with drugs or gangs and ultimately end up in jail. He was determined to find success so that he could give back to his community and provide opportunities for kids just like him growing up in the ghetto. He has started a few foundations and after school programs including a program that teaches kids how to code. He was incredibly humble about his success and all that he does and I was blown away by his genuine motivation and generosity.


Peter-CPETER CORTELLUCCI, Vice President, Cortel Group

Why did you get involved with the Suitcase Party Committee?
There are so many amazing causes and initiatives that we’re all exposed to, the Suitcase Party was one that really stood out. Spending five minutes on the Children’s Aid Foundation website made it pretty easy for me to say “I want to help.” The Suitcase Party brings together like-minded young professionals for an evening of fun all while supporting and encouraging a better tomorrow. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? I’ve always felt that giving opportunity to young people is the most valuable function of making society a better place. When you look at the big picture; life is all about the future. Being a part of the Suitcase Party committee is my little way of helping out.


What are you most looking forward to at the SCP?
WINNING A TRIP TO MIAMI! If that doesn’t pan out, I’m looking forward to getting together with a great group of young professionals. As connected as we are today, it’s always a challenge to find that spot where you can meet genuinely good people. So meeting young, intelligent, and ambitious individuals who can help and inspire my own journey is what I’m looking forward to (and hopefully I can do the same!).

What does “philanthropy” mean to you?
Simply put: being a good person and making our world a better place. Often philanthropy is associated with financial contributions (totally wrong); that’s not what it’s all about. To be a philanthropist, one must try to be a good person, helping where you can, promoting all the great things life has to offer. Good people make a better world.


What do you currently do?
I work for Cortel Group, which constructs and develops communities in and outside of the GTA. My role as vice-president is an interesting one because in it I oversee many exciting and innovative projects. Our informal corporate structure is really the reason why we work so well. It is more of a mom and pop shop than structured bureaucracy, everyone is on the same playing field and although we have distinct roles, everyone pitches in where they can. We encourage a hands-on approach. One day I may be in the studio analyzing miniature 3D printed buildings for a future downtown condo, the next day on a farm in Barrie looking at an acquisition of property. Working in and outside of the GTA has given me an amazing opportunity to interact and learn from so many different people.

Why should young professionals network?
In this stage of our lives, as young professionals we need to get out there and take advantage of all the experiences and opportunities that come our way. These are the things that will shape us as we get older. It’s so important to meet people, everyone has something to offer whether it’s a business opportunity or something as simple as a few words of encouragement. You never know what valuable connection or insight you might stumble upon.

Who is your favourite young leader?
That’s like asking a mother who her favourite child is, I can’t say I have a favourite. I think it’s important to learn and be inspired from young individuals, whether you consider them leaders or not.



STEPHANIE ULLMAN, Managing Partner, Jayne Ambler + Co.

Why did you get involved with the Suitcase Party committee?
We’re throwing a massive party for all of our friends, colleagues and peers to raise funds for fellow young, deserving Canadians… needless to say, it was a very easy decision to become involved!  My day job involves planning corporate events so I was really excited for the opportunity to put some of those skills to use for such a wonderful and worthy cause.

What are you most looking forward to at the SCP?
I’m excited to bring together so many like-minded young Torontonians. There’s bound to be so many unknown connections discovered and new connections made. I also love to travel so the possibility that I – or someone I know – have a chance at winning a vacation is also very exciting!

What does “philanthropy” mean to you?
I’m very grateful for my health, my upbringing, my career and the people in my life and I’m mindful of the fact that not everyone can say the same. I’m no more deserving of my quality of life than the next person, so if there’s anything that can be done to spread well-being and happiness, then I believe we have a responsibility to do so for the greater good. Whether it’s a small gesture to someone in need or a large fundraising initiative, philanthropy is about sharing resources, compassion, positivity and support.


What do you currently do?
I work in public relations and event planning alongside my longtime colleague and friend, Jayne Ambler. Just over a year ago we decided to launch our own PR and events agency here in Toronto. We primarily service the fashion and beauty industry with a growing client base of both local and national brands. Being a relatively new agency in the market with a very small team I’m involved in every aspect of both maintaining and growing the business. It’s cliché, but no two days are ever the same and I love that.

Why is networking important for young professionals?
I think it’s safe to say I haven’t secured a single opportunity (internship, volunteer experience, job, client) without it being a result of networking. Whether it’s a kind referral from a friend, or a chance meeting at an event, networking is so incredibly important when navigating your way through any career. Now as I help build a growing business I’m relying on networking for a variety of reasons – to find talent, resources and even partners to work with. It’s also so beneficial to be able to turn to a network of people when looking for something – whether it’s advice, a referral or a product/service.

Who is your favourite young leader?
That would have to be my business partner, Jayne Ambler. Her entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic and social demeanour are so inspiring that I wish more people could bear witness. She’ll be at The Suitcase Party and you’ll find her smiling and making friends with every person she meets… say hello!

‘Til next time. #whatsthestorey #suitcasepartyto

About The Author

The Children's Aid Foundation of Canada funds programs to help Canada's most vulnerable children and youth, those who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and neglect, overcome the obstacles in life that prevent them from reaching their full potential. We are committed to giving ongoing support to those who need it most.

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