Our Team

The Olive Branch is run by a number of passionate and talented women with a diverse variety of skills.  Below you will find the names and bio's of them, and why we love working with them soo much.

Leila Springer, Founder/Executive Director

Leila Springer is an Author, Life Coach, inspirational and motivational speaker, Breast Cancer Survivor, and community activist. She is a Co-founder of The Olive Branch of Hope (TOBOH), where she volunteers as Executive Director. Leila has served on several boards and committees including the World Conference on Breast Cancer Foundation, where she served a total of five years as board member and later President. Leila also served on the steering committee for the Black Health Alliance organization.


As Executive Director & Co-Founder of TOBOH, Leila consistently displays qualities of compassion, self-discipline, advocacy and leadership with an open mind and a high level of critical thinking. She goes beyond the role of breast cancer survivor in her involvement with cancer organizations (not just her own), by being an active role model in every task she takes on. She has designed outreach groups and support programs that target high-risk women and link them to services for cancer screening and treatment.


Leila pursued her post-secondary education and professional development at Seneca College, then later continued her scholastic endeavours at Tyndale Seminary and University. She worked as Senior Accountant for 15 years for a wholesale company and worked within the manufacturing industry for many years, before she found her higher calling and retired from the industry altogether. Her latest scholastic achievement was to complete her training as a Life Coach with the Professional Christian Life Coach Company.


Leila has also completed her memoir “So Glad I Made It” - her courageous journey with breast cancer, which later led to the establishment of The Olive Branch of Hope.


Living strong and giving back to the community is Leila’s motto.

Winsome Johnson, Founder/Director of Supportive Care

Winsome Johnson is a Co-founder of The Olive Branch of Hope and a breast cancer survivor of over 23 years.  Winsome courageously fought her stage four diagnosis with faith and strength, always knowing that hope must be kept alive.

Winsome Johnson is a businesswoman and owns a trucking service with her husband. She is also part owner of A-Supreme Nursing & Homecare Services and A-Supreme Wellness Centre. She continues to encourage others on the journey in her role with The Olive Branch of Hope as Director of Supportive Care. She not only oversees the group in Toronto, but also the Peel Region Brampton Outreach. She also holds a Bachelor of Theology degree from Charis Bible College & Seminary.

 

Winsome is a confident woman who maintains a compassionate heart as she continues to exude love and understanding to the women she serves.

Donnaree Nairn-Tucker, Acting President

Donnaree has been an Adult Facilitator for over 10 years and is also a licensed life insurance advisor with Sun Life Financial.

 

She decided to volunteer with TOBOH because she believes in giving back to the community and echoes the saying that “Knowledge is Power” and that if we do not educate ourselves about cancer and share that knowledge with each other, then who will? Statistics have shown that women of African descent tend to be diagnosed with the most aggressive form of cancer (TNBC) and as a result, die at a faster rate than women of other ethnicities. Therefore, it is imperative that we learn about the types, causes, effects, treatment and the aftermath of cancer…which is not to be deemed as a “a death sentence”.

Sandra Snipe, Board Member - Secretary

Sandra is a Registered Practical Nurse and member of the Registered Practical Nursing Association. She is presently employed with Toronto East General Hospital for the past fifteen years. Sandra has volunteered with The Olive Branch of Hope for three years prior to becoming a board member. She is caring and compassionate and believes in giving back to the community.


Sandra believes that The Olive Branch of Hope is a very important initiative and is proud to be a part of bringing awareness to the devastating effects that breast cancer has on women of African descent. She believes that it is a narrative that needs to be brought forth, not only to women of African descent, but to the public as a whole. Helping The Olive Branch of Hope to increase their public profile and educate those affected is an initiative she wishes to be involved in.

Yvonne Salmon, Board Member - Acting Treasurer ​

Business Owner, Group Leader, Outreach Minister, Chaplain, Mentor, Teacher & Community Volunteer are all proficiencies that Yvonne possesses. She is a mother of two children and grandmother of five.
 

Yvonne is also a colon cancer survivor. She gives all the glory to God, as she states “He promised to take care of me during my time of illness. As God took care of me, I am able to take care of His people through The Olive Branch of Hope. He has promised to take care of us all”.


As one of the original members of The Olive Branch of Hope and through the education programs, seminars, conferences, workshops and support groups that the organization facilitates, Yvonne has learned a lot about cancer, having absolutely no knowledge of the disease prior to being diagnosed. She is proud to be a part of The Olive Branch of Hope as they seek to make a difference in the black community by increasing awareness of developments, particularly in the field of research on cancer. Yvonne loves being able to give back through various positions she has held on the Board of Directors, and on which she currently serves as Assistant Treasurer. She believes this has helped her gain more experience to help service others on their journey, believing that “all things are possible through Christ.”

 

Yvonne is also a mediator, having been certified as a Pastoral Counsellor. She also has over 15 years’ experience volunteering with the Look Good, Feel Better organization.

Dr. Blessing Bassey-Archibong, Board Member - Director

Blessing holds a B.Sc. degree in Genetics and Biotechnology from the University of Calabar, Nigeria, an M.Sc. degree in Biotechnology from the University of Manchester, UK, and a Ph.D. degree in Biology with specialization in Genetics and Molecular Biology from McMaster University, Canada. She currently works as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Sheila Singh at the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute.
Blessing’s Ph.D. research was principally focused on unraveling the molecular factors responsible for triple negative breast cancer aggressiveness and prevalence in women of African ancestry, while her current project is focused on understanding the molecular factors behind why certain cancers frequently metastasize to the brain. With more than six years’ experience working in Genetics and Molecular Biology Labs in renowned organizations/universities internationally, Blessing believes that with her expertise, passion, and research work, she can contribute towards the identification of a biomarker(s) for aggressive cancers, especially those that frequently metastasize to the brain.


Blessing’s research findings have been published in renowned international journals including the Nature Publishing Group Journals – Oncogenesis and Cell Death and Disease. Her findings have also been disseminated at several international conferences including “The Science of Cancer Health Disparities Conference”. Blessing also holds an “Outstanding Research Publication Award – Genetics and Molecular Biology” for her research efforts, from the department of Biology at McMaster University, Canada.

Antoinette Scott, Board Member - Director

Antoinette Scott is a Toronto-based photographer with a passion for Digital Marketing. She holds a business degree from Ryerson University and recently competed a certificate of Digital Marketing Management from the University of Toronto. 

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