We are a small team of heritage lovers and professionals with a wide range of skills and experience.

Alex Sostar, Chair

Alex holds a Bachelor of Design in Environmental Design from OCAD University. She has since completed two certificates through the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education in Advanced Architecture, and Architectural Preservation & Conservation. She hopes to focus her future practice on adaptive reuse and heritage preservation. In her free time she often finds herself delving down rabbit holes in the City of Toronto Archives. Alex is also an avid indoor gardener and a long suffering Blue Jays fan.

Find her on LinkedIn.

Katerina Bong, Vice Chair

Katerina is a PhD student at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design in the University of Toronto (U of T). She also completed her Hons. BA at U of T with a specialist in art history and a MA at the University of Pennsylvania with a thesis on the Sistine Chapel and its structure seen through Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes. Her research focuses on early modern architecture (especially in Italy), with an emphasis on the concept of failure and its significance during that period. She is also very invested in the field of heritage preservation and conservation, having worked at the ACO.

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Sara Shemirani, Executive Liaison

Sara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Ryerson University, and currently works at Giaimo as an architectural designer. Sara previously volunteered with ACO as an Architectural Research Assistant. Now, in addition to liaising between NextGen and ACO’s various committees and branches, she sits on the Ontario Place Sub-Committee advising on the preservation of Ontario’s modernist landmark.

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Natalie Majda, Director of Programs & Events

Natalie is a Master’s student at the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Ethics, Society and Law from University of Toronto and has worked in heritage planning at the City of Brampton and the City of Hamilton. Natalie is currently pursuing research in heritage planning and equitable public participation processes.

In her spare time, Natalie enjoys exploring her local neighbourhood, rummaging through thrift stores, and trying new restaurants.

Find her on LinkedIn.

Rachel Sharp, Program & Event Coordinator

Rachel holds a Bachelor of Architectural Conservation and Sustainability Engineering from Carleton University. While studying at Carleton she developed an interest in the built environment, and conservation principles. She hopes to focus her future on heritage preservation and adaptive reuse projects, and how these can be integrated with environmental sustainability.

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Courtney Meagher, Program & Event Coordinator

Courtney holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Toronto, as well as an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a specialist in art history. Her master’s thesis explored topics of heritage preservation and collective memory, focusing on design interventions for the adaptive reuse of large scale heritage buildings in urban centres.

After completing her studies Courtney worked with the Ontario Association of Architects as the Architectural Graduate Intern, where she worked closely with the communications team and acted as the liaison between the OAA and the 14 Local Architectural Societies. Courtney’s love for history and architecture was sparked at an early age, and she has always been fascinated by the narratives embedded in built objects. She is working towards becoming a licensed architect and hopes to align her passion for heritage preservation with her future practice.

Find her on LinkedIn.

Mackenzie Campbell, Director of Social Media

Mackenzie is currently completing her diploma in Heritage Conservation at the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts. While studying Art History and Environmental Sustainability she developed an interest in heritage architecture restoration. On the side of her studies, she runs a small stained glass restoration business. She will be spending the summer working for The Brown Homestead, researching its historic interior layers.

Find her on LinkedIn.

Maha Abbas, Director of Public Outreach

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We are currently seeking students or emerging professionals to join us on the board. If you are interested in learning more, please use our contact form to inquire.


Irene Galea, Past Chair

Irene holds the Journalism Medal from Carleton University, and has worked and volunteered for heritage organizations at the local, provincial and national levels. In addition to leading NextGen, she is an Emerging Historian with Heritage Toronto, and sits on the Millennial Advisory Board for the National Trust for Canada. Her writing and documentary work has been featured by CBC, the Financial Post, the National Post, the Canadian Museums Association and others.

Find her on LinkedIn.

Stephanie Mah, ACO Toronto VP

Stephanie is the Creative Director at Giaimo, an architecture firm integrating design, sustainability, and conservation. Over the last five years she has held several positions at ACO, including her current position as VP of ACO Toronto, and is the recipient of the 2018 Mary Millard Award. She holds an Honours BA in History and Theory of Architecture and is pursuing a certificate in Digital Media at OCAD University.

Find her on LinkedIn.

Want to volunteer with us?

There are always ways to get involved with ACO NextGen in a volunteer capacity: write for our blog, contribute to our social media channels, sit on an ACO committee or lead an event or initiative of your own! Contact us to learn more about these opportunities.