We are thrilled to welcome three new team members to Tapestry! As our team grows, so too does our breath and depth of expertise. Marzie Aghdaee, Suzanne Faiza and Baljmaa Zorig are helping us to expand the reach of the community bond model through research and innovation in the affordable housing and clean energy arenas.
Meet our new team members below!
Marzie Aghdaee, Senior Researcher, Affordable Housing
Marzie describes herself as a jack of all trades, with a career path that led her from cell biology to civic tech, youth empowerment, political engagement and education. The constant throughout her career has been her deep interest in, and passion for, systems thinking and people-centered research design. She has spent the vast majority of her career working with nonprofits, first with rural and marginalized communities in Iran, and more recently in Peru and Canada. For the past 8 years, she has focused on mix-method research, and measurement and evaluation.
Marzie has joined our team to design and lead an in-depth stakeholder engagement with affordable housing providers, supporters and activators, as part of Tapestry’s participation in the CMHC Housing Supply Challenge. Marzie brings a personal lens to this work. “Being an immigrant to Canada, and coming from a low-income background, I understand the anxiety of finding affordable housing. Affordable housing is one of, if not the greatest, challenges faced by our country today,” she shares.
Suzanne Faiza, Researcher
Suzanne is currently pursuing her Masters in Planning at the University of Toronto, with a concentration in Housing and Community Economic Development. The focus of her research is to assess the feasibility of crowdfunding platforms to facilitate land acquisition groups such as community land trusts. Suzanne is joining our team in a part-time capacity while she completes her studies and is working with Marzie and support our progress in the CMHC Housing Supply Challenge.
Suzanne is trained as an architect, and worked in the field for 6 years before beginning her Masters program. She brings a new element of creativity to our team, with excellent graphic design skills and a love of finding ways to display complex information in easily digestible formats. She is an active volunteer in her community, working closely with the Muslim Food Bank & Community Services, COVID-19 Coming Together Vancouver, and the B.C. Community Alliance, and is passionate about finding innovative solutions to Canada’s affordable housing crisis.
Baljmaa Zorig, Climate Finance Specialist
Baljmaa’s interest in climate change mitigation began early in her career while she was working as an internal auditor at a commercial bank in Mongolia. Her role took her to remote regions of the country where she could see the impacts that climate change was having on local people and businesses, from drought to extreme heat waves.
With a strong desire to build a more technical skillset, she pursued her Masters in Quantitative Finance at Bentley University as a Fulbright Scholar. During her graduate studies she helped to establish and manage an ESG strategy for the university’s endowment fund, gaining valuable experience in capital markets. She then went on to work with a boutique ESG investment firm in Boston, and later with two international development financing organizations.
Baljmaa joins the Tapestry team to support a new project we are undertaking with a municipality in Eastern Canada to design and implement an investment system to finance their community energy ambitions. Baljmaa loves big data, financial modeling and finding creative financing solutions. “We don’t need fancy solutions, we need practical solutions,” she shares. “As an ESG professional, creating a circular economy is the goal. I think community bonds offer a double win of raising impact capital while also sending profits back into the community.”