Muslim Legacy Fund

Meet Our Team

Get to know the dedicated individuals driving our missing forward.

Our team comprises passionate and accomplished professionals committed to making a positive impact in our community. 

Muslim Legacy Fund Directors

Dr. Asim Ashique, Director

Asim has been active in community life since his early days as a university student in the mid-1980’s. In that time, he served several roles on the executive of the University of Manitoba Muslim Students’ Association, including Vice-president (1987-1988) and President for the 1988-1989 school year.

 

After travelling for education purposes for a good portion of the 1990’s, Asim returned to Winnipeg and continued his community work. He served as national director of the Canadian Islamic Congress from 2004-2007. He was elected trustee of the Manitoba Islamic Association in 2004 and served a three year term, during which the trustees raised over $1 million for the capital campaign to build the Winnipeg Grand Mosque.

Asim is a founder and national president of the Canadian Islamic Chamber of Commerce (est 2007). His passion for helping children lead to service on the board of directors of Big brothers and Big Sisters of Winnipeg from 2009-2020, including one year (2012-2013) as Vice President. Along with Austin, Asim founded Muslim Legacy Fund in 2017. This is his legacy project!

Dr. Ashique has been in active practice as a Doctor of Chiropractic since 1998 and is one of only twenty-four chiropractors in Canada with a Fellow of College of Chiropractic Orthopedists designation. He has a passion for personal growth, health and fitness, and social change. “We have a moral obligation to help others.”

Richard L Frost, Director

Richard Frost spent his early professional career in municipal service working as Chief Commissioner of The City of Winnipeg (1989 to 1997) and before that as Chief Administrative Officer of the Regional Municipality of Peel (1979 to 1989). More recently, Rick served for over 23 years as CEO of Canada’s first community foundation – The Winnipeg Foundation (1997 to 2021). Throughout his career, he assumed many leadership roles including Chair of the Ontario Municipal Managers Association, Chair of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators and Chair of Community Foundations of Canada. He has also served on many local boards.

 

During his time at The Winnipeg Foundation, its impact on the community grew significantly. Each year, grants now reach more than 1000 organizations. Annual distributions grew from about $5 million when he started to over $73 million when he retired. While Rick has extensive experience in the management of endowments, his favourite projects were strategic initiatives like Downtown Green Spaces, Nourishing Potential and Literacy for Life. He still is Chair of The Foundation’s Centennial Institute which provides community grants that celebrate Canadian and Indigenous history.

Rick is invested into the Order of Manitoba. He holds an MA (History) from McMaster

University, an MPA from Queen’s University and Honorary Doctorates of Law from both University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba. In 2009, he was the first recipient of the Ihsan Award presented by the Islamic Social Services Association.

With their son and daughter both living in Winnipeg, Rick and his wife Nancy always look forward to cottage life during the summer when their family and particularly their three beautiful granddaughters can spend time together at the lake.

Thomas P. Dooley, Director

Tom has been an active leader in the Manitoba community starting from his college days at University of Manitoba in the 1960s. He has inspired others to become better participants and citizens. He is a champion of critical thought and the development of strong leadership.

 

In 2019, The St. Paul’s College Ignatian Society at the University of Manitoba presented Tom with the inaugural “Magis Prize for Influence and Leadership”. Tom was selected for his participation and passion in his area of expertise and for serving the community in various leadership capacities.

He served the College in several capacities dating back to 1964 when he served as Senior Stick (1964-1965), while a student at the College. After his graduation, Dooley served as the first Chair and as a founding member of the St. Paul’s College Alumni and Friends Association Inc. (1990-1993). Dooley went on to serve as a Governor (1992-2010) for 18 years and its Chair (2005-2008) of the Board of Governors; as Director of the St. Paul’s College Foundation Inc. (2005-2010); and as a founding director of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at St. Paul’s College (2002-2016).

The University of Manitoba further benefited from his leadership and expertise by his service as Senior Stick with the Faculty of Law (1968-1969); on the University of Manitoba’s Board of Governors in 1993-1996 including serving as Vice-Chair (1995-1996). He also taught as sessional lecturer and adjunct professor in the Faculty of Agriculture.

Tom’s passion for his community extends well beyond the University of Manitoba campus. He served as a dedicated Director on the Boards of St. John’s Ravenscourt, the Reh-Fit Centre and its Foundation, Rossbrook House Foundation, and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. He has been often a sought-out speaker and presenter in the agricultural, legal and non-profit industries.

Dooley’s involvement in the community has been recognized with numerous other awards throughout his career. In 1997 Dooley was the recipient of the University of Manitoba’s Distinguished Service Award for his involvement in student housing for twenty-five years. He received the Lexpert Zenith Award, Leadership Through Change (2012); the Distinguished Service Award from St. John’s Ravenscourt School (2011); and the Harry Mardon Award for outstanding service as Director of Manitoba Chambers of Commerce (2009).

Dooley specialized in corporate and commercial areas with an emphasis on agricultural-related organizations, co-operatives and not-for-profits, charities, legislative drafting and administrative law as partner with MTL Aikins. Now retired he is enjoying time with his grandchildren, traveling, sailing, and spending time at the lake.

Austin Abas, Director

Professional background

Austin Abas is the Regional Managing Partner for KPMG’s Western Regions Practice in Canada, the Managing Partner of the office in Winnipeg and the past Chair of the Board of Directors for KPMG in Canada.

He possesses more than 30 years of experience as an Audit Partner with a number of significant local, regional and national clients including public and private companies, not-for-profit organizations and registered charities.

Austin is a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) and a Fellow CPA (FCPA), a designation which formally recognizes those CPA members who have rendered exceptional services and brought honour to the profession through their achievements and community contributions.

He is a long-standing member of The Associates, Asper School of Business and The Institute for Corporate Directors (ICD) and also an instructor for the latter, where he brings current practices on governance to audit committee attendees.

Community

Austin’s record of service to the community is exemplary. With the United Way of Winnipeg, he has served as Co-Chair of the General Business Campaign since 2012, as Account Executive for five years, plus on the Major Donor Cabinet. Austin has been a dedicated member of The Winnipeg Foundation’s Audit Committee for 4 years. Additionally, he has been a Board Member of Seven Oaks General Hospital Foundation for the last 10 years and the Alhijira Islamic School for the past 12 years.

Together with his family, Austin has made a number of leadership donations over the years to a variety of community organizations, including: University of Winnipeg, Habitat for Humanity, United Way of Winnipeg, Candace House, The Dream Factory, Manitoba Islamic Association, and the Holy Names House of Peace.

Sofia Mirza, Director

Sofia Mirza is a partner with the law firm of Fillmore Riley LLP in Winnipeg. She created the immigration department at her law firm 19 years ago and practises mainly in the areas of business immigration law, spousal sponsorships, criminal inadmissibility with a main focus on international professional athletes, coaches and consultants in the professional sports industry in Canada. She is the elected Chair of the Manitoba Bar Association’s Immigration Law Section and is also an elected member of the CBA’s National Immigration Law Executive.

 

Sofia is also a Past President of the Manitoba Bar Association and is a Life Council Member of its Board of Directors. She also sits on the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and United Way, Winnipeg Boards. She has been invited to present on a variety of immigration issues including employer compliance, work permits, study permits, labour market assessments and criminal inadmissibility at local, national and international conferences, as well as a guest lecturer at the law school and colleges across Canada.

She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and World Culture in addition to her Bachelor of Laws Degree. She has also been named to the Best Lawyers list in Canada for immigration for the past 9 years and was awarded its “Lawyer of the Year for Immigration Law” for 2022. When you can’t find Sofia at the office, you can find her at the dojo where she trains as a 4th degree black belt in Shotokan Karate, representing Team Manitoba at National competition and as a member of Team Canada, bringing home a silver and bronze medal for Canada in 2018.

Muslim Legacy Fund Staff

Nadia Paul, Administration

Nadia has always had a passion for helping her community, and for working collaboratively to achieve better results for the future. Nadia has largely been shaped by her family upbringing and their Caribbean heritage. While earning her BA in International Development Studies from The University of Winnipeg, Nadia had the opportunity to live in Kenya during her practicum. This time solidified her understanding that humans have more that connects us, than separates us.

Nadia’s drive and desire for honouring culture has lead her to many roles supporting newcomers to Winnipeg, including IRCOM (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba ), Career Trek, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg. Nadia is now an International Recruiter, assisting people on their educational journeys to Canada and is also involved with Holy Names House of Peace Board and the first EDI (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee ) Committee of the University of Winnipeg. She is honoured and excited to be a part of the Muslim Legacy Fund.

Outside of work you can find Nadia drawing at home or planning her next travelling experience. She believes food is the best way to understand a place, it’s people and it’s history, so you already know the way to her heart!