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Our Advisory Committee

Dr Azim Parekh

CEO

Azim attended the University of Toronto and has a bachelor in Mathematics and Physical Chemistry. In 1996, he graduated Western University with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Azim leads and mentors the Practice Community from a clinical perspective and has a loyal patient following. Azim has a solid understanding of the key components of what makes a business successful and has demonstrated this time and time again through consistent revenue growth and exceptional margins. Through his journey, Azim has learnt that the success of any business is people and relationships, which breeds passion, vision and innovation.

Leslie Carrafiello

VP of Operations

 Leslie joined Smiles First from the dental sector, where she led the National Operations Team, overseeing 150+ practice locations and over 300 dentists. Leslie is known for her inspirational leadership and driving results through relationships and team building. She now oversees operations for Smiles First Academy, applying the same leadership skills she has utilized in all her roles, to create an exceptional team. Leslie has expanded the Smiles First Academy catalogue of courses from just dental and healthcare courses, to include management and self-improvement courses, and even creating her own educational material for Academy.

Mohamed Razakazi

Managing Director of Operations

Mohamed graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelors in Business Commerce and Marketing. Mohamed is an excellent coach and works with the leadership team to develop their leadership and management skills. He is now utilizing his leadership skills to develop Smiles First Academy into the leading educational provider, by providing innovative solutions and inspiring others through his exceptional management skills.

Donya Rashidi

Director of Sales & Marketing

Donya completed her degree in Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in Marketing at Saint Mary’s University, in 2008. She has over 10 years of managerial experience with a proven track record. Her diverse experience has enabled her to implement strategies that deliver results, which have greatly contributed to the growth of Smiles First Academy. At Smiles First Academy, Donya drives the marketing, audience growth, customer engagement, and monetization strategies. Donya has a keen understanding of which topics our consumers are most interested in, all while cultivating meaningful relationships with speakers and participants alike.

Shanique White

Project Coordinator

Shanique White is the Project Coordinator at Smiles First Academy, responsible for the planning and smooth execution of courses ensuring that they meet the guidelines and necessary standards of their respective fields. Shanique has 5 years of extensive experience working in sales, marketing, and public relations. She is committed to providing positive interactions with clients and students to maintain the company’s reputation. Before working here, Shanique fell in love with the dental field working as a Treatment Coordinator at a few Orthodontic practices while pursuing her bachelor’s degree. Shanique holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Public Relations from Northern Caribbean University. She is a certified Digital Marketer and believes firmly that every experience in life is preparing her for a greater opportunity.

Keerith Bhangu

Project Coordinator

Keerith completed her degree in Bachelor of General Science from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2020. Keerith worked in sales and customer service for 5 years before pursuing a career in administrative work, where she has now been working for 5 years. She joined Smiles First Corporation in 2021 as an Executive Assistant to the CEO and has since become a Project Coordinator for Smiles First Academy. Keerith’s science and administrative background give her a unique understanding on how to curate courses and speakers that are relevant with today’s trends, while effectively handling the administrative tasks required to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently.
Keerith Bhangu

Oyinkan Akinyele

Legal Counsel

Oyinkan is a corporate and commercial lawyer who has gained experience as in-house counsel in the public, health and environmental services sectors. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and holds a B.A. (Honours) in Arts, with a major in political science and minor in sociology, from the University of Waterloo. Prior to joining Smiles First, Oyinkan provided legal support to a leading waste management and recycling business during a multi-billion dollar merger. Entrepreneurial and solution-driven, Oyinkan has a track record of building relationships and communicating effectively within a fast-paced environment.

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