Jennifer Valliere is someone with the rare ability of being able to pay attention to many things at once, all while looking calm and collected. She is a lawyer, working at a firm large enough that she is able to devote her working day to what she loves – practising family law. And as of July 1, she will be the president of the Rotary Club of Toronto-Leaside for the next two years. She and her fiancé are planning their wedding for September 2. The 25th anniversary of the Rotary Corn Roast at Trace Manes Park, for which she bears some responsibility as president, is two weeks later on September 16. Whew!
Leaside is fortunate that when she and her fiancé were looking to buy a house in 2015, their main criterion was that it be midtown – so the commute to her office at Yonge and Sheppard or downtown wouldn’t take too long. It was sheer luck that the house they found was on a friendly block of houses on Eglinton, in Leaside.
She credits her special neighbours, who made them very welcome to “the strip,” for “getting [her] sucked into the community” and wanting to give back locally. Rotary was her choice of service club, and Toronto-Leaside in particular, because of the many local projects they support, especially in Thorncliffe. This club is relatively small, with only a few women members at this time and a number of members who are now retired but still interested in providing service. It surprised her when she joined that “being with like-minded individuals, friendships evolved even with these differences.”
Jennifer grew up in Richmond Hill, got her BA at York with a double major in philosophy and criminology. Her next stop was the University of Ottawa for law school. Although her father is French Canadian, her Japanese mother doesn’t speak French, and Jennifer isn’t bilingual, so her studies were in the English stream. She interned at the Family Law Information Centre where she really enjoyed being able “to do good and help people” as part of her job. Back in Toronto articling, she took up family law and civil litigation – the civil litigation just in case family law didn’t turn out to be her strong suit. But in fact, it did, and she now specializes in family law.
Come out to the Corn Roast on Sept. 16 to meet the local Rotary Club’s newest president.