Board of Directors


Francis Roche

Chair of the Board

Francis brings to the Board of Directors a wealth of knowledge. Currently, he is the president of Roche Securities Ltd. based in Toronto. The firm specializes in raising capital for Canadian small cap companies with a particular focus on junior resource companies operating internationally.

A graduate of Harvard — A.B.- Government, Roche holds his LL.B/M.B.A. from McGill University, LL.M from Laval University and he is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Roche has dedicated his time and efforts to various charities including: Old Strathcona Foundation (Edmonton) where he was the President for 2 years in a row. For the Salvation Army (Edmonton), Roche led the annual fundraising drive for 2 years. As an advisor for Kids Now for several years, Roche is now excited to head the Board of Directors with the goal of expanding the organization’s reach and impact.

Roche speaks fluent Russian, French and Spanish and is studying Arabic and Mandarin.



Etienne Billette



Billette holds his BEng in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University and a MBA from the Harvard Business School. Etienne has worked at Desjardins in Sales and Trading, at TD in Sales and Trading, and at McKinsey. With his academic integrity and work experience, Billette brings to Kids Now a fresh perspective to deliver real change for Canadian youth and their self-development.

“Kids Now is a unique program that addresses youth issues right at their core. Kids in grades 7 and 8 are at a pivotal time in their lives. As they grow older and start to make life decisions for themselves, it is very important that they do so with full knowledge of the implications and confidence in themselves to make positive choices without peer pressure. Those are exactly the kind of life skills that Kids Now helps its participants to develop.”

Billette currently lives in Toronto, enjoys playing hockey, CrossFit, cycling, coaching and mentoring.


Deborah Bell

With over 15 years of internal audit and risk management roles in major retail corporations such as Hudson’s Bay Co, Bata and Sears Canada, Deborah is known as a dynamic and results-oriented leader and as a driver of change to improve operational performance and financial results.

Through a risk-based approach focused on improving business processes and identifying and implementing cost reductions, Deborah has successfully managed audit projects supporting company strategic objectives.

Deborah has previously advised KidsNow on business planning and accounting.

Deborah has been a licensed real estate sales representative since 2006, is currently a member of the Toronto Real Estate Board and is registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario.

Deborah lives in Toronto with her family and has participated and raised donations for various charities including the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer and the Jack Ride for, the only national network of young leaders transforming the way we think about mental health.

Deborah is a CA, CPA who has a BA – Economics from the University of Western Ontario and a Graduate Diploma in Public Accountancy from McGill University.

Hemant Challapally

Challapally is a bright and conscientous professional currently operating as an executive at Serent Capital where he works to drive sustained earnings impact, typically by enabling consistent sales growth. Challapally was a consultant at McKinsey for 3 years where he received an accelerated promotion for his work. Recognized as a  innovative thinker Challapally brings to Kids Now his vision and passion for youth mentorship and education.

A graduate from the Richard Ivey School of Business, Challapally has been involved with Kids Now for several years as a co-leader of the Youth Advisory Council. ​

Passionate about travelling Challapally has lived in 6 countries and has visited over 30+.