Spotlight Development

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“We are a team of talented, driven, likeminded individuals, all passionate about collaborating with the best in the industry to create strong, inclusive communities where people are encouraged to thrive.” Sherry Larjani, President


Sherry Larjani


Sherry Larjani is an experienced real estate developer and entrepreneur, with a focus on creating beautifully designed spaces that bring her visions to life.  Sherry began her career working as a designer at a luxury architecture firm in Toronto and quickly progressed into building new single-home builds and renovation jobs. In 2010, Sherry created Spotlight Developments, specializing in the acquisition of properties for redevelopment into high density residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects. An advocate for collaboration, she champions inclusivity and teamwork as a foundation for a successful approach towards real estate development. In 2019, Sherry partnered with Urban Capital to create Reina, a project with Canada's first all-female development team to raise awareness of gender inequality in the industry and the many roles women can play. In recent years, Sherry has completed numerous projects and partnered with many major developers including Liberty Development, Urban Capital, CentreCourt, and others, continuing her life-long legacy in the real estate industry.

Aaron Gillard

Vice President

Aaron oversees development staff in the coordination of applications through the development process, maintaining strong relationships with key stakeholders and developing new partnerships with key players in the industry. An expert in analyzing potential development sites and providing high-level strategy that allows the company to best navigate the development approval process, Aaron also assists in the management of office operations, providing oversight on company and individual project objectives. Aaron holds a degree from the University of Windsor in Urban Planning, and is a full member of both the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) and the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP), and has the designation of Registered Professional Planner (RPP) in the Province of Ontario.


Nahid Anari

Office Manager & Bookkeeper

As office manager and bookkeeper at Spotlight Developments, Nahid keeps business humming. Backed by a diploma in computerized accounting from Humber College, and an accounting degree from Iran, Nahid oversees the company's financial accounting, bookkeeping, and banking. She has been with the team since 2014 working in various roles including executive assistant and office manager.


Ahmed K Ahmed

Financial Controller

Ahmed is a detail-oriented professional, overseeing Spotlight’s financial records. Ahmed completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting at the Suez Canal University in Egypt, and brings over 20 years of diverse accounting experiences and background. Ahmed is a registered CPA, an is also a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors holding international IIA Certification. Ahmed manages full cycle accounting processes and bookkeeping, maintaining all financial records and controls for Spotlight’s development projects.


Jasmine Ashfield

Director of Communications

Jasmine is a charismatic and committed team player who oversees Spotlight’s communications, social networks and events. She manages the company’s relationships with PR firms and media outlets, crafting high-level messaging regarding Spotlight and its values. She also runs the day-to-day operations of the Aria Foundation, a charitable foundation that works with NFP partners to subsidize affordable housing projects. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Theatre from Dalhousie University and has a Digital Marketing Certificate from the Google-endorsed tech leader and education network Brain Station. She brings her past experience in art direction, event curation and real estate to our team at Spotlight and shares her expertise in facilitating strong business connections. Jasmine has been with the team since 2022.


John Buckley

Senior Director of Finance and Partner Relations

John graduated from the University of Guelph with a BA in Political Science, he continued his studies with the post-baccalaureate program at Ryerson University in Urban & Regional Planning.  John has background in construction & urban planning consulting in the private & public sector.  Born & raised in Toronto he has completed projects all across Canada.  John assists our team in project coordination, feasibility analysis, investor relations & presentations.

"I'm so glad to be a part of the Spotlight Development Team assisting with incredible projects bringing affordable housing to the GTA" - John


Kamel Samaha

Director of Construction

Kamel is a civil engineer with a master's in construction management, and an MBA. He is currently leading the construction management & coordination of developments at Spotlight. He also assists in all pre-construction matters from zoning and site plan coordination to budgeting and contractor selection, successfully creating and maintaining excellent relationships with key stakeholders and industry players along the way. Throughout his career, he has compiled +10-year experience in project and construction management. He has previously worked on prestigious mega construction projects in the Middle East; Most notably, the Riyadh Financial District (KAFD), Jeddah Airport (KAIA), and several mid-size luxury residential and commercial developments.


Jay Yeylaghi

Property Manager

Jay has a BA and MA in Financial Management from the Tehran University of Economic Science. He manages Spotlight Development’s rental properties, overseeing the day-to-day maintenance, repairs, and security. He is in charge of the leasing contracts and renewals and works with new clients to meet their rental needs. He has a friendly relationship with tenants and is a dedicated team player.


Mark Saunders

Director of Community Outreach

Mark Saunders retired from the Toronto Police Service on July 31, 2020 with near 38 years of exemplary Service. Over his last 5 years he served as Chief of Police, which at the time was the largest municipal Police Service in Canada and 4th largest in North America. 

Mark served on numerous committees and associations that address public safety issues on local, provincial, national and global levels.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his contributions to policing and service to the community, including Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for Outstanding Community Contributions.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Justice Studies. He brings his vast experience in community and government relations to his role as the Director of Community Outreach for Spotlight Affordable Ventures Non-Profit Housing. Mark believes strongly in The Inclusive Affordable Housing series and in communities building their own communities.