Leaders in the Fundraising Frontier

#FD2020 Speakers

Maeve Strathy
Maeve Strathy is a passionate and driven Fundraising Strategist at Blakely Inc. Every day, she works with her clients on meeting and exceeding their fundraising goals, through a focus on insights-driven strategy, high-value donor relationships, integrated multi-channel fundraising, and the best possible donor experience. Prior to Blakely, Maeve spent nearly a decade in educational fundraising. In her previous role at Wilfrid Laurier University, Maeve grew the mid-level program by 70%.
Aimée Lindenberger, CFRE
Aimée is Chief Engagement Officer at Refocus Communications & Fundraising. She gets to spend her days helping charitable organizations make the world a better place, and she can’t think of anything she’d rather do. With her degree in Graphic Communications Management, double minors in Marketing and Multimedia, a tender heart and insightful mind, and nearly twenty years of marketing and communications experience, she has worked with charities across Canada, helping them build fundraising program.
Jennifer Bernard, CFRE
Jennifer Bernard is a Certified Fund Raising Professional and has held senior leadership positions within a variety of institutions across the charitable and not-for-profit landscape including the Ontario Science Centre, Royal Conservatory of Music, Trillium Health Partners and McMaster Children’s Hospital. Jennifer is currently the President & CEO of Women’s College Hospital Foundation, one of Canada’s oldest and most iconic healthcare institutions.
Kevin Brezina
Kevin is a fundraiser and direct marketing specialist with over ten years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector. As Senior Manager, Direct Marketing, Kevin leads the direct marketing team at CAMH Foundation, helping to deliver monthly, annual, and symbolic giving programs that raise over $7M annually. He is driven to pursue innovation in all he does, and he and his partner share their Toronto home with 4 cats, 2 kids, and one bulldog.
Anne-Marie Newton
Anne-Marie Newton has over 17 years of front line fundraising experience in the United States and Canada. Originally from Yarmouth, Maine, she began her career as an Associate Director in the Duke University Annual Fund before moving to Toronto in 2006. After 8 years in Major Gifts and Alumni Relations in the independent school sector, she joined SickKids Foundation as an Associate Director in 2014. She is currently Director, Major Gifts at SickKids.
Deborah Gillis
Ericka Tovey
Ericka is a passionate fundraiser with more than 13 years of experience holding various senior leadership roles in international development and health sectors. Ericka is passionate about data and using these insights to drive innovative multi-channel fundraising that has raised millions of dollars over the span of her career. In her previous role at Diabetes Canada, Ericka was the pioneer of many innovative campaigns, one of which is now the organization’s most successful fundraising campaign.
Josh Lai, CFRE
In his role as Campaign Director, Major Gifts at Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation (TGWHF), Josh leads campaigns supporting the Soham & Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre; the Lung Centre; the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease; and the Diabetes Program at University Health Network, Canada’s largest research and teaching hospital. He is part of a team that raises over $150 million annually for Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals.
Tara Irwin, CFRE
Tara has been raising money online for over 10 years. With small shop, hospital foundation and agency work experience, Tara brings an integrated approach to developing fundraising and digital marketing campaigns. Along with developing digital fundraising strategies for Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation, Tara is a part time-instructor in the Fundraising Management program at Humber and a member and volunteer with the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter.
Ted Garrard
Ted Garrard is the CEO of SickKids Foundation, responsible for raising funds for The Hospital for Sick Children, one of the most respected children’s hospitals in the world, and for granting funds across Canada to advance child health. SickKids Foundation is one of the largest charity foundations in Canada holding endowments of more than $1 billion. Previously, Ted was Vice President at The University of Western Ontario where he raised more than $600M in private funding.
Maytal Kowalski
Starting in arts administration, Maytal began exploring the digital space as it relates to arts and non-profits early in her career. After going back to school for Strategic Marketing, she decided to focus solely on digital marketing within these sectors. It has always been her mission to do good work that helps the world. Prior to working at ST, Maytal worked as the Digital Marketing Strategist for The Second City, managing and executing on all digital campaigns.
Cathy Preston
Neha Trivedi
Neha is passionately committed to building and nurturing meaningful connections between donors and the causes they support. She is currently the Senior Development Officer, Annual Giving at Kids Help Phone and firmly believes in the power of direct mail especially when orchestrated with integrated digital strategies. When resources have been constrained, Neha has successfully applied small tweaks to effect better and stronger results over time at the organizations she’s worked at.
Rickesh Lakhani, CFRE, MBA
Rickesh passionately believes that every donor, supporter and volunteer deserves to feel excellent about their interactions with a cause, and that the duty of a fundraiser is to bring passion towards enhancing the donor experience every day. He champions and encourages others to create a unique, fun, personalized, and meaningful experience for their stakeholders to drive engagement and giving to new heights. Rickesh is the Executive Director at Future Possibilities for Kids.
Deborah Legrove
Michael Johnston
Mike Johnston has been a fundraiser for 30+ years and has worked with many social impact and charitable organizations in Canada, the US, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. Mike is an expert in fundraising innovation and integrated fundraising – especially in the use of digital technologies.
He was the founder of the leading, global consultancy, Hewitt and Johnston Consultants in 1992 where he had a hand in creating some of the first digital fundraising tools and campaigns in the late 90s.
Cherie Cohen
Cherie has been playing in the digital space since 2004. Never straying too far from the early days of her career, Cherie quickly became an early adopter of all things new in technology. Cherie is a change agent and an unapologetic disruptor, always more comfortable being uncomfortable, challenging the status-quo.
Ken Mayhew
As President and CEO of the William Osler Health System Foundation (Osler Foundation), Ken is proud to work alongside volunteers and staff to rally the community to achieve its successful $100 million campaign. A true believer in the strength of diversity, Ken’s leadership has nurtured fundraising programs that are reflective of and meaningful to the diverse communities Osler serves.
Emma Lewzey, CFRE
Emma Lewzey has 20+ years’ experience raising millions of dollars across the arts, education, health and human services sectors. She’s the founder of Blue Sky Philanthropy, where she works with non-profits to increase their revenue and exceed their fundraising goals by helping them raise more 5, 6 and 7-figure donations. When it comes to video, Emma practices what she preaches - using live broadcasts, personalized video and online training to teach and connect with fundraisers around the world.
Janice Moro, CFRE, CHRL, MBA
Janice has 25 years senior management experience - half within the corporate sector leading best-in-class national customer teams in financial services and the other leading fundraising teams in the NFP sectors, with annual goals up to $20M across major gifts, legacy corporate, leadership annual giving, multi-cultural, and women in philanthropy. Janice is currently principal of JR Moro Consulting, providing leadership and capacity building support to Canadian small and mid-size charities.
Mikhael Bornstein, CFRE
Having worked in the arts, health, social service, and education sectors, Mikhael Bornstein has more than twenty years of experience as a professional fundraiser. Throughout his career he has been involved in all areas of fundraising but has developed special expertise in gift planning and direct marketing. Mikhael is an AFP Master Trainer and a frequent speaker at conferences across North America. He is the Associate Director of Philanthropy at Ecojustice and teaches at George Brown College.
Meredith Ferguson, MISt
Meredith Ferguson is Director, Marketing and Communications at Michael Garron Hospital Foundation. In her role, she leads all brand, marketing, and communications activities, including the development of the Heart of the East brand platform. She also oversees multi-channel marketing campaigns. Previously, she held strategic communications roles at SickKids Foundation and Children's Aid Foundation where she played a key role in the development and rollout of a national brand.
Mo Waja
Mo Waja is a professional speaker, marketer, author, the Host of 15 Minute Fundraising and the Let's Talk Show podcasts and the former Host of the Toronto Story Archive podcast, and is an Account Manager at Blakely. Mo has developed successful storytelling strategies for personal, for-profit, and non-profit brands and has spent thousands of hours coaching industry professionals in the art of professional speaking and communication.
Jennifer Ashcroft
Jennifer Ashcroft is a native of Sudbury, Ontario and has been in the fundraising field for over 15 years, with extensive experience in events, sponsorship, employee giving and major gifts. Jennifer spent seven years as a Senior Advancement Officer with the United Way of Greater Toronto and four years as an Associate Director, Major Gifts at SickKids Foundation. She now helps lead the major gifts fundraising component of the $50 million Canadian Tire Jumpstart’s Play Finds A Way initiative.
Whitney Brown
Whitney is an experienced digital strategist and fundraiser with expertise in political and issue-based digital campaigning. As Digital Director at Public Outreach, Whitney is responsible for building and executing multi-channel engagement campaigns that generate new leads for organizations and convert supporters into donors. She works closely with some of Canada’s top charitable and nonprofit organizations to develop effective in-house acquisition and fundraising campaigns.
Wes Moon
Multi decade fundraising and technologist. Wes has worked on the commercial side and nonprofit side providing leadership, results and insight.
Ryann Miller
Ryann Miller is Director of Partnership at Grassriots, a digital fundraising creative agency based in Toronto, that serves the social profit sector. She helps social profits use digital and integrated strategies for fundraising, marketing, advocacy and engagement. She's been doing and learning digital for 13 years: most recently at Care2 for 8 years, where she helped to build the Canadian market. She's big on sector growth, building relationships, and leveraging digital to help organizations.
Steve Thomas, CFRE
Steve Thomas has been described as the 'Godfather' of Canadian direct response fundraising. Though he started off as a historical geographer and teacher, he has been a fundraiser for over 40 years. In 1980, Steve founded Stephen Thomas Associates (now Stephen Thomas Limited), Canada's first direct response fundraising agency working exclusively in the not-for-profit sector. Steve has worked with thousands of charitable and non-profit organizations in Canada, the US and internationally.
Charlotte Field, CFRE
Charlotte Field is a Senior Philanthropic Counsel at Good Works and a bonafide tech nerd. She’s also the co-author of You Can’t Take it With You: The Art and Science of Legacy Fundraising (the second edition of Iceberg Philanthropy), the go-to book on planned giving that shows fundraisers how very ordinary donors make extraordinary gifts to charity in their wills. Charlotte has woven together digital and legacy giving for a multitude of charities, including Trans Canada Trail & the MS Society.
Chris Baylis
Chris is the President and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective and a self-confessed sponsorship geek. After several years as a sponsor, Chris decided to cross over to the sponsorship sales side where he has personally closed tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals. Chris has been on the front lines of multi-million dollar sponsorship agreements and has built and coached teams to do the same with his company, The Sponsorship Collective.
Holly Wagg, CFRE
Holly Wagg, CFRE is Managing Partner and Head Counsel at Good Works. She’s the co-author of You Can’t Take it With You: The Art and Science of Legacy Fundraising (the second edition of Iceberg Philanthropy), the go-to book on planned giving that shows how ordinary donors make extraordinary gifts to charity in their wills. Through her legacy, digital and direct mail fundraising, she’s had the privilege to work with clients like WWF Canada, Kids Help Phone, University of Saskatchewan & more.
Tara George, BSc, BEd, MBA
Tara has led or played a key role in more than 320 searches during her 10 years with KCI. These have including CEO searches and other C-suite searches, plus senior fundraising, alumni, marketing communications, and advancement services searches for a wide variety of healthcare organizations, hospital foundations, universities, and other not for profit organizations.
Rebecca Sutherns, PhD, CPF
Rebecca Sutherns is the founder and CEO of Sage Solutions, an independent consulting firm that offers its clients strategic clarity and time well spent. Rebecca is a strong strategic analyst and Certified Professional Facilitator, trained in numerous facilitation methodologies. She is the Regional Director for Canada on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Facilitators.
Greg Hagin
Greg is a Partner and Managing Director at CCS, the leading strategic consulting and fundraising management firm to nonprofit organizations worldwide. Greg has designed, advised and directed more than 100 resource development initiatives and capital campaigns that have raised collectively over $10 billion, positively impacting tens of millions of lives.
Alison Garnett, RGD
Alison Garnett is Principal and Creative Director at Field Trip & Co. She has over 20 years of award-winning global design, advertising and digital experience working with brands like Porter Airlines, Cadillac Fairview, Loblaws, Chrysler, ADT, Holt Renfrew and Mini. In the non-profit sector, she has helped organizations like Michael Garron Hospital Foundation, Children's Aid Foundation, the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre and The Stop.
Dave Toycen, M.Div
Roger Ali, CFRE, MBA
Roger is a mentor, presenter and community volunteer, in addition to his professional leadership roles in the education and health care sectors. He works closely with staff, donors, volunteers and boards at all levels to strengthen organizational effectiveness through proven governance practices, innovative strategic and business plans, and comprehensive development programs to raise $100M+.
He is President & CEO of Niagara Health Foundation, past Chair of AFP Foundation for Philanthropy-Canada.
Sharon Rudy
Sharon Rudy co-leads WATSON’s Director and Executive Search
Practice. Based in Toronto, Sharon joined WATSON to lead the
firm's expansion in Ontario, offering a distinctive approach to
serving organizations driven by purpose and dedicated to making a
better Canada. Over her 24-year career in search, Sharon has earned a reputation
as a hands-on, trusted partner who is motivated by building lasting
relationships with clients and candidates.
Darrell Keezer
Darrell Keezer builds businesses with digital marketing. He owns a handful and lends his talents to hundreds more—all over the globe. Darrell was inducted into Sheridan College’s Business Hall of Fame for his work in building an award-winning agency, Candybox Marketing. His agency is listed on Macleans’ Growth 500 of the fastest growing companies in Canada and Darrell was named Entrepreneur of the Year by two organizations, won an Awards of Excellence in Business from the Governor General.
Ashley Wyand
Ashley Wyand is a Team Lead of Cyber Security Governance & Customer Trust at Blackbaud. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Geneseo, and currently has over 10 years experience in technology, with focuses in Information Security Risk Management, Project Management, and Network Operations Management. She specializes in leveraging her soft skills to improve collaboration and processes and mature the current maturity of Blackbaud’s Cyber Security program.
Natasha Wilson
Natasha is building a strong and supportive ecosystem of empowered campaigners, technology providers, expert strategists and movement partners.
Prior to joining New/Mode, Natasha was the Digital Director at cStreet Campaigns where she helped labour, NGO and political clients build progressive movements across Canada, the US and Australia. Previously, Natasha worked in leadership roles with Canadian Women's Foundation, Canadian Youth Business Foundation and CUSO International.
Oliver Hibbs
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