Rising Stars - 2006

Ryan Davies
Carleton University

In just three years of work in the Department of University Advancement at Carleton – most recently as a Marketing and Communications Specialist – Ryan Davies has proven himself an indispensable member of the Advancement team. His flair for innovative marketing and strategic communications has been instrumental in the university winning a number of awards from both CCAE and CASE for website, magazine and marketing excellence.

Ryan’s skills and talents are quickly evident to the many habitués of the Carleton Café, a “communications juggernaut” that encompasses e-commerce, events management, electronic communication, affinity services and data collection in a one-stop site that serves the needs of over 12,000 Carleton alumni.

Communication to alumni has been greatly enhanced through Ryan’s work on the Carleton University Magazine and its e-mail supplement, Campus Connection. Fundraising has also benefited from Ryan Davies’s touch. He created customizable donor information kits for individual faculties, and has coordinated both national and international alumni events for Carleton.

Ryan – a graduate of both the University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan Community College – also project managed the design and creation of the CCAE 2006 conference website. His is an impressive range of achievements truly worthy of a CCAE Rising Star.


Julie Lafford
McGill Alumni Association

“Thanks to Julie’s outstanding marketing, developing and coordinating, the alumni education program at McGill has quickly become a jewel in the crown of alumni programming,” writes Leisha LeCouvie, Associate Director of Alumni Relations at McGill. As Alumni Education Associate, Julie Lafford has developed highly popular, imaginative programs that provide alumni in Montreal and farther-flung regions with unique continuing education opportunities.

From book clubs and regional speaker series featuring outstanding faculty to a public conversation series in collaboration with Concordia University, Julie has found many ways to tap and satisfy the intellectual hunger of McGill alumni. One of the panel sessions Julie developed capitalized on the popularity of the CSI television series with presentations by three Montreal forensic specialists on what their work really involves. She also coordinates broadcasts of McGill’s Mini Med and Mini Law series.

Julie’s work in alumni travel programming honed and showcased her attention to customer service in all its details. Through research, teamwork and creativity, Julie Lafford creates events and programs of depth and richness. “Whenever we want to try a new education idea,” notes Leisha LeCouvie, “we go to Julie first.”


Devika Shah
York University Foundation

One of the first Canadian universities to hire a dedicated fundraiser for international education, York University Foundation found its ideal candidate in Devika Shah. As Chief Development Officer, International, Devika is a passionate advocate of internationalizing the student experience. She has brought that zeal into developing relationships with private sector partners and building a case for support of the University’s internationalization initiatives.

Devika not only guided the development of a strategic international fundraising plan, she has been instrumental in bringing in the first two major donations to this area. Her work has raised funds for York students’ international study and work experiences, programs for the university’s 3,200 international students and for the prestigious Emerging Global Leaders Retreat.

In a previous role, Devika served as Associate Campaign Director on the University of Waterloo’s $260 million Campaign Waterloo. Widely praised for her versatility, creativity, teamwork and energy, she is also a dedicated community volunteer and a part-time student in the MBA program at York University’s Schulich School of Business.