CCAE 2012 Program Committee


James Allan, Ph.D., Senior Director, Alumni, York University

With a background in communications, research and academia, James Allan has been a member of York’s Alumni Relations team for the past 6 years, and has been leading the office since 2005.

After completing his Ph.D. in Communications, James taught as a lecturer at a number of universities in Massachusetts and New York before joining the team at York. In addition to his academic experience, James has worked in advertising at Toronto’s GreyInteractive and in publishing at New York’s AdventureHouse. 

James holds degrees from University of Toronto, McGill University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is thinking he has been at York long enough to be considered an honorary alumnus by now!  

Frank Cerisano, Executive Director, Office of Alumni Engagement and Development, Centennial College
Frank Cerisano has 19 years of fundraising development experience. Prior to joining Centennial College, he was the Executive Director of Advancement for the Sheridan Institute.

Frank spent the majority of his career in the healthcare sector. He served as the National Vice President of Development for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), where he led the Canadian arm of a $1 billion international campaign for type one diabetes research. Frank was a Campaign Director with Ketchum Canada, where he managed to completion a $10M campaign to build the new Woodstock General Hospital and was part of a team that laid the groundwork for Sunnybrook and Women’s Foundation’s $300 M M-Wing expansion campaign.

Frank recently joined Centennial College after he and his team raised $37M of a $30M goal for the Sheridan Institute. He is on the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Golden Horse Shoe and is a member of the committee of Advancement for Colleges Ontario.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University and a post-graduate diploma in corporate communication from Seneca College.

Tessa Derksen, Advancement & Alumni Office, Okanagan College

From 2005 to 2010, Tessa worked with a team of top-notch fundraisers at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum during the most successful cultural campaign in Canada (over $272 million raised). While working at the ROM, she was involved in everything from stewarding major sponsors to developing fundraising material, including speeches, proposals, and marketing pieces.

At Okanagan, as in many in small shops, Tessa does a little bit of everything, from providing administrative support for the Okanagan College Foundation Board to writing investment reports for major campaign donors.

She holds a graduate diploma in Not-For-Profit Arts Marketing and Development from Waterloo University and the Cultural Careers Council of Ontario; and an English degree (with distinction) from University of Victoria, BC.

Julia Drake, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, Branksome Hall

Julia Drake has more than 25 years’ experience in marketing and communications, specializing in areas such as media relations, publishing, and brand management. Prior to joining Branksome Hall in 2008, she oversaw marketing and communications at Upper Canada College. Previously, she was a communications specialist in the health-care sector. She has also worked as a magazine editor, a newspaper reporter, and a senior advisor to an Ontario cabinet minister. A graduate of Queen’s University (English), she studied Print Journalism at Ryerson University.  

Nadina Jamison, Assistant Dean and Executive Director Advancement, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto

Nadina Jamison oversees private-sector revenue generation and stakeholder relationship building efforts on behalf of the Faculty of Arts and Science, the largest Faculty in Canada and highly ranked internationally. Nadina started her career as the recipient of a prestigious McConnell Fellowship, followed with progressively broader advancement roles at both York University and University of Toronto.
In addition to her professional background, Nadina has gained much from her volunteer experiences. She is the Co-chair of the 2012 CCAE National Conference. She served as a member of the Board of Directors for CCAE from 2003 - 2007.  During her term, she chaired the Awards and Volunteer Management Committees and co-chaired the Prix D’Excellence program in 1997 and 1998. From 1997 - 2006 she was a member of the Board of Governors for St. Jerome’s University, serving on its Human Relations Committee.

Drew Martin, Tech Services, External, Western University

Drew has worked at Western for 11 years, initially as a Manager - Information Management and subsequently as the Director of Technology Services (External).

External at Western comprises Communication and Public Affairs, Alumni & Development, Advancement Services, and Technology Services. Western has over 260,000 alumni in its database and uses the Oracle Contributor Relations and Convio Illuminate systems.

John McKay, Director Advancement Services, McMaster University

John has worked at McMaster for 20 years, initially as a System Coordinator and subsequently as the Director of Advancement Services.

Advancement Services at McMaster comprises biographical records, donations processing, research, and systems services. McMaster has over 150,000 alumni in its database and uses the Sungard Advance system.

Gillian Morrison, Assistant Vice President, Divisional Relations and Campaigns, Division of University Advancement, University of Toronto

Reporting to the Vice-President, Advancement, Gillian provides leadership, strategic direction, and priority setting to the University’s institutional campaign and divisional campaigns. She helps to grow fundraising performance, build organizational capacity, and instill best fundraising practices across the University’s multiple divisions and campuses. 

A senior fundraising executive, Gillian brings extensive experience in campaign development, campaign consulting, strategic planning and prospect development.  Prior to joining the University of Toronto in 2009, she served as a Vice President at KCI Ketchum Canada and a member of KCI’s executive team. In addition to providing strategic advice and counsel to a broad range of universities, hospital foundations and charities from all sectors across Canada, she led the launch and development of KCI’s strategic planning and executive search practices. 

Gillian Morrison began her career in the Government of Ontario, where she held positions with the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. 

She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Public Administration, both from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Mark Rittinger, Executive Director, Development and Alumni Relations, Schulich School of Business, York University

Mark returned to the Schulich School of Business at York in February 2009 as Executive Director, Development and Alumni Relations. He has worked at two internationally recognized business schools, in both Canada and the United States: the Schulich School at York and the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Booth was engaged at that time in a successful seven-year, $250 million campaign as part of the University of Chicago’s $2 billion Chicago Initiative.

Mark previously served as Vice President, Development for the Royal Ontario Museum Governors as part of a team which raised more than $250 million in support of the transformational Renaissance ROM project.

Schulich is Canada’s largest business school, with nearly 24,000 alumni living and working in more than 90 countries around the world.

Erin Sargeant Greenwood, CFRE, Associate Vice President, Development, University of Waterloo

Erin joined the University of Waterloo in 2008, providing leadership and strategic direction to the university’s fundraising team in the Office of Development & Alumni Affairs. Erin and her team are responsible for Annual, Leadership, Planned and Major Gift fundraising, working with and supporting faculty colleagues.

Prior to joining the University of Waterloo, Erin’s career spans more than 15 years at organizations such as Nipissing University, York University and KCI. During her more than 7 years at KCI, Erin worked with not-for-profits in every sector as Campaign Director and then Associate Vice President, Corporate.

Erin graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a member of CASE, CCAE, CAGP and AFP. A former Board member of the AFP Golden Horseshoe Chapter and Chair of the 2010 Golden Horseshoe National Philanthropy Day celebration, Erin enjoys these opportunities to support the profession and work with amazing volunteers and leaders. 

Mark Sollis, Associate Vice-President, Alumni, University Relations, University of Calgary
Mark Sollis was recently appointed as the first Associate Vice-President, Alumni Relations at the University of Calgary. His PSE experience in external relations, student affairs, and administrative services includes roles in media, alumni and government relations; strategic counsel to post-secondary executives; budget and finance; and major project management. Appointed to a major review on education - Alberta’s Commission on Learning - in 2002, Mark led recommendations in areas of early childhood development and post-secondary transitions within education and the community support continuum.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Applied Communications (Journalism) from Mount Royal University and is currently completing a Masters of Arts in Professional Communication (International and Intercultural Communications) at Royal Roads University.

Julie Zahab, Interim Director, Marketing and Production, Ryerson University

Julie Zahab is a a Ryersonian through and through. She holds a Ryerson degree in Radio and Television Arts and a Certificate in Business Communication. The year 2012 marks her 25th year at Ryerson.

The first 17 years were spent in undergraduate admissions recruitment, where she travelled extensively and coordinated national recruitment efforts. The last seven have been in University Advancement, first as Manager of Marketing and Communications and currently as Interim director of Marketing and Production. Julie works with a talented group of professionals and is having a great time telling Ryerson’s stories.