Past TD Fellowship profiles

In the past 20 years, dozens of advancement careers have launched and an equal number of advancement shops have flourished thanks to the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowships in Advancement.  To celebrate this milestone year of the TDI Fellowships, generously supported by TD Insurance Meloche Monnex since 1998, CCAE is proud to profile past Fellows.

Watch: A retrospective on the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowships

Julian Demkiw received his TDI Fellowship at the University of Saskatchewan in 1998 - 99. He started his career as Alumni and Development Officer at U of S, became Alumni Relations Co-ordinator and then Development Officer, worked in Student Services, and for the past 5 years has served as Chief of Staff, Office of the President.

CCAE: What did you learn in your TD Fellowship year that has served you well in your career?

Julian: The biggest thing it taught me was that working at University was a career. Even after 5 years as a student, I didn’t really understand that. It has led me to the point where I am currently working on my Ph.D in Educational Administration (Higher Ed. Focus). Without the TD Insurance Fellowship, I would have taken a completely different path with my life and career.

CCAE: What advice do you have for aspiring TD Fellowship candidates?

Julian: Always have a career plan but don’t be afraid to deviate from it. You never know where a path may take you; trust you gut and focus on the work that brings you the most joy.


 

Caroline Tremblay received a TD Insurance Fellowship while at the University of Ottawa in 2002.

She is currently the Senior Manager in the Office of the President at the University of Ottawa. Caroline oversees  the Ceremonies and Events team that manages Convocation and other high-protocol events; manages strategies and financial and human resources in the President’s Office; and supervises the recruitment to executive positions such as Vice-Presidents and Deans. During her career to date at the University of Ottawa, Caroline has served, among other roles, as Coordinator in the Alumni Relations Office;  Communications Officer, Faculty of Education; and Manager, Ceremonies and Events Office.

CCAE: What did you learn in your TD Insurance Fellowship year that has served you well in your career?

Caroline Tremblay: The Fellowship gave me great confidence in my abilities and allowed me to initiate and manage exciting projects, such as the creation of an e-newsletter for the Office of Alumni (which earned a CCAE Prix d’Excellence award). I also launched the uOttawa Official Alumni Ring, which still exists.

The Fellowship furthered my creativity and let me apply it to a professional context. It led me to develop new abilities in team management, operational skills and strategic approaches. Above all, it gave me the opportunity to forge new relationships with key people within and outside of the University. Some of these contacts have provided advice and guidance throughout my career.


 

Carly Wethersett received a TD Insurance Fellowship at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in 2004. Her story illustrates the diverse range of roles to which TD Insurance Fellows are eminently suited.

Carly Wethersett: I am currently Director of Marketing and Communications for West Coast Machinery in Langley, BC. After completing my TD Insurance Fellowship in 2004, I stayed at BCIT for nine years. I started as an event assistant for BCIT Alumni Relations, then moved to a Program and Marketing Assistant role for the BCIT/UBC Biotechnology program, and then became a Marketing and Communications Strategist in the BCIT Marketing and Communications department for five years.

In early 2013, I moved to the private sector, and I’m very happy with my current role in a progressive, medium-sized construction and truck equipment company.

CCAE: What did you learn in your Fellowship year that has served you well in your career?

Carly Wethersett: It was my first full-time professional role and it taught me a lot about working with multiple stakeholders in a large organization. The networking was unparalleled due to the structure of the Fellowship and the expectation that we would continue to attend the CCAE National Conference annually.


 

Rosa Duran received her TD Insurance Fellowship at George Brown College in 2005. She has put to use skills and connections from her Fellowship experience to help build community capacity through education.

Rosa Duran: Since my fellowship, I completed my Business Administration, Marketing Major Diploma Program at George Brown College (GBC), along with a Bachelor of Commerce at Ryerson University, and graduated in 2017 with a Master of Education in Adult Education and Community Development from University of Toronto.

Currently I am the School-College Work Initiative Program Coordinator at GBC. I oversee programming designed for grade 11 and 12 high school students who are at risk of not graduating high school. The program provides students the opportunity to complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and pursue post-secondary education. The experience re-engages students, builds their academic confidence, and makes accessing post-secondary possible.

I am also teaching in the School of Social and Community Services. My career mission is to Build Community Capacity Through Education. I am passionate about working on system change and education reform initiatives.

CCAE: What did you learn in your TD Fellowship year that has served you well in your career?

Rosa: My TD Fellowship experience cemented the idea of pursuing a career in education. I immensely enjoyed working with various members from the college community: students, alumni, staff, faculty, and administration. Through this experience I was able to expand my social network and I was able to build on my past work and student experiences and skills. The role also taught me the valuable skill of self-direction and the importance of not being afraid of failing when trying to do something new.


 

Andrew Christie, a 2005 TD Insurance Fellow from Carleton University, currently practices international trade law as counsel with the Ministry of International Trade for Province of Ontario. He credits his Fellowship with giving him the tools to launch his career.

Andrew Christie: Since completing my Fellowship, I spent a year in France learning French before moving to the UK to attend graduate school at the London School of Economics. I returned to Canada to attend law school in Ottawa, specializing in international law. During this time, I worked at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC and on a social justice fellowship in Jakarta, Indonesia. I articled and clerked at the Superior Court of Justice prior to joining that Court's Office of the Chief Justice as counsel and manager of legal research. I then transitioned to current position last year.

CCAE: What did you learn in your TD Fellowship year that has served you well in your career?

Andrew: I learned the value of contributing to and relying upon a strong team to increase the likelihood of success. Reaching out and relying on colleagues and experts within the department and around the university was crucial in ensuring I met my deliverables. I also learned about the value of nurturing relationships with internal and external stakeholders to foster trust. Finally, one of the most challenging aspects of the TD Fellowship was recognizing that while your team played a supporting role, I was ultimately responsible for my own project; recognizing this was both daunting and empowering.


 

Meaghan Moore was a TD Insurance Fellow in Advancement from 2009 - 10 at Brock University. She stayed on at Brock as Young Alumni & Student Programs Officer and then as Alumni Engagement Officer until 2014. Since 2014, Meaghan has worked for TD Insurance, first as Manager, Partner Communication & Strategy; then as Manager, Affinity Marketing Enablement; and now as Manager, Affinity Strategy with the Affinity Market Group.

Meaghan Moore:  I worked my way through a variety of alumni roles at Brock, getting a really good breadth of understanding of alumni relations. In moving to TD Insurance and working on the affinity portfolio, I've gained a lot of experience with our alumni, professional and employer partners. I’ve worked on a number of large-scale marketing campaigns, and have had a chance to develop sales strategy within the affinity business.

CCAE: What did you learn in your TD Fellowship year that has served you well in your career?

Meaghan: Having a background in Alumni Relations certainly was hugely beneficial in the career path that I've had at TD, and I never would have had the chance to grow within alumni relations had it not been for my Fellowship. I benefited from a breadth of learning and a portfolio of projects that may not have been afforded to me in a regular entry-level position. This enabled me to try on many different hats, and work in a variety of different areas over the course of the year to find my niche.

The Fellowship also taught me the importance of networking; it created an immediate network of CCAE and other TDI Fellow contacts, which ended up being beneficial resources during that year, and continued to be resources as I grew within alumni relations. Even in my role at TD Insurance, I continue to meet former alumni colleagues from schools across Canada and am able to tap into that alumni perspective, because I understand that world.

CCAE: What advice do you have for aspiring TD Insurance Fellowship candidates?

Meaghan: Make sure that your Fellowship application has breadth of opportunity. Your institution will benefit from your breadth, and so will your career and the profession overall. The uniqueness of the Fellowship is that it provides a role where previously there would not have been one; so embrace that in your application and your plan for the year. Once you become a Fellow, make sure that you actively try to soak up as much experience as you can throughout the year, with a variety of projects. And network; take advantage of the prestige the Fellowship affords you, and the introductions to experts in advancement across the country.


 

Maude Béland received her TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship in 2010-11 at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). She is currently a Consultant in Media Relations at UQAM.

Maude: I obtained this position right after my Fellowship and now it has (already!) been 8 years since I’ve held this job.

CCAE: What did you learn in your TD Fellowship year that has served you well in your career?

Maude: The Fellowship allowed me to work in the educational advancement sphere from different angles: communicational, philanthropic, relational, promotional, etc. I was able to familiarize myself with this entire field and become a better communicator in my area.

CCAE: What advice do you have for aspiring TD Fellowship candidates?

  1. The universe of Canadian educational advancement is complex and very interesting. It’s well worth the investment of time to analyze and understand it.  
  2. Immerse yourself 100% in the projects you’ll undertake. This field is not for those who take shortcuts!

 

Trina Prince was a 2011 - 12 TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellow at Nipissing University.

Trina Prince: In 2012, at the end of my Fellowship, I worked as the Alumni Relations Officer at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario for another year. The following February (2013) I moved out to Victoria, BC to do my Master’s in Leadership at Royal Roads University. I then got a job at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) as Student & Alumni Programs Coordinator. I was in this position for 3 years, during which time I also took on the position of the 50th Anniversary Event Strategist during BCIT’s 50th year. In 2016, I began working at the BCIT Student Association as Event Manager. I am now going into my second year in this role.

CCAE: What did you learn in your TD Fellowship year that has served you well in your career?

Trina:  I learned how to multitask and how to balance a heavy workload. I had a number of roles during my Fellowship that taught me about event planning, annual giving, alumni relations, etc. I really learned how to be self-sufficient and work independently. I dove in feet-first, and this helped enhance my knowledge and prepare me for my career.


 

Megan Hughes received a TD Insurance Fellowship in 2014 at the University of Guelph. She is currently the Sponsorship & Experiential Specialist for Lindt & Sprüngli Inc. Canada. 

CCAE: What was your path through the TD Insurance Fellowship and into your career?

Megan Hughes: During my Fellowship at the University of Guelph, I was offered a brief contract extension, providing more responsibility within the Young Alumni & Student portfolio. Accepting this extension allowed me to work on events with affinity partners, take the lead for Convocation ceremonies, further explore stewardship initiatives and continue to publish various content pieces including the Alumni Guide to Life After Guelph, The Annual Report, and more.

In August 2015 I left the University of Guelph to accept a newly created role as Alumni Relations & Advancement Coordinator at Holy Trinity School in Richmond Hill, ON. Privileged to work with a keen group of professionals (both advancement and academic), I continued in the advancement profession for two more years. My role included cultivating relationships with alumni, event planning, communications and CRM database management.

In October 2017, I had the opportunity to apply my relationship building, event planning and communications skills to a new industry in corporate marketing. As the Sponsorship & Experiential Specialist at Lindt & Sprungli, I manage sponsorship agreements with partners such as the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto International Film Festival and Skate Canada. It's hard to say no to chocolate, and I am very happy I took a leap of faith into the corporate world! 

CCAE: What did you learn in your TD Insurance Fellowship year that has served you well in your career?

Megan: My year as a TD Fellow taught me a strong work ethic and appreciation for the advancement industry. It provided me with the confidence to comfortably present and share my ideas in front of senior leadership, and quickly made me comfortable with public speaking. Most importantly, being a Fellow granted me the opportunity to be mentored by some exceptional leaders and learn how to network. Lisa Hood (Associate Director, Annual Fund), Karen Bertrand (former Associate VP, Major Gift Advancement) and Jason Moreton (Associate VP, Alumni Advancement) at the University of Guelph, and Ryan Brejak (Associate Director, Annual Giving, Wilfrid Laurier University) all played integral roles in my professional growth, and each offered something different.

CCAE: What advice do you have for aspiring TD Fellowship candidates?

Megan: Don’t fear the opportunity to get involved! Had I known that volunteering at the university / in advancement would kick-start my career, I would have volunteered from my first day on campus (versus my third year as an undergrad)! Be open to new ideas, people and opportunities, and when an opportunity presents itself - take it. 


 

Stacey deMolitor received a TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship at Mount Saint Vincent University in 2016. She told CCAE about the value of her Fellowship experience in her career and for her institution.

Stacey deMolitor: After completing my Fellowship at the Mount, I joined the Advancement office at Dalhousie University as an alumni engagement officer. Here, I work with the global Dalhousie community of alumni and volunteers to support the greater missions and goals of the institution. 

One of the most important things I learned during my Fellowship was the significance of data-driven decisions. My Fellowship centered on evaluating the communication, engagement, and philanthropic habits of post-secondary alumni, with specific consideration of generational differences. The lessons and insights I earned in that work have forever shaped me as a communicator. 

The beautiful thing about a TD Fellowship is that it offers the unique opportunity for the perfect union of task and talent. More often than not, an institution has a role that needs filling, and as employees we do our best to fill that need; but a TD Fellowship is the chance to recognize your strengths as a professional in combination with the needs of your organization and to embark on a year of mutual learning and growth.

 

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