Congratulations to the 2021 Distinguished Service Award recipients!
CCAE is thrilled to announce the 2021 award recipients, and will be rolling out virtual announcements by celebrating the winners every week beginning in April. To celebrate along with us and share in recognition of their achievements follow @ccaecanada on (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram), or on Linkedin.
2021 CCAE Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient - Supported by Manulife
It is with great honour that CCAE celebrates the highly distinguished career of Dr. Rod Morrison with the 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award. Morrison’s career spans a multitude of Canadian non-profit and advancement roles, and his expertise has had a positive impact on CCAE and our members through his role on the Board.
Following more than a decade in the voluntary health sector, Morrison joined the Advancement team at McMaster University in 2002, where his leadership style and commitment to engagement and meaningful involvement (both for alumni volunteers and staff) contributed to many institutional accomplishments. One of the key aspects of his history with McMaster was to further the reach and scope of the University’s reputation with international alumni, contributing strongly to the success of the $474-million Campaign for McMaster University.
Rod was instrumental in growing our support everywhere he went. McMaster is still benefitting from the relationships he solidified during those years. In fact, when the campaign came to an end the decision was made to keep Rod in that role. A real testament to his impact.
Roger Trull, Retired Vice President, Advancement
After a decade at McMaster, Morrison made the move to Acadia University as Vice-President, Advancement, serving also as President of the Acadia University U.S. Foundation and President of the Acadia University Foundation. Arriving at Acadia as a seasoned advancement leader, Morrison quickly took the helm and his tenure there has produced excellent results not only in terms of investment in the institution but in the ever more important area of stewarding and enhancing relationships and community connections. He has broadened the alumni program and reinvigorated events across North America and around the world, leading the institution to record years in fundraising that culminated with the Campaign for Acadia surpassing its $75-million goal by almost $12 million.
Morrison’s legacy will be long-lasting at Acadia, where his collaborations with staff, faculty, volunteers, and the community have underscored his commitment to service and stewardship, and an approach that emphasizes accountability, transparency and respectful communication with every stakeholder group.
Advancing education is at the very core of Rod’s values. He is a highly educated individual who came full circle with his doctoral degree to sit at the executive table of Acadia University with other academics and business leaders to further the school’s mission. He has demonstrated the strongest work ethic and commitment to excellence every step of the way, inspiring his teams to strive for the best in all they do.
Nancy Handrigan, CFRE, Vice-President, Advancement (Interim)
Beyond his work within these exceptional institutions, Morrison is also dedicated to the broader advancement and educational community. In addition to sitting on the CCAE Board and speaking at various conferences, Morrison co-chaired a National Conference and has consistently taken advantage of professional development opportunities provided by CCAE, encouraging his staff to pursue their own aspirations within CCAE as well. In addition, he is also a founding board member of The PETNA Foundation, which provides financial assistance and intellectual capital to projects focusing on youth, education, and community development.
Giving back to the community is core to Rod, in his personal, and his professional life. This spirit is what has enabled him to be so successful in helping others to see the merit in giving back to the Acadia University community.
Thank you, Rod Morrison, for your esteemed work as a champion, in so many ways, for the Canadian advancement sector and beyond – you are a true testament to the meaning of this award and what is meant by achieving professional excellence.
2021 CCAE Friend of Education Award Recipient - Supported by Offord Group
Dr. Roger Warren is an inspiring, generous, and humble philanthropist who has been making an impact within four Canadian educational institutions and beyond for over 50 years. His gifts, time and philanthropic mindset have created monumental strides for the Canadian education sector, and all of those connected to him are united in their fervor with profound gratitude.
Following his truly aspirational career which encompasses many accomplishments in the world of business, Warren founded the private family foundation, the Rathlyn Foundation in 1979, alongside his late wife Mary. Through the awe-inspiring vision of the foundation he is committed to better society, and enrich the lives of many by investing in medical education and research, veterinary science and education, persons with disabilities, and Indigenous students.
Recently, the Rathlyn Foundation's support was instrumental for the University of Prince Edward Island, and allowed the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) at UPEI to move forward with creating a Diagnostic Imaging Centre. The support for AVC is an important enhancement of the the Centre’s capacity to diagnose medical conditions affecting animals. Further, the foundation supports AVC students through the many generous scholarships and funds that the Warren family has established. One of these funds supports the Chinook Project, which provides free essential veterinary care to remote communities in Northern Canada where veterinary medical services are not available. In recognition of his significant contributions to education and community, UPEI presented Roger Warren with an honorary degree in 2019.
“With a history of involvement and philanthropy across Canada that shows a deep appreciation for education and its importance to our future, we believe that Dr. Roger Warren is a very worthy recipient of the CCAE Friend of Education Award”
Myrtle Jenkins, Executive Director, Department of Development and Alumni Engagement, University of PEI
Moving back in time, Dr. Warren's path to success was not an easy one. Starting in 1951 at McGill University he entered the Commerce program for three years, and although he did not complete the 4th year due to a learning disability, he continues to make an impact on students at McGill by sharing his inspiring story about making his way through life with dyslexia.
Warren remarked in an article, “Perhaps because I did not have the typical university path, I am all the more interested in investing in students [...] They’re the future of Canadian society.”
In his typical modest regard (preferring to remain anonymous), Warren has made many investments to McGill for over 50 years. Through the Rathlyn Foundation, Warren has endowed graduate and professional degree fellowships across the Faculties of Arts, Law, Science, and the Desautels Faculty of Management. Warren recognizes the plurality of Canadian society and seeing how that is reflected in higher education. In addition, through the foundation he created the Rathlyn Fellowship in the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, which covers the expenses of an Indigenous student admitted to a Master’s or Doctoral program so that they may pursue research tied to study of Canada. The plurality is also made clear in the many ways through which he promotes disabilities rights. A significant portion of his generosity was directed towards the Office for Students with Disabilities at McGill and later he gave towards student activities and fellowships in the Faculty of Law to promote scholarship at the intersection of disability and the law.
“The myriad of initiatives he has supported reaches far across our University, and helps ensure that all students can thrive in higher education and secure opportunities for their futures. His deep commitment to McGill’s students bespeaks of his recognition that the shaping of a more equitable and innovative Canadian society begins with education.”
Marc Weinstein, Vice-Principal, University Advancement, McGill University
Continuing on his path of volunteerism and philanthropy, Warren serves as a member of the Pickering College Corporation, responsible for electing the board of directors for the independent school, holding the school in trust, and ensuring long-term success. With many other roles at Pickering College, the school recently recognized Dr. Warren with its Class of 1842 Award, the highest honour that Pickering College awards to alumni, former faculty, and staff who distinguish themselves. This award honours individuals whose service to education at a Canadian school, college, or university is so exemplary that it is a significant milestone in the development of that institution or has a national or international impact.
The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) of the University of Guelph is another institution that has benefited from the Rathlyn Foundation's & Warren’s support through many generous scholarships provided to students, again mostly made anonymously. Dr. Warren was one of the founding members of the Ontario Veterinary College Pet Trust over thirty years ago. He served as Board Chair for 6 years and still serves as Honorary Member on its board. He has also served on the board of trustees for the University of Guelph Heritage Fund. In addition, Warren was a member of the campaign cabinet for the University of Guelph's Better Planet Project. This campaign raised over $2,000,000 to enhance teaching and learning, research, scholarships, and facilities. For his efforts, the University of Guelph awarded Dr. Warren an honorary degree in 2010 to recognize his advocacy in health sciences and veterinary medicine, including his involvement in creating the Ontario Veterinary College Pet Trust.
“By combining his passion for animal health innovation with student support, Roger has had an extraordinary influence on our research output potential. Moreover, Roger’s foundational role in the creation of OVC Pet Trust and its highly successful memorial program has led to a legacy of more than three decades of support. Roger’s personal engagement in the success of our students and his commitment to OVC is truly unique.”
Jeffrey J. Wichtel BVSc, PhD, Dip. ACT, Professor and Dean, University of Guelph
It is CCAE’s distinct honour to celebrate and recognize the impressive philanthropic and altruistic efforts of Dr. Roger Warren with the 2021 Friend of Education Award.
Olivia Wyllie, Concordia University
Olivia Wyllie joined Concordia University as Manager of the Annual Giving Call Centre, where she took on the role with full force, overseeing its staff and 50 student employees, and has already become a valued member of the Concordia community. She is a consummate professional: collaborative, well-liked, and respected by her peers.
“She is driven to succeed, with an innate curiosity and genuine desire to learn, develop her skills, and advance in her career.”
Paul Chesser, BA 94, GrDip 97, Vice-President, Advancement, Concordia University
When the pandemic hit, Wyllie s efforts were one of Concordia’s great success stories. During the spring and summer of 2020, she effectively transitioned Concordia’s Call Centre into a remote operation, which required entirely new approaches to recruitment, IT, administration and so much more. Despite a significant reduction to the student workforce, and contrary to expectations, the phone program is on track to meet or exceed previous results. In addition to the success of her efforts for Concordia, many colleagues at peer institutions have shared that her efforts have guided and inspired them to pursue similar solutions.
Beyond her role, Wyllie seeks out opportunities within other facets of the University, and to further her own aspirations. Recently, she has agreed to serve on the fundraising subcommittee of the President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism, whose mandate is to oversee wide-ranging anti-racism efforts across Concordia in order to help the university better serve as a diverse and welcoming place with deep connections to the community. She is also currently pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration at Concordia on a part-time basis.
Wyllie has many past career and volunteer experiences that have helped form her passion and dedication. She has served as the Vice-President of Communications, Young Leaders Committee, and as a Community Engagement Committee Member at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where she made quite the impact to former colleague Ana Isabel Otero:
“Ms. Wyllie has been an inspiration for people living with DT1 in her role as a committee member. She took the time to talk with adults and families who had recently been diagnosed with DT1, to share her experience and to offer support. Her interpersonal and communication skills, her ability to listen and to express herself made JDRF's community involvement program grow and position the organisation as a resource of choice for families and adults with DT1 who are seeking support and information.”
In addition in a previous role as Development Officer at Trans Canada Trail she “trailblazed” fundraising strategies, and again enamoured her colleagues:
“She met every challenge, deadline, and goal presented and tackled every challenge with professionalism and grace. With her willingness to learn and tackle new challenges, Olivia presented ideas and solutions that were insightful and practical, and improved our efficiency and strengthened processes throughout the organization.”
Sandra Pimpao, Director, Development, Trans Canada Trail
“From day one, Olivia’s emotional intelligence and leadership were flagrant, as she demonstrated such tact and respect for my team’s capacity, while ensuring our fundraising strategies were still being propelled forward.”
It is with esteemed pleasure CCAE recognizes Olivia Wyllie as a 2021 Rising Star, a very well-deserved honour for her glowing accomplishments and the current and future success of Concordia University.
Lyndsay Montina, University of Lethbridge
Lyndsay Montina has been creating massive change at the University of Lethbridge for the past 4 years, within her role as Manager of Alumni Relations. Montina’s mindset of building engagement in this small shop has brought a fortitude of success for the University.
She is a champion of advancement and has effectively sought to build the profession one person at a time, through the successful candidacy of 2 consecutive TD Insurance Meloche Monnex fellows, and the introduction of dozens of students to the work of Advancement, through the student advancement club she helped establish.
“Lyndsay is the cornerstone behind why Alumni Relations has come as far as it has in such a short time. We are a small ship, but with her vision and leadership, our team is able to achieve efficiencies, generate value for our audience and maintain momentum as we look forward.”
Karissa Hartley, Alumni Engagement Coordinator, University of Lethbridge, 2019 TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship Recipient
Montina’s passion for effectively engaging alumni, has inspired many new institutional initiatives including the first-ever large-scale alumni needs assessment in 2017, and from those findings she has created an impressive suite of unique alumni programming, four new alumni chapters and the development of a strong student-to-alumni transition program. Her strategic mindset has also brought a greater understanding of alumni accomplishments to the broader community, and her work with the Alumni Achievement Awards program resulted in the largest nomination pool the University has ever seen.
With a grand vision of a highly engaged alumni base, she has developed strategies and programs that have doubled the number of engaged alumni at the University. If ever there is an opportunity to integrate alumni presence into a project, she is the first in line to explore that avenue. Montina sees the big picture, and she knows that the path forward for any institution is found in the investment made in diverse voices and teams.
“Lyndsay has made great strides in working with the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association. This organization, with her guidance and support, has been energized and refocused. It is becoming common place for others on our campus to be ever mindful of the wholistic journey of our students starting as a prospect, moving to student and finally an alumnus.”
Michael Whipple, Director, Office of the President, University of Lethbridge
Montina is a highly engaged volunteer outside of uLethbridge, with positions within CASE, CCAE, Imagine Canada, as past Board President of the Boys and Girls Club, Lethbridge and the YWCA, Lethbridge & District, and as a facilitator and mentor for the Government of Alberta Leadership Program.
In such a short span Montina is definitely making a difference to all who have the pleasure to connect with her. Her dedication to her role at the University of Lethbridge is a testament to her incredible commitment to making student and alumni experiences both memorable and valuable. CCAE is thrilled to provide this recognition to Lyndsay Montina as a 2021 Rising Star, and is excited to see what the future of her career holds for the broader Canadian Advancement landscape.