Speaker Profiles



Amrhein, Kyla
Volunteer Coordinator, Office of Alumni Relations, University of Alberta

AmrheinKyla has a decade of experience in the development and management of innovative volunteer programming. She has worked with not-for-profit organizations, festivals and municipalities to build high-quality engagement opportunities. Kyla is passionate about creating a tradition of volunteerism built on a foundation of collaborative partnerships, integrated programming and the highest ethical standards.

Kyla holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta and a Certificate in Volunteer Administration, through the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration.

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Arnott, Wendy
Vice President, Digital Marketing & Social Media, TD Bank Group

ArnottWendy Arnott is Vice President, TDBank Group, responsible for North American Digital Marketing and Social Media. Wendy leads a team that works closely with TD business partners to deliver industry-leading social and digital strategies. This team helps TD achieve its goals with programs that build stronger relationships and drive business results through authentic engagement with employees and customers.

Wendy has been with TD since 2003. She brings passion and 25 years of experience in all areas of corporate communications, including a role as VP, Corporate Communications at TD, Principal at Mercer Human Resource Consulting, and senior positions at other leading organizations.

An enthusiastic speaker, Wendy has engaged with audiences at conferences around the world on the subject of social media and TD’s transformation as a social business. In July 2014, Wendy was named one of the top 25 social business leaders in the world by The Economist.

Wendy received her undergraduate degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, ON.

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Beauregard, Philippe
Chief Communications Officer, Concordia University

BeauregardPhilippe Beauregard leads Concordia's University Communications Services (UCS) and reports to Concordia President, Alan Shepard. UCS is the university’s hub for public and media relations, marketing, branding, advertising, public affairs, and internal and digital communications. Prior to his appointment in January 2010, he served as Associate Vice-Rector, Communications at the Université de Montréal.

Philippe has held a number of senior management positions, including Director, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at technology firm CGI, and Campaign Director at Ketchum Canada. He also serves as a volunteer member of the Council of Trustees at Stanstead College, and of the Boards of Les amis de la montagne and the Théâtre du Grand Jour.

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Blondeau, Louise
Managing Director, Advancement Services, McGill University

Since joining McGill University eight years ago, Louise has led a comprehensive consolidation and reorganization of McGill's Advancement Services unit, aimed at optimizing services and providing streamlined, high-quality support for all of the University's fundraising and alumni relations activities.

Prior to joining McGill, Louise, a professional accountant, served as Vice President, Finance and Administration for one of the largest owners and operators of retirement homes in the province (Chartwell - Québec). She also worked for more than a decade in various capacities, including as Executive Director, for Société d'Investissement Jeunesse, a non-profit organization that provides young entrepreneurs with financial support in starting businesses.

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Blouin, Diane
Coordinator of Annual Reunions, University of Laval Alumni Association

BlouinDiane Blouin has served as Coordinator of Annual Reunions at the University of Laval Alumni Association for 15 years. Her multiple skills have led her to work for various departments that have allowed her to acquire solid experience in client services. Whether with students, international students or retired alumni, her experience has enabled her to invest in projects that link alumni with the university community. Her varied portfolios in the University of Laval Alumni Association, based on her experiences, enable her to support more than 250 volunteers annually.

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Bomben, Victoria
Assistant Director, Digital Marketing Strategy, Sheridan College

With 23 years of experience in integrating strategies for multiple target audiences and channels, Victoria is always searching for new and innovative ways to use digital and social media to make an impact. In her current role, she is accountable for the college-wide digital marketing strategy in support of institutional vision, strategic initiatives and growth.

Prior to joining Sheridan College, Victoria worked in both corporate and agency environments, leading development and execution of multi-dimensional strategies, implementing plans and evaluating outcomes in traditional and online channels. Victoria obtained her Bachelor of Engineering Degree from University of Windsor, and her MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Bornstein, Mikhael
Director, Donor Programs, York University

Having worked in the arts, health, social service, and education sectors, Mikhael Bornstein has more than 18 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 applying direct-marketing methodologies to fundraising practice.


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Cole, Barry
President, The Cole Foundation

Born in Toronto and primarily educated at the University of Toronto, Barry Cole has had a 32-year career in the management of the performing arts, with an emphasis on classical music. He has been the Director of the Performing Arts Office at Queen’s University, designing a cultural program for both the city and the university communities; a Grants Officer in the Music Section of the Canada Council in Ottawa; Managing Director of the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra; Executive Director of the Royal and McPherson Theatres Society in Victoria, BC; and Manager of the theatre programs at the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts in Montreal.

A member of the Board of the Cole Foundation for the past 17 years, he has led the transformation of the Cole Foundation as President, as responsibilities for the Foundation have been passed to the second generation of the family. Through his leadership, support for research has become focused in pediatric and young-adult leukemia and lymphomas, with programs developed in conjunction with the Université de Montréal, McGill University, and the Institut Armand-Frappier of the Université du Québec.

The Intercultural Conversations program (Conversations Interculturelles) has increased Montrealers’ social and cultural awareness of the richness of the multi-cultural community as a whole, through presentations of professional theatre documenting these communities in dialogue with each other and the audience. Other grants are given in the same general area of intercultural dialogue.

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Davis, Julie
CFRE, Vice President, External Relations and Advancement, Trent University

Julie is responsible for Development, Alumni Affairs, Community Relations, and institutional events. The University is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is in the midst of a $50M campaign, which includes a recently completed Legacy Campaign that doubled the number of gift expectancies in just 18 months.

As President and CEO of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation, Julie Davis led two capital campaigns that exceeded goal, and raised the largest individual gift in the hospital’s history. Prior to her work in the charitable sector, Julie held senior marketing roles at Quaker Oats and Unilever. Her volunteer work in the community includes being a founding board member for the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough.

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Demers, Anne
Executive Director, University of Laval Alumni Association

DemersAnne Demers has served as Executive Director of the University of Laval Alumni Association since 2007. Having worked in the association field for 20 years, she has been able to rely on and work with hundreds of volunteers in organizational development. It was on the Laval University campus, as a student, that she first became a volunteer for the Mira Foundation. Her taste for engagement and involvement has not dimmed, as over the years, she has continued to support various organizations in the Quebec City region.

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Desmarais, Sophie

DesmaraisLong-time philanthropist Sophie Desmarais, well-known in the field of music for her involvement with musicians, has been ambassador for the Big Band ̶ the jazz band at the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Music ̶ since 2007. In 2013, she helped fund end-of-studies scholarships enabling Faculty of Music students get underway and launch their professional careers.

In addition to acting as patron of the Fondation Jasmin Roy for the last two years, Ms. Desmarais is very involved personally in the Foundation against bullying, which she supports by funding many pilot projects in the Charlevoix region which is close to her heart, and aimed at helping young victims break the pattern of silence and informing them of the risks and disastrous consequences of bullying, in hopes of mitigating their effect.

She also became involved with Jeunesse, J’écoute, an extremely innovative telephone crisis line bringing help, hope and support to children, adolescents and young adults across Canada.

Concerned with the well-being of children whose lives are threatened by disease requiring complex care and their families, Ms. Desmarais actively supports Le Phare Enfants et Familles, a home providing pediatric palliative care and free respite and support for families that is unique in Quebec.

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Forster, Melissa
Annual Giving Officer, McGill University

Melissa Forster is Annual Giving Officer at McGill University, responsible for student and young alumni fundraising campaigns and managing the Seeds of Change crowdfunding platform. After graduating with a B.A. from the University of Victoria, Melissa’s 10-year career in the non-profit sector started at the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). Her introduction to higher education advancement followed, in the Donor Relations and Stewardship unit at University of British Columbia.

Melissa joined McGill’s Annual Giving team four years ago and has focused on building relationships with students, young alumni and University partners to highlight the importance of philanthropy at McGill.

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Foster, Janine
Manager, Alumni Relations & Annual Giving, St. Lawrence College

Janine is a 16-year veteran fundraiser, having spent the last 11 years in higher education in both the College and University sectors. When she added Alumni Relations to her portfolio seven years ago, she set out to apply the same rigor of database marketing and measurement (aka Annual Giving) to alumni engagement, and continues to seek new channels to reach out to St. Lawrence’s 80,000 alumni, and to create meaningful and purposeful engagement opportunities. Prior to joining non-profit, Janine worked as a journalist for 15 years, and has found that the transition to fundraising and alumni relations is a natural one for storytellers with boundless curiosity.

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Gagné, Master Jean M.
Attorney & Associate Principal, Fasken Martineau

Master Gagné is an attorney and Associate Principal at Fasken Martineau. He is involved in numerous organizations as Vice-President and Secretary of the Père Raymond-Bernier Foundation; Vice-President of the Foundation of the University Institute of Cardiology and Pneumology of Quebec; and President of the Nomination and Governance Committee. He is also President of the Board of Directors of Minalliance. During his career, he also served as President of the Lauberivière Foundation; President of the Laval Hospital Foundation; and of the Signes d’Espoir Foundation.

Notable Accomplishments - As Founding President of the Board of Directors of the Mallet Institute for the Advancement of Philanthropic Culture, he contributed greatly to creation of the Research Chair Marcelle-Mallet on Philanthropic Culture, serving as President of the Executive Committee since its founding in fall 2011. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Goldcorp Chair on Research and Innovation in Natural Resource and Energy Law at l’Université Laval.

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Gonthier, Jocelyne
Director of Major and Planned Gifts, HEC Montréal Foundation

Graduate in Finance from HEC Montréal and trained at renowned institutions, Jocelyne Gonthier has vast experience in philanthropy, particularly in major and planned gifts. Since 2004 she has held the position of Director of Major and Planned Gifts at the HEC Montréal Foundation.

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Goodman, Morris
Chairman of the Board, Pharmascience Inc.

GoodmanAs one of Canada's leading entrepreneurs and a pioneer in the generic drug industry, Mr. Goodman has dedicated his career to "Creating the Difference" in healthcare in Canada and worldwide. He graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Montreal in 1953 at the young age of twenty-one.

In 1983, Mr. Goodman co-founded Pharmascience Inc. with his good friend and colleague, Ted Wise. As Co-Founder & Chairman of the Board of Pharmascience Inc., Morris Goodman has been at the forefront of the company's explosive growth and development, leading it to its current standing as Canada’s 10th-largest pharmaceutical company.

Notwithstanding his business successes, Mr. Goodman is a leader in philanthropic initiatives. Included among the major charitable donations made by The Morris & Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation are The Stroke Unit at the Jewish General Hospital, the Agora at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Montreal and The Goodman Cancer Research Centre at McGill University.

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Gordon, Jana
Assistant Vice-President, Development, and Campaign Director, Wilfrid Laurier University

Jana Gordon oversees the major gifts team and campaign at WLU. Highlights of her previous roles include Director of Development, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony; Major Gifts Team Leader and Associate Director, Development for the Faculties of Music and Arts, WLU; Director of Development, Dallas Symphony Orchestra; and Corporate Giving Manager, English National Opera.

Jana holds an M.A. in Arts Management (City University) and a B.Mus. (London College of Music and Media), both in the UK. Jana began her career with Deloitte & Touche and has a BBA in Accounting (Texas A&M University). She is a CFRE and a Certified Public Accountant.

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Hicks, Jennifer
Manager, Alumni Relations, Ryerson University

Jennifer has spent her entire career working in university administration. A part-time summer job turned into a full-time position with Ryerson International upon graduation, and allowed her to explore post-secondary education around the world. Following that, Jennifer worked in Admissions and Liaison, promoting Ryersonto high school students across Canada. For the past 15 years, she has worked in University Advancement, with roles as Manager of Annual Fund and Alumni Relations.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Queen's University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Ryerson University.

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Issid, Joe
Manager of Digital Strategy, McGill University Advancement

Joe Issid is currently the Manager of Digital Strategy at McGill University Advancement. Prior to joining the McGill team, he spent the better part of the last decade running his own digital publishing company and consulting with local brands on social and digital strategy.

Joe has also had a long-lasting relationship with Montreal-based tech start-ups, launching products in various industries, including Online Transaction Processing, Internet Telephony and Human Resource Management. He even spent some time playing in the video game world, managing all online infrastructure at video game publishing giant Ubisoft.

Joe is an experienced software developer, editor and widely published writer; he currently writes a weekly column for Monster.ca and his works have appeared in countless media outlets.

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Korn, Gabrielle
Managing Director, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, McGill University

Gabrielle Korn is Managing Director, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at McGill University. Her 25-year career in higher education advancement and non-profit advocacy began at Concordia University, her alma mater, where she held a variety of positions in the Capital Campaign Office before finally assuming duties as Director, Alumni Affairs. She then joined the environmental and heritage preservation organization, Les amis de la montagne, as Director of Communications, responsible for strategic communications, community outreach and special event fundraising.

At McGill, Gabrielle oversees a 30-person team responsible for building long-term relationships with the University’s global community of alumni and other constituents, in support of McGill’s mission through the achievement of its philanthropic objectives.

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Lamoureux, Cristine
Director of Major and Planned Gifts, University of Montreal

Graduate in Science from the University of Montreal, and in Marketing from HEC Montréal, Cristine Lamoureux is the Director of Major and Planned Gifts at the University of Montreal.

Both Jocelyne Gonthier and Cristine Lamoureux are members of the Solicitation Committee of the capital campaign for Campus Montréal, comprising the University of Montreal, HEC and the Montreal École polytechnique – the most ambitious campaign ever undertaken in the francophone university world, which aims to raise $500 million.

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Langen, Yvonne
Mentorship Coordinator, Alumni and Donor Relations, Carleton University

Yvonne has been responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of the new Alumni Mentors program at Carleton.

Prior to taking on her role in Alumni Relations, Yvonne worked in the Student Experience Office at Carleton, where she managed the program coordination of three distinct student to student mentorship programs. One of her greatest achievements to date has been the development of Carleton’s flagship student retention initiative, the Bounce Back program.

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Lemay, Pierre
Assistant to the Executive Vice-President of Development, Laval University

LemayPierre Lemay is Assistant to the Executive Vice-President of Development, and has acted as institutional coordinator of sustainable development since 2007.



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Logue, Mike
Senior Vice President, KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.)


Michael’s achievements include the design and oversight of successful campaigns for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights ($140 million); London Health Sciences Foundation ($200 M); William Osler Health System Foundation ($120 M); and Upper Canada College ($100 M). In addition, he has worked with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School, Roy Thomson Hall & Massey Hall, QE II Health Sciences Center Foundation, Oakville Hospital Foundation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Wilfrid Laurier University and York University.

Michael is a member of the Ontario Central Region Advisory Council and the Toronto Region Marketing and Communications Committee for the Salvation Army.

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Meighen, OC, QC, The Honourable Michael A.
19th Chancellor of McGill University

The Honourable Michael A. Meighen, OC, QC was appointed as the 19th Chancellor of McGill University for a three-year term, beginning July 1, 2014.

After earning his B.A. from McGill in 1960, then his LL.L. cum laude from Université Laval in 1963, Michael Meighen followed the paths of his father, Ted, and grandfather, Canadian Prime Minister Arthur Meighen, and began his law career. Mr. Meighen has distinguished himself not just as a lawyer, but in two other areas that have been the hallmark of his family for generations: politics and philanthropy.

As a lawyer, Michael Meighen has been a prominent member of the bar in both Ontario and Quebec, and served as co-counsel to the Deschênes Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals in Canada from 1985 to 1987. As a politician, he spent 21 years in the Senate of Canada before retiring in 2012.

As a philanthropist, he has shown a deep commitment to the transformative powers of education and research. Together with his wife Kelly, as well as through the T.R. Meighen Family Foundation, he has supported organizations including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Child Development Institute, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and McGill University.

Over the past 20 years, he has served as a Member-at-Large of the McGill University Board of Governors, and as Chair of the Fund Council. He also co-chaired Campaign McGill, which set a University record by raising more than $1 billion to support students, faculty and researchers.

Mr. Meighen was recently named to the Order of Canada, is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, the McGill Alumni Association’s Award of Merit in 2012 and, with his wife, Kelly, the Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year Award in 2008.

He serves as a director of the Peter Cundill Foundation and is a Canadian delegate on the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission. He was Chancellor of the University of King’s College in Halifax and is, or has been, a director of numerous companies and organizations, including Paribas Participations Ltd., Sentry Select Capital Corp., J.C. Clark Ltd., UAP Inc., and Laurentian Group Inc.

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Moyles, Robert
Senior Director, Advancement Strategic Communications, University of Alberta

MoylesRobert Moyles (’86 BCom), joined the University of Alberta’s Office of Advancement as Senior Director of Advancement Strategic Communications in May 2012. An alumnus of the University’s Alberta School of Business, Robert had previously led the communications functions of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, worked with the provincial government, and spent six years as the Director of Strategic Communications with the City of Edmonton, overseeing the City’s brand and reputation.

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Munroe-Blum, Heather
Principal Emerita and Professor, McGill University

Heather Munroe-Blum served as the 16th Principal and Vice-Chancellor and Senior Officer of McGill University from 2003 – 2013 and is now Principal Emerita and Professor at McGill. She is the author of the groundbreaking report: Growing Ontario’s Innovation System: The Strategic Role of University Research that led to the creation of a new framework of science policies and programs in Ontario. She is founding Co-Chair of the biannual State of the Nation Report of the Canadian Science, Technology and Innovation Council, which advises the Government of Canada.

Dr. Munroe-Blum has served in numerous leadership roles in Canadian and U.S. university research and governance, from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s Standing Advisory Committee on University Research and the Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) of Canada, to the U.S. National Research Council’s Committee on Research Universities, President’s Council of the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Prior to assuming the position of Principal and Vice-Chancellor at McGill, she served at the University of Toronto as Professor, as Vice-President (Research and International Relations) from 1994 to 2002 and as Dean of the Faculty of Social Work from 1989 to 1994. Earlier, she was a professor at York University and McMaster University, respectively.

She was appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board as of October 2014.

Among many other honours, Dr. Munroe-Blum is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Specially Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and an Officer of the Order of Quebec.

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Palmer, David
Vice-President, Advancement, University of Toronto

Since 2007, David has served as Vice-President, Advancement for the University of Toronto, Canada’s largest research-intensive university, with 80,000 students on three campuses and more than 540,000 alumni in over 180 countries.

David has been leading the University’s ambitious Boundless Campaign since its public launch in November, 2011. With a $2 billion goal, Boundless is the largest campaign in Canadian university history. As of January 2015, the campaign is more than three-quarters of the way toward its goal.

From 1999 to 2007, David served as President and Executive Director of the Royal Ontario Museum Board of Governors (originally the ROM Foundation), where he led Renaissance ROM – a transformational campaign that re-defined the Museum’s financial resource base, its public brand, and its position as a major international cultural destination. He made a priority of reaching out to Canada’s Japanese, South Asian, Chinese, Ukrainian, Italian, Greek and other communities locally and nationally. The Renaissance ROM Campaign, unique in Canada for its inclusiveness, generated an enormous sense of pride and engagement among these diverse communities, exemplified by a landmark gift from Michael Lee-Chin to name the Museum’s new building.

David Palmer is a Senior Fellow of Massey College, an executive committee member of the National Council of Foundation Executives, and a Director of the Earth Rangers Foundation. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in Musicology from Princeton University and began his career as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Music at The University of Western Ontario, his undergraduate alma mater.

After his first foray into development and marketing at Orchestra London, David returned to Western to lead a ground- breaking campaign for the University of Western Ontario’s School of Business Administration. These efforts resulted in its being renamed the Richard Ivey School of Business, ushering in a new era in professional-faculty fundraising in Canada.

David was recognized in 2011 with the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

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Parthenis, Dean
Senior Communications Strategist, Strategic Communications, University of Calgary

ParthenisDean, a communications professional since 1991, has served as Senior Communications Strategist at the University of Calgary since February 2014. He focuses on issues management, crisis communications and media relations.

In previous positions, Dean was a Public Affairs Manager for the Calgary Fire Department; Media Relations Manager with the Edmonton Police Service; and Public Relations Manager for Edmonton Northlands. He also was a freelance radio and television reporter in Edmonton and British Columbia.

Dean holds a Diploma in Public Relations from the University of Victoria; a Television On-Air and Production Certificate from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology; and a Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia Academy of Radio, Television & Recording Arts. He is in his final year of pursuing a Bachelor of Professional Arts (BPA) in Communications Studies at Athabasca University.

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Pepin, Manon
Director, Communications and Media Relations,

PepinManon Pepin is Director, Communications and Media Relations at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC).

From 2007 to 2013, she served as Vice-President, Public Affairs and Marketing at Héma-Québec. Her mandate was to advise management in matters of public affairs on all issues related to orientation, strategy, and plans of action, including outreach activities. Her responsibilities also included maintaining Héma-Québec’s image and presenting the organization's point of view to all external publics, particularly among donors, recipients, volunteers, and media, as well as representatives of government authorities.

With a Political Science degree from Université de Montréal, Manon Pepin has more than 25 years of experience as a senior manager in strategic communications and public affairs. She has worked with various government authorities and organizations in the sectors of health, international trade and the environment, including the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation and the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, the largest charitable foundation in Canada.

About IRIC - An ultra-modern research hub and training centre located in the heart of Université de Montréal, the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) was created in 2003 to shed light on the mechanisms of cancer and to discover new, more effective therapies to counter this disease.

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Robertson, Colin
Senior Advisor, Change and Engagement, Concordia University

Colin holds a Master's in Human Systems Intervention from the Applied Human Sciences Department of Concordia University, as well as a B.A. from Mount Allison University. He was the change management lead for the WCMS project. His current projects at the university include change management work for several technology projects as well as organizational development initiatives. He is a Board member of the Argyle Institute of Human Relations and a field supervisor for students completing their final M.A. projects.

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Robin, Christian
Director, Marketing and Web Presence, Red River College

RobinBig-thinking and results-oriented with a penchant for marketing initiatives that are innovative and easily leveraged, Christian is a Marketing and Web Presence entrepreneur. He leads an amazing team of professionals to generate and facilitate awareness, engagement, consideration, and demand with/from Red River College’s multiple target audiences throughout Manitoba and around the globe.

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Roy, Isabelle
Director, Prospecting and Pipeline Management, McGill University

For the past five years, Isabelle has led prospect research and prospect management activities at McGill through a series of changes that have transformed the University into an acknowledged leader in the field (winning a few CCAE Prix d'Excellence for Advancement Services along the way). Before assuming her current role, Isabelle joined the McGill University Advancement team as a Foundation Relations Officer, focusing on developing a strategy and soliciting gifts to help McGill realize its fundraising goals as they relate to foundations.

Prior to joining McGill, Isabelle worked as a Project Officer for UNICEF's Office of Emergency Programs, where, among other responsibilities, she led the management and coordination of a process of organizational change aimed at strengthening the humanitarian response capacity of UNICEF offices worldwide.

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Savenkoff, Mark
Director of Alumni and Donor Relations, Carleton University

SavenkoffMark Savenkoff’s portfolio includes engaging alumni in meaningful and mutually beneficial ways as well as reporting back to donors on the impact of their philanthropic gifts. His team is responsible for event management, volunteer engagement, management of the Carleton University Alumni Association, corporate sponsorships, donor gift agreements, endowment reports and student impact statements.

Mark has over 10 years of advancement experience. He previously worked at the University of Saskatchewan in marketing and student recruitment, student retention services and university advancement.

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Szustaczek, Christine
Director of Corporate Communications & External Relations, Sheridan College

SzustaczekChristine Szustaczek has worked with numerous colleges and universities in Ontario for over 15 years as a communications and fundraising professional. She is currently the Director of Corporate Communications and External Relations at Sheridan College, where she oversees the College’s internal and external communications strategy and works to advance the institution’s profile and reputation in the communities it serves.

Christine continually strives to create communications that help to strengthen the relationship between an organization and its diverse publics. She obtained her Master of Communications Management degree at McMaster University, and holds an Honours B.A. in International Relations from the University of Toronto.

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Tang, Monica K.
Research Analyst, University of British Columbia

TangMonica has 15 years of work experience in the not-for-profit sector, covering program development, special events, media tracking, public relations, community development, committee building, public speaking, prospect research and fundraising. She excels at collaborating and bringing out the best in others. She is most interested in doing great work and making a positive difference in the world.

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Thomas, Chantal

Internal Consultant in Philanthropy, Université de Montréal

Chantal Thomas holds an MBA and a Certificate in Financial Planning from HEC Montréal, as well as a Certificate in Philanthropy from the Fund Raising School of Indiana University, and has worked in the fundraising field for 24 years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at the Université de Montréal.

While at the UdeM, she has established an Office of Development for the Faculty of Medicine, where she was a Development Advisor from 1991 to 2001, managed development professionals, and headed up the Major Gifts and Planned Giving program from 2000 to 2011.

Chantal is also a Lecturer on major donations and planned giving for the Certificate in Philanthropy Management program in the University’s Faculty of Continuing Education, and offers a regular training session on planned giving for notarial students in the University’s Faculty of Law.

Chantal Thomas is a founding member of the Quebec branch of the “Leave a Legacy” program of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners. She chaired the Association’s Metropolitan Montreal RoundTable for one year, and has given numerous presentations to various organizations. In October 2005, she chaired a pan-Canadian symposium on major gifts and planned giving, on behalf of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE).

She is a musician by training and continues to be involved in the cultural world; in particular, she has served for 7 years as Vice-Chair of the Montréal Arts Council.

Appointed to the Board of Directors of CCAE, she plans to work to improve understanding of the philanthropic issues relating to cultural diversity, including Francophone clientele in particular, and to raise the profile of CCAE at senior levels of Quebec colleges and universities.

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Villemaire, Joanne
Senior Vice President and Partner, KCI

Panel Moderator

With over 30 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, Joanne Villemaire has an impressive record in the field. As Senior Vice President and Partner at KCI, Joanne leads both the Montreal and Ottawa offices along with the firm’s Specialty Portfolio which includes Strategy & Assessments, Research & Analytics and Fundraising Communications.

Her main area of activity at KCI is to provide high level strategic counsel to organizations in a development mode, supporting them through specialized services such as strategic planning, assessments and the development of integrated fundraising and communications plans, and organizational development including the mentoring of senior development professionals and their teams. Over the years, Joanne has developed extensive experience within the education and healthcare sectors and working with national organizations and more complex assignments.

Joanne started her career within the United Way/Centraide Movement, then moving to the university sector. She has now been at KCI for 20 years. She recently completed a six year term on the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of Ottawa where she was Secretary and a volunteer on the Governance Committee She has also been presented with the 2013 Executive of the Year award by AFP Ottawa.

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Weinstein, Marc
Vice-Principal, University Advancement, McGill University

WeinsteinMarc Weinstein is the Vice-Principal of the University Advancement unit, where he spearheaded the University’s landmark History in the Making Campaign, the most ambitious, comprehensive fundraising effort in McGill’s history.

An accomplished fundraiser, Marc was appointed to his current position in April 2008. His responsibilities include the oversight of all fundraising and donor relations as well as the broad dossier of alumni relations.

Before joining McGill in June 2005, Marc spent five years as Vice-President and General Counsel of the MUHC Foundation, where he played a key role in the planning and implementation of the $300-million Best Care for Life Campaign. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of the Jewish General Hospital Foundation. He also worked as an attorney at Borden Ladner Gervais in Montreal, where he practiced in the areas of estate planning, trusts, and commercial and tax law.

A native Montrealer and a proud McGill alumnus, Marc has a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill (1985), a Master of Arts degree from York University in Toronto (1987) and both Civil Law (BCL) and Common Law (LLB) degrees from McGill (1991). He is a member of the Quebec Bar and sits on the Board of Directors of the MUHC Foundation, and is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Commission on Philanthropy.

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Weissman, Eric
Professor of Sociology, College of New Caledonia

WeissmanEric Weissman, Ph.D., was born in Toronto in 1961. He was educated at the University of Toronto, where he earned a Master of Arts in Sociology in 1986. Between 1988 and 1995, he battled addictions and periodic homelessness, and began his recovery in 1996. He has seen both sides of very troubling urban social problems, which became the key areas of interest for his Doctoral research.

Weissman was awarded the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS) Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in 2014. Dr. Weissman’s (Ph.D. Indi) multi-­‐media, interdisciplinary work, “Spaces, Places and States of Mind: a Pragmatic Ethnography of Liminal Critique,” was done through Concordia University’s Individualized Study program. It is the first time a dissertation completed through an independent study program has won the award. At 53, Weissman is the oldest recipient in the award’s history.

Weissman used video and social media, in addition to conventional research and writing, in an attempt to prompt observation, discussion and debate about the relationship between housing and homelessness, and the role intentional homeless communities can play in official housing policies. Weissman’s work emphasizes the use of visual tools and digital media to improve the flow of information between those who need assistance and those who fund, administer and critique social policies.

Currently, Dr. Weissman works as a sessional, full-time Professor of Sociology at the College of New Caledonia. He is initiating a new study using photographs, videos and the Web to facilitate intentional storytelling communities around the issues of housing and homelessness.

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Wright, Jeff
Vice President (Advancement), St. Thomas University

Jeff Wright has been Vice President (Advancement) at St. Thomas University for the last two years, where alumni participation has doubled since his arrival. Before his move to New Brunswick, Jeff spent 12 years with the University of Alberta and MacEwan University, where he held several development and alumni relations positions - including six years with the U of A Annual Giving Office.

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Yersh, Lori
Senior Strategic Advisor to the Vice-President, Development and External Relations, Concordia University

In her more than 25 years of development experience, Lori has provided counsel to over 120 annual giving programs, including many of the leading development programs in the U.S., Canada, UK, and South Africa. She is recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on annual giving.

Prior to joining Concordia in 2013, Lori was a member of McGill University’s senior Development team for more than 20 years. At McGill, she oversaw a team of 15 fundraisers and was responsible for strategic planning and the Stewardship, Donor Relations and Annual Giving programs during McGill’s $ 1 billion Comprehensive Campaign.

Lori has been a regular presenter at conferences for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), has served as a three-time faculty member of CASE Europe’s UK Spring Institute and has chaired a number of CASE’s Advanced Annual Giving Conferences. She is one of only two Canadian to receive CASE’s prestigious Steuben Apple Award for outstanding teaching.

Lori has delivered addresses and conducted seminars on annual giving, stewardship, professional development, advancement management, technology, alumni relations and volunteer management at more than 50 conferences across the United States, Canada and internationally.

Lori Yersh is a trained psychotherapist and career counselor. She has provided counsel to investment firms on developing marketing materials related to people’s psychological relationship with money. She holds Bachelor of Arts, Master of Educational Psychology, and Master of Counseling Psychology degrees from McGill University.

Lori received the 1996 Gold Award in the CCAE Prix d’Excellence for Best Special Event, and was the 1995 recipient of McGill University’s Outstanding Leadership Award.

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