Vanity A La Mode

Fundraiser by Day, Glamazon by Night

Rainbow Railroad

Mide Akerewusi, CSR-P, CDEP

Founder and CEO


Mide is Founder and CEO of AGENTSC Inc., an international professional fundraising company delivering fundraising solutions to the world’s social impact sector. Mide has extensive experience working with nonprofits and major philanthropists in Australia, Canada, UK, and the USA. With over 20 plus years’ experience as a philanthropy expert in the nonprofit sector, Mide has also built philanthropic partnerships with some of the world’s leading corporations and grant-making foundations. In the UK, Mide founded and chaired the Black Fundraisers Network - a voluntary organization supporting fundraisers to learn about philanthropy within Europe’s African and Caribbean diaspora.  

Prior to establishing AGENTSC, Mide served as Director of Leadership Philanthropy at Pathways to Education Canada, where he helped to kick-start and close the organisation’s $185 million Graduation Nation Campaign. Prior to Pathways, Mide served as Chief Development Officer at the YMCA of Greater Toronto. He has led major gift fundraising teams and campaigns at Scope UK, The British Red Cross, and The Children’s Society in England and Wales.


Sarah Ali

Digital Strategist


Sarah Ali is a nonprofit digital strategist. She is an expert at leveraging research, analytics and tech to meet client needs. Armed with these tools, she creates integrated fundraising, marketing, and advocacy solutions that engage and convert users on progressive issues. 

She has organized and fundraised extensively in the grassroots progressive space, having formed women's collectives, built anti-Islamophobia campaigns, and played a key role in University divestment movements. 

Sarah's passion lies at the intersection of progressive politics and tech, and believes that people power can exist when we use digital tools for good, not evil.

Sarah Anderson

Director of Strategic Priorities

Campbell & Company

Sarah Anderson is Director of Strategic Priorities at Campbell & Company, a U.S.-based fundraising consulting firm.  For 11 years, she has worked with nonprofit organizations of all types to enhance their donor messaging and fundraising to increase giving.  Sarah has been integrally involved in engagements with Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the LGBT Giving Project, GLAAD, and the AARP among others.

Cynthia J. Armour, CFRE

Principal Strategist

Elderstone Resource Development

Cynthia Armour, (CFRE since 1995) has served as a facilitator, trainer and coach to voluntary sector leaders for the past 26 years.  An honours graduate of York's Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program, she continues to be a curious life-long learner.  Cynthia specializes in strategy, governance and fund development. She was the Charity Village Fundraising columnist for four years, was a Subject Matter Expert with CFRE International and has served on numerous boards.  She is recognized for her expertise with small and rural charities while offering practical solutions to organizations of all sizes and locations across Canada.




Liz Attfield, DipDM

Vice-President, Strategic Services

Stephen Thomas Ltd.

Liz is a member of Stephen Thomas’s leadership team and a long-time fundraiser, with nearly 20 years of experience in key areas such as strategic planning, database analytics, integrated account management, and mid-level and legacy marketing. As the leader of our Strategic Services team, Liz provides our clients with strategic insight that will engage donors, connect them to the cause, and drive revenue.


Prior to joining ST, Liz spent three years in London, UK, working alongside some of the UK’s top charity brands. She also brings her clients an international perspective on their fundraising having earned a diploma in direct marketing through one of the UK’s leading organizations, the Institute of Direct Marketing.


Liz has three great loves: family, work, and music. Etched onto the back of her iPhone are the words: Music gives soul to the universe. And Liz feeds her soul every chance she gets —attending concerts (she saw the Tragically Hip twice in two days!) and singing karaoke. Her go-to song, Queen’s “Under Pressure”, is a testament to her resilience and adventurous spirit.

Sharon Avery

President & CEO

Toronto Foundation

Sharon Avery is President & CEO of Toronto Foundation, one of Canada’s leading community foundations and a Toronto city-building institution. Ms. Avery has built a 19-year career as a high energy fundraiser and passionate communicator. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the Chief Development Officer at UNICEF Canada for 8 years. There, Sharon led a pivotal fundraising campaign recruiting women philanthropists across Canada to embark on a four-year educational journey on maternal, newborn and child health in the developing world. Sharon has also held senior roles at SickKids Foundation, Save the Children Canada and Tim Horton Children's Foundation. She is a dynamic public speaker on a mission to bring philanthropy to the task of building a more resilient Toronto.

Brian Bachand


Formerly, Brian was a Partner in the Phelps's Board Services, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Fundraising, and Not-for-Profit Practice Groups. As a highly respected member of the advancement and philanthropic communities in both Canada and the United States, Brian has an unparalleled knowledge of the people and organizations who are at the intersection of private sector investment, academic research, and public policy globally.

Brian is first and foremost a connector of corporations and individuals, with ground-breaking opportunities. As a strategic and collaborative leader, he has a successful track record of achievement earned throughout more than 15 years in the advancement and development sector. Brian has particular expertise in the recruitment and management of senior board development. In the past five years, Brian has completed several recruitments in the healthcare and NFP sector.

Before joining Phelpsgroup, Brian worked at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, where he led the Faculty’s Advancement program – the largest such program in Canada. Prior to the University of Toronto, Brian led a highly effective fundraising team at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, as Executive Director. His team met and exceeded the goals of annual giving, major gifts, and capital campaigns. He also served as Director of Corporate Development for the American Cancer Society, responsible for all corporate development activities with Fortune 500 companies within metropolitan New York.

Brian is active in the Toronto community, currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Board for ACCES Employment, assisting job seekers of diverse backgrounds. He is also a Board Director at Gardiner Museum in Toronto. Finally, he was recently appointed as an Advisory Committee Member of the Economic Club of Canada.


Celeste Bannon Waterman

Vice-President, Research & Analytics

KCI (Ketchum Canada, Inc.)

Celeste Bannon Waterman is SVP & Partner, Lead, Research & Analytics for KCI (Ketchum Canada). A passionate believer in the importance of donor-centric research and fundraising, Celeste specializes in using analytics to help clients better understand and respond to their donors. A frequent presenter, Celeste has shared insights on research and analytics topics and case studies at previous APRA Canada conferences, AFP Congress, CCAE and CAISAP conferences.

Cathy Barrick

Chief Thank You Officer (CEO)

Alzheimer Society of Toronto

Cathy is a get'er done leader.  No idea is impossible and no problem is too big.  Cathy leads from the trenches and creates enthusiasm through creativity, honesty and a strong belief in the power of the team.  Having been at the helm of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto for nearly 6 years, Cathy has lead the development team to double the annual revenue through challenging the old ways of doing things and being at the centre of development activities.  

Elissa Beckett, MBA, CFRE

VP of Development and Strategic Initiatives

Tides Canada

Elissa Beckett is a professional fundraiser and businesswoman whose diverse experience has helped hone her core expertise: acting as an entrepreneur in all she does. It is this unique approach to fundraising that Elissa has brought to her role since joining Tides Canada in July 2014. Previously, she led the fundraising teams for WWF-Canada and the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. She is also the co-founder of Canada’s first Benefit Corporation, FlipGive, a web-based, grassroots fundraising tool that connects people who care to innovative new ways to raise funds.

Elissa holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business and applies her business acumen and fundraising experience in her position on the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Toronto Chapter). As a thought leader on innovative trends in the nonprofit sector, Elissa developed and teaches “Entrepreneurial Fundraising” at Ryerson University. She is also part of the development team for the University of Toronto’s Non-Profit Leadership for Impact certificate, where she co-teaches “Building a Successful Non-Profit Organization”.


Nadia Bello, CTDP, MSOD

Manager, Experiential Learning Strategy (Faculty of Community Services)

Ryerson University

Nadia Bello is an experienced consultant, adult educator, and facilitator, most often working with public and non-profit organizations and boards. She had a twenty-year career in non-profit, and is also a former elected official for the Toronto District School Board. Nadia is a Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP), a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), and holds a Master of Science in Organization Development (MSOD). In addition to a small consulting practice which focuses on workplace equity and diversity strategies, governance, and organization development, Nadia is the Manager, Experiential Learning Strategy for the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson University.

Jennifer Bernard, CFRE

President & CEO

Women's College Hospital Foundation

Jennifer Bernard is a Certified Fund Raising Professional with over twenty years experience working within a variety of institutions across the charitable and not-for-profit landscape.  Jennifer has held senior fundraising positions at McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Ontario Science Centre, Royal Conservatory of Music and Trillium Health Partners, helping each institution to achieve outstanding fundraising results, open doors to new partnerships and deepen engagement of their stakeholders.

Jennifer is currently, President & CEO of Women’s College Hospital Foundation.  Her broad range of responsibilities includes overseeing governance and operations, strategic planning and fundraising leadership.

As a passionate advocate for philanthropy, Jennifer seeks to expand the philanthropic landscape through active engagement of donors, volunteers and talented teams that want to help build a better world.

Graeme Binning

Managing Director

Fundraising Direct

As the Managing Director of Fundraising Direct, Graeme oversees the whole strategic and operational direction of our fundraising services to all of their not-for-profit clients. FD is the fastest growing agency in Canada, and is currently working with 20 leading charitable and not-for-profit organizations. For the last four years FD has led the field in developing and driving mobile giving in the Canadian marketplace, and is the only agency currently running mobile acquisition programs.

Kimberley Blease

Vice President, Client Relationships & Donor Journey Champion


When it comes to building high-value donor relationships, Kimberley’s energy, enthusiasm and original thinking is unparalleled. With over 30 years of experience in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, Kimberley is a fundraiser and marketer who believes we all have a responsibility to engage and inspire donors throughout their journey with our organizations. Kimberley has a commitment to building high-value donor programs that raise the bar for charities and raise more money by building real relationships with donors. In her role as EVP, Client Relationships at Blakely Inc. she brings vision and proven strategy to the clients she works with and to the teams she leads.  Kimberley challenges her fundraising colleagues to think and act differently to achieve more!

Mark Blumberg, LL.B., LL.M., TEP


Blumberg Segal LLP

Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm Blumberg Segal LLP (Blumbergs) in Toronto and works almost exclusively advising non-profits and registered charities on their work in Canada and abroad.  Mark has written numerous articles, is a frequent speaker on legal issues involving charity and not-for-profit law and is the editor of  and™ – Canadian websites dedicated to news about the Canadian charitable sector as well as legal and ethical issues for Canadian charities operating in Canada or overseas.  He also manages  and

Helen Burstyn, C.M.


Waterfront Toronto

Helen Burstyn has enjoyed a 35-year career in government, business, academia, broadcasting and community service.   

She is currently the Chair of Waterfront Toronto and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University.  She also chairs Evergreen and The Walrus Foundation, as well as serving on the board of a number of organizations, including: the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Toronto Public Library Foundation, the Canadian Opera Company, Luminato, Prime Ministers Row, the Koffler Centre for the Arts, Growing North and The Pecaut Centre for Social Impact (LEAP), an organization she also co-founded.

Helen spent much of her professional career in the Ontario Public Service, serving as the Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Senior Advisor to the Premier, Special Advisor and co-founder of the Office for Social Enterprise, Co-Chair (with Minister Eric Hoskins) of the Partnership Project, the province’s advisory body on the not-for-profit and voluntary sectors, and Deputy Secretary of the Premier’s Council.  

Helen served for nine years as a Trustee of CAMH and is a past-president of the Canadian Club of Toronto, co-founder and past-president of Gilda's Club Greater Toronto, and a founding member of Equal Voice. She was also the co-host of Toronto Files on RogersTV, a weekly community affairs program focusing on the people and issues that matter to the city. 

In 2017, Helen was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of her leadership of charitable and public institutions in arts and culture, education, health, and the environment.  She is also the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Community Leadership and the Ontario Citizenship Award for Volunteer Service. 

Helen is the author of Eleven Out of Ten: The Life and Work of David Pecaut, a memoir about her late husband. She is the mother of four daughters and four granddaughters, and is a longtime Toronto resident.    

Teresa Catalano

Development Associate, Corporate & Foundation Relations

University of Toronto

Teresa Catalano was born and raised in northwest Toronto to immigrant parents. She is passionate about advancing the lives of Canadians and building strong communities. Teresa has built her career in the not-for-profit sector: supporting the arts, social service, education, and health care. She currently supports strategy and fundraising at the University of Toronto as a member of the Corporate and Foundation Relations team. Teresa recently ended a five-year term as a GenNext Cabinet Member of United Way Greater Toronto where she was instrumental at raising the profile of the program, which has led to hugely successful program initiatives and audience growth. Teresa’s community leadership efforts have not gone unnoticed; she was recently awarded the Ontario Volunteer Service Award for her commitment and dedication to community. Teresa is currently a volunteer with the Ontario Trillium Foundation and is completing the Corporate Social Responsibility, Graduate Certificate at The University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto.

Emily Chan

Manager of Digital Design and Creative Strategy

Canadian Red Cross

Emily Chan is the Designer and Creative Strategist on the Canadian Red Cross Digital and Creative Solutions team. She joined the Canadian Red Cross in 2015 with a background in design, advertising and marketing. She develops and leads the creative strategy and design of campaigns for the Digital Solutions team and client teams.

Tracey Church, MLIS

Principal, Researcher & Charitable Sector Consultant

Tracey Church & Associates, Research + Consulting Services

Tracey has been a researcher for over 20 years and is the Past President of Apra-Canada and current Director for Apra International and AFP Golden Horseshoe. She is also on the AFP International Research Council. Tracey is Principal Researcher and Consultant for Tracey Church & Associates and has worked with over 300 charities across Canada. Tracey is Co-Editor and Author of “Prospect Research in Canada: An Essential Guide for Researchers and Fundraisers” (2016). Tracey teaches at Western University in the MLIS program and has her MLIS and Professional Certificate in NFP Management. She is a requested presenter and loves to see her trainees succeed in the exciting field of prospect research.

Jory Cohen

Director of Social Finance and Investment

Inspirit Foundation

Jory Cohen is the director of social finance and investment at the Inspirit Foundation where he played an integral role in launching Inspirit’s 100% impact portfolio. He continues to lead the roll-out of that strategy while managing all aspects of the finance department. Before joining Inspirit, Jory was the Managing Director of Youth Social Innovation Capital Fund (YSI), an impact investing fund. He also co-founded an impact venture in East Africa based on the fair-market-value sales of honey. Since graduating from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University as the Valedictorian of his class, Jory quickly garnered a reputation as a next-generation leader in the impact investing field. Jory is often called upon to share his expertise within the sector and academic institutions. He’s also co-authored a children’s book.

Elizabeth Dale, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Seattle University

Elizabeth J. Dale is an Assistant Professor in Nonprofit Leadership at Seattle University.  A former development director and CFRE, her research interests include gender differences in philanthropy, giving in the LGBT community, and grassroots and social justice organizations.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and women’s and gender studies from Ohio Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in women’s studies from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Tanya Darisi



A highly-skilled applied researcher and evaluator, Tanya has close to 20 years’ experience working in the social service, community development and health sectors. Prior to launching Openly, Tanya founded The O’Halloran Group, a social change organization with a mission to ensure inclusion, wellbeing and dignity. For 10 years she was Research Lead at Decision Partners, helping to build their mental models application in the fields of decision-making, strategic communication and risk-management. From 2011 to 2015, she was Executive-in-Residence at Capacity Canada, where she shared her love of research and evaluation to help those in the nonprofit sector work with confidence and impact. Her core areas of contribution include research, evaluation, capacity building, design and strategy development.

Scott Decksheimer, CFRE

President & CEO

ViTreo Group

Scott Decksheimer has been a leader in the nonprofit field for more than 20 years. Before co-founding ViTreo Group, a leading Canadian fundraising consultancy, Scott was the Director of Fund Development at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). At SAIT, he worked with his team to complete an $80 million campaign, which at the time was the largest fundraising campaign in southern Alberta history. Scott is an international trainer, an active volunteer board member, an award-winning fundraiser, and is skilled at developing leadership within organizations.  

Karen Delorme

Manager, National Donor Experience & Telefundraising

Canadian Red Cross

As Manager of National Donor Experience & Telefundraising, Karen is currently working to expand both the mobile & text to donate channels while working as a member of the advisory group with the Mobile Giving Foundation of Canada. She manages telemarketing which consists of core programs as well as text conversion & lead generation projects. Karen’s vision is of a Red Cross where we speak with one voice – both in fundraising and in servicing our donors – which she carries out through all of her teams from call center interactions to emails and via the Donor Experience Team.

Narinder Dhami

Managing Director

LEAP Pecaut Centre for Social Impact

Narinder leads the Centre, mobilizing the private sector to partner with game changing interventions in the non profit sector, scaling their impact across Canada. She formally sat on the Global Council for Pro Bono and is a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader.

As a lecturer at the University of Toronto, Narinder co-created the first course in microfinance and impact investing at the University. Further, she worked with Ryerson to launch the Professional Master's Diploma in Social Finance this past September, designing and teaching the “Investing for Impact” and "Social Impact Measurement" courses.

Narinder is the founding Executive Director of Rise Asset Development - a Rotman/CAMH financial initiative, providing an entrepreneurial path to employment for those with a history of mental health and addiction challenges. She led the design and growth of Rise from the pilot phase to its expansion across Ontario. Narinder has also has spent multiple years working across West Africa, both as program manager at the Première Agence de Microfinance (PAMF) across Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d'Ivoire and as a member of the portfolio team with Acumen Fund (West Africa office providing impact investments to social enterprises across Ghana and Nigeria). 


Shanon Doolittle

Chief Creative Officer

Voice for Good

Shanon Doolittle is a fundraising and storytelling coach at Voice for Good. As the lead creative on hundreds of events, campaigns, and donor stewardship programs over the past 15 years, Shanon has helped raise tens of millions of dollar for nonprofits of all sizes. She is also a co-founder of the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, guest lecturer on fundraising at the University of Washington and Seattle University, and frequent speaker at conferences worldwide. When she’s off the do-gooding clock, you can find Shanon shopping for witty letterpress cards, binge-watching British crime dramas, or reminding her two sons to “be nice to each other”. 

Vincent Duckworth, CFRE

Partner and Chief Marketing Officer

ViTreo Group

Vincent is internationally recognized as a leading expert on campaign design, strategy and major gift performance. He is also Canada’s leading authority on philanthropic naming. His chapter on philanthropic naming can be found in the definitive Canadian fundraising reference: Excellence in Fundraising in Canada: Volume Two.

Vincent has been a leader in the nonprofit sector for over two decades. He is the chief marketing officer, a founding partner of ViTreo Group Inc and the host of the popular Braintrust Philanthropy podcast. ViTreo's associates are working with clients across Canada, our Naming clients include the National Music Centre, RESOLVE, Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH), and YMCA.

Suzanne Duncan, MA, CFRE

Vice President of Donor Relations

CAMH Foundation

Suzanne Duncan, MA, CFRE, has been helping social service organizations reach their philanthropic potential for the last fifteen years. At Eva’s Initiatives, YWCA Toronto, Frontier College and The WoodGreen Foundation, she connected visionary donors to innovative projects. Suzanne started at the CAMH Foundation 7 years ago in major gifts and is now the Associate Vice President of Donor Relations. In this role she is responsible for curating and creating the ways that donors engage with CAMH and ensuring they feel the impact of their giving.

Suzanne has volunteered her services to charities including Expect Theatre, where she is currently Treasurer, the Redwood and the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Toronto. She also redeveloped the Introduction to Fundraising course at Ryerson University, where she is an instructor.

Leah Eustace, MPhil, CFRE, ACFRE


Blue Canoe Philanthropy

Leah Eustace, CFRE, ACFRE, is President and Head Paddler at Blue Canoe Philanthropy, where she specializes in case development, strategic planning and program audits. Her volunteer work is extensive: she’s on the boards of AFP International, AFP Canada, the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy Canada, and the ACFRE Credentialing Board. As well, she’s a member of the Planned Giving Advisory Group at Trent University.

Alice L. Ferris, MBA, CFRE, ACFRE


GoalBusters Consulting

Alice L. Ferris, MBA, CFRE, ACFRE, founding partner of GoalBusters, has more than twenty-five years of professional fundraising experience, not including her tenure as the “top cookie salesperson” in Girl Scouts. Alice started her fundraising career as a volunteer at Wisconsin Public Television in Madison, Wisconsin, blowing bubbles onto the set during pledge breaks for the Lawrence Welk Show, which launched a 30+ year affiliation with public broadcasting.

As part of her services in outsourced development for small nonprofits, Alice is Director of Development for KAWC Colorado River Public Media in Yuma, Arizona and Administrative Director for KGHR Navajo Public Radio in Tuba City, Arizona. Prior to launching her consulting practice full time, Alice served as Director of Development for Lowell Observatory, Foundation Director for Flagstaff Medical Center, and Director of Development for KNAU Arizona Public Radio. During her tenure at Lowell Observatory, the membership program more than doubled, and during her time at KNAU, she led the station to its first $1 million fundraising year. As Foundation Director for Flagstaff Medical Center, Alice directed FMC’s grant program, providing over $1.3 million in support to community health in the Flagstaff area.

Alice was the 90th professional worldwide to receive the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential. In her volunteer leadership, Alice serves on the ACFRE Credentialing Board, CFRE International Board and the Wisconsin School of Business Bolz Center for Arts Administration Advisory Board. Previously, Alice served as the 2015-2017 Chair of the ACFRE Board, 2009-2010 Vice Chair, Member Services for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International and continues to be an active volunteer, among other volunteer commitments. She is a three-time honoree as AFP-Northern Arizona Fundraising Professional of the Year.

Alice is recognized for her on-air presence on many public television and radio pledge drives, and on top-revenue generating national PBS fundraisers, including Masterpiece: Downton Abbey, Ken Burns: America's Storyteller, The Civil War, and Suze Orman's Financial Solutions for You. Alice is also a well-reviewed keynote and workshop presenter, with presentations in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Alice earned her Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Radio-TV-Film and Economics and her Masters of Business Administration with a double major in Accounting and Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She obtained her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) in 1999 and is certified through 2020. She received her ACFRE in 2010 and has also been an AFP Master Teacher since 2006

Jean-Marc Fontan, Ph.D


Université du Québec à Montréal

Scott Fortnum, MA, CFRE, ACFRE

President & CEO

Children’s Health Foundation

Scott is President & CEO of Children’s Health Foundation in London Ontario and has worked as a professional fundraiser since 1990 working with organizations across Canada including universities, hospitals, and national non-profits.
He is a member of AFP Board of Directors, a member of the Ethics Committee of the AFP Toronto Chapter and chair-elect of the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) certification Board.
A frequent speaker throughout Canada and the United States, Scott has held the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation continuously since 1995, and became the 92nd ACFRE in 2011 joining the ACFRE Certification Board in 2014. 


Molly Freeman

Manager, Annual & Planned Giving

Cystic Fibrosis Canada

Molly graduated from Humber’s Fundraising & Volunteer Management Program in 2011 following her degree in Gerontology from McMaster University. She’s worked in direct marketing and donor relations in the healthcare sector ever since, and is currently the Manager, Annual & Planned Giving at Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Results-oriented and donor-centered, she is passionate about collaboration, creativity, and innovation in the charitable sector.

Lauren Fulthorpe

Prospect Management and Research Officer

Sunnybrook Foundation

Lauren Fulthorpe currently serves as one of three Prospect Management and Research Officers at Sunnybrook Foundation, a role she has held since October 2016. Prior to this, she began her career as a front-line fundraiser before moving into the Development Researcher role at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

In her current role, Lauren supports her Advancement Partners (including Sandra Mapa) with research, prospect management, and prospect strategy.

Beyond Sunnybrook Foundation, Lauren is also a part-time faculty member with Humber College, teaching Prospect Research within the Fundraising Management graduate certificate. In 2016, she was asked to present on wealth screening strategies at the international Tessitura Database Learning & Community Conference in Washington, DC.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Western Ontario, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Art Administration and Cultural Management from Humber College.

In partnership with the University of Toronto, Sunnybrook leads by discovery, innovation, teaching, and learning. As an organization, Sunnybrook Foundation proudly raises over 70 million dollars per year.

Alexis Gaiptman, CFRE

Associate Director, Major Gifts, Development

The Montreal Neurological Institute

Alexis Gaiptman is the Associate Director of Major Gifts, Development at Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (McGill University). She is a proven leader with over 11 years of healthcare experience, in both Events and Planned Giving. Her background is in Political Science, Women's Studies and Community Economic Development. Alexis is driven by her passion for growth, ability to embrace new challenges and desire to better our local communities. She is a Director on the board of AFP Quebec and Vice-Chair of the Executive for the local Montreal CAGP Chapter. 

Ted Garrard


SickKids Foundation

Ted Garrard is Chief Executive Officer of SickKids Foundation which supports one of the world’s leading centres for pediatric care, research and learning – the Hospital for Sick Children. The Foundation raises more than $140 million in cash annually, has endowments valued at $1.1 billion, and is the largest non-governmental funder of children’s health in Canada.  On October 27, 2017, the Foundation launched the largest fundraising campaign in Canadian healthcare history with a goal of raising $1.3 billion by 2022.  Prior to joining the Foundation Ted served as Vice-President, External at The University of Western Ontario from 1996-2009, where he led campaigns that raised more than $600 million.  He also spent 13 years at United Way of Toronto in a variety of roles including leading all fundraising operations.  Ted is Chair of the Canadian Children’s Hospital Foundations (CCHF), Chair of the Woodmark Group (an association of the top 25 children’s hospitals in North America), a past director of Children’s Miracle Network, past Chair of Imagine Canada, Past Chair of United Way of London-Middlesex, a past director of United Way/Centraide Canada, and a past director of the Canadian Council for Advancement in Education.  He received the Association of Fundraising Professional’s Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award in 1997, was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 1998, and in 2014 was named Outstanding Communicator by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). 

Aneil Gokhale

Director, Philanthropy

Toronto Foundation

Aneil Gokhale is a passionate, dynamic, and goal-oriented professional with over 15 years of successful experience. He is currently Director, Philanthropy at Toronto Foundation where he is responsible for the development and management of the new business portfolio. His role is focused on helping individuals, families, professional advisors, companies and other organizations engage in strategic philanthropy. Most recently, Aneil spearheaded the successful creation and launch of Vision 2020, a new program developed to attract and inspire the next generation of philanthropists. Vision 2020 has successfully engaged 115 millennials and gen xers to create permanent endowments to support city building philanthropy.

Aneil has been with Toronto Foundation for 6 years and before that, he worked at United Way Toronto for 5 years and in the private sector, with GE Healthcare in Medical Sales for 4 years.

Aneil is the Co-Chair of the Membership and Professional Advisors committee with the local CAGP GTA Roundtable and has also been a mentor with CAGP, AFP Inclusive Giving and TRIEC. In his personal life, Aneil is a husband and father of two young children who loves spending quality family time exploring every corner of Toronto and cheering on his beloved Blue Jays.

Leigh Gough

Head of Business North & South America

Social Blue

Leigh Gough is the Head of Business North & South America at Social Blue which helps Non Profit Organisations to acquire new monthly donors through Facebook & Instagram. With over 6 years of experience in digital marketing Leigh brings a unique perspective of how to create and implement a successful social media campaign from beginning to end, working with clients such as World Animal Protection, WWF, Save the Children and The Nature Conservancy of Canada to name but a few.

A firm believer in always pushing the boundaries Leigh and the Social Blue team continue to revolutionise fundraising through digital marketing and lead the charge in using Social Media to its full potential.

Kathleen Grace

Director, Digital Strategy

Stephen Thomas Ltd.

Kathleen specializes in digital and integrated marketing strategy, working with accounts such as Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth, the Alzheimer Society of Canada, Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Special Olympics Canada to ensure they are thinking strategically about their digital channels when it comes to meeting and exceeding their fundraising and marketing objectives. Kathleen executes digital campaigns from conception to execution and provides clients with a unique perspective on how they can leverage both traditional media and digital platforms to reach and engage with their donors. With experience in corporate, non-profit and agency environments including Marketing & Communications Manager at CanadaHelps, Kathleen brings a diverse skill set and over 10 years of experience. She has a master’s degree in communications and new media and is a member of the AFP Canada Communications Committee and the CMA Digital Council.

Christina Greenberg


Scala Network

Christina Greenberg is a passionate trainer and coach, committed to developing well rounded, authentic leaders. 

During her corporate career in association management, Christina became an advocate for women leaders, recognizing the unique challenges they face as they advance in their careers. In 2012, she set out to solve this problem by launching Scala Network, an organization offering innovative leadership training programs for women that combine practical skills development with inspirational mentors and networking opportunities. 

Christina is an enthusiastic networker and connector of people, nurtured over many years as Vice-President of Education and Professional Development at the Canadian Marketing Association. She is a faculty member at the Canadian Management Center and is a certified trainer in Emotional Intelligence and Positive Psychology.

Gaurav Gupta

Portfolio Manager

LEAP Pecaut Centre for Social Impact

Gaurav leads our efforts on due diligence across a wide set of organizations, as well as our engagement as part of the Impact Challenge

Gaurav is extremely passionate about leveraging his business & strategy experience to drive social impact. Prior to joining the Centre, he was the head of sustainable business development at British Telecom in London, UK. His role straddled strategy, business development, partnership creation and program management; and he engaged across the business towards the development of products and programs with a social, environmental and economic impact. Gaurav has led multiple global projects, and formed partnerships with customers, charities, NGOs, governments and foundations in the UK, India, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Gaurav also brings extensive experience in management consulting at BT, public health consulting at The Clinton Foundation, and leading intellectual property development at Qualcomm Incorporated.

Gaurav holds two Masters degrees (MBA, ESADE Business School & MS Computer Engineering, University of Cincinnati); has traveled to more than 30 countries, has directed and acted-in stage shows, and has been volunteering with organizations all over the world since 2005 to promote teaching and education.

Serena Hak


Stonegate Private Counsel

Serena started her philanthropic journey at Free The Children in 2009, and has since become an Associate at Stonegate Private Counsel and the Associate Director of The Donor Motivation Program®.  The Donor Motivation Program® is a national organization committed to engaging donors in the philanthropic conversation.  She is passionate about breaking down the barriers between the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Through her current role as CAGP (Canadian Association of Gift Planners) GTA Chair, she hopes to set an example of a collaboration and innovation, in order to foster new ideas and partnerships. She is also involved with the George Hull Centre for Children and Families, The Toronto Foundation, and The Stop Community Food Centre. Outside of work, she loves trotting around town with her beagle, Bogart.

Mark Harrison, MBA

President & CEO

The T1 Agency

After founding the T1 Agency in 1994, Mark has become a leading figure in the sponsorship & marketing industries, developing game-changing strategies with major international properties and causes, including the Heart & Stroke Foundation, The Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. 
A big believer in giving back, Mark continuously shares his expertise by speaking at numerous international conferences, such as IEG and IFC, and chairing the annual sponsorshipX conference. He is an avid writer, with his book What Sponsors Want to be published in the coming year. Mark is also a part-time marketing professor at Ohio University, and when he is not teaching, he is on the field coaching high school football, honouring his love for the sport and his community.

Marcy Heim, CFRE, PLCC

Founder and President

The Artful Asker

Marcy's a proven major-gift expert, life/fundraising coach, author, speaker, singer and mom. She inspires others to create their mindset and actions for optimal giving results and joy. For 23 years she managed her major gifts team at the UW Foundation team through 3 campaigns, one $1.8 billion. She been awarded the CASE Crystal Apple and AFP’s Outstanding Fundraiser and has been featured internationally for 10 years. Her book, “Empowering Development Ambassadors” guides her board educational experiences. Over 11,000 have embraced her “Making an Artful Ask” tool. VIP clients produce amazing increases in major gift capacity and enhanced cultures of generosity.

Mark Hierlihy, CFRE

President & CEO

Canada's Children's Hospital Foundation

Mark Hierlihy found his calling in causes and philanthropy over 20 years ago at a new hospital foundation in PEI. He has always been passionate about helping others and says his personal mission is "to be a constant positive influence on everyone I meet."

Mark is the inaugural President & CEO of Canada's Children's Hospital Foundations, a collaboration of the 13 children's hospitals in Canada - incorporating the mission of Children's Miracle Network and expanding the impact of fundraising campaigns for children's health in Canada. Throughout his career he has driven change and integration in Hospitals, national health, sports, the arts, mental health and other causes. Mark has also served in various senior volunteer roles at the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and co-founded AFP D3: Debate. Debunk. Delight, a forum for charity executives from across Canada. He is a frequent speaker at corporate and charity conferences. 

Stephanie Highfield

Fundraising Strategist


Stephanie Highfield is a Fundraising Strategist with Blakely, a Fundraising and Marketing Agency. She has spent the past decade working for a variety of charities across Toronto, raising funds for and telling stories about everything from fully digital hospitals to family centered addiction treatment. Passionate about providing all donors in her community with an opportunity to give, Stephanie embraces a creative and multichannel approach to annual fundraising programs, while always focusing on donors.

Stephanie Hughes, MBA, CFRE

Campaign Director

DCG Philanthropic Services

Fueled by collaboration, creative energy and concrete results, Stephanie Hughes exudes a drive to connect with people and to deliver value that fits the overall fundraising and campaign objectives. Using her marketing and finance background, she delivers clarity and direction in evaluating and executing strategy. Stephanie also draws on her consulting, corporate and academic experience. As a professional fundraiser she has managed feasibility studies, directed campaigns, and positioned asks and materials for targeted stakeholders. Most recently, Stephanie directed Wanuskewin Heritage Park’s $40 million Thundering Ahead Capital Campaign. She has presented to numerous boards, government funding agencies, prospects and clients, both in person and via webinars. Stephanie teaches a class in Entrepreneurial Marketing at the Edwards School of Business, where her students’ creativity and ideas continually inspire her. To advance educational opportunities within the fundraising world, she has served on the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Saskatoon Chapter, most recently as Past-President. She is a Director for the Saskatoon Friendship Inn. When she’s not serving clients or teaching, Stephanie feeds her shoe addiction, practices rock star kicks, and lifts very heavy weights. 

Tara Janzen, B.Comm

Development Manager

Wanuskewin Heritage Park

Tara Janzen is the Development Manager at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon and has most recently managed Thundering Ahead, a $40 million national capital fundraising campaign. In addition to her role as a fundraiser, she is responsible for Wanuskewin’s application for UNESCO World Heritage designation. Tara has over a decade of experience in fundraising, financial analysis and government relations in Saskatchewan and Ontario. An active contributor and participant in community arts and culture, she was a founding board member of Saskatoon's Nuit Blanche Contemporary Arts festival. Tara is President of Heritage Saskatchewan’s Board of Directors, Diversity Chair of the Saskatoon Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and a member of Saskatoon's Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee. Tara has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is a registered yoga teacher. In 2017, she began graduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

Todd Jaques

Director, Strategic Initiatives

Tides Canada

Todd Jaques collaborates with projects and partners to build uncommon solutions for the common good, including growing and cultivating the Tides Canada project community, building impact investing partnerships, and innovating the shared platform model. Prior to joining Tides Canada, Todd was the Director of Operations and Agriculture Partnerships at the Ontario Association of Food Banks, where he was responsible for creating new programs to increase food banks’ participation in sustainable food systems.


Liza Jerome, CFRE

Director, Major Gifts

Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

Liza Jerome has over 23 years of experience in developing and leading fundraising programs at well-respected healthcare organizations in Toronto. Currently VP, Marketing, Communications & Community Giving at Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation, she is responsible for leading the marketing and communication team and the annual giving team raising over $11 million annually. Over her career, Liza has been involved in implementing innovative fundraising strategies that have significantly grown revenues. She has led public awareness campaigns, developed integrated direct marketing programs and established data mining techniques to identify revenue opportunities. Liza is highly regarded in the fundraising profession as a valued speaker and educator. 

Michael Johnston

Founder and President


Mike Johnston is the President and Founder of the global fundraising consultancy, Hewitt and Johnston Consultants and the co-founder of two other fundraising companies: the UK based Xtraordinary and the P2P event company, Beyond. He has been a fundraiser for 27 years, and has worked with 100’s of non-profit organizations in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific in the use of digital technologies and their effective integration with traditional and new fundraising methods. He is the author of two books: The Fund Raiser’s Guide to the Internet and The Nonprofit Guide to the Internet. Mike was a founding Board Member of the Washington-based e-Philanthropy Foundation. In addition, Michael was the founding Foundation Chair for the first global charity online lottery,

Brady Josephson, MNA

Charity nerd. Vice President of Innovation & Optimization


Brady is a charity nerd, entrepreneur, digital marketer, professor, and writer. He’s the Vice President of Innovation and Optimization at NextAfter — a fundraising research lab and consultancy on a mission to unleash the most generous generation in the history of the world.

Brady works with nonprofits, thought leaders, and philanthropic partners to develop research and create content that can help organizations reach more people, acquire more donors, and generate more dollars to fund their world-changing work.

He’s spent his entire career in the nonprofit world working for nonprofits, in technology, and as a consultant. He’s an international speaker whose work and writing have been featured in The Huffington Post, Christianity Today, NPR, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Brady lives just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with his wife Liz, son Hendrix, dog Melly, and cat Thor. 

Mimosa Kabir

Manager, Individual Giving

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Mimosa is an aspiring changemaker, looking to foster collaboration and innovation within the nonprofit sector. She has experience in relationship-building, tactical planning and managing events. She holds a BA honours degree in Global Development Studies and History from Queen's University, and post-graduate certificates from Humber College in Fundraising Management and the University of Leicester in Mass Communications. Mimosa currently works for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and moonlights as a facilitator for the Youth Advocacy Training Institute. Mimosa is also a bookworm, pop culture enthusiast, wannabe globetrotter and sometimes blogger.


Vanessa Landry, MBA

Director of Client Services

Fundraising Direct

Vanessa has spent nearly 10 years running fundraising and marketing campaigns in Australia, the UK, and Canada and is passionate about integrating marketing innovations into the charity sector. In her role as Director of Client Services at Fundraising Direct, she is responsible for working on the annual strategies of over 20 leading charities in the Canadian market. 

Sam Laprade, CFRE

Director - Gryphon Fundraising

Host, An Hour to Give - 1310 News

Sam specializes in partnerships. Whether it is philanthropy, sponsorship, media or municipal politics, Sam loves to connect people. As a professional fundraiser Ms. Laprade works closely with generous donors to impact some of the most vulnerable people in our community. In addition, Sam engages sponsors who are interested in innovative, unique and community-minded opportunities in Ottawa and throughout Canada. Sam’s extensive experience, for close to three decades, with fundraising, media and municipal politics has created an impressive network of community and business leaders.

In 1991 Sam graduated from Algonquin College with a Public Relations diploma. The PR Program included a co-op placement at CBC-TV. Following graduation, Sam started her career at CBC Radio and CBC-TV. She went on to produce countless telethons. A next step for Sam included Councillor’s Assistant and Executive Assistant to the Mayor at the City of Nepean. As the local municipalities in the Ottawa area were amalgamated, Sam returned to her non-profit work. Over a 25-year period Ms. Laprade has raised money for important charities in our community such as: The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, the Ottawa Humane Society and the Ottawa Mission Foundation. Sam returned to teach in the evenings at Algonquin College. Over many years, she taught classes on special event planning, research, pop culture and public relations.  

In 2009, Sam started as Director, Gryphon Fundraising. Ms. Laprade shares the importance of donor database analytics with fundraising professionals worldwide through data reviews, conference presentations, training development staff and coaching non-profit leaders. In addition to her work with Gryphon Fundraising, in October 2017, Sam became a full-time consultant assisting non-profits with stewardship, board training and both data and program audits.

Ms. Laprade is a sought-after speaker.  Her speaking engagements include: Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference, Canadian Association of Gift Planners, Association of Donor Relations Professionals, Western Canadian Fundraising Conference and Association of Fundraising Professionals GTA, Congress.

Sam is the creator and radio host of “An Hour to Give” on 1310 News, Ottawa. This show highlights philanthropy, volunteerism and community in Canada’s Capital. It airs every Saturday morning from 7-8AM.

On her down time, Sam enjoys spending time with her daughter Avery in some of her favourite places including PEI and Turks & Caicos.

Tony Lee

Chief Development Officer

Christian Children's Fund

Tony is the chief development officer with the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada.

As part of his role, tony works closely with individual donors who decided to donate through their wills, to ensure their philanthropic dreams are realized.

Tony arrived at fundraising through a very circuitous career path that has included engineering, journalism, as well as sales and marketing.

He has worked at a number of recognized non-profits, including World Vision Canada, Habitat for Humanity and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Deborah Legrove



Today, Deborah places talent in the non-profit sector. She brings more than 30 years of experience with numerous non-profits as a leader, manager, executive, fundraiser, and consultant. She has served as CEO of a healthcare foundation and advised senior leadership in multiple complex capital campaigns in both Canada and the USA. As active volunteer, Deborah sits on the board of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada, volunteers for the Psychology Foundation of Canada and has served on other boards including the Dorothy Ley Hospice. In 2015, she completed the NFP Essentials Governance Program through the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Ryan Lester, CFRE

A local volunteer, long-time advocate, and alumni of Ryerson University, Ryan has spent more than a decade building the capacity of non-profit and charitable organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of Toronto's vulnerable and marginalized communities. Previously a Senior Director at the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, Ryan knows how to build partnerships with every level of government and turn words into real, localized action. In his role as Director for Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, Ryan raised $10 million to build the country’s first and Toronto’s only facility that will combine counselling with transitional and emergency housing that is dedicated to homeless LGBTQ2 youth. He’s stabilized the finances at city-wide non-profits like Pride Toronto and the AIDS Committee of Toronto, and was a candidate for Toronto City Council in the 2018 Municipal Election. 


Aimee Lindenberger

Chief Engagement Officer

Refocus Communications and Fundraising

Aimée Lindenberger is passionate about her role in helping non-profit organizations make the world a better place. As Chief Engagement Officer at Refocus Communications & Fundraising, she gets to engage that passion every day. Armed with her degree in Graphic Communications Management, double minors in Marketing and Multimedia, a tender heart and insightful mind, and nearly twenty years of marketing and communications experience, she has worked with charities across Canada, helping them build fundraising programs.

Aimée is VP - Communications & Government Relations of the AFP Greater Vancouver Chapter in addition to serving as Vice Chair of the Greater Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP).

Diane Lloyd, CFRE, PCC

Executive Coach

Inspired Results Group

Diane is an accomplished leader, coach, and speaker that inspires people and organizations to reach their full potential so they can do meaningful work in the world. She coaches leaders, entrepreneurs and individuals across the public, private and non-profit sectors, with a special passion for the philanthropic sector. Diane is a Certified Executive Coach (CEC) through Royal Roads University, a professional coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation, while maintaining her CFRE credential. Diane is a member of the AFP Canada Foundation, Past President of the AFP Vancouver Island Chapter and supports her daughter’s philanthropic endeavors through 100 Girls Victoria. She enjoys time at the lake with her family and challenges herself with hot yoga and backcountry camping. 


Juniper Locilento, MPNL, CFRE

Senior Director, Development

YMCA of Greater Toronto

Juniper Locilento, MPNL, CFRE is Senior Director, Development at the YMCA of Greater Toronto where she leads annual giving, events, donor relations fundraising operations and a capital campaign for the new Vaughan Metropolitan YMCA. 

Juniper is passionate about coaching teams through change initiatives to drive revenue growth: during a six-year tenure with KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.), she provided counsel for six capital campaigns and supported her clients in raising over $100M. 

Juniper began her career in the arts, working with Soulpepper Theatre Company, Tapestry New Opera Works, the Canadian Opera Company and many others to nurture new audiences and secure public sector and philanthropic support. 

As a volunteer, Juniper serves as a Director and VP, Public Affairs for the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, a Director for the AFP Canada Foundation for Philanthropy and as a Communications Committee and Government Relations Committee Member for AFP Canada. She recently earned a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership from Carleton University and serves frequently as a coach, presenter and trainer for all things fundraising. 

Beth Ann Locke

Chief Development Officer

BC Women's Hospital + Health Foundation

Beth Ann has the best career in the world – working with donors on their dreams for a better world. She’s a tireless fan of our profession and understands that building relationships and expressing gratitude are keys to success. She's raised millions for the education, social services, and international sectors in Canada and the U.S. by connecting donors with ideas and projects close to their hearts. 
She’s Chief Development Officer at BC Women's Hospital + Health Foundation, board member of AFP Canada Foundation for Philanthropy and VP of Professional Development of AFP Vancouver.  She loves to travel the world, especially with her daughter.


Jen Love


Agents of Good

Agent Jen Love is a storyteller. And not in a poetic sense. In a fumbling, arm-waving, half-sentence-speaking, let's-get-to-the-heart-and-the-feelings sense. Write drunk, edit sober...even if you’re only drunk on emotions. Inhaling an attitude of gratitude and exhaling #donorlove, Jen’s title is Partner at Agents of Good, a collective of donor champions.

David Love, CFRE

Godfather of Good

Agents of Good

David raised his first dollar for the environment in 1969. His current obsession is helping environmental and social justice organizations reap the benefit of the coming legacy tsunami.

Whenever he can, he works with his daughter’s direct response company, Agents of Good, where he is affectionately known as “The Godfather of Good.” He relishes working with these champions of donor-centered fundraising.

He worked at WWF-Canada for 20 years and he’s still there one day a week supporting their legacy program – a program he started in 1982. He learns more about legacy fundraising every day.

In 2013, his colleagues in the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter recognized his efforts by awarding him their lifetime achievement award.

Far from marking the end of David’s career, this inspiring recognition spurns him on to be a better fundraiser every day.

He does that by continuing to put donors first.

Puneet Luthra, MPA


P.S. Luthra Consulting

Puneet Luthra has been working as a government funding specialist since 2006.  Since that time, Puneet has helped non-profits leverage numerous government funding opportunities at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government. The sectors Puneet has secured funding for include advanced manufacturing, environment, children/youth, education, employment and skills training.   

Puneet holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Dalhousie University. 

Sheidell Magalong

Account Manager

Stephen Thomas Ltd.

Sheidell has over 5 years of fundraising and marketing experience and is passionate about delivering excellent service that supports her clients’ mission and revenue goals. As an Account Manager at Stephen Thomas Ltd., she manages direct mail, digital and integrated programs for non-profits of all sizes across Canada and the United States. She is a proud AFP member and was a speaker in AFP’s inaugural Speaker Discovery Series in 2017

Cathy Mann, MA, CFRE


Cathy Mann & Associates

As the President of Cathy Mann & Associates Inc, Cathy helps clients develop the infrastructure and culture of philanthropy required to build sustainable development programs.  In her role as Academic Coordinator and an instructor at Ryerson University’s Fundraising Management Certificate program, Cathy breaks down complex matters into achievable actions.  During her 5-year tenure as Executive Director, Frontier College Foundation received the 2007 Award for Excellence in Fundraising for Small Shops from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals. Cathy is an active volunteer and frequent speaker.  With the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Toronto Chapter, she held many roles:  V.P. of Professional Development, mentor and founder of the Diversity Committee which evolved into the Inclusion and Equity Committee. Occasionally, she plays her ukulele in public.

Sandra Mapa

Advancement Officer

Sunnybrook Foundation

Sandra Mapa is an Advancement professional who has been working with Sunnybrook Foundation for the past four years. In her role on the Advancement Team, her main objective is to secure financial contributions that enable the hospital to care for patients and their families when it matters most. In partnership with the University of Toronto, Sunnybrook leads by discovery, innovation, teaching, and learning. As an organization, Sunnybrook Foundation proudly raises over $70 million dollars per year.

Sandra partners with individuals and corporations to help align their philanthropic interests with initiatives and projects to advance Sunnybrook’s world-class health sciences centre, support research, education, and equipment needs.

Sandra holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Education with Honors from York University.

In her spare time Sandra is a Board Member with the Jewish National Fund Toronto. She also has a passion for gardening, painting and food.

Joe Marilla

Marketing Manager


As the Marketing Manager at award-winning agency, Grassriots, Joe combines research, user-centric strategy, and lots and lots of data to help progressive organizations reach people, build long-lasting relationships with them, and inspire them to take action.

Some awesome clients he's had the honour of serving are: ALS Canada, American Heart Association, Amnesty International, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, CAMH Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, Humane Society International, University of Toronto, World Animal Protection, and more.

Niambi Martin-John

Director of Fund Development

Diabetes Canada

Niambi Martin-John describes herself as a community mobilizer, advocate, teacher and fundraiser. She has spent the last 23 years working in education, community engagement and fundraising at various levels.

Today, Niambi is the Director of Leadership Philanthropy and Donor Relations at Diabetes Canada. There, she leads the strategic planning process and implementation of a national strategy to raise funds to address the growing epidemic of diabetes in Canada. Her portfolio includes Major Gifts, Special Appeal Campaigns, Planned Giving and Foundations. She uses an integrated, mission centered approach to fundraising, collaborating with interorganizational partners to drive revenue by leveraging organizational advocacy, research and education and program outcomes as donor opportunities.

 Niambi uses her skills and experience to mentor and guide other fundraisers and nonprofit sector staff, as is evident in her recent role as an instructor at Seneca College, Newnham Campus. Niambi taught students enrolled in the Non-Profit Leadership Post Graduate Certificate Program, how to build relationships within the nonprofit sector, focusing on Collective Impact through cross sectoral partnerships to address complex social issues.

She hopes to continue advancing her career through volunteerism and executive level fundraising work focused on social issues including health, poverty alleviation, equity and the environment.

Laurel McCombs

Senior Philanthropy Advisor

The Osborne Group

Laurel brings more than 17 years of experience in the non-profit sector to her role as consultant and trainer. Laurel works closely with clients on topics, including donor retention, development operations, board fundraising and more. In addition to well-received workshops, including Junior Achievement and University of Arizona, Laurel has presented at the AFP International Conference, CASE-NAIS, and local development professional associations. Prior to joining The Osborne Group, Laurel worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America where she coordinated capacity-building support to agencies across the country. Laurel has a degree from USC and is an alumna of the American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy. 

Sue McCoy, MA, CFRE

Director of Major Gifts

Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation

Sue McCoy is currently employed as Director of Major Gifts with the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. Sue has worked as a development professional for over 20 years raising over $50 million for organizations across Canada. Sue is very active as a volunteer in the community as a current Board member on the AFP Canada Foundation, current President of the Glenora Community League and Past President with the Edmonton AFP Chapter. Sue holds an M.A. in Sociology from Carleton University in Ottawa, a diploma in Fundraising Management from MacEwan University and is a Certified Fundraising Executive. 


Heather McLean

Senior Enterprise Solutions Engineer


Heather McLean currently serves as a Senior Enterprise Solutions Engineer at Blackbaud, helping to translate complex customer requirements and pair nonprofits with the right tools and technology to achieve their business goals.  Prior to joining the Blackbaud team in 2016, she spent several years as an independent consultant serving nonprofits across North America to build and execute omni-channel marketing and fundraising campaigns that included successfully identifying and leveraging influencers.

Jennifer McNally, CFRE

Director of Development

Georgetown Hospital Foundation

Jennifer McNally is the Director of Development at the Georgetown Hospital Foundation and has over 7 years’ experience developing and leading fundraising programs in support of community healthcare.  As a results driven professional she is motivated by her interest in learning new techniques for increasing revenues, engaging the community at large, donors, volunteers and board members.   An advocate of professional development and education, Jennifer earned her CFRE in January 2018 and recently (and proudly!) joined the AFP Golden Horseshoe Board of Directors.

Jennifer Meriano

Director, Brand Strategy

Stephen Thomas Ltd.

Whether sharing the tale of how she learned to eat fire from a New Zealand street performer or watching a documentary about how bubble wrap was invented, Jennifer loves a good story. It’s little wonder then, that a big focus of her role at Stephen Thomas Ltd is helping clients tell their stories.


A strategic, multidisciplinary brand director who specializes in brand and donor insights, Jennifer helps non-profit marketers address brand and integrated marketing challenges within their organizations.


Jennifer joined ST from the commercial marketing side of the business. Most recently, she was the Creative Account Director at Toronto-based The Mint Agency, where she helped steer cross-functional teams in the development and execution of a full-spectrum of integrated marketing campaigns covering web, print, direct and social channels. Previously, she held marketing management roles at AOL Media Network and Softchoice Corporation.

Jill Miller

Portfolio Director

LEAP Pecaut Centre for Social Impact

Prior to LEAP, as the Chief Operating Officer of Breakthrough Schools, Jill led the growth of a high performing network of free, public charter schools in Cleveland from 6 schools to 12 schools and oversaw non-instructional services, including strategic planning, facilities, security, technology, data and operations. Previously, as President of the Partnership for Clean Competition, Jill launched an anti-doping research collaborative formed by the U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, MLB and the NFL. She also served as Director of Strategic Planning at the U.S. Olympic Committee and as a management consultant in the consumer packaged goods, education, retail, and technology sectors. Most recently, Jill was the Vice President of Growth and Partnerships for Peekapak, a Toronto-based education technology startup focused on teaching elementary-age children social and emotional learning skills.

Jill holds an MBA with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems and a BS from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Engineering School through the Jerome Fisher Joint Program in Management and Technology.

Ryann Miller

Director of Partnerships

Grassriots Inc.

Hi I'm Ryann Miller, Director of Partnership at Grassriots, a boundaries-pushing global strategic and creative agency based in Toronto, that serves the social profit sector. I help social profits use digital and integrated strategies for fundraising, marketing, advocacy and engagement. I've been doing digital fundraising for 13 years: most recently at Care2 for 8 years, building the Canadian market. I'm big on sector growth, big on building relationships and community, and big on leveraging digital maturity #ftw.

Jenny Mitchell, CFRE

Chief Visionary Officer


Chavender’s vision is to help more people do more good. Founder and president of Chavender, Jenny Mitchell, works closely with not-for-profit leaders to change the world - one mission at a time. Chavender assists clients, across Canada and the U.S., to inspire their donors and achieve their fundraising goals through personalized fundraising coaching and training. Before completing her CFRE, Jenny trained as a classical musician and earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts. She brings her creative approach, her drive for excellence, and her passion for people to the world of not-for-profits.‬‬

Bonnie Monteith

Director, Marketing & Communications

Hospitals of Regina Foundation

A seasoned communications professional, Bonnie’s experience spans across many areas in the marketing and communications world. Her key accomplishments include the rebranding of a national diagnostic imaging company and the Forzani Group chain of stores, the development of a western Canadian magazine, an employee engagement strategy for Canadian Blood Services as well as a promotional campaign that won Bonnie her first International Association of Business Communicators award for communications management. In addition to winning several other awards for her teams’ work, she managed her own communications business for 12 years. She recently led the brand refresh for the Hospitals of Regina Foundation and its home lotteries, and built the brand campaign for the Foundation’s annual Four Seasons Ball.

Nicole Nakoneshny

Senior Vice President and Partner

Ketchum Canada Inc.

In addition to serving as the editor of KCI’s online publication, Philanthropic Trends Quarterly©, Nicole plays a lead role in KCI’s specialty portfolio. She works closely with clients to develop highly customised strategic plans and integrated revenue generation strategies, both of which are essential to long-term organizational sustainability. Nicole also conducts capacity assessments and program reviews that assist organizations in enhancing their activities and achieving increased fundraising results.

Nik Nanos, CMC FMRIA

Chief Data Scientist and Founder

Nanos Research Corporation

Nik Nanos leads Nanos Research, one of Canada’s most distinguished research companies. The Nanos Research Group of Companies includes Signal Leadership Communications, a social public relations firm with images to create, issues to manage, relationships to build and reputations to protect in a digitally disrupted era. It also includes Nanos-dimap Analytika, an analytics and targeting research practice which is a joint venture with dimap, one of Germany’s top research organizations. He is the Chief Data Scientist and Founder of Nanos Research, a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, and a research associate professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is also the current Chair of Carleton University in Ottawa which has 28 thousand students and a budget of over $500M. Nik leads the team behind the weekly Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, considered a musthave resource for senior executives and is also featured in a weekly segment on CTV’s News Channel, Nanos on the Numbers, which focuses on the latest political, business and social trends. He is the pollster for CTV News, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, the Globe& Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, Bloomberg News in Canada. Nik’s new book published in 2018, the Age of Voter Rage, examines the rise of populist politics in the US, the UK, Canada and France, the restructuring of citizen engagement and how small swings in voter sentiment have a disproportionate impact on democratic outcomes.

Paul Nazareth

VP, Education and Development

Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP)

Paul Nazareth is a Canadian Planned giving expert with over 18 years’ experience in the sector. Currently the Vice President, Education & Development at the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, he has most recently been VP at the charity CanadaHelps as they scaled in donations to now over $160M a year. Paul has been a philanthropic advisor with Scotia Wealth and spent over a decade with charities like the University of Toronto and the 230 Churches of the Catholic Church of Greater Toronto. He is on the board of several charities, is Chair of the Advisory Board at the Humber College postgraduate fundraising program, a speaker in every Province with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, a national faculty instructor with CAGP and writes on philanthropy for a variety of publications as well as appearing on national television to speak about philanthropic trends.

Judy Noordermeer

Associate Director, Marketing and Communications

Ronald McDonald House of Charities Toronto

Judy Noordermeer is an award-winning communications and marketing leader in the non-profit sector. Prior to her current role, she led teams at SickKids Foundation, The Hospital for Sick Children, the Canadian Cancer Society and Western University. She recently received the Gold Halo Award in the video category from Engage for Good and the Kim Hill Award for digital innovation and impact from Ronald McDonald House Charities Global. She holds an MA in journalism from Western University.

David O'Leary

Director of Impact Investing

World Vision Canada

In cliché fashion, David’s life was transformed after a trip to Africa. His ensuing soul searching led him to quit his Bay Street career on a quest to effect positive change. Currently there are three levers David is pulling to effect change. As Director of Impact Investing at World Vision Canada he is mobilizing capital to help the world’s most vulnerable people. He also founded Kind Wealth, a social enterprise with a mission to empower Canadians to take control of their money so they can live life on their own terms.

David has lived, worked, and volunteered at various times throughout Africa. One of his proudest accomplishments is founding and running Grassroots Youth Development while living in South Africa. David is a frequent speaker at conferences and in the media. David spent 13 years as Director of Manager Research with Morningstar; a global investment data & research provider. David holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Toronto, an MBA from the Rotman School of Business, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Robert Osborne


The Osborne Group, Inc.

With more than 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, Robert brings his expertise to his clients, the organizations whose boards he serves on, and the pro bono projects he assists with. He specializes in organizational management, including strategic planning and scaling fundraising programs. Robert is also known for his international work, working with clients and other NGOs on a diversity of projects in Europe and around the globe.

Robert serves on the Advisory Board of the Czech Fundraising Center and he currently serves as a mentor to numerous social impact start-up organizations in Serbia.

Kishshana Palmer, CFRE

Founder & CEO

Kishshana & Co.

Kishshana Palmer is a national speaker, trainer, and coach with a 16 year background  in fundraising, marketing, and talent management.  She’s a supernova on any stage and platforms due to her charismatic and candid delivery. 

Sheetal Persaud

Assistant Private Sector Partnership Officer, Individual Giving

UNHCR Canada

As Assistant Private Sector Partnerships (PSP) Officer, Sheetal is responsible for developing and executing the strategy to raise $8M of revenue from individuals through direct marketing. This includes generating both monthly and one-time donations through an integrated annual fund campaign including direct mail, face-to-face fundraising, telemarketing, digital based fundraising, DRTV and emergency fundraising, with a focus on strong donor loyalty and lifetime value.

Malcolm Radke


Lloydminster Region Health Foundation

Born in the small "Oil n' Ag" community of Lloydminster, SK/AB, Malcolm is currently the CEO of the community's health foundation. At the end of the work day, nothing beats his prairie back-road commute to his home in the village of Marshall, Saskatchewan! In his 7 years as a fundraiser, he has found success taking best-practices and emerging trends from industry leaders and applying them in his rural community to blue-collar donors. Many of the foundation's key campaigns have relied on engaging donors both from the City of Lloydminster and from the surrounding rural municipalities. 

Eric Rardin

Vice President of Business Development


Eric is the vice president of business development at where he helps hundreds of campaigns, candidates, and nonprofits connect with donors and supporters online. At Care2 Eric advises on donor lead acquisition and multichannel conversion strategies. He has contributed to integrated conversion efforts on behalf of nonprofits in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom and over 100 other countries. Eric serves on the board of directors of  the Direct Marketing Association of Washington.

Prior to joining Care2 Eric designed and executed integrated advocacy campaigns for environmental nonprofits for more than seven years. Eric has an MBA from the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University, an MA in government and international studies from the University of South Carolina and a BS in political science from the University of Wyoming. In addition to his work in the environmental advocacy arena, Eric has extensive experience working on political and issue campaigns from Wyoming to South Africa.

Caroline Riseboro

President & CEO

Plan International Canada

Caroline Riseboro is President & CEO of Plan International Canada, one of Canada’s largest charities working in over 70 countries to help children, especially girls, realize their rights. Caroline is well respected for being a champion of innovation and is credited with launching ground-breaking and award-winning campaigns that have engaged Canadians on some of the world’s toughest issues. In 2017, Caroline was named Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the trailblazer category. Before joining Plan International Canada, Caroline was Senior Vice-President, Marketing & Development at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation, where she played a key role in expanding CAMH’s reach among Canadians. Caroline has held several senior executive positions over the years, more recently as Senior Vice-President, Marketing & Engagement at World Vision Canada where she was responsible for raising $270 million annually. In addition to serving as President of the GTA chapter of AFP, Caroline is serves on the Boards of the Humanitarian Coalition and the Canadian Partnership for Children and Women’s Health (CANWACH). Caroline holds a Bachelor (honours) degree from McGill University and has been pursuing a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton University.

Hadiya Roderique

Hadiya Roderique is a lawyer, writer, speaker and the co-host of Commons, a political podcast produced by Canadaland. As an award-winning writer, she has bylines in The Walrus, The National Post, and The Globe and Mail. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Organizational Behaviour at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Her research broadly examines gender and racial diversity in the workplace, and her work is funded by the Institute for Gender and the Economy. She is passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Jo-Anne Ryan (Moderator)

Vice President, Philanthropy and Executive Director

TD Wealth and Private Giving Foundation

Jo-Anne Ryan is Vice President, Philanthropic Advisory Services at TD Wealth, Executive Director and architect of the Private Giving Foundation (PGF). PGF was the first donor-advised fund launched by a financial institution in Canada. She is a past executive of the GTA Canadian Association of Gift Planners and is currently a member of the government relations committee that lobbies to improve charitable giving tax incentives. Jo-Anne is also a member of the Estate Planning Council of Toronto. She is an active volunteer on several gift planning committees for charities. She is a recipient of the "Friend of CAGP Award" for her significant contribution to gift planning in Canada and is an advisory board member of the Masters in Philanthropy & Non-profit Leadership program at Carleton University.

Beate Sørum

Digital Fundraising Consultant


Beate is a well-known international public speaker, who runs digital fundraising consultancy b.bold. She has more than five years of digital fundraising expertise, most of which is from  the Norwegian Cancer Society, where she among other things doubled the digital fundraising return. Beate loves everything web and digital, and she loves to share what she learns along the way. Her special interests are user experience, landing page and donation form design, content strategy and using social media for donor stewardship.

Simon Scriver, CFRE



Simon Scriver is a professional fundraising consultant, coach, trainer, Board Member and practitioner.

Simon has won Fundraising Ireland's 'Small Budget, Big Impact' and ‘Supplier Of The Year’ Awards, as well as Eircom’s Start-up Award. He is a TEDx speaker and has previously won the Toastmasters UK & Ireland International Speech Contest. A board member of a small non-profit ‘Making Connections’, he also sits on the Advisory Panel of Rogare, the international fundraising think tank, and is a member of the Institute of Fundraising and the AFP. He is the only person in Ireland with a CFRE, a Diploma in Fundraising and a Certificate in Fundraising.

Colin Smith

Manager of Digital Writing and Content Strategy

Canadian Red Cross

Colin Smith is the Digital Writer and Content Strategist on the Canadian Red Cross Digital and Creative Solutions team. He joined the Canadian Red Cross in 2014 with a previous background in journalism and marketing. His writing and strategies support multiple digital marketing channels, including Email, SEM and SEO, Content Marketing, User Experience and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

Connie Smith

Media Personality, Consultant, Speaker

One of Southern Ontario's most recognized media personalities, Connie Smith is acknowledged as a trail-blazer in the industry, respected for her ability to connect with people on and off camera.

She was the first woman to join the weekday news anchor desk at CHCH-TV Hamilton where she became a household name and face for more than two decades and hosted and co-produced “Always Good News” on CTS (Yes) TV, Canada’s first and only good news show.  This followed her start in broadcasting at CFRB Radio Toronto and CKVR-TV Barrie.

Her interviews over the years include celebrities, prime ministers, premiers, and philanthropists such as Ron Joyce, co-founder of Tim Hortons, funnyman Jim Carrey, Margaret Trudeau, Sarah Palin and Olivia Newton-John.

For her community work co-hosting the McMaster Children’s Hospital Telethon and chairing the 2011 Hamilton United Way Campaign, Connie was awarded Rotary International’s Paul Harris Medal, the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals.  She is a member of the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction and the Order of Ontario.

Visit her website

"A compelling message, powerfully delivered, inspires and motivates change.”

Dino Sophocleous, CFRE

President & CEO

Hospitals of Regina Foundation

Dino Sophocleous is a senior non-profit leader with twenty-five years of experience. He is well versed in annual fund development, major gift programs and capital campaigns and has managed campaigns ranging from $10 million to $80 million. Dino’s past roles include President, Arthritis Research Foundation; President, The Hearing Foundation of Canada; National Director of Development, Ducks Unlimited Canada; and Development Director, Huntington Society of Canada. Dino is a member of AFP, CAGP and AHP. He holds a CFRE professional designation, a BA (Specialized Honors) in Economics from York University in Toronto and has completed the Capital Campaigns Program offered by AHP.


Udai Srinivasan, MBA

Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts

CAMH Foundation

Udai Srinivasan is a Senior Development Officer in the Major Gifts team at CAMH Foundation. Previously he was a Manager within the Major Gifts Team at SickKids Foundation, as well as a Development Officer at York University. Throughout his career, Udai has worked in many different roles and industries, including sales within a small manufacturing business, as an intern for an Indian NGO, and as an analyst in an IT market research firm. His volunteer and charitable interests include animal welfare, social services for seniors, civil liberties in Canada, and most recently, refugee settlement. He obtained his MBA from the Schulich School of Business in 2010, where he specialized in non-profit management.

Susan Storey, CFRE

Senior Vice President

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.)

Susan Storey is a highly respected development professional with 25 years’ experience directing fundraising programs at some of Canada’s most notable charitable organizations. Her current work on behalf of KCI includes strategic counsel for studies and campaigns ranging from start-up to $500 million. In addition, Susan is involved in the creation of multi-year revenue generation plans that comprehensively evaluate potential across all fundraising channels including mass philanthropy, major and planned gifts, corporate giving and sponsorship, special events and social enterprise. Susan has been KCI’s lead consultant for projects in all sectors including arts and culture, education, health, environment, sports, multi-level national and international charities and community-based social service organizations.

Bryan Tenenhouse

Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer

Stephen Thomas Ltd.

Bryan honed his creative skills at major Canadian agencies including Wunderman/Y&R, Vickers & Benson, Ogilvy and BBDO before coming to ST. He has worked on and led countless integrated campaigns, working in all media, for commercial clients such as Apple, Volkswagen and Canada Post, to name a few. Bryan sat on the board of directors of the Canadian Marketing Association, and was founding chair of the CMA's Marketing Council. He has served as a member of CMA's national conference committee, and was a founding jurist for the National Advertising Awards, which sends its winners to Cannes.


Layne, The Auctionista, BAS

Philanthro-tainer & Revenue Strategist

Layne, The Auctionista ignites the power of philanthropy with innovative revenue generating strategies and energizing live performance. Canada’s “Philanthro-tainer” and fundraising powerhouse, Layne is dedicated to guiding clients to create profitable events that inspire giving and leave guests feeling appreciated as vital partners of the organization. Layne’s professional fundraising career includes six years as Director of Development in the NFP sector and over 800 “record-breaking” events across Canada as a Certified Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (National Auctioneer’s Association). With niche expertise and game-changing strategies, Layne has unlocked millions of new found dollars for every charitable sector including grassroots to national charities. 


Chris Thomas

Vice President & Managing Director

Direct Point Group

Chris is currently Vice President & Managing Director at Direct Point Group - a full-service, direct marketing fundraising agency exclusively serving the non-profit community, including one of its most notable clients, UNHCR Canada.

Completing his 6th year at Direct Point Group, Chris has spent more than 25 years in fundraising and communications assisting North America’s blue-chip non-profits including Canadian Red Cross, CAMH, CARE Canada, CNIB, Heart & Stroke, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Save the Children USA and Canada, UNICEF, UNHCR International, World Vision Canada and many others. His background covers a wide range of expertise, including monthly donor recruitment and cultivation, single gift donor cultivation and acquisition, middle donor development, major gift and legacy programs and new product development.

Chris is married with two children (future fundraisers) and lives in Oakville, Ontario.

Steve Thomas, CFRE

Chairman & Executive Creative Director

Stephen Thomas Ltd.

Steve Thomas has been described as both the ‘Guru' and the 'Godfather' of Canadian direct response fundraising. Though he started off life as a historical geographer and a teacher, he has been a fundraiser for well over 40 years.  Steve's early career began with Oxfam Canada as Development Director, where he established their direct mail program as Canada's first modern and scientific use of the medium. In the 1970s Oxfam grew to become one of Canada's leading charities, mainly through the successful use of direct mail.

In 1980, Steve founded Stephen Thomas Associates (now Stephen Thomas Limited), Canada's first direct response fundraising agency working exclusively in the not-for-profit sector. Over the years, Steve has worked with thousands of charitable and not-for-profit organizations in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. His contribution to the industry was recognized by the Canadian Marketing Association in 1998 when Steve was awarded the Directors' Choice Lifetime Achievement Award and by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Toronto Chapter in 2002 where he received the Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award. In 2006, Steve was honoured by Amnesty International for 25 years of service.

A gifted speaker and presenter, Steve has lectured world-wide on the topics of marketing and fundraising, and is frequently called upon by groups throughout North America and abroad.  He has worked in Australia off and on since the mid eighties.

One of the original founders and past Chair of the Canadian Fundraising Congress, Steve is past president of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter.  Steve is past Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Humber College Post Graduate Fundraising Program.

Steve was Canadian Ambassador of the International Fundraising Conference (IFC) from 1993-2008.  He was Chair of the IFC in 2004 and 2005.  He served on the Board of its parent, the Resource Alliance, for eight years and left as Co-Chair in October 2010.

In 2007/8 Steve was Fundraiser in Residence at York University. And in 2009-10 the chairman of the Amnesty International Human Rights House Campaign.

In 2012 Steve published 30 Letters that Changed the World and in 2013 joined the Board of Canada’s History Society.  He is also on the board of Strategic Communications, the fundraising and polling firm.

As a resident and former businessman in the Beaches of Toronto, Steve carries his belief of involvement and political activism to the community where he has coached high school basketball for twenty-seven years.

Kathryn Toner

Head of Individual Giving

Cancer Research UK

Kathryn has spent 13 years growing fundraising and marketing programmes across a number of teams at Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Currently Kathryn is Head of Individual Giving, this role includes overseeing the acquisition of new supporters, and ensuring supporters have a great experience with the charity, to inspire their continued support. The Individual Giving team looks after over 1 million donors, and raises over £107 million in income a year.

Mazarine Treyz

Founder & CEO

Wild Woman Fundraising

Mazarine Treyz is the author of The Wild Woman's Guide to Fundraising, and CEO of Wild Woman Fundraising, a national fundraising training company. Her organization runs two virtual conferences per year, one on nonprofit leadership and one on fundraising careers. In addition, she trains people with webinars, in-person workshops, and 10+ e-courses. 

Her website is a popular resource with 50,000 monthly readers. Ms. Treyz has co-founded a nonprofit and worked in increasingly responsible fundraising roles for 10 years. She's trained over 12,000 people from 2011-2017 and helped nonprofits raise millions more. She specializes in nonprofit leadership, fundraising careers, writing fundraising plans, direct mail, e-newsletters, and copy for online fundraising. 

She also wrote The Wild Woman's Guide to Social Media, given a 5 star rating by Her latest book, Get the Job! Your Fundraising Career Empowerment Guide, and was also given a 5 star review by

Patricia Tynan

Senior Marketing Manager

Blackbaud, Inc.

Patricia is a principal marketing manager for Blackbaud with more than 15 years in tech as a marketer, consultant and trainer in the business and not-for-profit sectors.  A frequent presenter at sector events such as the Social Media for Nonprofits Bootcamp, Emerge Conference series, AFP Houston’s Meet the Experts, and bbcon - Patricia weaves case studies, data, trends and her perspective as a frequent volunteer and board member into all her presentations.  Patricia holds an M.T. in strategic foresight and planning from the University of Houston and a BA in government from The University of Texas in Austin.

Kesheyl van Schilt

President & CEO


Kesheyl is passionately committed to getting results. At Blakely, she has spearheaded ground-breaking direct marketing campaigns, channeling her strengths in strategic business planning, data analytics and marketing towards acquiring thousands of new donors and raising millions of dollars for her clients.

Under Kesheyl’s leadership, Blakely has produced integrated digital fundraising campaigns and pioneered innovative leadership giving and second gift strategies, all while consistently delivering outstanding customer service.

As a former fundraising executive at a major teaching hospital, Kesheyl brings over 15 years of experience to her roles as President & CEO of Blakely and Senior Fundraiser with key clients.

Cindy Wagman, CFRE

President & CEO

The Good Partnership

Cindy Wagman is on a mission to make great fundraising achievable for small organizations. After spending 15 years as an in-house fundraiser at organizations large and small, Cindy founded The Good Partnership – where her and her small but mighty team help small nonprofits with their fundraising so they can focus on changing the world. She has worked in social justice, health, arts, and education organizations. She has overseen and executed everything from annual campaigns focused on participation to multi-million dollar gifts. She became a Certified Fundraising Executive in 2009 and received her MBA from the Rotman School at the University of Toronto in 2013.

Mo Waja

Marketing Storytelling Expert, Speaker, Author, Host of the Let’s Talk Show podcast

Mo Waja is a professional speaker, marketer, entrepreneur, the author of presentIMPACT: The Speaker’s Guide, the Host of the Toronto Story Archive podcast, the Host of the Let’s Talk Speaking podcast, and specializes in marketing storytelling for nonprofit organizations. Mo has worked with clients in the software, finance, and e-commerce sectors, amongst others, developing their digital storytelling strategies. To date, Mo has spent tens of thousands of hours coaching business professionals, entrepreneurs, non-profits, campaign advocates, post-secondary students, politicians, motivational speakers, and medical practitioners in the art of professional speaking and communication. Currently, Mo is producing the She Speaks Project, a documentary covering barriers women face in professional communication in the workplace.

Brock Warner, CFRE, bCRE-Pro

Director, Community Giving and Innovation

War Child

Brock Warner, CFRE is the Director, Community Giving and Innovation at War Child – a charity providing humanitarian aid to children affected by war. His writing on fundraising has been published in Hilborn and was a central figure in Gail Picco’s 2017 book “Cap in Hand: How Charities are Failing the People of Canada and the World” as an example of a fundraiser able and willing to grapple with the large philosophical challenges of fundraising for increasingly polarising social issues. You can follow him on Twitter at @brockwarner, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Lisa Watson

Co-Founder & CEO


Lisa Watson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Openly, a strategy and analytics company committed to amplifying social good. Lisa is a highly skilled leadership and social impact strategist with 20 years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating social impact strategies. As a consultant, coach and mentor, her core areas of contribution include strategy design, strategic learning, organizational development and adaptive leadership. For 15 years, Lisa held senior positions leading strategic policy and planning in the Ontario provincial government and United Way Toronto & York Region. She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo-McConnell Foundation Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation and holds degrees from Dalhousie University in Psychology and Social Work. She teaches at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, and has previously taught at the Schulich Executive Education Centre and the Canadian Organizational Development Institute. Lisa is known for bringing a human-centred perspective to all areas of social change, illuminating strengths, listening deeply and bringing strategies to life.

Doug Wayne

Director Digital and Creative Solutions

Canadian Red Cross

Doug Wayne leads the digital marketing, web development and creative services departments at the Canadian Red Cross.  He joined the Canadian Red Cross in 2012 and has spent the last 6+ years building up the digital and creative strategy programs for both donor and commercial audiences.  

Tycely Williams, CFRE

Vice President, Development


Tycely Williams, a self-proclaimed matchmaker, has inspired individuals and institutions to invest more than $84 million dollars in charitable causes.  Currently, she serves as vice president of development for YWCA USA and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.   

cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University, Williams holds a bachelor of arts degree in communication with distinguished departmental honors and a minor in Journalism. Tycely possesses an Executive Masters in Leadership from Georgetown University. 

In her spare time, she leads the Women’s Impact Initiative (WII) of the Association of Fundraising Professionals International. WII is charged with assessing, addressing and highlighting the specific issues and challenges that women in the fundraising profession face. In addition, she currently serves on the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Ethics Committee and is a past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Washington Metro Chapter, the largest chapter of charitable fundraisers in the United States.  Tycely is also president of the Junior League of Washington, the first woman of color to hold the position in 105 years. A joyful divorcée, she enjoys traveling, crashing charitable fundraising galas, taste-testing fried green tomatoes and conversing with values-driven leaders in preparation for her first book.

Philip Wong

Director of Development

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

Philip Wong has held leadership roles in the LGBTQ non-profit community in Canada and the US for 20 years. Prior to joining the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network as Director of Development, Philip was Director of Development at Inside Out, presenter of the Ottawa and Toronto LGBT Film Festivals, and Director of Communications at Pride Foundation in Seattle, Washington. Early in his career, he held executive leadership positions at the Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line and the Community One Foundation. His focus on capacity building in the philanthropic sector extends into his current volunteer leadership role as co-chair of the LGBT Giving Network’s Advisory Board. Philip holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University.

Tammy Zonker

Fundraising Expert, Speaker & Author

Fundraising Transformed

Recognized as one of America's Top 25 Fundraising Experts, Tammy is an inspiring international speaker and trainer in the discipline of transformational philanthropy and an innovative fundraising practitioner. She has trained, coached and led nonprofit teams to raise more than $450M including a single gift of $27.1M. She moved to Detroit in 2008 determined to fundraise in the most challenging economy in the U.S. and has turned those experiences into strategies, tools and processes for skyrocketing fundraising results in any economy.