During this in-depth panel discussion, leading CEOs will provide insights on the future of fundraising, where they envision opportunities and challenges in the non-profit sector, and how influential leadership can transform an organization. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear leading practices from the senior ranks – and to ask your most pressing questions in an interactive setting.

  1. Examine future trends, opportunities and challenges within the sector from a senior leadership perspective
  2. Understand how to influence at the senior level and drive positive change throughout your organization
  3. Explore the key skills needed to excel in the fundraising profession from a CEO’s perspective

Marilyn Brown

Vice President, Revenue Development

Kids Help Phone

Marilyn Brown joined Kids Help Phone as Vice President, Revenue Development in May 2015. In her role, she is responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of fundraising activities related to major and annual gifts, events and community fundraising, corporate development and government funding. Prior to joining Kids Help Phone, Marilyn was National Campaign Director for the Canadian Cancer Society where she lead and implemented an innovative and transformational fundraising campaign that created new donor funding opportunities for strategic investment in high-impact research and support programs. Marilyn was also Vice-President Campaign at Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation where she managed the major gifts fundraising team and created donor opportunities and prospect strategies in support of the Hospital’s capital redevelopment program and research institute. She began her career in fundraising at the University of Toronto, where she went up through the ranks from Alumni Development Officer to Executive Director, Development and Alumni Relations at her alma mater, the Faculty of Music, as part of the University’s first billion dollar campaign. She has served on the board of Toronto Summer Music and Women’s Musical Club of Toronto, and volunteers in the organizations her kids are part of.

Susan Horvath, CFRE

President and Chief Executive Officer

ROM Governors

Susan is a seasoned philanthropic executive with diverse leadership experience in the healthcare, education and research sectors. Susan joined the Royal Ontario Museum in December 2014 as President & CEO of the ROM Governors, inspired by the opportunity to build on her lifelong passion for the ROM and her love of helping donors realize great impact through philanthropy.
In her 26 years in the charitable sector, Susan has served as Vice President Philanthropy for the Canadian Cancer Society; President of the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation; Vice President External at Robarts Research Institute; Director of Alumni & Development at Western University; and Director, Resource Development United Way of London & Middlesex.
Susan’s fundraising career was preceded by a decade as an academic at Brescia University College at Western University, where she taught and researched clothing, textiles and historic costume. Susan holds a BSc from Western and an MSc from the University of Alberta. An active volunteer, Susan has held leadership positions with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE), Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), International Women’s Forum and several healthcare and community organizations. Recognized with the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation in 1995, Susan’s service has been recognized with awards, most recently the Carmelle Murphy Alumnae Award of Distinction from Brescia University College and the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Pearl Veenema, FAHP

President & CEO

Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation

Pearl joined Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation as President & CEO in August 2007 and is currently a member of the Mohawk College Foundation board, and the MacKay CEO forum. Pearl decided to focus her career on fundraising development in 1999, after an earlier career in nursing and health care administration. As a fundraising professional, Pearl served as President and Chief Development Officer for the former Orthopaedic and Arthritic Foundation in Toronto, and both Managing Director of Campaigns and Vice President Advancement for the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation at University Health Network (UHN). Pearl is a Fellow of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, CFRE International.  In 2013, Pearl was awarded the prestigious Harold J. (Si) Seymour Award from the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) in recognition of a career that reflects exemplary standards of excellence in fostering volunteerism and philanthropy. Committed to continuing education and professional standards, Pearl has held many volunteer leadership roles at the regional and national levels for AHP, including Chair.  Pearl also served for two terms as Chair, AHP University-based Programs and Director of the Madison Institute for Healthcare Philanthropy in addition to 14 years on the Faculty. Pearl was a Director and Chair, CFRE International Board and is a frequent presenter at conferences. Pearl was a contributing author for the first-ever Canadian Fundraising Textbook, Excellence in Fundraising Canada.  She is a proud alumni (2009/13) of Conversation which is an “immersion experience focused on the future of the social sector and the evolving role of philanthropy”. Pearl and her husband, Frank, live in Oakville and have an adult son Michael.

Sharon Wood

President & CEO

Kids Help Phone

Sharon Wood is a non-profit and charitable sector leader with over twenty years’ experience in senior roles, both nationally and provincially.  Sharon is the President and CEO of Kids Help Phone, Canada’s only national service providing 24/7 mental health and emotional support to kids, teens and young adults, where she has led significant developments in strategy, innovation, governance and partnerships.  Sharon has previously served as CEO of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Executive Director of Canadian Crossroads International, and Director of Organizational Development at the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Sharon is an instructor in the new Non-Profit Sector Leadership Certificate Program at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, also serving as a member of the content development team.  Sharon is bilingual, holds a M.Ed in Adult Education from OISE/UT with a focus on workplace learning and change, as well as a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Ryerson. Sharon serves on the Board of the Excellence in Literacy Foundation and is a member of the Imagine Canada Advisory Council.  She is a mentor with the Roundtable, and is a past Board member of AFP Greater Toronto Chapter.  In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys running, biking, hiking, skiing and travelling.