The people that make up Team MakeWay are located across the country, and at MakeWay offices in Vancouver, Toronto, and Yellowknife.
Leadership and Staff
Alison is a facilitator, storyteller, strategist, and deep listener with 20 years experience in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors. She is deeply committed to narratives that centre the interconnectedness of humans within nature, while advancing decolonization and building a more equitable society.
At MakeWay, Alison provides leadership for the communications team, and is focused on weaving together our organizational story of change and leveraging strategic communications to amplify the impact of our diverse partnerships and priorities. Before this, Alison worked with non-profits across Canada including the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society and the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. She has an MA in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths, University of London in the UK.
Alison volunteers on the board of directors for Community Futures Sunshine Coast, which inspires and advances an ecosystem of social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, and impact investing on the Sunshine Coast of BC.
Allie joined the MakeWay shared platform team in 2014 and currently holds the role of Manager, Shared Platform Operations, where she leads and supports the implementation of strategy planning, development, and implementation of Shared Platform operations and processes, including supervision of the Shared Platform coordinator team. Prior to joining MakeWay, Allie provided research, writing, and program support for several Toronto-based nonprofits, including Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, EcoSpark, and CivicAction. She has a Master of Environmental Studies degree from Queen’s University and a BA in Environmental Studies from Trent University. In a volunteer capacity, Allie works on various animal justice causes. She is based in Hamilton, Ontario on the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas.
Based in Vancouver, Annie Phan is a Senior Coordinator, Revenue and Donor Relations at MakeWay and works closely with the teams regarding to donations and other revenue processing. She ensures transactions are in compliance with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) policies and guidelines and MakeWay’s policies.
Prior to working at MakeWay, she worked as an accounting specialist in finance and real estate industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from HCM Open University and a Post-Degree in Finance and Accounting from Douglas College.
Antonia strategically leads the planning and implementation of agreement-based services on behalf of MakeWay. She is responsible for project management, cross-team collaboration, resource allocation, and grant management. Her experience comes from a variety of roles in private companies, the travel industry and charity sector. Before joining MakeWay in 2017, she worked for the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) in London, setting up new programs, helping stakeholders move ideas to action and supporting course participants on a day-to-day basis. Antonia immigrated to Vancouver from London over five years ago and now cannot imagine leaving the beautiful west coast!
Brenda Cinkant is a Finance Coordinator supporting the MakeWay Shared Platform team.
She is based in Kelowna, BC on the unceded territory of the Syilx (Okanagan) peoples.
Brenda is a seasoned administration professional with several years’ experience working in finance and accounting.
Bridgitte works with community, philanthropic and sector partners to support nature and communities thrive together in the Pacific. She manages program grants, funds, and other initiatives to help our partners achieve and implement their visions.
Bruce Berghmans is a Project Specialist at MakeWay and provides support to initiatives on the Shared Platform.
Bruce has worked in the nonprofit and research sector including for the International Growth Centre and Amnesty International. Prior to joining MakeWay, she managed a large portfolio of grantees and worked on impact and donor reporting. She holds a BA in International Relations and a Masters in International Politics and East Asia from Warwick University, UK.
Camille is a Finance Advisor for the Shared Platform. She oversees the projects’ overall financial health and provides a varying degree of financial and accounting support. Camille partners with project specialists, coordinators, administrators, managers, and directors to ensure that projects benefit from the administrative resources and expertise of the shared platform.
Prior to working for MakeWay, Camille worked for Employment and Social Development Canada in Newfoundland. She has also worked in the banking and accounting industries as well as in the nonprofit sector. She has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in accounting.
Cristina Biason joined MakeWay in June 2018, bringing with her more than 20 years experience in Payroll and Benefits management. As part of the People Engagement & Learning team, Cristina is focused on providing excellent employee experience.
Danae is the Director of Finance at MakeWay. Since 2010 she has worked in many Finance roles on the Finance team. She now manages the Shared Platform Finance Specialist team and is also responsible for monitoring and reporting on the financial health of the overall organization. As a trusted internal advisor, her passion is spreading financial literacy throughout MakeWay and beyond.
Danae has been working in government, education, and not-for profit for 15 years, providing financial and administrative support. She has a Bachelor of Technology in Accounting from BCIT and is in the final stages of her studies to earn her CPA designation.
Delma joined MakeWay in 2020 and is based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. As Senior Associate, Community Initiatives, Delma supports women’s and girl’s initiatives in the territories and Inuit regions by building meaningful relationships and partnering with northern communities, leaders, and organizations to enable community-driven solutions to women’s and girl’s issues. The position is the result of a new partnership between MakeWay and the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
Delma is originally from Igluligaarjuk, Nunavut which is a small town of 350 residents off the coast of Hudson Bay. She studied at Aurora College in Yellowknife and George Brown College, and most recently she has been working as Manager, Pre-Employment Training at Pilimmaksaivik within the Government of Canada based in Iqaluit.
Delma has spent most of her career within the non-profit sector, and her passion is to promote mental wellness within Nunavut. She is also co-owner of Mamitsiivik Consulting, a business focused on facilitating mental health first aid programs.
Prior to joining MakeWay, Delma worked with the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation, Embrace Life Council, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. She places great value on community and building relationships – all of which will be important in her new role as Senior Associate, Community Initiatives.
Emma Kreuger is the Northern Program Specialist, based out of Arviat, Nunavut. She grew up in Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake) and settled in Arviat after completing her post-secondary studies in Montreal and Iqaluit. Emma has previously worked with non-profit organizations focused on local, regional, or territorial work in Nunavut. She has also worked with Hinaani Design, a small business that specializes in Inuit apparel and graphic design.
Erin has cultivated a commitment to the co-creation of justice and equity-oriented non-profit and social-benefit work globally over the last 20 years, as a facilitator, executive, and leadership development coach focused on program design, culture building, and organizational learning working with diverse stakeholders to organize for effective change management and strategic alignment for social change.
Erin has an MA in Applied Community Development & Conservation and worked on the US/Mexico borderlands for 12 years as the co-creator and director of the Windsong Peace & Leadership Center, a permaculture ranch & leadership training center focused on immigration and racial justice, accessibility, environmental regeneration, and youth empowerment. She is a co-founder and previous executive director of the Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute dedicated to shifting Arizona/Sonora economic practices from extraction-based economies toward restoration economies for cultural & ecological sustainability. Returning to Toronto in 2017, Erin was the Head of Global Innovation & Development with WE, and supported the strategic planning work of Future Generations University as their VP of Global Outreach in 2019.
Erin’s work at MakeWay is focused on building a learning culture, advancing equity and justice, employee engagement, training and development, and HR policy and process.
Gayle joined MakeWay in 2022 in the role of CFO. In this role Gayle oversees finance, information systems, compliance and governance. She has dedicated much of her career to the charitable sector, and is a lifelong learner and collaborative leader with a deep commitment to social justice and serving communities. She is a graduate of Schulich School of Business and is a CPA CA. Prior to MakeWay, Gayle spent 11 years at the YMCA of Greater Toronto, working in a variety of roles in support of building strong communities.
Based in Ontario, Irene is a Finance Advisor for the Shared Platform. She provides various financial support (budgeting, cashflow management and financial analysis) for projects on the shared platform ensuring project’s overall financial health is good. Irene partners with project specialists, coordinators, administrators, managers, and directors to ensure that projects benefit from the administrative resources and expertise of the shared platform.
Based in Vancouver, James is the Finance Manager for MakeWay’s Shared Platform. In addition to supervising and managing the Shared Platform finance support team, he collaborates with project specialists, coordinators and other teams to provide financial support and analysis to a portfolio of Shared Platform projects.
Prior to joining MakeWay, James was a Manager for Deloitte LLP in London, UK, specializing in the financial services sector. He came to Canada determined to use his existing financial expertise in support of environmental and social causes. He is a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA), Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) and holds a Master of Chemistry Degree from Durham University, UK.
Jennifer Kilabuk, joined the MakeWay team as Senior Associate for Inuit Nunangat. Based in Iqaluit, NU her role focuses on building meaningful relationships and partnering with Inuit communities, leaders and organizations to enable community-driven solutions. She is an alumni of Nunavut Sivuniksavut and studied at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in British Colombia. Jennifer was most recently an Aquatic Science Technician for Fisheries and Oceans Canada in their Arctic Aquatic Research Division.Jennifer has spent most of her career chasing her passions and comes with a background in youth empowerment, cultural revitalization, natural sciences, and climate change adaptation. Jennifer is passionate about Indigenous-led land and water stewardship and self-determination. Jennifer is also a member of the Nunavut Climate Change Youth Advisory Committee, whose mission is to raise awareness, empower youth, share knowledge and take action on climate adaptation and emission reduction through an Inuit perspective.
Joanna Kerr is the President and CEO of MakeWay.
She has dedicated her career to advancing social justice and women’s rights, a healthy environment, and strong civil society. Prior to joining MakeWay in 2019, Joanna led Greenpeace Canada for over 5 years. She was the first female Chief Executive of ActionAid International based in South Africa, and the Executive Director of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development.
She currently serves as the Chair of the Equality Fund, Canada’s global fund for women, and is the International Board Chair of World Animal Protection. She is also the Lake Steward for the lake she can often be found near.
Julie Price leads a strategic grantmaking program called the Northern Manitoba Food, Culture & Community Fund. This fund is a collaboration between 10 organizations and its purpose is to support local projects that increase access to healthy food, improve community health, and drive community economic development.
Julie was born and raised in Manitoba, where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture followed by a Masters in Natural Resource Management. Prior to joining MakeWay, she worked in large-scale animal agriculture and then spent a decade with Heifer Canada, working with communities in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Manitoba to improve local food systems and reduce hunger and poverty. As an active member of her community, Julie has supported and facilitated the development of local organizations including the Farmers’ Markets Association of Manitoba, Harvest Moon Local Food initiative, Fort Whyte Farms, and Manitoba Farm Mentorship. She is a founding board member of Food Matters Manitoba, a provincial food security organization.
Julie has a strong belief in the wisdom of communities. Her development philosophy is to listen, learn, and adapt to local needs.
KeunWoo joined the MakeWay team in 2018 and supports MakeWay Foundation as a Business Analyst. He is based in Vancouver, BC. Prior to working at MakeWay, worked as a business planning and analysis manager at Citigroup and Samsung. Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, he completed a Bachelor of Business Management before moving to Canada.
Killulark Arngna’naaq is the Northern Program Manager based in MakeWay’s Yellowknife office. She is originally from Qamani’tuaq, Nunavut but grew up in Yellowknife and parts of Ontario. She works with both the shared platform as well as the strategic programs team. She also volunteers with several nonprofits organizations, applying her formal training to several causes, primarily arts and/or Indigenous based.
Kim Hardy works with funders and grantees to find strategic philanthropic uncommon solutions for the common good with special focus on Canada’s West Coast and Northern geographies. She has worked extensively with First Nations, development corporations and rural communities on community-based economic development projects in BC and the Yukon. Kim completed her MBA in Community Economic Development at Cape Breton University after studying psychology at the University of Victoria and completing the Community Economic Development certificate at Simon Fraser University. She has been an active member of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, participating on the BC/Yukon Council and is currently contributing to Genuine Progress Pacific as a Board Member.
In working with MakeWay, Lee Burton plays a leadership role in developing customized philanthropic solutions for individual philanthropists, private foundations, and corporations. Accessing a unique suite of tools that includes donor advised funds, impact investment options, and a shared platform for charitable projects, MakeWay builds bridges among sectors, and helps to steer philanthropy into innovative work that can address tough social and environmental challenges.
Lizzie joined MakeWay in July 2019 as the Director of the Shared Platform and is based in the Vancouver office. She works with multiple departments to oversee the coordination of resources and the delivery of supports to projects on the Shared Platform.
Lizzie has worked in the nonprofit sector in Canada and the UK for over ten years in a variety of roles, including consulting with a diverse range of charities in their human resources and operations. Prior to joining MakeWay, Lizzie was the operational leader for SOGI 1 2 3, a collaborative education initiative that has been adopted by all school boards in BC.
Lizzie is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources in BC and a Certified Associate in Project Management.
Lori Tagoona joined the MakeWay team as Senior Associate for Inuit Nunangat. Based in Iqaluit, NU her role focuses on building meaningful relationships and partnering with Inuit communities, leaders and organizations to enable community-driven solutions. She is an alumni of Nunavut Sivuniksavut and Canada World Youth and studied at the University of Winnipeg and Athabasca University. Lori was most recently Senior Advisor in the Nunavut Regional Office of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.
Lori loves connecting with people who are passionate about creating positive change in the north. She believes that long term and sustainable solutions must revolve around the resurgence of Indigenous ways of being and knowing.
Lori is also a member of the Hinaani Design team, an Inuit owned company which designs clothing and accessories that reflect Inuit culture and Arctic landscapes.
Mariam is based in joy and gratitude on Dish with One Spoon Treaty Territory. Prior to joining MakeWay, Mariam served as a National Program Manager at the YMCA of Greater Toronto and previously at the Ontario Ministry of Education in managing youth programs.
Mariam is passionate about inclusive community driven work and is deeply connected to organizations and people who value social justice and change and is thrilled to continue this work at MakeWay. As a Francophone, she’s also happy to connect in French and enjoys spending time outside, reading, and enjoying music.
Monika joined the MakeWay team in December 2021. In the newly developed role of Compliance Coordinator, Monika will provide support with a variety of items including health and safety, lobbying, contracts, elections advertising, privacy, DAFs, grant making, T3010s and AGMs and society filings.
Prior to joining MakeWay, Monika worked in the public sector, with a focus on municipal drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater compliance. Monika has a diploma in Environmental Technology from Georgian College.
Natalie joined MakeWay in 2013 and provides compliance administration, training, and advice to teams across the organization. She has been part of the nonprofit and charity sector since 2004 in volunteer, employee, contractor, and board member roles. Throughout her career, Natalie has focused on the value of governance and operations in helping organizations effectively and efficiently realize their missions. As part of her ongoing learning, Natalie strives to integrate Indigenous legal concepts and UNDRIP into her approach to compliance.
Prior to joining MakeWay, Natalie led business development and grant management at a nonprofit promoting residential energy efficiency. She currently serves on the board of Hives for Humanity and volunteers with the Vancouver Farmers’ Market and her local Adopt a Catch Basin program.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan on Treaty 6 territory, Nicole is Métis with ancestral roots in the Red River Valley. She has spent her career working to advance Indigenous sovereignty, Indigenous philanthropy, and reconciliation, most recently as Director of Indigenous Initiatives at the McConnell Foundation where she led the McConnell Reconciliation Initiative.
Nicole joins MakeWay with significant experience in government relations working on files such as the Indian Residential School Resolution, the Urban Aboriginal Strategy, and the Government of Canada’s Initiative on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women. In addition to providing policy leadership and expertise at the federal level, she has also worked extensively at the community level.
Nicole is currently a Fellow of the Academy for Systems Change and sits on the Board of Directors at SeedChange. She lives on unceded Algonquin territory in Ottawa with her husband and five children.
Nicole McDonald will lead MakeWay’s national program strategy, connecting efforts across existing MakeWay programs in the Pacific, the North, and Manitoba, and pursuing emerging opportunities for MakeWay to build partnerships and solutions that enable nature and communities to thrive together. Based in Ottawa, she will also play a key role in federal government relations for MakeWay.
Norah collaborates with teams across the organization on a range of communications and marketing projects related to grantmaking, development, public and media relations, and the shared platform. As Senior Communication Specialist, she is responsible for connecting our community, marketing our tools and offerings, and sharing MakeWay’s story across multiple communications platforms.
Norah’s communications experience spans roles in the private sector, government, and nonprofits. Prior to joining MakeWay in 2017, she worked with the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), a nonprofit organization focused on helping institutional investors who have an interest in responsible (ESG) investment.
Norah has a MA in Global Media and Transnational Communications from Goldsmiths, University of London and a BA in Communications Studies from York University.
Seda is a Program Coordinator at MakeWay and supports grant making, funds and projects in the Pacific.
Seda has extensive experience with the non-profit and international organizations in such areas as community development, health and equality. Prior to joining MakeWay, she worked with United Nations Population Fund coordinating strategic partnerships with faith-based organizations in the region of Europe and Central Asia.
Seda holds a Master’s Degree in Translation and is a Certified Associate in Project Management. In her leisure time Seda enjoys books, long walks and photography.
Shannon grew up canoeing on the lakes of Southern Ontario where she nurtured a passion for aquatic insects and terrestrial plants. She moved to Prince George in 2010 to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Recreation and Conservation.
When she graduated in 2014, she had gained a great appreciation for the community-based non-profits doing work to protect and educate on our natural world. Following this appreciation, she worked in a variety of fields from recreation to environmental education and found her niche in water stewardship after moving to the Columbia Valley in 2018. Here she served as the Executive Director to the Lake Windermere Ambassadors and contracted to other water focused organizations and projects.
Shannon joined the MakeWay team in 2022 to support projects and priorities relating to freshwater at MakeWay. Shannon is based in the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa and Secwepemc Peoples, Invermere, BC, where you can find her out mountain biking, skiing, or knitting in her spare time.
Sharita has been at MakeWay since 2019, and provides operational support to initiatives on the shared platform as a Project Specialist. Sharita completed a 5 year co-op Honors degree in Environment and Business at the University of Waterloo, and landed fellowships with two different entrepreneurial start-up programs – GreenHouse and Venture For Canada.
Sharita has a packed resume of experience in almost every sector: government, research, journalism, consulting, agriculture, art, start-ups, and academics. Sharita has a long history of activism and organizing in the environmental and social sectors, and is honored to be able to bring their passion and skill to the MakeWay team.
A true Gemini, Sharita has a million different interests, and can often be found tattooing (or getting tattooed), hiking, dancing, reading, writing, cooking, and gardening.
Sharon is a CPA, CA and holds a Master of Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo. The combination of professional and academic experience gives her the financial background and understanding of the issues around sustainability, community building and social challenges Canadians are facing. Prior work experience was in program and people management in a post secondary setting, with the work focused on project and regional management, process improvement and building relationships through respectful listening and dialogue. Sharon has a talent for communicating complex issues in ways that people understand, and is committed to providing effective support to the Shared Platform projects. The alignment of MakeWay’s values with her own were a key driver to join the MakeWay team.
Sharon is honoured to live and work on traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples.
Stephen grew up twice. He spent his childhood in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and his early forays into the Canadian Shield and prairies fostered a great love of the land. He then spent his early adulthood in Lutsel K’e, Northwest Territories amongst the Denesoline, and there adopted a deep appreciation for the people, land, and culture. There he and his wife Tracey started raising their family, and he worked with Indigenous peoples to address critical land, resource, and governance issues for fifteen years.
Now living with his family in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Stephen works as Program Lead, Northern Canada for MakeWay, a national philanthropic foundation devoted to fostering community solutions to environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, and community wellbeing challenges. He is focused on working with northerners to amplify next generation northern leadership, foster sustainable livelihoods, achieve wise land and water stewardship, and catalyze cultural resurgence.
Talitha Tolles is the Senior Manager of Learning and Development, she is a facilitator, storyteller, beadwork artist, and is member of the Georgian Bay Métis Community.
Talitha comes from an extensive background in program development, community mobilization and engagement, adult education, culture building, and creating optimal and accessible learning environments for growth. Talitha finds joy in bringing people together and supporting them in finding their passion and drive for justice. Her methods are experiential, community-based, and rooted in action. When she isn’t working you can find her beading or by the nearest body of water.
Todd Jaques collaborates with projects and partners to build uncommon solutions for the common good, including growing and cultivating the MakeWay project community, building impact investing partnerships, and innovating the shared platform model. Prior to joining MakeWay, 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.
Andrew Heintzman is the president and a co-founder of Investeco Capital. He has a background in private equity and venture capital investing in environmental companies. Andrew is a member of the Clean Energy Task Force for the Province of Ontario, and he sits on a number of corporate boards, including Lotek Wireless and Rowe Farms. Andrew is also on the steering committee of Sustainable Prosperity and an Advisor to the MGA program at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Andrew is the author of The New Entrepreneurs: Building a Green Economy for the Future, and co-editor of two books, Fueling the Future: How the Battle Over Energy is Changing Everything and Feeding the Future: From Fat to Famine, all published by The House of Anansi Press.
Justin Ferbey is Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Yukon Government and President of the Yukon Development Corporation, the crown corporation responsible for promoting economic development of Yukon. He is also former Chief Executive Officer of the Carcross Tagish Management Corporation, where his efforts resulted in the 2013 Innovator of the Year Award from the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon and Innovator of the Year finalist in the 2013 Canadian Tourism Awards.
Justin is a federal appointee to the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Agreement for Environmental Cooperation, and former president of Skookum Jim’s Friendship Centre. He was previously a federal fiscal advisor in the British Columbia treaty process, director of the Yukon Energy Corporation, vice-chair of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, and an executive of the Carcross Tagish First Nation.
Born and raised in the Yukon, Justin is a citizen of the Carcross Tagish First Nation. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and an MBA from the University of Liverpool. He is also a 2007 Action Canada Fellow and an alumnus of the US Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (2013).
Aerin Jacob has worked in research, conservation, teaching, and consulting across North America, East Africa, and Central America for nearly 20 years. As the National Director of Science and Research for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, she conducts, supports, and uses scientific research and other forms of knowledge to improve conservation across the country. Aerin is active in science outreach and communication via public lectures, storytelling, and media and policy engagement, including scientific advice to governments about endangered species, protected areas, landscape planning, and the benefits that people get from nature. Previously, she worked as a conservation scientist at the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, served on the board of the Society for Conservation Biology North America, and was a recipient of the Liber Ero Fellowship, a scholar with the Sustainable Canada Dialogues, and a Wilburforce Fellow in Conservation Science. Aerin holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of British Columbia and a doctorate from McGill University, and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Victoria.
At the intersection of Indigenous sovereignty, technological advancement and a rapidly expanding technology and innovation economy in demand of new ideas and new skills, Denise has the privilege of working with Indigenous peoples, governments, academics, technology futurists, and social change makers to map the ecosystem that will result in fair and equitable access to the tools and education required for success in the digital age. Denise leads a theory of change that will not only ensure Indigenous peoples are competitive in BC’s technology and innovation sector, but leading and growing local digital economies.
With a passion for contributing and volunteering in initiatives and organizations that influence real change and the advancement of truth and reconciliation, Denise proudly serves as the President of the Urban Native Youth Association, advisor on innovation to the Governor General of Canada, Status of Women Canada’s Indigenous Women’s Circle, on the board of the First Mile Connectivity Consortium, Vancouver Economic Commission, and on the Simon Fraser University Board of Governors as Alumni-in-Order, where she earned her masters degree in business administration in 2015.
Erica is Global Head of Innovation & Sustainable Finance at SecondMuse Capital, the finance and investment management arm of SecondMuse, a global innovation agency dedicated to building inclusive economies around the world. As part of SecondMuse Capital’s leadership team, Erica oversees strategy, ESG integration and impact across various funds and the development of blended finance mechanisms to support large asset owners and investors in mobilizing capital to advance the SDGs and connect with new economies around the world.
Erica joined SecondMuse Capital after a decade as Director of Solutions Finance at The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, where she led strategies for financial innovation and integration of the Foundation’s financial assets to support social and economic system’s transformation. Erica spearheaded the Foundation’s impact investing practice, overseeing the management of a multi-asset impact investing portfolio ($130M AUM), including blended finance approaches; and ESG integration within the Foundation’s endowment ($650M AUM). She also led a portfolio of national market-building initiatives. Erica joined the Foundation with 13 years of global professional experience in the private sector and international development, primarily in Latin America, Canada and the UK. She sits on Advisory Boards of various investment funds in Canada, and is adviser for international development projects. She co-founded Educating the Streets-Building Society, an award-winning program for capabilities development of youth and working children in Bolivia. She completed undergraduate studies in behavioral psychology and neuroscience, holds an MPA in Public and Economic Policy from the London School of Economics & Political Science. She specializes in innovation and systems dynamics for inclusive economic development.
Leslie is a food justice advocate with a background in tropical agroecology and community food security. He current serves as a Policy Development Officer for the City of Toronto where he works on poverty reduction strategies. Previously, he worked as the Senior Coordinator, Special Projects for FoodShare Toronto, where he supported community-led food access initiatives, research, and advocacy. Leslie’s work seeks to examine and combat the many systems of oppression – systems like colonialism, capitalism, systemic racism, and patriarchy – that hold poverty in place. Leslie has a Masters degree in Geography focusing on the social and ecological aspects of food systems. He is a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council and works as a food systems research consultant.
Julie Gelfand is the former federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. Julie led a historic collaborative audit on climate change with the provincial Auditors Generals as well as audits on subjects such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), toxic substances, biodiversity and the federal oversight of industrial activities (mining, aquaculture, nuclear energy, pipelines). She also worked with Auditors General from around the world to promote the SDGs.
Prior to this, Julie was the Vice President of Environment and Social Responsibility at Rio Tinto, Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) where she was a member of the Executive Team and had full responsibility for all environmental and social responsibility files. Prior to joining IOC, Julie was Vice President, Sustainable Development at the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) from 2008 to 2011 and President of Nature Canada for from 1992 to 2008. At MAC, Julie led the development of the mining industry’s social responsibility initiative, Towards Sustainable Mining. Julie also led the development of the industry’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives related to how Canadian companies operate overseas.
At Nature Canada, Julie led campaigns to get new National Parks established, new laws to protect nature (including the federal Species at Risk Act) and founded and chaired the Green Budget Coalition, an alliance of twenty-two national environmental NGOs working to achieve ecological fiscal reform.
Julie has significant experience sitting on boards of directors of charitable organizations both nationally and internationally. She is fluently bilingual, is a certified Coach and has a MBA from University of Ottawa. She has recently been confirmed as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto.
Maxine is an innovative team builder with a longstanding commitment to serving Black communities and feminist organizations. Currently, Maxine is a Senior Director with the Government of Canada. Throughout her professional career she has held executive level positions within federal public service since 2006 and has ten years of private sector marketing experience. Over the last 20 years, Maxine has committed to addressing gender-based and racial discrimination through in-kind support as a volunteer for local and global community organizations.
As Co-chair of the Black History Ottawa Committee, she worked to increase awareness of Black History Month in the nation’s capital. She also served as Board member of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and as Treasurer on the MATCH International Women’s Fund Board of Directors where she helped launch the Equality Fund, an innovative new collaboration designed to deliver new momentum for women’s movements.
Maxine brings a wealth of financial management expertise to the MakeWay Board, and her passion for racial justice and gender equality is an energizing addition as we continue to support community-led initiatives at the intersection of social justice and the environment. Maxine holds an MBA in marketing and international business from McGill University as well as a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa. Maxine is multilingual: fluent in English and French, with intermediate, conversational Spanish.
Caroline Merner (she/her) is a climate, nature and youth advocate. Caroline co-founded Youth4Nature (formerly Climate Guides), a youth-led non-profit mobilizing youth to advocate for intersectional solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises. For the past five years, Caroline has worked in public engagement on climate action and conservation through government, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations, including the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, the University of British Columbia, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ocean Wise, and Parks Canada. For her work, she was named among the Top 25 under 25 Environmentalists in Canada, Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders in Canada, and a Young Women for Nature by Nature Canada. Caroline holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability and International Development from Dalhousie University. She is currently a Master’s candidate and McCall MacBain Scholar studying to advance equitable climate and environmental policy at the Max Bell School of Public Policy in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal) on the unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) Nation.
Raïsa is a systems change leader, designer, researcher, facilitator and photographer with experience supporting social impact driven programs in over 20 countries in a variety of sectors and roles.
She is the founder of several creative impact focused initiatives including WabiSabiJetty, a rural design & innovation studio in Newfoundland & Labrador; MixMix, an ethical spice company in Ethiopia and UWCOnePeace, a sustainable apparel company.
As Director of Innovation and Knowledge Management at the One Drop Foundation, Raïsa Mirza supports learning, sharing and innovating for greater impact within the scope of 15+ water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects around the world. Previously, Raïsa was a behavioural design researcher with GRID Impact consulting on policies, programs, and products in Africa and Asia. At the One Acre Fund in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania, she led large scale behaviour change trials and initial market entry strategies through government systems strengthening. She has also served as Director of Communications at the UWC Mahindra College in India.
Raïsa holds a Bachelor’s degree from McGill University, and did graduate studies in Rural Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is also a proud graduate of Pearson UWC of the Pacific.
Alan Broadbent is Chairman and Founder of Maytree, and Chairman and CEO of Avana Capital Corporation. He co-founded and chaired the Caledon Institute of Social Policy (1992-2017), and the Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement (2004-2019), and was a Director and Chair of Sustainalytics Holdings B.V. (2009-2020). Alan chairs the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto, and is also Chair of the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation, Chair of the Common Good Retirement Savings Initiative Steering Committee, Senior Fellow, Member and former Chair of the Governing Board of Massey College, and Member of the Order of Canada and recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Alan is the author of Urban Nation: Why We Need to Give Power Back to the Cities to Make Canada Strong; You’re It (with Franca Gucciardi); and co-editor of Five Good Ideas: Practical Strategies for Non-Profit Success. Alan was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Ryerson University in 2009, and from Queen’s University in 2015.
Joel Solomon is Chair of Renewal Funds, Canada’s largest mission venture capital firm. With $98m assets under management, Renewal Funds invests in Organics and EnviroTech. Joel is a Senior Advisor with RSF Social Finance, Founding Member of Social Venture Network, Business for Social Responsibility, MakeWay, and Board Chair of Hollyhock. Joel is a lead curator of the “Integrated Capital Fellows program of RSF, launching in late 2017.”
Joel is the co-author of The Clean Money Revolution, a call to action to move trillions of dollars from damaging to regenerative use.