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Canadian Foundations & Endowments Forum East

Keeping sight of long term goals and investment mandates is a challenge that even the most patient investors face in a global economy that continues to pour new predicaments on the embers of a long overdue sustainable recovery.  With tumbling commodity prices, a depreciating Canadian dollar and the spillovers from the global economic crisis, all institutional investors including executive teams from Foundations and Endowments have to consistently review their strategies in order to manage their funding, spending and investment mandates.

The 5th Edition of the Canadian Foundations and Endowments Forum will once again bring together the senior leadership teams from Foundations, Endowments and Not-for-Profit Organizations to share best practices to successfully navigate the complex maze of investments, philanthropic initiatives, and governance structures that are part of the roadmap to providing the adequate support for the organization’s purpose and mission.

This year’s forum provides a unparalleled opportunity to gain practical insights from North American industry leaders, leverage meaningful peer-to-peer networking to share ideas and benchmark strategies, examine cutting edge solutions to emerging challenges and evaluate new ways of thinking to meet organizational objectives.

Who Should Attend:

Endowments, Foundations, Non-Profits, Charities and Family Foundations:

  • CEOs, CIOs & CFOs
  • Treasurers
  • Directors/Mangers of Investments
  • Portfolio Managers
  • Board of Directors
  • Investment Committee Members
  • Trustees

Experts and Consultants:

  • Investment Managers
  • Investment Advisors
  • Fund Managers

Past Participants Include:

  • B.C. Cancer Foundation
  • Belmont House Foundation
  • Children’s Health Foundation
  • Community Foundations of Canada
  • Concordia University Foundation
  • Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation
  • Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation
  • Morneau Shepell
  • Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation
  • Ontario Arts Foundation
  • Ottawa Hospital Foundation
  • Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
  • Russell Investments
  • SickKids Foundation
  • Standard Life Investments Inc.
  • St. Michael Hospital’s Foundation
  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • United Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto
  • United Way Toronto
  • University of Toronto
  • Walrus Foundation
  • Westcourt Capital Corporation
Elissa Beckett
VP, Innovation and Development
Tides Canada
Elissa Beckett, MBA, CFRE, has spent over 20 years in the not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors, including key roles at the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research and WWF Canada. Following the completion of her Executive MBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business, she co-founded Better The World, Canada’s first B-corp, and home to FlipGive. In July 2014, Elissa joined Tides Canada as the VP, Innovation and Development. In this role, she applies her entrepreneurial approach to fundraising, impact investing and new models for social change. She works with Ryerson University and the University of Toronto on not-for-profit leadership and entrepreneurial fundraising courses. Elissa is mom to 4-year-old Gillian, and enjoys travelling, reffing basketball, and playing lacrosse.
Andrew Bedeau
Investment Committee Member
Laidlaw Foundation
Rahul K. Bhardwaj
President & CEO
Toronto Foundation
In his role as the President & CEO of the Toronto Foundation, Rahul has been working to engage philanthropy to improve the quality of life in Toronto. Formerly a corporate lawyer with a leading Canadian law firm, he was also Vice President of the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid. More recently, Rahul was Chair of the 2012 Ontario Summer Games, the first multi-sport games to be held in Toronto. He is the immediate past Chair of Community Foundations of Canada and is a current member of the Board of the Rideau Hall Foundation as well as Metrolinx. He is also Co-Chair of TO2015 IGNITE, a program of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. He has served as a Director on many cultural and civic boards in Toronto and beyond. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Toronto Life recognized him as one of “The 50 Most Influential” people in Toronto and he was recently named to The Ultimate List of Social CEOs on Twitter.
Anne L. Brayley
Vice-President, Philanthropic Services
Toronto Foundation
Anne Brayley is Vice President Philanthropic Services at the Toronto Foundation. She has been actively involved with the Foundation for many years, including service as a Board member and committee volunteer. She joined the staff team in 2008. In her role, Anne leads the team responsible for new donor development, donor stewardship, and marketing/communications for the Foundation. Included in the portfolio is an emphasis on building relationships within the advisory community of lawyers, accountants and wealth management professionals who are working with clients to develop plans for creating lasting philanthropic legacies. Anne brings more than 25 years of corporate and professional services experience to the Foundation. Her background includes roles in the publishing and advertising fields, as well as the executive search industry. She was also the founder of Brayley & Associates, her own successful professional services firm. Anne is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Canadian Association of Gift Planners. She has been a featured writer in Your Guide to Charitable Giving & Estate Planning© and Advisor’s Edge Report, as well as a presenter to many legal, accounting, insurance and wealth management professionals.Established in 1981, the Toronto Foundation is one of 191 Community Foundations in Canada. Our individual and family Fundholders support causes they care about in Toronto and across Canada, through grants to any registered Canadian charity. We currently have more than 500 active Funds, including endowments and assets under administration of more than $400 million.
Sherri Freedman
Chief Development Officer
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
Julia Gorman
Senior Vice President, Strategic Philanthropy
United Way of Toronto
Julia Gorman assumed the role of United Way’s Senior Vice President, Strategic Philanthropy in July 2015. In this role, Julia is responsible for Major Individual Giving, Targeted Giving and leadership on long-term fundraising strategies, including management of the Strategic Resource Development Committee of the Board of Trustees. Julia joined United Way in 1994, and since then has held a number of increasingly senior roles within the organization’s Resource Development and Marketing Departments.
Julia comes to her most recent role as a seasoned fundraising professional with experience in all areas of fund development and donor engagement. As a member of United Way Toronto & York Region’s Senior Executive Team, Julia participates in the development and implementation of the strategic and operational direction for North America’s largest United Way. She has a particular interest in donor relationship management, and has provided guidance to a number of United Ways across Canada on major individual giving, planned giving and new fundraising strategies to engage loyal donors with United Way’s mission.
Julia is a current member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Toronto Chapter, responsible for the Membership Committee. She has participated on several United Way Worldwide councils, including the Women’s Leadership Council and the Major Giving Leadership Team. She has also contributed to the work of the Institute of Corporate Director’s Non-Profit Task Force.
Jonathan Hera
Senior Portfolio Manager
Grand Challenges Canada
Jonathan Hera is Senior Portfolio Manager of the Transition to Scale program for Grand Challenges Canada, leading the overall funding cycle of impact investments to ensure sustainable and aligned social and financial outcomes.
Jonathan was previously the founding fund manager of the Royal Bank of Canada’s Generator Impact Fund, a key component of the bank’s Social Finance Initiative. Prior to his role with RBC, Jonathan worked with Sarona Asset Management, leading investor relations and impact reporting in addition to his role on its investment team. He has advised CGAP (an independent financial inclusion research centre housed at the World Bank) on strategic and third party regulatory issues and knowledge and change management initiatives, and has been engaged by MEDA on financial access and capital formation issues in Latin America.
Jonathan is the founding course director of “Social Purpose Investing and Finance,” an MBA elective taught at the Schulich School of Business, York University. He is a Board Director and Investment Committee member of the Youth Social Innovation Capital Fund. He also writes a regular social enterprise case study column in the Globe and Mail as part of his affiliation with Schulich. Jonathan holds an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business, completed his political science undergraduate studies at McGill University, earned a nonprofit leadership diploma from the University for Peace, Costa Rica, and is a CFA Level II candidate
Stephen Huddart
President & CEO
The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
Stephen Huddart is President and CEO of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, a national private foundation whose head office is in Montreal. The Foundation has played a leading role in developing and supporting social innovation and impact investing in Canada as a founding partner of Social Innovation Generation (SiG). McConnell’s newest initiatives include Innoweave, The McConnell Reconciliation Initiative, Cities for People, and RECODE.
Stephen’s career spans several fields and includes leadership positions in the private, public and non-profit sectors. He subsequently held several executive positions with the BC SPCA, where he introduced innovations in humane food labelling, animal-assisted therapy, and humane education. He has also been a documentary filmmaker, a geophysical observer, museum curator and natural food store manager.
Stephen’s community service commitments include advisory roles with Philanthropic Foundations Canada, and Evergreen CityWorks. He has a Masters of Management degree from McGill University.
Adam Jagalewski
MaRs Centre for Impact Investing
Bruce Lourie
President & CEO
Ivey Foundation
Bruce is president of the Ivey Foundation, a private charitable foundation in Canada and a Director of the Independent Electricity System Operator, Philanthropic Foundations Canada, Canadians for Clean Prosperity and the San Francisco-based Consultative Group on Biological Diversity. He sits on the Advisory Board of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission. Bruce is the co-author of two best-selling books (including the internationally acclaimed Slow Death by Rubber Duck), a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of Canada and an honorary director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. In 2014 Bruce received Earth Day Canada’s Outstanding Commitment to the Environment Award and was named to Canada’s “Clean 50” group. Bruce is a founder of a number of for profit and non-profit organizations including Summerhill Group. Bruce holds a B.Sc. in Geology and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies.
Michelle M.B. Osborne
Executive Director
Gift Planning
University of Toronto
Michelle joined the University of Toronto in August 2007, where she is responsible for the overall U of T gift planning program.  Having worked for the Royal Ontario Museum Governors and SickKids Foundation, her focus has always been in the area of strategic philanthropy. A U of T alumna, Michelle is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and a long-standing member of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), where she is a faculty member of CAGP’s Original Gift Planning course. In 2015, Michelle received the Friend of CAGP Award.
Douglas Porter
Chief Economist
Douglas Porter has over 25 years of experience analyzing global economies and financial markets. As Chief Economist at BMO Financial Group, he oversees the macroeconomic and financial market forecasts and co-authors the firm’s weekly flagship publication, Focus. Mr. Porter manages the team that won the prestigious Lawrence Klein award for forecast accuracy of the U.S. economy, and was named by Bloomberg as top Canadian forecaster.  As a respected commentator on economic and financial trends, he is regularly quoted in the national press and often interviewed on radio and television.  Before joining BMO, Mr. Porter held the positions of Economist and Country Risk Analyst with other Canadian financial institutions, and also worked at the Bank of Canada.  Mr. Porter has been a member of C.D. Howe’s Monetary Policy Council since 2008 and also serves on the Investment Management Committees of the Bank of Montreal’s Pension Fund Society and Western’s Endowment Fund.  Mr. Porter has been a Chartered Financial Analyst since 1995 and earned a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.
Susan McIsaac
President & CEO
United Way of Toronto
Susan McIsaac became President and CEO of United Way in 2010. She is a widely recognized leader with more than 20 years experience in the non-profit sector.
A senior executive with United Way since 1998, Susan is a key architect of the organization’s transformation from trusted fundraiser to community mobilizer and catalyst for impact. In her previous role as the organization’s Chief Development Officer, United Way’s annual fundraising campaign was reshaped to focus on engaging donors and volunteers in strategies to change social conditions in our city. Campaign revenue grew from $58-million in 1998 to $117.6 million in 2014.
Susan has spent a lifetime in service to the community and was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 in recognition of her efforts. She currently serves on Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance’s Board of Directors, mentors the next generation of non-profit leaders through United Way’s CITY Leaders program, and is a steering committee member of the Governor General’s Initiative on Volunteerism and Philanthropy. In 2014 she was selected by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the Sun Life Financial Trailblazers & Trendsetters Category.
Susan has held senior roles with KCI Ketchum Canada, a leader in organizational health and philanthropic counsel and also led Loyalist College’s first capital campaign.
Erica Barbosa Vargas
Director, Social Finance
The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
Erica Barbosa Vargas is Director, Social Finance at The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation; where she leads development of tools and strategies for Foundation total portfolio activation across program domains, management of impact investing portfolio ($30M AUM) and a portfolio of national market-building initiatives. She has 13 years of global professional experience in the private and community sectors, primarily in Latin America, Canada and the UK. She sits in Advisory Councils and Boards or organizations working in social innovation and social finance globally, and is adviser to leaders in the private, public and community sectors. She is collaborating researcher with the SSHRC-CURA partnership research on impact investing. With former training in behavioral psychology and neuroscience, she holds a MPA in Public and Economic Policy from the London School of Economics, where she specialized in systems dynamics and institutions for economic development.



(Includes meals, documentation and inCONFERENCE, fully searchable online access to this conference’s papers*)

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Senior Executives from Foundations and Endowments
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