Biographies of the members of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group

From Employment and Social Development Canada

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Selected from 189 applications from across the country, the Social Innovation and Social Finance Steering Group brings together 16 passionate and diverse leaders, practitioners and experts from multiple fields, including the community, philanthropic, financial and research sectors.

Together, its members will co-create a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy with the Government of Canada.

Ajmal Sataar, Founder, Inspire Nunavut

Ajmal has a vision that entrepreneurship can be utilized to engage youth, create positive impact and solve many of the world’s complex problems.

Ajmal is the Founder and President of Inspire Nunavut, an organization that runs a social entrepreneurship training program and accelerator for youth to challenge the complex problems they face in their remote communities. The initiative is creating some of the first collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystems in Nunavut, where enterprises being created integrate Inuit culture and values, increase community and economic development, and are increasing the community’s standard of living. Since its launch in February 2016, Inspire Nunavut has worked with 55 entrepreneurs across five communities, is working with 20 additional entrepreneurs in two communities in the Fall of 2017, and hopes to expand their operations in 2018.

Ajmal has also founded social enterprises that have supported at-risk youth, marginalized immigrant women, individuals with a mental illness, high school students, homeless people and the recycling of cigarette butts.

Allyson Hewitt, JW McConnell Family Foundation Senior Fellow, Social Innovation at the MaRS Discovery District

Allyson has assisted hundreds of social ventures to become economically sustainable and increase their social impact. She has developed and helps lead the social innovation programs at MaRS which includes Social Innovation Generation (SiG); the Centre for Impact Investing; Solutions Lab; and Studio Y. She is currently leading an initiative to develop a pro bono marketplace for Canada.

She is also the Thinker in Residence for the Social Capital Residency in South Australia, sponsored by a multi-sectoral collaborative led by the Don Dunstan Foundation. She is the Social Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Waterloo, and an educator/mentor in many programs related to social innovation and entrepreneurship. Historically, she was a passionate advocate for children when she worked at SickKids and 211 was her social innovation wherein she was awarded the Head of the Public Service.

Brenda Zurba, Vice President and Head of Aboriginal Markets Aski Capital Inc. (Tribal Wi-Chi-Way-Win Capital Corporation (TWCC) Group of Companies)

Brenda brings 15 years senior and executive leadership experience holding roles within organizations in the financial services, payment and lending industries.

Prior to Aski Capital, Brenda held the position of the Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Development for TWCC, an Aboriginal owned entity with a range of financial related subsidiaries. During her tenure she led the development and National deployment of what is now, Aski Capital.

Previously, Brenda served as the National Sales and Marketing Director for Telpay Incorporated, a multi-channel payments company that serves Financial Institutions as well as offers EBPP solutions for the business to business market.

Her fields of expertise are Indigenous Social Innovation and Social Finance; she provides a lens of and to best practices in working and collaborating with vulnerable populations. She has been sought by Indigenous and non-Indigenous peers as an expert in the field as a speaker and panelist; both internationally and within Canada.

Carl Pursey

Carl started working at Canada Post in 1975. In early 1976 he became actively involved in the executive of the Charlottetown Local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. He served as Secretary-Treasurer and held all executive positions of the local, including 15 years as President. Carl has been the President of the Federation of Labour for 12 years now which represents over 10,000 unionized workers as well as being a voice for the unorganized.  He is a member of the PEI Health Coalition and a member of the Poverty Eradication Coalition that works for the betterment of people living in poverty.

He is the Provincial Representative of the Atlantic Provinces’ Red Tape Reduction. He is also a Board member of the PEI United Way and of Workplace Learning. He represents Islanders at the municipal, provincial and federal levels on issues such as Employment Insurance, Expanding Canada Pension Plan, Climate Change, Health Care and other social related issues.  And lastly, he is the Vice President of Canadian Labour Congress Canadian Council.

Catherine Scott, Director General, Community Development and Homelessness Partnerships Directorate, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

Catherine Scott is Director General, Community Development and Homelessness Partnerships Directorate at ESDC. The Directorate is responsible for working with communities across Canada to address homelessness and is coordinating work to develop the federal government’s new Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy. Catherine has been an executive within ESDC since 2009 and has worked in several other federal departments including the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Privy Council Office.

David LePage, Chair, Social Enterprise Council of Canada

David LePage is the Managing Partner of Buy Social Canada, a partner in the Social Enterprise Institute and Principal with Accelerating Social Impact CCC, Ltd. (ASI).

David provides direct support and strategic advice to blended value businesses, social enterprises and social finance developments. He is involved in multiple public policy initiatives and research projects to support the social enterprise ecosystem across Canada.

David’s other current roles include: Founding Member and Chair of the Social Enterprise Council of Canada; Chair of the Board of Directors of the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF); Instructor for Groundswell Social Venture Incubator; Member, Canadian CED Network Policy Council; Member, Imagine Canada’s Sector Pulse Committee; Program Adjunct in the MBA in Social Enterprise Leadership program at the Sandermoen School of Business. Previously, David was the Team Manager of Enterprising Non-Profits (ENP).

David Upton, Co-founder, Common Good Solutions

David is a committed entrepreneur who is passionate about social change and using business as a tool to strengthen our communities. Blending these passions, the focus of his work over the past 25 years has been on building capacity within the social enterprise ecosystem on a regional, national, and international basis.
He is the co-founder of Common Good Solutions, a founding member of the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia, a past member of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Social Innovation Committee and teaches social finance as an adjunct faculty member in the University of Fredericton MBA Program.

Don Palmer, Executive Director, Causeway Work Centre

Mr. Palmer has been the Executive Director of Causeway Work Centre, a community economic development organization since 1992. Causeway currently operates a menu-based, pre-vocational training and supported employment program. It also runs four social businesses and a Community Finance Fund in partnership with three credit unions designed to operate as an affordable alternative to the payday lending industry.

Causeway also founded the Centre for Social Enterprise Development (CSED) a capacity building organization providing technical assistance, as well as access to business loan and grants to social enterprises in eastern Ontario. Causeway incorporates a variety of best practice, community employment approaches including: the IPS Model, Job Coach Model, Social Enterprise Model, Transitional Employment and a number of graduated approaches including group placements and casual employment.

Francine Whiteduck, Founder, Whiteduck Resources Inc.

Francine is Algonquin from the Kitigan Zibi First Nation in Quebec and is founder of Whiteduck Resources Inc. a boutique consulting firm that provides research and evaluation to community, national and international indigenous organizations.

Francine is engaged with diverse boards, steering committees, advisory bodies, and networks with a focus on business development and entrepreneurship. She has been involved in establishing community, and public and private sector businesses, and led a micro-enterprise initiative in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) to connect indigenous and rural women producers to increase women’s participation in trade, and has served as CEO of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association, a network of 58 Aboriginal financial institutions across Canada. Francine is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Prosper Canada, a charity dedicated to ensuring financially vulnerable Canadians have access to the financial policies, programs, products and advice they need to build their financial wellbeing.

Dr. James Tansey, Executive Director and Associate Professor, Sauder S3i, University of British Columbia

Dr. James Tansey is currently the Executive Director at Sauder S3i, a research centre at the Sauder School of Business that is dedicated to social innovation and sustainability and UBC University Sustainability Initiative. He is also an associate professor at the University of British Columbia.

James has over 20 years of experience in environmental consulting and climate change. This is reflected through his years of teaching a myriad of programs in the U.K. and Canada as well as through his role as founder and CIO of NatureBank Asset Management. He was also one of four international advisors for the United Nations Environment Programme on the environmental strategy for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

In 2013, he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition for the environment-related contributions he has made thus far for British Columbia.

Lauren Dobell, Chair, Credit Union Social Responsibility (CUSR) Committee, Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA)

Lauren Dobell is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Vancity Credit Union, and supports its Vancity Community Investment Bank – Canada’s first 100% triple bottom line Schedule 1 bank – in the same capacity. In advocating for an enabling policy environment for progressive social finance, she works closely with partners and counterparts across sectors, and is constantly inspired by the power of capital mobilized in pursuit of communities committed to economic inclusion, environmental sustainability and meaningful reconciliation.

Current roles include chairing the Community Impact Committee of the Canadian Credit Union Association, co-convening the National Impact Investment Practitioners table, and serving on the boards of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network and CityStudio Canada. Lauren's winding path to values-based banking includes forays into international development, journalism and public policy-shaping in municipal, provincial and federal spheres.

“Canadian Councils” (for international cooperation, unity, learning) are a strangely recurring phenomenon in her resume. Her academic studies and university teaching focused on transitions to democracy, particularly in Africa, and the comparative approaches of liberation movements to the challenges of post-independence reconstruction and renewal. She has never learned to tell the difference between vocation and avocation.

Marie J. Bouchard, full professor, École des sciences de la gestion, Université du Québec à Montréal

Marie J. Bouchard is a full professor at the École des sciences de la gestion at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She holds a doctorate in sociology from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in France, and has been a member of the Centre de recherche sur les innovations sociales (CRISES) since 1995, where she is currently managing the Social Innovations and Collective Enterprises research area.

She was the university officer for the Community Housing Project of the Community–University Research Alliance (CURA) in social economy from 2009 to 2010. She was also the Canada Research Chair in social economy from 2003 to 2013.

In 2008, Marie published a statistical portrait of Montréal’s social economy, and in 2011, she completed a conceptual framework for the Institut de la statistique du Québec. In 2017, she also completed a conceptual framework for the uniformization of statistics on cooperatives for the International Labour Office.

Since 2015, Marie has chaired the Commission Social and Cooperative Economy of the International Centre of Research and Information on the Public, Social and Cooperative Economy (CIRIEC).

Nancy Neamtan, Strategic Advisor at TIESS (a social innovation liaison and knowledge transfer centre)

Nancy Neamtan is a Strategic Advisor at TIESS (Territoires innovants en économie sociale et solidaire), a social innovation liaison and transfer centre for the Chantier de l’économie sociale Trust. She was one of the founders of the Chantier de l'économie sociale and its Executive Director from 1996 to 2015. As Executive Director of the Chantier, whose mission is to promote and develop the social economy, she helped create new financial tools for collective enterprises (RISQ and the Chantier Trust), co-chaired the Social Economy Community–University Research Partnership from 2001 to 2011, and participated in creating and leading international social and solidarity economy networks.

Nancy led the Corporation for Economic and Social Renewal of South-West Montréal (1989-1996) after holding a variety of roles in local development and community organizations. She holds two honorary doctorates and is an Officer of the National Order of Québec.

Norm Tasevski, Purpose Capital and JvN Developments

Norm is co-founder of Purpose Capital, a leading impact investment advisory firm in Canada. Norm is also currently the head of Impactful Real Estate with JvN Developments, a property development firm dedicated to improving access to homeownership.

Previously, Norm was a Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence at MaRS, and a management consultant with Aperio, a social-purpose dedicated consulting firm. Norm teaches social entrepreneurship and impact investing to MEng students at the University of Toronto, and previously taught MBA and BBA courses at the Schulich School of Business.

Norm was Senior Policy Advisor within the Ontario government (2003-2006), developing, refining and managing policy across multiple policy portfolios relevant to social assistance, social housing, family support, child and youth development initiatives. He is a frequent guest speaker at social innovation conferences and forums, presenting at well over 20 conferences over the past three years alone.

Roselyne Mavungu, President and CEO of MicroEntreprendre

Roselyne Mavungu is the president and CEO of MicroEntreprendre (available in French only). She holds a master’s in business law from the Université Paris XII, a joint Ph.D. in legal anthropology and African history from La Sorbonne, as well as a diploma in conflict management and resolution from the Université Paris V-René Descartes.

Roselyne is an entrepreneur and was CEO of Compagnie F, Entrepreneurship pour femmes. She is also an ethnocultural expert, a diversity management consultant, a speaker and an anthropologist.

Roselyne is very active in local economic development, particularly for issues relating to immigration, status of women, women’s access to financial resources and women in leadership, and participates actively in the realization of innovative projects.

Today, Roselyne is a member of the Fonds Afro Investment Committee, an administrator of the Chantier de l’économie sociale and Secretary-Treasurer of Cap Finance.

Stephen Huddart, President and CEO, J.W. McConnell Family Foundation

Stephen Huddart is President and CEO of The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation, a national private foundation established in 1937. McConnell has contributed to the introduction and development of social innovation and social finance in Canada, as a founding supporter of Social Innovation Generation (SiG), MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, and Innoweave, among others.

In addition to its role as a field builder, McConnell applies social innovation and social finance to such issues as reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, energy and the economy, and the future of cities.

Stephen’s career spans the public, private and non-profit sectors. Among other things he has been a community restaurateur, documentary filmmaker, humane educator, geophysical observer, museum program director, and natural food store manager.

Stephen currently serves on the advisory boards of Philanthropic Foundations Canada, Pearson College UWC and Je Fais Montréal. He has a Masters of Management degree from McGill.

Tania Carnegie, Leader, KPMG Impact Ventures

Tania created and leads two ground-breaking strategic initiatives at KPMG - the Community Leader Strategy and Impact Ventures. Community Leader is one of the core pillars of KPMG’s business strategy, focusing the firm’s resources and expertise to drive social change and sustainability. Impact Ventures assists clients to enhance their social impact through strategy development, impact investing, and impact assessment.

Prior to taking on her current positions, she spent ten years in various client service roles in the Advisory and Financial Services Practices of the firm.

Tania is a Founding Member of KPMG’s Global Impact Investing Steering Committee, a member of the Lee-Chin Institute Advisory Committee at the Rotman School of Management, and a past member of the Board of LIFT Philanthropy Partners. Tania was a member of Canada’s National Advisory Board to the G7-based Social Impact Investing Taskforce.

A Chartered Professional Accountant, she holds a BSc from Western University, and an MBA from the University of Toronto.

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