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Board of Directors

Patrick Johnston, Chair
Borealis Advisors, Toronto

Michael Bradley
NorthCard, Toronto

Brenda Gainer
Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto

Karim Harji
Purpose Capital, Toronto

Hershel Harris

Joan McCalla

Sue Tomney
YWCA of Calgary, Calgary

Deryck Williams
Grant Thornton, Toronto


Patrick Johnston is Principal of Borealis Advisors – a consultancy advising foundations and charities. Patrick has held numerous leadership positions in Canada’s charitable and philanthropic sectors. At various times, he has served as Executive Director or CEO of the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy (now Imagine Canada), the Canadian Council on Social Development and the National Anti-Poverty Organization. Patrick has extensive governance experience at the community, national and international level including service on the Board of Directors of Philanthropic Foundations Canada, the United Way/Centraide Canada, the Council on Foundations (Washington) and CIVICUS (Johannesburg). Patrick is a member of the Governor General’s Advisory Committee on Philanthropy and Volunteerism and is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Patrick has undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Education from York University and Queen’s University respectively. He also holds an M.S.W. in Social Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Toronto.

Mike Bradley is Managing Director at NorthCard. With nearly 25 years’ experience in the electronic banking / payments business, Mike works with leading North American banks, retailers, technology companies and card networks to develop strategies and drive key initiatives. Most recently, Mike managed Visa’s products in Canada, driving the deployment of Visa’s chip and contactless cards, and the launch of new credit and debit card products. Mike also led innovation activities in e-commerce and mobile commerce. Prior to Visa, Mike led several strategic initiatives for Bank of Montreal. In addition to his work with CanadaHelps, Mike has been an active Member of the United Way of Greater Toronto IT Committee from 2002 to 2012.

Brenda Gainer is the Royal Bank Professor of Nonprofit Management and a professor of Marketing at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto. Since 1996, she has been the Director of York University’s Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program. She completed her PhD in Administrative Studies in 1992 and also holds an MBA degree and previous M.A. and B.A. degrees in History. Brenda teaches in several graduate programs at Schulich and also directs a wide range of professional education seminars for community organizations. Her main research interests are nonprofit management, marketing and philanthropy. Before embarking on an academic career, Brenda worked in the areas of First Nations land rights, women’s issues and the arts. Her professional and public service includes advisory boards and directorships in the academic, government and community sectors. She is the Past President of the International Society for Third Sector Research.

Karim Harji is a co-founder and partner at Purpose Capital, an impact investment and advisory firm that works with investors who wish to integrate social and environmental impact into their strategies and investments. He previously worked at Social Capital Partners, and co-founded SocialFinance.ca and Venture Deli. Karim teaches social entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, and is a Senior Research Associate at the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation at Carleton University. He serves on the Boards of the Social Investment Organization and the Small Change Fund, and holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from Carleton University. In his youth, Karim spent 8 months as an AKFC International Youth Fellow, which inspired his career path. Watch this video to learn more about him.

Hershel Harris spent the majority of his career as an executive in the IBM Software Group. During his IBM career, Hershel held roles such as the head of engineering for DB2 and WebSphere, the Director of the IBM Toronto Lab and the Vice President of IBM Software Group Strategy. Since retiring from IBM in 2008, Hershel has served as the Chief Technology Officer for Georgian Partners, a Canadian growth equity firm investing in expansion stage Enterprise Software, Internet and Information companies. Hershel’s expertise is in the areas of software product and project management, software business operations, Intellectual Property and applied analytics. Hershel has served as a past board member at the Self-Help Resource Centre, and on industrial advisory boards at the University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and York’s Schulich School of Business. Hershel is active as a volunteer crew leader with Habitat for Humanity Toronto. Hershel holds a B.Math in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.

Joan McCalla recently retired from her position as Director and Distinguished Fellow with the Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), Cisco Systems. Joan worked as part of the global public sector team providing strategic advice to public sector organizations that are interested in how ICT-enabled transformation can help them to achieve their program objectives and priorities. Until late 2006, Joan was Corporate Chief Strategist with the Government of Ontario’s information and information technology (I&IT) organization. Appointed in 1999 as the government’s first Chief Strategist, Joan provided leadership for Ontario’s highly regarded e-government strategy. Joan was with the Ontario government since 1977 in various planning and policy positions at several ministries. Joan was an original Board member of the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service and is currently serving as a Fellow of the Institute. The mission of the ICCS is to promote high levels of citizen satisfaction with public sector service delivery through research and other initiatives to promote service quality and innovation. Joan is a graduate of the University of Toronto (M.Sc. Urban and Regional Planning) and the University of Alberta (B.A. Honours Geography.

Sue Tomney is Chief Executive Officer, YWCA of Calgary. She has an extensive background in communications and marketing and has held senior-level positions with both nonprofits and corporations prior to joining the YWCA of Calgary in December 2010, including Executive Director of the Calgary Stampede Foundation; VP, Marketing and Communications for Imagine Canada; and Director of Communications and External Affairs at TransAlta Corporation. Ms. Tomney’s recent voluntary sector experience includes serving on the Joint Table on Awareness for the Government of Canada’s Voluntary Sector Initiative, board member for Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, cabinet member for Calgary’s United Way Campaign, governor for Education Matters – Calgary’s Public Education Trust, and executive committee member of the 2008 Governor General’s Leadership Conference. Sue is also an alumni of the 2004 Governor General’s Leadership Conference and sits on the Alberta Regional Conference Committee. Ms. Tomney is the proud mom of Abby (16), Liam (19) and Aedan (23).

Deryck Williams is the National leader of Grant Thornton’s Charity and Not-for-Profit practice group, overseeing delivery of client services and the professional development of NPO staff. He also is a member of the executive team for Not-for-Profits of Grant Thornton International. He currently serves on the CICA Risk Governance Oversight Board for Not-for-Profit Organizations. Deryck has worked with charities for more than 20 years both in practice and as a volunteer. Beyond his CA qualification, he obtained a Certified Management Consultant designation to enhance his consulting skills for NPOs and charities. Seeing a need for his clients to receive advisory services in IT, he qualified as a CA specialist in IT to provide value added service in IT matters. He has been recognized as a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for his years of dedicated service and commitment to the NPO/charitable community.