From Our 2016 Board Chair: A New Playbook Filled with Passion

In Jordan, three adolescent girls stand in front of a soccer net, smiling broadly into the camera. They are all wearing head scarves, as well as white T-shirts with logos of both World Vision and Premier League. The middle girl holds a soccer ball.
Even a refugee camp can be a place of possibility – with the right programs in place. “Today is my first time playing football,” said Zaynab (right) of a soccer game organized by World Vision at the Azraq camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan. “I was goal-keeper and I loved it!”

As I write this, the Canadian football season has just wrapped up. In my hometown, there was much excitement about the Hamilton Tiger Cats, and the all-important “playbook” that reflected the players’ configurations and strategies.

A good game plan is developed carefully and strategically – with a great deal of vision and passion. It reflects the team’s unique strengths, and any challenges the season might bring. The strategy is learned by heart, so team members can work together seamlessly, whatever is thrown their way.

World Vision Canada has launched its own strategy playbook for the years ahead. Our strategy – we’re calling it orangebook – is about providing the best solutions for poverty and injustice in children’s lives. It’s about leading change, and inviting Canadians to join in the movement.

Such a guide is only as good as the fire that refines it. And I’m proud to say that our volunteer Board of Directors provided that heat. They brought to the strategy their sharpest insights, their toughest questions, and their deepest passion for serving the world’s most vulnerable children.

It’s this kind of leadership that results in a winning playbook, with every move committed to achieving the final goal. It’s a team that plays with a single-minded focus: lifting the world’s children out of poverty and injustice. Now that’s a team Canadians can feel confident supporting.

Ron McKerlie

Ron McKerlie
2016 Chair, World Vision Canada’s Board of Directors
President, Mohawk College and Foundation

Meet Our 2016 Board of Directors

Our Board is made up of volunteer members from across Canada, recruited through a rigorous screening process. They carefully monitor World Vision Canada’s plans and activities and represent a key part of our commitment to accountability. The following women and men were members of our Board of Directors during 2016.

Click on a name for an abridged biography

Ms. Christine Cooper Bank of Montreal Head, Canadian Diversified Industries Mississauga, ON

Christine Cooper joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2006 and the Board of Directors in 2013. Christine has served on the Audit and Governance Committees and has more than 20 years of experience in banking. Christine is head of Canadian Diversified Industries for the Bank of Montreal. She holds a BA from Wheaton College and an MBA from Dalhousie University.

Ms. Yolanda Dasselaar Coca-Cola Canada Marketing Manager Toronto, ON

Yolanda Dasselaar joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2013 and the Board of Directors in 2015. She has a degree from the University of Manitoba. She currently serves as the marketing manager for Coca-Cola Canada.

Ms. Sharon Dymond HR Consultant Mississauga, ON

Sharon Dymond joined the Board of Directors in 1999 and served as Board Chair from 2008 to 2010. In 2014, she served as chair of the Search Committee, heading up the search for World Vision Canada’s next president and CEO. A University of Toronto graduate, Sharon had a successful career in human resources with Bell Canada. Since 1998, she has been an independent HR consultant. Sharon is on the Senate and Board of Trustees of McMaster Divinity College.

Mr. Drew Fitch Kymbask Management Inc. EVP & COO Calgary, AB

Drew Fitch joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2010 and was appointed to the Board in 2013. He earned a BSc from Trent University and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business. Drew is a chartered accountant who has served as CFO or CEO of several Canadian and U.S. listed public companies including Canadian Airlines and SMART Technologies Inc.

Mr. Mike Gartner National Training Rinks President Shanty Bay, ON

Mike Gartner joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2005 and the Board of Directors in 2008. He is a former professional hockey player who played 19 years in the NHL. Mike served as president of the NHL Players’ Association and is currently president of the company he co-founded, National Training Rinks.

Ms. Jeannie Haggerty McGill University Associate Professor and Research Chair Montreal, QC

Jeannie Haggerty joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2007, was appointed to the Board in 2009, and serves as chair of the Governance Committee. Jeannie is an associate professor and research chair at McGill University. She has a BSc in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University, and graduate degrees in epidemiology and biostatistics from McGill. Jeannie is fluent in French, Spanish and English.

Ms. Deborah Holbrook Private Practice Lawyer Pickering, ON

Deborah Holbrook joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2012, and the Board of Directors in 2014. She holds a BEd and an LLB from the University of Toronto. Deborah is a lawyer, called to the Ontario Bar in 2006. She worked for Aird & Berlis LLP and currently runs her own practice.

Ms. Nicole Kraft Private Practice Therapist Abbotsford, MB

Nicole Kraft joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2012 and the Board of Directors in 2015. She holds a BA from McMaster University and an MA from Providence Theological Seminary in Manitoba. She works as a counsellor and family therapist.

Ms. Cheryl Leonhardt Leonhardt & Associates Inc. Director Mississauga, ON

Cheryl Leonhardt joined World Vision’s Corporation in 2009 and the Board of Directors in 2010. She currently serves as chair of the Audit Committee. Cheryl is the founding director of Leonhardt & Associates Inc., specializing in financial issues and risk management consulting services. She is a CFA who holds an HBA from the Ivey School of Business at Western University and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge.

Mr. Ron McKerlie Mohawk College and Foundation President Burlington, ON

Ron McKerlie is Chair of the Board of Directors. He joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2004 and the Board in 2005. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and holds an MBA from Dalhousie University. Ron served as deputy minister, Ministry of Government Services for the province of Ontario, corporate chief information officer and chief strategist. He is currently the president of Mohawk College and Foundation.

Mr. Rob Meikle City of Toronto Chief Information Officer Brampton, ON

Rob Meikle joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2015 and the Board of Directors in 2016. Rob is the CIO for the City of Toronto and Pastor of Kingdom House Christian Centre. He is a strategic business leader with over 20 years of experience in global business and technology solutions in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Ms. Suanne Miedema Miedema's Board Consulting President North York, ON

Suanne Miedema joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2008, the Board of Directors in 2010 and the Executive Committee in 2014. Suanne earned a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and an MBA from York University. She is founder and president of Miedema’s Board Consulting. Prior to starting her consulting business, Suanne was general manager of DeBoer’s Furniture and vice president of DeBoer’s Holdings.

Rev. Dave Morehouse The Journey Church Pastor Moncton, NB

David Morehouse joined the Corporation in 2006, and was appointed to the Board in 2009. He attended Atlantic Baptist College (Associate of Arts), Saint Thomas University (BA Honours) Regent College/Carey Hall (MDiv) and is a graduate of the Arrow Leadership Program. Dave speaks at conferences and writes a column for the Moncton newspaper Times & Transcript called “Religion Today.” He is pastor of The Journey Church.

Mr. Gerry O'Mahoney Tralee Capital Markets Ltd. Managing Partner Oakville, ON

Gerry O'Mahoney joined the Corporation in 2008, and was appointed to the Board in 2009. Before his retirement in 2009, Gerry was the senior vice president for wealth management operations and COO of TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. Educated in Ireland, Gerry earned his BComm from the University College Dublin. Gerry served on the board of the Arthritis and Autoimmunity Research Centre Foundation for 12 years, and is also an active fundraiser for the United Way.

Ms. Sharon Ramsay Private Practice Registered Marriage & Family Therapist Toronto, ON

Sharon Ramsay joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2005 and was appointed to the Board in 2008. She is a registered marriage and family therapist with a private practice. Sharon worked for Catholic Family Services as the Mississauga clinical supervisor, core services, and the practicum training program supervisor. Sharon holds a BA from Carleton University and an MDiv from Tyndale University College & Seminary.

Ms. Karen Reed Self-employed Urban Worker Vancouver, BC

Karen Reed joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2004 and became a Board Member in 2008. Karen is an urban missionary in Vancouver and has served as CEO of the More Than Gold Network. Prior to her work as an urban missionary, Karen was the associate pastor at Broadway Church in Vancouver.

Mr. Harry Spaling The King's University College Professor Edmonton, AB

Harry Spaling joined the Corporation in 2011 and the Board in 2015. He holds a PhD in geography from the University of Guelph. Harry serves as a professor of geography and environmental studies at the King’s University in Alberta. He has worked for various Christian development agencies and their partners on sustainable resource-based rural livelihoods, especially in applying community-based environmental assessment to water supply and food security projects.

Ms. Bonnie Wurzbacher World Vision International Chief Resources Development Officer London, England

Bonnie Wurzbacher joined World Vision International as the Chief Resource Development Officer in 2013 and is based in London, England. Bonnie joined World Vision Canada’s Corporation in 2015 and the Board of Directors in 2015. She has extensive senior leadership experience, including as senior vice president of Global Customer and Channel Leadership with The Coca-Cola Company. Bonnie holds a BEd from Wheaton College and an MBA from Emory University.