Senior Executive Team

Susan McIssac

Susan McIsaac became President and CEO of United Way Toronto on September 1, 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 strategic transformation, from trusted fundraiser to a community mobilizer and catalyst for change.

Prior to becoming President and CEO, Susan was United Way Toronto’s Chief Development Officer. Under her leadership she reshaped United Way’s annual fundraising campaign to become a community engagement strategy — an approach that seeks to engage donors and volunteers in community strategies to change social conditions in our city.

The resulting direct alignment of United Way’s annual fund development to its community impact agenda has resulted in phenomenal growth for United Way over the last 14 years, with campaign revenue growing from $58-million in 1998 to $116-million in 2012. The transformation has enabled the organization to leverage enormous resources in support of a community agenda that now works to address underlying, root causes of social issues, in addition to fulfilling its historical role as a supporter of urgent community services.

Before joining United Way, Susan worked for KCI Ketchum Canada, a leader in organizational health, fundraising communication and philanthropic counsel, where she supported a variety of non-profit clients as a campaign director and later as Vice President of Educational Services from 1992 to 1998. She also led Loyalist College’s first capital campaign.

Susan has spent a lifetime in service to the community. She donates much of her time to several non-profits in Toronto including the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance Board of Directors, and works as a mentor for United Way’s CITY Leaders program, an initiative that develops the capacity of the community social services sector. Susan is also a steering committee member for the Governor General’s Initiative on Volunteerism and Philanthropy.

In 2007, she received the National Award of Excellence from United Way of Canada–Centraide Canada and was named Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). In 2012, she was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition of her ongoing community service work. She also received an Honorary Diploma from Loyalist College, their highest academic honour.


Pedro Barata

Pedro Barata joined United Way Toronto in January 2011. As Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, he leads media relations, message and brand positioning, internal communications, issues management and stakeholder relations.

Pedro has more than a decade of involvement in the non-profit sector in areas such as community development, research and policy development, communications and public affairs. Most recently, Pedro was responsible for strategic communications and poverty reduction funding programs at the Atkinson Foundation. He was also a member of the Ontario Social Assistance Review Advisory Council and has held roles with Family Service Toronto and Campaign 2000.

Pedro was a member of United Way Toronto’s Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2010 and chaired the Research and Policy Priorities Committee in 2009-2010. He has also served on boards and committees of the Portuguese Canadian National Congress, Laidlaw Foundation, the Canadian Association for Community Living, Low Income Families Together and the City of Toronto’s Access and Equity Awards.

Pedro holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto.


Louise Bellingham

Louise Bellingham joined United Way Toronto in June 2006 and holds the position of Vice President of Marketing. Louise is responsible for managing the development of marketing strategies and marketing communications support for the United Way Toronto brand. This includes the development and execution of market research, mass advertising, direct mail, marketing collateral, special events, promotions, and online marketing initiatives. As an integrated part of United Way Toronto's Resource Development department, Louise and her team are focused on reinforcing the community building positioning of the United Way brand, building increased awareness and engagement with the brand, and enhancing overall resource development efforts of the organization.

Louise joined the United Way movement after leaving a 25-year career with Bell Canada. In her years at Bell Canada, Louise held a number of progressively senior positions in the areas of product management, consumer and business advertising, promotion, sponsorship, and corporate communications. In her previous position as Senior Director, Corporate Social Responsibility for Bell Canada and BCE, Louise championed the company's significant commitment to community investment and partnered with a large number of charitable organizations, including United Way, to advance their work in the community.

Louise holds an Honours BA in Social Science from York University and Masters of Business Administration with specializations in Marketing and Organizational Behaviour from the Schulich School of Business. She is active in the community and has volunteered for numerous non-profit organizations including the Faculty of Social Work at University of Toronto, the Board of Directors for the Toronto International Film Festival Group, the Conference Board of Canada's CSR Advisory Group, United Way, Kids Help Phone, Altruvest, and Imagine Canada.


JoAnne Doyle

JoAnne Doyle joined United Way Toronto in September 2011. As Senior Vice President, Community Impact, JoAnne provides leadership on United Way Toronto’s strategic initiatives, community investment and partnership building, research, evaluation, and capacity building. She also works closely with our Board Committees, such as the Community Impact Committee; Research, Policy and Priorities Committee; and Allocations and Agency Services Committee.

JoAnne first joined United Way Toronto on an interim basis in February 2011, when she led and shaped a streamlined, community-facing department. She also acted as our Interim Director of Organizational Development from 2004 to 2005. She has deep roots in the social services sector with a focus of expertise on community health. Through her independent consulting practice, JoAnne has helped numerous organizations in areas such as capacity building, strategic planning, governance, and operations. A dedicated volunteer, she has held Board and Executive Committee positions for the Welcome Inn Centre. Her previous roles include Executive Director at the Guelph Community Health Centre and the North Hamilton Community Health Centre.

JoAnne holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from McMaster University.


Ann Edmonds

Ann Edmonds joined United Way Toronto in February 2011. As Vice President, Information Technology, Ann provides strategic leadership in information systems and technology focusing on relationship management and large-scale technology change projects. She oversees the day-to-day IT operations pertaining to network, infrastructure, application, and end-user support.

Ann has spent her 20-year career in the not-for-profit sector working for YMCAs across North America. Most recently as the Vice President Information Technology for the YMCA of Greater Toronto, Ann provided leadership to several enterprise initiatives, including the implementation of new systems for program, membership, fundraising, volunteer management, and finance; introducing new web technologies; and stabilizing infrastructure in a rapidly growing association. Ann is a recognized leader in the YMCA movement having held IT positions at YMCA Canada, YMCA of the USA, YMCA Edmonton, and YMCA London.

Ann holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Western Ontario.


Julia Gorman

Julia Gorman is Vice President, Resource Development at United Way Toronto, with responsibility for all fundraising strategies for the organization’s corporate, individual, Major Gift and endowment giving. The focus of United Way Toronto’s fundraising activity is the Annual Campaign, which raises annual and one-time targeted donations as well as endowment gifts that totalled $116.1 million in 2012.

As a member of the Senior Executive Team at United Way, Julia participates in the development and implementation of the strategic and operational direction for North America’s largest United Way, supporting over 200 social agencies and programs across City of Toronto. A seasoned fundraising professional with experience in all aspects of fund development, Julia has a particular interest in new donor acquisition, workplace fundraising strategy and volunteer engagement of United Way’s broad base of individual donors.

Julia is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Toronto Chapter and sits on United Way Worldwide’s Women’s Leadership Council Regional Advocates, working to encourage women in philanthropy internationally.


Michael Herrera

Michael Herrera joined United Way Toronto in August 2009. As Vice President, Finance, Michael provides strategic leadership in accounting and financial management. He supervises the Finance Department’s day-to-day operations and oversees the development and delivery of accurate and relevant reports to United Way stakeholders.

Michael has spent a career in service to the not-for-profit sector, having worked with social services, religious and arts organizations. Most recently, Michael was the Interim Treasurer at the Anglican Church of Canada. He has held similar positions at YMCA of Greater Toronto and National Ballet of Canada. Previously, Michael was a manager at Ernst & Young and, as an independent consultant, he supported arts and heritage organizations through the development and delivery of financial and governance training to a variety of organizations throughout the province.

Michael’s community involvement includes past governance roles with organizations such as Community Social Planning Council - Toronto, Toronto Community Foundation, and Ontario Museums Association. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Crow’s Theatre and on the Finance and Property Committee of Sherbourne Health Centre.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto and has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ontario since 1996.


Rahima Mamdani

Rahima Mamdani joined United Way Toronto in 2005 and now holds the position of Vice President, Human Capital. Until 2011, she was Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development. Rahima is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership on the development and implementation of human resources and volunteer engagement strategies. She provides senior management with strategic counsel on people issues, provides advice and support across the organization and directs the development and administration of initiatives related to HR programs, talent management and organizational culture.

Rahima began her career at Bell Canada 20 years ago and has since worked for Saville Systems, Rogers iMedia and Buy Buddy Inc. Rahima currently volunteers with the Inclusion and Equity Committee of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Over her career she has provided HR consulting services to not-for-profit organizations such as Right To Play and Greenpeace Canada and volunteered with the Toronto Children’s Aid Society, the Aga Khan Development Network, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Toronto Public Library and HR Council for the Voluntary/Non-Profit Sector.

Rahima holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology and a Masters of Library Sciences from the University of Toronto. She is a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) and has also been awarded the designation of Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP) by the Human Resources Professionals Association.


Deb Shime

Debra Shime joined United Way in March 2012. As Vice President, Community Impact, Debra works with the Community Impact Department to implement strategies and programs that relate to United Way Toronto’s organizational priorities. This includes overseeing special grants programs and fund distribution to member agencies.

Before coming to United Way, Debra spent five years as Executive Director of University Settlement, a multi-service neighbourhood centre that has been operating in downtown Toronto for over 100 years. Prior to that, she spent over fifteen years in New York City working in a variety of positions across the social services sector. Before starting at University Settlement, Debra was the Senior Vice President of Criminal Justice and Community Based-Services for Safe Horizon, the largest crime victim assistance organization in the United States. At Safe Horizon, Debra oversaw criminal justice programs and community-based services and led the organization’s response to the events of September 11. This response included financial assistance, case management and clinical services, job training, and community organizing to support those affected.

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