Contact & Staff

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We are located at the Accelerator Centre in the David Johnston Research & Technology Park.

Capacity Canada
Accelerator Centre
295 Hagey Boulevard
Waterloo, ON N2L 6R5

Phone: 519-513-2606
Toll Free: 866-317-1992
Fax: 519-513-2604
Twitter: @capacitycanada

 


Administration Team




Cathy Brothers
Chief Executive Officer

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x1
M: 226-808-7220

Learn more about Cathy

Areas of Expertise: Mentoring CEOs/Executive Directors & Building Networks

Capacity Canada helps not-for-profits get the most of out their strengths, and try out new ideas to fill unmet needs in the community. Leaders who want to push change with lean resources can count on the advice of Capacity Canada CEO Cathy Brothers. She is the champions’ champion, lending a patient ear to the administrative and governance challenges organizations always face. Her volunteerism and professional career gives her the advantage of seeing issues from both board and administrative points of view. And connected? With 45 years’ experience in the social-services sector, Brothers has a long contact list. As both a senior leader and a Board member in health and social service organizations, Cathy is passionately committed to innovative ideas, risk-taking, and helping both individuals and communities to reach their maximum potential. Cathy served for many years in Kitchener as Director of Community Services at St. Mary’s Hospital, then, Executive Director at Mosaic Counselling & Family Services. Cathy taught Social Policy courses for 20 years in the Department of Family Studies at the University of Guelph. Cathy is a member of the Barnraisers Council in Waterloo Region, and, the President’s Advisory Council at Wilfrid Laurier. Her Board service includes St. Jerome’s University, Rotary Club of Kitchener-Westmount, Family Service Ontario, Ontario Association of Credit Counselling Services, St. Mary’s General Hospital, St. Mary’s Foundation, and, St Joseph’s Health Care System. She is an Honorary Senior Fellow at Renison College, University of Waterloo; recipient of both the Queen’s Golden and Silver Jubilee Medals; and, as part of Laurier’s Centennial Celebrations, Cathy was selected as a member of Laurier’s 100 Alumni of Distinction. Cathy’s long-standing commitment to social entrepreneurship is evident in her published works. In “Canadian Social Welfare”, she wrote about the history of Employee Assistance Programs – “Industries and the Provision of Social Services”. Cathy is most interested in Mentoring, Board Governance, and, Growth Strategies for not-for-profits.


Andrew Wilding
Director of Operations

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x2
M: 226-220-4645

Learn more about Andrew

Areas of Expertise: Administration, Finance, Organizational & Program Development & Nonprofit Start-up Advice
As director of operations, Andrew Wilding books the speakers, dispatches news releases and gets the educational events and programs planned by Capacity Canada off the ground. There is much more to the job than that. Wilding has some experience filling positions that defy definition. His career includes working for an MPP and directing resource development for a counselling agency. Now he seeks new ways Capacity Canada can help organizations meet the ongoing challenges and changing expectations of their own roles in the community. Andrew is third vice-president of the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club, vice-president of the Waterloo Club and on the advisory board of the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre.


Kathi Dodson
Finance Administrator

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x2


Learn more about Kathi

Areas of Expertise: Accounting

Kathi Dodson makes sure everything adds up at Capacity Canada. She is a certified public accountant/certified general accountant, now retired — sort of. Having held executive positions at such organizations as Habitat for Humanity Canada and the Huron-Perth Children’s Aid Society, Dodson knows the charitable not-for-profit sector. She enjoys working in the fulfilling area of “charitable purpose and community contribution,” she says, where the bottom line isn’t so much a row of numbers as it is lives and faces.


Shubhagata Sengupta
Digital Media Coordinator

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x9


Learn more about Shub

Areas of Expertise: Web Design & Digital Media

As Digital Media Coordinator, Shubhagata manages and curates Capacity Canada's online presence. This includes an array of tasks, from adding to and updating the website, to helping manage the organization's social media presence and even the odd graphic design task here and there. Shubhagata is currently pursuing a Communications Studies degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, and also has a strong interest in startups and technology.



Geetha Van Den Daele
Program Evaluator

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x21


Learn more about Geetha

Areas of Expertise: Research and Planning

A passionate community builder, Geetha Van den Daele will evaluate Capacity’s EvalU program to keep it fresh and innovative. “What I love about EvalU is that it is really creating that culture of learning, and encouraging organizations to take risks and not be afraid to fail,” she says.Van den Daele runs her own consultancy, Fresh Insights, to help organizations engage the community in research, and amplify great ideas that might be missed. Her advice about evaluation: Take it bit by bit, have some fun on the learning curve.


Jennifer Vasic
Researcher & Evaluator

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x19
M: 519-504-5831

Learn more about Jennifer

Areas of Expertise: Research, Evaluation, Health / Mental Health & Community Development
Jennifer loves learning and is enthusiastic to foster a love of learning in others. This combined with a curious nature, penchant for asking questions, and genuine interest in the answers she’s given has led her to work in research and evaluation. Most importantly, she values engaging all stakeholders, including non-profit service users, in program development, implementation, and evaluation. In addition to her current role at Capacity Canada, she is a Ph.D. student at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Social Work studying the role of the arts in transforming public education for youth who live in low-income neighbourhoods. She has previously worked in the non-profit sector as a youth worker, program coordinator, and community-based researcher. She is actively involved in her community as a volunteer on the Public Art Advisory Committee at the Region of Waterloo and on the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation Grants Committee.

Executives In Residence




Christian Aagaard
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x15
M: 519-242-9077

Learn more about Christian

Areas of Expertise: Communications & Media Relations, Storytelling & Writing

From his years as a newspaper journalist, Christian Aagaard knows that people seem naturally drawn to information. They like a good story. His role as an executive-in-residence with Capacity Canada helps non-profit agencies feed that curiosity and make more people aware of the impact they have in the community. This means looking beyond the lists of numbers in annual reports. With videographer Nelson Dunk, Aagaard leads the Storytelling Boot Camp sponsored by Capacity Canada and the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation. Aagaard also covers Capacity events and files stories on its blog space. “Charitable non-profits create wonderful stories as they improve lives by filling gaps in social services” he says. “But if those stories go untold, people won’t know about the problems the organizations are trying to solve.”


Don McDermott
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x22


Learn more about Don

Areas of Expertise: MatchBoard, Board Governance

Don McDermott has worked with many different boards over the years, and one thing comes up consistently. “What I hear often from directors is that they get far more satisfaction back than they feel they give to the organization,” McDermott says. As an executive in residence with Capacity Canada, McDermott works on the MatchBoard program for Toronto-area Manulife employees. MatchBoard fits the interests of Manulife volunteers with vacancies on social-profit boards. McDermott has built a career in health-care administration — most recently as president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Corporation of Ontario. Now retired, he and his wife Joan run a consultancy to help social-profit organizations in the areas of board development and strategic planning. “While volunteers who contribute their time and skills to social-profit boards feel rewarded for their efforts, it is the agencies, communities and recipients of services who really benefit and appreciate these volunteers”, McDermott says.


Jo-Anne Gibson
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x16
M: 226-218-8099

Learn more about Jo-Anne

Areas of Expertise: MatchBoard Program & Leadership Coaching

How big is the connection between executive development and community development? Huge, says Jo-Anne Gibson, who helps the MatchBoard program in Waterloo Region. “We can get stuck sometimes in our own business environment,” Gibson says. “So being involved in a non-profit, and getting exposure to other people and other areas of interest, it really helps us understand what it takes to build a community.” Meanwhile, non-profit agencies benefit from the ideas and skills corporate executives bring to their boards. Gibson has made a career out of building relationships. A resident of Cambridge, Ont., she is a self-employed leadership coach who also works with colleagues grouped under the Awesome Journey consultancy in Calgary. As an executive-in-residence with Capacity Canada, Gibson works with Moira Taylor to link the volunteer interests of Manulife executives to the needs of local charitable non-profits with board vacancies to fill. “I’m big on partnerships, and I see a board as a partnership with staff,” Gibson says.


Marion Thomson Howell
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606


Learn more about Marion

Areas of Expertise: Content Creation, E-Learning, & Governance

What can somebody learn from an app on a smartphone? Plenty, says Marion Thomson Howell. Thomson Howell is the executive in residence in charge of Capacity's Axonify project. Axonify, a technology company based in Waterloo, Ont., applies brain science to develop anywhere, anytime e-learning. Capacity is using the Axonify platform as a governance-training tool for directors of social-profit organizations. Directors learn by answering short packets of questions through an app on their computer, tablet or phone. Questions answered incorrectly loop back later in the training period. "The evidence behind brain science is pretty compelling," says Thomson Howell, president of Shaughnessy Howell Inc. "When people learn in small bites, when they revisit content over time, it anchors learning." Thomson Howell's own board experience includes St. Jerome’s University and St. Mary's General Hospital (Kitchener). "I love operating at that level," she says about governance roles. "There's a lot to be done, and a lot we could do better."



Sandra Hanmer
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x17


Learn more about Sandra

Areas of Expertise: Coaching, Mentoring, Policy Development

With a 30-year career in health care, Sandra Hanmer sees a clear connection between the well-being of a community and the well-being of non-profits that provide so many its supportive services. "One of my great passions is the integration between primary and community care so that it is a seamless system that we have in place," Hanmer says. "And in order to do that, we need leadership." As one of Capacity Canada’s executives-in-residence, she helps with what she calls "big-picture stuff:" coaching and mentoring for board chairs and executive directors in charge of charitable non-profits; strategic planning; policy development, and governance. Hanmer’s administrative roles have ranged from hospitals to community-care services, in Ontario and abroad. She spent two years in New Zealand, working for a private company that helps people with physical and mental challenges lead independent lives. She returned in 2014. "We’ve got great organizations in this area and a willingness just to get on with it and get things done," Hanmer says. "That’s one of the things that excites me about being here."


David Drewe
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x11


Learn more about David

Areas of Expertise: Engaging Elected Officials, Government Relations

Born in Copper Cliff, Ontario, David Drewe grew up in Northern Ontario before moving to Waterloo to attend the University of Waterloo to study Political Science and Marketing. Throughout his career, David has worked as a strategic communications advisor, advocate and spokesperson, as well as a media relations and government relations professional for numerous not-for-profit and charitable organizations, including the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention and the Friends of Ontario Universities. David also edited a magazine about post-secondary education in Canada, and has served as Communications Director for several political campaigns. Most recently, David worked on Parliament Hill, where he was the project lead on MP Harold Albrecht’s ground-breaking suicide prevention legislation: the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention. David also led research and communications efforts for the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care, an all-party group dedicated to advancing how Canada treats our most vulnerable citizens.


Violetta Ilkiw
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x3


Learn more about Violetta

Areas of Expertise: MatchBoard Program

There are two sides to the Manulife MatchBoard program that Capacity Canada runs: the Manulife recruits who want to volunteer for boards of charitable non-profits; and the non-profits that could use their help. That’s where Violetta Ilkiw comes in. A private consultant who has spent 20 years in the non-for-profit sector, Ilkiw works with Lisa Watson and Fern Stimpson to make up MatchBoard’s Toronto team. She helps find non-profits that want to participate in the program. Then the team matches needs of the non-profits to the interests and skills of the Manulife volunteers. "There is no shortage of people in non-profit organizations who are passionate about the issues," Ilkiw says. "But they are also looking for a skilled perspective on technical issues, processes and finances... A diversity of thinking moves an organization to explore different ways of doing things." When people volunteer, they widen their networks of friends and associates, and learn about strengths and weaknesses in their communities. "I think it makes life a heck of a lot more interesting," Ilkiw says.


Lyn Royce
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606


Learn more about Lyn

Areas of Expertise: Development Strategist

A firm believer in the tenet, if you can’t find it, create it, Lyn continues to display her talent for balancing the bottom line while nurturing relationships over a career trajectory spanning three decades. As Audience Services Director of Canada’s renowned Shaw Festival for seven seasons, Lyn spearheaded one of the Festival’s largest senior staff portfolios, championing accessibility, cultivating audience stewardship and establishing service consistency. By turns creative and cognitive, Lyn guides projects with an eye to finding the best resolution for all parties. Her forays into independent consulting have been interlaced with service as Regional Advisor for the Ministries of Citizenship and Immigration, Tourism, Culture and Sport, where colleagues laud her as “….best plug and play person....” Within her heritage consultancy, Lyn mentored multiple communities with disparate levels of experience in launching A Walk Through History Cemetery Tours. An initiative of Niagara – Cultural Capital of Canada 2012, participating groups used joint marketing tools and developed shared costume and prop inventories to further expand community history engagement. Recently, Lyn has focused her considerable energies on third sector development projects with Capacity Canada and one-on-one arts mentorships in organizational aptitude with Creative Enterprise Initiative. A skilled teacher and facilitator, she considers such feedback as “You taught me stuff when I wasn’t looking!” among her greatest achievements. Her commitment to arts and culture is exemplified in longstanding memberships with the Canadian Museums Association and Toronto’s Arts and Letters Club.



Bob King
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x14
M: 226-929-9336

Learn more about Bob

Areas of Expertise: Financial Mentoring & MatchBoard Program

Bob King recalls his volunteer time with the United Way as "a huge eye-opener." "It was an awareness of some of the needs in this community that aren’t always visible, and that people sometimes just don’t believe would exist in what would be considered a fairly affluent place," King says. Now an executive-in-residence with Capacity Canada, King encourages others to learn more about their communities by volunteering time and talent to agencies that need support. He was a vice-president at Manulife, working on the employee-benefit side of the business until he retired in 2013. Today, those connections help as he further strengthens the relationship between Capacity Canada and Manulife, and promotes the MatchBoard program. MatchBoard links Manulife executives to volunteer roles on non-profit boards. "It’s a terrific way for those employees to give back to their community, whether it’s Waterloo Region or Toronto," King says. "There are lots of winners in this. That’s what got me intrigued by it."


Matt Miller
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x6
M: 226-749-3893

Learn more about Matt

Areas of Expertise: Marketing, Brand Identity & Logo Development

Social-service organizations focus so much time on helping others, they often forget to look after themselves. Messaging gets foggy, websites grow weedy and logos look tired and dated. Matt Miller offers 30 years' experience in graphic design and marketing to help organizations refresh their relationship with the community. Through his connections in the marketing business and with Conestoga College, Miller seeks affordable branding solutions for non-profits that want to present themselves as vibrant change-makers.


Lynn Randall
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x7


Learn more about Lynn

Areas of Expertise: Research, Mentoring, Proposal Development

No random collection of circumstances set Lynn Randall on a career in the charitable non-profit world. This is where she has always wanted to be, working to change not only how others regard the sector, but by how the sector regards itself. “There is a way of looking at the community through a resiliency lens as opposed to a deficit lens,” says Randall, one of Capacity Canada’s executives in residence (EIR). "A lot of the work we have been doing around social innovation lends itself to social prosperity, or social profit, as opposed to non-profit.” Randall’s professional roles and volunteer interests weave across health and social-services. Most recently, she was the director, social planning, for the Region of Waterloo. “I really truly believe there is a way to innovate through complex social issues, and I think an affiliation with an organization like Capacity Canada provides a platform for that to occur,” Randall says. “That’s what excites me about it.”


Stephen Swatridge
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x12


Learn more about Stephen

Areas of Expertise: Board Governance & Strategy

When Stephen Swatridge became its chief executive officer in 1985, the Rotary Children’s Centre in Waterloo, Ont. served about a thousand clients. When he left in 2013, the agency — known as KidsAbility — had a client list of more than 5,400. Swatridge has a reputation for strong leadership in the charitable non-profit sector. As an executive-in-residence with Capacity Canada, he draws on almost 40 years’ experience to help organizations manage the increasingly complex task of governance. Capacity runs a Board Governance Boot Camp, with sponsorship from Manulife. “The non-profit sector is so huge and has so many challenges — all the more reason they need boards of directors that are effective and have good relations with the chief executive officer or the executive director,” Swatridge says. “Capacity Canada is committed to building the knowledge, skills and confidence board members need to lead their organizations with passion and purpose.”



Moira Taylor
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x5
M: 519-590-3230

Learn more about Moira

Areas of Expertise: MatchBoard Program

Not-for-profit boards need time and talent. People have time and talent to give. Moira Taylor builds bridges between the two as the executive-in-residence overseeing Capacity Canada's MatchBoard program in Waterloo Region sponsored by Manulfe Financial. The program connects Manulife employees to governance opportunities in the local charitable non-profit sector. As a former hospital administrator - and current board member - Taylor understands that good matches fulfill the interests of volunteers while strengthening organizations. Capacity Canada and ManuLife also run a board-governance boot camp to enrich the relationship between board members and administrators.


Megan Conway
Executive in Residence

[email protected]



Learn more about Megan

Areas of Expertise: Research, Evaluation & Community Development

Megan has a passion for learning and for supporting creative community change initiatives. She has led nonprofit and academic initiatives in a variety of different parts of the province. Megan has her PhD in Urban Planning with a focus on evaluation and children and youth.


Dan Weber
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x20


Learn more about Dan

Areas of Expertise: Strategy, Business Development, Project Management, B2B Partnerships

Dan has spent much of his career in the technology, insurance and post secondary education sectors, with a depth of experience in revenue generation, B2B partnerships, strategic planning, product development and customer service. He has a passion for efficiency and effectiveness, which was a natural fit for past leadership positions in project and portfolio management. His educational background is in mathematics and information systems, holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation, and is a member of the Project Management Institute. Dan is a lifetime volunteer and passionate about the NFP and charitable sector. He has assisted NFP organizations in strategic planning and effectiveness, program development and operation, and is co-founder of a charity focused on group volunteerism.