Board of Directors

Darren Pries-Klassen, B.Th., CFP - Chair

Darren Pries-Klassen, Executive Director, Abundance Canada, one of the largest faith-based public foundations in the country. Prior to this role Darren served as a Consultant with Abundance Canada for 12 years working primarily in the areas of will and estate planning, charitable gift planning, and financial literacy.

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He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theology from Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, MB and a Certified Financial Planner designation. He has served on many Boards in both for profit and not-for-profit organizations including Kitchener-based Mennonite Savings and Credit Union and Hamilton`s Welcome Inn Community Centre. He has been a member of CAGP since 1998.

A sought after speaker and educator, Darren has presented at several national conferences including CAGP. He and his wife Monika live in St. Catharine’s and have two teenage daughters.


Amanda Stacey - Vice Chair

Amanda Stacey is a member of the Charities and Not-for-Profit and Private Client Services specialty groups at Miller Thomson. Amanda provides both general counsel and specialized tax advice to charities and not-for-profit organizations across Canada and abroad and provides estate planning advice to individuals and families.

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Amanda advises clients on tax law concerning charities and not for- profit organizations. She also assists individuals with developing an estate plan, including the drafting of Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Trusts, and advises on personal tax, post-mortem planning, and planning for the succession of property held in foreign jurisdictions. Amanda assists executors and trustees with the administration of estates and trusts. She also assists financial institutions with the administration of estate assets and dealing with executors, trustees and attorneys acting under a power of attorney for property. On the charities side, she assists clients with structuring organizations, including the creation of charitable trusts, not-for-profit corporations, and applying for charitable registration with the Canada Revenue Agency. Amanda also advises clients on issues concerning the disbursement quota and the receipt and receipting of gifts to registered charities. Amanda advises charities dealing with bequests and gifts of various types of property, including shares, real estate, insurance policies, annuities, and charitable remainder trusts.

She also advises donors and assists with structuring large gifts to registered charities, including the drafting of gift agreements and endowment agreements. Amanda is experienced with the laws governing Canadian charities carrying on foreign activities and in structuring organizations that comply with these complex Canadian rules. Amanda also advises charities and not-for-profit organizations on relevant provincial laws governing these organizations, including matters concerning the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee. Amanda is a frequent speaker and writer on tax and governance topics relating to both the voluntary sector and estate planning.


Peggy Killeen, CFRE - Secretary

Peggy Killeen has over 25 years of experience in the development field, specializing in non-profit management and fundraising.

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Peggy started her career in South Africa, working for local advocacy, human rights and community organizations.  She has worked on contracts with the United Nations and the Canadian International Development Agency at international electoral missions in Central Africa and the former Yugoslavia. In Canada she has concentrated mainly on healthcare fundraising, with some forays into adult literacy, immigration issues and education.   Peggy is a Certified Fundraising Executive and sits on the national Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP).  She is a seasoned presenter with a passion for planned giving, ethics and donor relations. For the past eight years Peggy worked for the Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation as Director of Legacy Gifts for both the RVHF and the McGill University Health Centre Foundation.  She is now Principal Director of Development for the Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University.


Ninette Bishay, CPA, CA - Treasurer

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Ninette is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant) and member of the Charities & Not-for-Profit Organizations team at Grant Thornton LLP, where she exclusively provides assurance and advisory services to this sector in Toronto, Canada.  

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After graduating from the University of Ottawa, Ninette received her CA designation in 2006 while working with PKF Hill LLP, a mid-sized accounting firm which merged with Grant Thornton in 2011. Together with the Quebec firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP, Grant Thornton has approximately 4,000 people in offices across Canada. 

Ninette provides valuable and relevant advice to her clients in the areas of financial reporting, internal control efficiencies, governance, reserves, and issues around CRA compliance such as donation receipting, fundraising ratios, activities outside of Canada, and inactive capital. Ninette is a frequent speaker and author on these and other wider issues affecting the sector.  

Ninette is greatly involved in the community serving in various leadership positions, including on the Board of Directors and the Finance Committee of a private school. Her services in the community have given her a unique perspective into the challenges faced by charities and not-for-profit organizations.

 


Doug Puffer

Doug is one of those people who "fell into” a career in fundraising and knows that he couldn’t have made a better choice. His first experience as a volunteer fundraiser resulted in a job with Ducks Unlimited: first as wildlife biologist in Northern Ontario then, as fate would have it, as a staff fundraiser in Kingston. Fourteen years later he joined Queen’s University as a Senior Development Officer and then as Senior Planned Giving Officer.

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In 2007 he accepted the challenge to build a planned giving program at Simon Fraser University. He has seen the program grow from $23M to over $68M in expectancies, and has developed relationships with many wonderful donors who are giving for all the right reasons.

The idea of making the world a better place has been a cornerstone of personal and professional values for him. Connecting people with charity is one of the most rewarding and gratifying ways to make a better world. Helping people to leave their own legacy with an ultimate gift is one of the most satisfying feelings that he has experienced. Doug believes the silent philanthropists who we serve in this profession are the true, humble heroes of our Canadian society.

Doug volunteers his time and experience as a mentor and educator of fundraisers who are new to the profession. He stays current through research and writing, involvement in professional organizations, serving on the editorial board of Gift Planning in Canada and as a conference presenter. He is a relentless fan of Canadian college football, fortunate to have 3 sons who play or played at that level and one, so far, who has moved on to the CFL to pursue his own dreams.


Carla Funk

Carla Funk is Project Development Manager with First Peoples’ Cultural Council, Brentwood Bay B.C., where she facilitates strategic alliances and capacity building to support First Nation language and cultural revitalization.

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In conjunction to this she helped to facilitate a strategic alliance with Google.org to create the global endangered languages project (www.endangeredlanguages.com). Carla previously lived and worked in Ethiopia managing a UNHCR program feeding refugees; in Zimbabwe on food security and education related projects; and in Switzerland working for a private family foundation committed to supporting education for poverty-stricken populations of southern Africa and Eastern Europe. Her recent efforts have been in B.C. raising resources to support environmental efforts, health research, the arts, children and families and First Nations initiatives. Recently, Carla embarked on a doctoral program at Royal Roads University examining the role of private aid on international poverty reduction and development. She earned both a Degree and Master of Science at University of Manitoba from the Faculty of Agriculture studying plant genetics and agronomy.

Carla has served on national and local Boards since 1986 and currently sits on the Board of RAVEN Trust. She has been involved with CAGP since 2006 where she became a member and attended the National Conference. She served on the Vancouver Island Roundtable for six years, chaired the Roundtable, and has regularly presented at the CAGP National Conference.

Carla’s interests lie in policy issues, strategic alliances and collaboration as tools that will enable and enhance CAGP’s efforts in facilitating transformational legacy gifts.


Norma Cameron, CFRE

Norma has over 25 years of experience in fundraising, communications, training and facilitation. Originally from Scotland, she worked in the banking sector before returning to school to study journalism and communications and soon found her calling in the non-profit sector. 

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In addition to working in the social services and community foundation sector, she has held senior positions at various universities across Canada. She has a successful track record in securing multi-million dollar gifts from individuals through major and planned gifts, writing successful direct mail, website and Case for Support materials, and negotiating multi-million dollar corporate partnerships. 

Norma is the Director of Development for Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.  She is also the owner and principal of The Narrative Company, formed in 2006, aimed at furthering her research and work in teaching others how to apply the power of story across all communications media and activities.

She is a member of the national CAGP board, and a faculty member who has taught the Original Gift Planning course and developed their newest 3-day course, Strategic Gift Planning Bootcamp for Major Gift Professionals.  She sits on CAGP’s Education Committee and the CFRE International Advisory Council, and is a past president of the Storytellers of Canada-Conteurs du Canada. 

She has delivered workshops and keynote presentations at national and international conferences.  And, as a professional storyteller, has performed at concerts and festivals across Canada, the UK and USA. 

Since emigrating from the UK, she has lived in Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and for the past ten years has been a happy resident of North Saanich on Vancouver Island. 

For more information, check out Norma’s blog or watch her TedxVictoria Talk on The Evolution of Story.


Beth Proven

Beth Proven has been working in the fundraising profession since 1994 and has been privileged to facilitate $92 million in donations.

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Beth began her career in the arts with internships at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and the Atlantic Theatre Festival in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and worked for the Saskatoon International Fringe Festival and Shakespeare by the Sea in Halifax.

She made the transition to educational fundraising with Dalhousie University’s $75 million Capital Ideas Campaign as a Development Officer.  From there, she spent nearly five years as the Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Brandon University where she also managed their Foundation and Alumni Association and directed the $5.6 million ‘Success in Mind’ Capital Campaign. 

In 2003 she spent a short time at St. Paul’s College Foundation, before working nearly 10 years as the Manager of Planned Giving at the University of Manitoba.  From there she spent two years in a leadership role at the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.   She has since returned to her roots in the arts as the VP Development at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Beth is a graduate of the University of Manitoba (BA) and Grant MacEwan University (Arts Administration), the University of Waterloo Centre for Cultural Management’s Income Manager’s Program, the four-year Certificate in Management and Administration of the Canadian Institute of Management, the CAGP Original Canadian Gift Planning course and the Dale Carnegie program.  She also spent seven months working on a cotton, cattle and mixed grains farm in Queensland, Australia. 

She is a past Chair of the CAGP Manitoba Chapter and a past board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Manitoba Chapter.  In 2014 Beth was the recipient of the national Friend of CAGP Award and the Province of Manitoba CAGP Chapter, Friend of CAGP Award.


Keith Thomson

For almost 30 years Keith Thomson has been a financial advisor specializing in estate and charitable tax planning. He is a Fellow of The Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI®) and, in addition to being a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), holds the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®) designation.

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At Stonegate Private Counsel, Keith offers highly specialized wealth management services to 43 high net worth families. Having been involved with the non-profit sector on a number of levels since the early 1990's, this continues to be the most significant motivation for the work he does with 10% of all business income generated re-directed back towards philanthropy. Keith is a former Chair of the African Medical Research Foundation in Canada (AMREF) and has frequently travelled to Africa to oversee and participate in their programs and initiatives. It was during those visits that he searched for a connection between his skills as a financial planner and a desire to amplify his philanthropic impact back home. This was the catalyst for Keith’s involvement with The Donor Motivation Program™.

As National Director of The Donor Motivation Program in Canada, Keith and his colleagues across the country consult to a number of non-profit organizations to create new planned gifts and increase existing ones. He now leads a team of nine philanthropic consultants from Vancouver to Halifax with his goal to redirect $1 billion dollars towards the charitable sector in Canada over the next eight years. Keith currently serves on the board of Seva Canada whose mission it is to restore sight and prevent blindness in low income countries. He has also acted in various volunteer leadership roles including as a past board member of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and the Toronto Foundation, the latter managing his families Donor Advised Fund.


Michelle Osborne, CFRE

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Michelle joined the University of Toronto in August 2007, where she is responsible for the overall U of T gift planning program. Having worked for the Royal Ontario Museum Governors and SickKids Foundation, her focus has always been in the area of strategic philanthropy.

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A U of T alumna, Michelle is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and a long-standing member of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, where she is a faculty member of CAGP’s Original Canadian Gift Planning course and Chair of CAGP’s National Education Committee. 

Michelle was the inaugural recipient of the Jasmine Sweatman Award in 2005—a CAGP Toronto Chapter award for outstanding commitment to Gift Planning and in 2015, received the Friend of CAGP Award—CAGP’s National award for individuals who embody the spirit and vision of CAGP.