CAGP Foundation Board of Directors

Darren Pries-Klassen - Chair

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Darren serves as Chief Executive Officer of Abundance Canada, one of the largest faith-based public foundations in the country, where he leads a group of passionate people that promote and facilitate charitable giving.  

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"It is my privilege to work with and for so many incredible people. As we say at Abundance Canada, 'Generosity Changes Everything'." Prior to joining Abundance Canada, Darren worked with youth in both school and church settings. He joined Abundance Canada as a Gift Planning Consultant in 1998. In 2009, Darren took on the role of CEO.

He has an undergrad degree in Theology and a graduate degree in Leadership. He has completed the CREST leadership program and holds the Certified Financial Planner designation.

Darren has a great deal of Board experience which includes serving on the Boards of Kitchener-based Kindred Credit Union and Welcome Inn Community Centre in Hamilton. He served on the National Board of Directors for Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) where he was the Chair for two years (ending in March of 2017). He has been a member of CAGP-ACPDP since 1998.

Darren and his wife are members of The First Mennonite Church in Vineland.


Joan Blight

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Joan Blight, Strategic Philanthropy’s president and managing consultant, has worked as an independent consultant for almost 30 years. 

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A University of Manitoba graduate, Joan has extensive, multi-level voluntary-sector development experience in three major Canadian cities: Winnipeg, Calgary and Toronto.
Joan has provided organizational and fund development services to local, national and international charitable organizations in education, health, human services, the arts and international development. 

Joan also assists donors with philanthropic planning and professional advisors with how to assist their clients.


Greg Lichti

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Greg Lichti is Vice-President, Development at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.  

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Greg has been a member of the Major and Estate Giving (MEG) Team at PMCF since January 2001.  Greg and his MEG colleagues are responsible for raising over $40M annually in major and estate revenue to support world-leading cancer research.  Greg is past board Chair of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners.  Greg is a keen cyclist and a 10-year rider with the Princess Margaret’s Ride to Conquer Cancer.


Beth Proven

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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

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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.


Ross Young, CA, CFP, FEA

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Ross Young works with business owners, professionals, families and their advisors to help them leave a legacy in ways that are meaningful to them, and to allow them to do what they love.

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Ross believes that making a difference and giving back are the core values that we share, and he works with his clients to gain an intimate understanding of their goals and values.

When Ross is not engaged with clients, he is passionate about working with the community and philanthropic projects, as well as spending time with his family and friends, and being outdoors. 


Andrew Valentine

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Andrew Valentine is a Partner at Miller Thomson LLP.

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Andrew Valentine’s charities and non-profit law practice focuses on providing advice to organizations on issues including gift planning, incorporation and registration, ongoing compliance matters, and audits. Andrew also deals extensively with non-profit corporate governance and corporate structuring issues, advising on corporate restructuring, directors’ duties and liabilities, governance best practices, bylaws and policies, and membership disputes.

Andrew has expertise in social enterprise and social finance. He has assisted in several litigation matters involving charity law issues, including at the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. 

Andrew has authored and co-authored numerous articles about charity and non-profit law and speaks regularly on these topics. Andrew worked extensively on the charities law text, Charities Taxation, Policy and Practice. Andrew is a member of the Ontario Bar Association Charity and Not-for-Profit Section Executive, and has participated in various government consultations regarding non-profit issues.


Contact the CAGP Foundation Board at cagpfdnboard@cagp-acpdp.org.