Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Michael has built a life in Ottawa that is focused on building the community sector and its contribution to a civil society. Following a career that saw him practicing law and then working on Parliament Hill, Michael was drawn to United Way Ottawa by the opportunity to help others in his community. Michael’s tenure at United Way has been marked by milestones in moving both the organization and the community sector to more evidence-based, research-driven approaches to addressing the circumstances of Ottawa’s most vulnerable people. During his time, United Way has seen an increase in philanthropic and other revenues, partnerships and impact in the community. Some of the achievements Michael is most proud of are United Way’s response to the refugee crisis in 2015; the rapid response to Ottawa’s opioid crisis in 2017; and the defining of organizational goals that speak to some of the city’s greatest challenges, such as ending youth homelessness, making sure every young person graduates and ensuring that no senior is vulnerable.
Michael and his wife Karen have three children and remain committed to making Ottawa a great place to live — for everyone. “Working at United Way is a source of constant inspiration,” he says. “Our dedicated volunteers and staff are extremely committed and motivated. We all share a common goal of helping people in our community succeed.”
Denise is the Executive Director of the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre. She started there in 1993, and since then the Centre has grown from a single-service agency to a multi-service agency for the unemployed and working poor. Prior to joining Neighbour to Neighbour, Denise worked at the Heart and Stroke Foundation, was Executive Director of the Niagara Falls YWCA and the Director of the Seniors Centre at the Hamilton YWCA Ottawa Street location. Her present and past memberships and committees include Food Share Board of Directors, City of Hamilton’s Food Shelter and Housing Advisory Committee, City of Hamilton Energy Committee, Hamilton and District Business Club, BNI Corporate Executive, NNCC# 16 Condominium Complex, Condo Corporation #471 and Chairs Food Standards Committee. Denise’s hobbies include reading, gardening, cross country skiing, travelling, walking and biking.
Tim is the Vice President of Customer and Information Services at Synergy North. He is a well-established executive with over 16 years in the electricity utility industry and another 11 in municipal business. He has current executive oversight of customer service, information technology and information services, meter reading, billing and settlements, energy services, electricity conservation and demand management, smart metering, and utility customer and back office services for other utilities in Northwestern Ontario.
Tim has a HBComm and an MBA and has held a couple of different Board positions in the past, both in the positions of Treasurer and Secretary. Tim has also worked on other committees and working groups, some of which had full Board-delegated decision-making abilities. In particular, Tim was chair of the Electricity Distributors Association Conservation and Demand Management Caucus where he led negotiations on behalf of utilities with respect to conservation spending in the province; a total spend of approximately $1.4 billion.
Imran Merali is the Vice President, Customer Service of Hydro One, with oversight of the customer contact centre, collections, billing, key account management and customer service strategy. With over 10 years of experience in the electricity sector, Imran is a proven results-driven leader, known for optimizing business operations with programs such as the insourcing of the company’s call centre, welcoming 400 employees back to Hydro One.
With organizational accountability for more than 500 employees who deliver customer service to more than 1.3 million customers, Imran focuses on delivering a strategy that advocates for Hydro One’s customers, helping them make informed decisions as well as optimizing the customer experience through new products, services and capabilities.
Imran holds an Honours Bachelor of Science and Business from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Business Administration from the Rotman School of Management from the University of Toronto.
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