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.”
Warren is the Vice President of Customer Service at Hydro One. He is a senior executive with over 25 years experience in customer engagement, marketing, sales, operational development, change management and coaching. Warren is a focused, strategic thinker with expertise in aggressive growth environments, mergers and acquisitions and a strong leader who promotes teamwork and accountability. Previously, Warren was a consultant with Warren Lister Consulting and worked in marketing and customer solutions at Viterra. He was also an Olympic coach for New Zealand cycling.
Some of Warren’s key skills and abilities include innovative, results oriented leadership; strategic business planning expertise; proactive approach to challenges; brand and marketing communications; sales, marketing and customer service; and high-performance coaching.
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.
Raegan Bond is a Senior Consultant at Dunsky Energy Consulting, a consulting firm that supports leading governments, utilities, firms and non-profits in Canada and the U.S. in their efforts to build a sustainable energy future. Prior to joining Dunsky Energy Consulting, Raegan was the Vice President, Conservation and Demand Management of Alectra Utilities Corp. As Vice President of Conservation with Canada’s largest municipally-owned electricity distributor, she was accountable for leading the planning and implementation of Alectra’s $400 million conservation program portfolio, for meeting government-set conservation targets, as well as for being a thought leader and advocate for next-generation conservation programs and policy.
Prior to joining Alectra, Raegan worked at the Ontario Power Authority, where she held a variety of conservation-related roles including program management, results reporting, and providing strategic planning and policy support to the government. Prior to joining the OPA, Raegan was Senior Consultant with IndEco Strategic Consulting, where she worked on a wide range of energy-related projects for private sector, public sector and non-profit clients.
Raegan currently serves as a Board Member of the Association of Energy Services Professionals and was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees for Ontario’s AffordAbility Fund Trust. She has a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Guelph and a MSc in Environmental Change & Management from the University of Oxford, England.
Kaili Sermat-Harding assumed the role of Assistant Deputy Minister, Conservation and Renewable Energy Division at the Ontario Ministry of Energy in 2013. Kaili has held senior positions at the Ministry of Energy since 2000, including Deputy Minister’s Executive Assistant, Director, Communications Branch and Director, Strategic Policy Branch. Through these positions and her current role, Kaili has developed an extensive background in energy policy. Prior to joining the Ministry of Energy, she held positions at the former Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism and Cabinet Office.
Kaili has a BA (Honours) in History and Archeology, received with distinction, from the University of Toronto and a Master of Library Science from McGill University. Kaili and her husband have three children.
Tim is the Vice President of Customer and Information Services at Thunder Bay Hydro Electricity Distribution Inc. 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.
Laura is a seasoned executive with more than twenty-five years of progressive and varied experience in the private, government and non-profit sectors in the areas of customer service, corporate communications, corporate social responsibility, public affairs, First Nations and Métis relations and stakeholder relations. Prior to joining the AffordAbility Fund Trust, Laura was the Senior Vice President of Customer and Corporate Relations at Hydro One; one of North America’s largest utilities. Prior to joining Hydro One in 2006, Laura served as Manager, Media Relations and corporate spokesperson for Air Canada from 1998 to 2005. From 1992 to 1999, Laura held several progressive roles within the federal government at Transport Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. In her early career, Laura worked in the non-profit sector with the Arthritis Society where she was responsible for the development and implementation of annual communications plans in support of the Society’s overall priorities; working with its board and management, volunteers, and the medical community. Laura studied Public Relations at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology.