The Next Generation of Leaders

September 19 2016 , 12 pm
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Andrea Cohen Barrack, CEO, Ontario Trillium Foundation

Andrea Cohen Barrack is the CEO of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, one of Canada’s largest grant-making foundations. OTF works to build healthy and vibrant communities through investments in human and social services, arts and culture, sports and recreation, and the environment. A transformative leader, she has a demonstrated history of both developing strategies which promise positive change and leading others to deliver on those promises.

Andrea came to OTF following a lengthy and successful career in community healthcare, most recently as CEO of Unison Health and Community Services. She is recognized for her expertise in making organizations more effective by ensuring that systems are integrated and impact is both measured and assessed.

Andrea has a MHSc in Health Administration from the University of Toronto and continues to guest lecture in the program.  She has pursued her interest in strategy, performance measurement and governance through Executive Education Programs at the Harvard Business School.  She continues to pursue her interest in health systems by participating as a member of the Health Policy Council for the C.D. Howe Institute.

A long-time volunteer, Andrea serves as the Chair of International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region. She is an Advisory Board Member for the Centre for Effective Philanthropy, a mentor with CivicAction DiverseCity Fellows and is the Vice Chair of the Dean’s Council for the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. Her community involvement includes participation in initiatives that seek to find creative and collaborative solutions to community and human rights issues.

Sevaun Palvetzian- CEO, CivicAction

Sevaun Palvetzian has been CEO at CivicAction since January of 2014. Before CivicAction, Sevaun held several senior executive roles within the Ontario Government including leading the Ontario Place Revitalization project and launching the Youth and New Professional Secretariat – a government-wide strategy to attract and retain future generations of leaders which included launching the award-winning Learn and Work Program for at-risk youth.

Prior to her work in government, Sevaun held positions at the University of Toronto, the World Bank Group, and Presidential Classroom, a Washington D.C. -based civic education organization.

Sevaun frequently contributes to city-building efforts including serving as a member of the Premier’s Community Hubs Advisory Group, the City of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Advisory Committee, The Toronto Police Service Board Transformational Task Force, and as a member of Mayor John Tory’s Advisory Panel for International Hosting Opportunities. She also sits on the Board of Directors for both Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), NPower Canada, and is a member of Ivey Business School Leadership Council.

She completed the Ivey Executive Program at the Ivey School of Business and has an M.A. in history from the University of Western Ontario.

Daniele Zanotti, President & CEO of United Way

Daniele Zanotti was named President & CEO of United Way in June 2016.

With more than 20 years of experience in the public and non-profit sectors, he has earned a reputation as an accomplished, strategic, and energetic leader. Daniele served as CEO of United Way York Region from 2007 to 2015. During that time he led an evolution that transformed the charity from federated fundraiser into a convener, mobilizer, and agent of community change. Under his guidance, the charity launched new initiatives to foster community dialogue; invested in more targeted and effective ways; and brought new social services to the communities most in need.

In 2015, Daniele was the catalyst of an historic merger between United Ways in York Region and Toronto. He committed himself and his organization to a broader alliance for community change — and established a new regional organization that is now better positioned than ever before to tackle issues on both sides of Steeles Avenue.

Following the merger — as the new head of resource development and captain of the first-ever United Way Toronto & York Region fundraising effort — Daniele led the 2015 campaign to a record-breaking achievement: $100-million for United Way’s agencies, programs, and initiatives. In this capacity he also played a fundamental role in driving greater alignment between strategies for youth, poverty reduction, and community investment across Toronto and York Region.

Before joining United Way Daniele served organizations like the Rexdale Community Health Centre; the Regional Municipality of York; Family Day Care Services; and Villa Charities Foundation. He is deeply involved in the community outside of his professional career. Daniele has been a member of the steering committee for CivicAction, and has volunteered on the boards of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC); the Human Services Planning Board of York Region; and the Vaughan Community Health Centre.

Daniele has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Toronto and Bachelor’s Degree from York University. He lives in Vaughan with his wife and 2 children.


Valerie Chort, VP Corporate Citizenship

As the VP Corporate Citizenship for RBC and Executive Director of the RBC Foundation, Valerie is responsible for the development and execution of RBC’s global corporate citizenship strategy which includes strategic philanthropy; employee ‘citizenship’ engagement; citizenship impact measurement, evaluation and reporting; corporate environmental affairs; and social innovation and finance.

For over 23 years Valerie has helped national and international businesses, governments and non-government organizations create opportunity by proactively managing environmental and social risks, and implementing programs that deliver both shareholder and stakeholder value. She has conducted a broad range of engagements including sustainability visioning and stance definition; stakeholder mapping and materiality assessment; stakeholder engagement; benchmarking and sustainability assessment; management system design and audit; indicators, goals and metrics identification, design, measurement and reporting; cost-benefit and scenario analysis; governance and leadership structure design; and change management planning and implementation.

Prior to joining RBC, she was a Partner with Deloitte’s Enterprise Risk Services and the America’s Leader of Deloitte’s Sustainability and Climate Change(S&CC) Practice. In this role, she provided national direction and expertise in the areas of Environment, Health & Safety (EHS), Sustainability, Climate Change, Water and Energy Management across the Americas. She was also a member of Deloitte’s global Sustainability & Climate Change Leadership Team, and an advisor to Deloitte Canada’s internal corporate responsibility program.

In 2013, she was named as a member of Canada’s Clean 16 – leader in the consulting sector and is part of the Canadian Clean 50.

Valerie graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering. She is fluent in French and Spanish.