Foundation Personnel | United Church of Canada Foundation

Foundation Leadership

The people of The United Church of Canada Foundation

As an independent charitable organization, The United Church of Canada Foundation is managed and advised by a diverse team of faithful financial and social justice experts from across Canada. Meet our staff, our Board of Directors, as well as the members of our Audit, Investment, and Joint Grants Committees.

Foundation Staff

Sarah Charters

President

Toronto ON

Sarah began her work in the charitable sector as a fundraiser and has worked for various health charities. Since 2007, she has worked at the Foundation and enjoys the interaction with individuals and congregations passionate about the work of the church. Sarah is a member and chorister at Kingston Road United Church.

Call Sarah: 416-231-5931 ext. 3410 or (toll free) 1-866-340-8223

Erik Lo Forte

Foundation Lead

Toronto ON

Erik began his career with The United Church of Canada Foundation in 2014 after graduating with a BA in Geography and Environmental Studies from York University. His previous experience as a Community Manager for a local environmental not-for-profit organization has given him the passion to help those that fundraise for a deserving cause. Erik enjoys that he can see firsthand the positive impact donations have on individuals, organizations, and congregations.

Call Erik: 416-231-5931 ext. 2026 or (toll free) 1-866-340-8223

Karen Seunarine

Mission Advancement Lead

Brampton ON

Karen began her career in the charitable sector in 2005 working with international and local charities.  In 2015, she joined The United Church of Canada to support stewardship for churches and donors in the Toronto Conference.  Currently, she works for both the Foundation and United Church in the major gift portfolio.  Karen is constantly encouraged by the generosity of people who want to make a difference in Canada and around the world. She is married to David, has four children and worships at Norval United Church.  

Call Karen: 416-779-7745 or (toll free) 1-800-268-3781 ext. 6227

Jessica Smith

Foundation Communications & Campaign Associate

Toronto ON

Jessica has been with The United Church of Canada since 2013. Working first in the Office of the Moderator and General Secretary, Jessica then began a role with Philanthropy and worked closely with the Foundation before joining the team in 2018. Jessica enjoys working with donors; facilitating their gifts to the people and projects they love and learning about why they give. She has a background in communications and marketing and especially enjoys reporting on the impact of donor generosity.

Call Jessica: 416-231-5931 ext. 2021 or (toll free) 1-866-340-8223

Jenna Yango Leonard

Foundation Coordinator

Toronto ON

Jenna joined The United Church of Canada Foundation in 2022. She has previously worked in administration and finance with various other Canadian charities and enjoys using her skills to further the good work the Foundation does.

Call Jenna: 416-231-5931 ext. 2077 or (toll free) 1-866-340-8223

Kate Porter

Assistant

Toronto ON

Kate joined The United Church of Canada Foundation in 2021.  She has lived and worked in Brazil, Korea, and China and loves to meet new people, build relationships and try new things.  She enjoys working in a team to achieve common goals that positively impact communities.

Call Kate: 416-231-5931 ext. 2013 or (toll free) 1-866-340-8223

Board of Directors

Mary Royal Duczek
Almonte ON

Mary was born and raised in Nova Scotia, in The United Church of Canada.  She has served in ministry in The United Church since 2007and is currently serving in Almonte, Ontario. She served on the General Council Executive from 2009 until 2018, chaired a working group of the General Council on Socially Responsible Investing and Resource Extraction in 2011-2012 and was     a member of the Joint Grants Committee from 2012-2017.  Mary has also chaired the Camp Whitney Board, served on Presbytery Executive and the Executive of the Regional Council of the Eastern Ontario and the Outaouais.

The Very Rev. Dr. Gary Paterson
Vancouver BC

Gary Paterson has served in ordained ministry in The United Church for forty-one years, serving in congregations of all sizes from small, rural churches to the “cathedral-like” St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church in downtown Vancouver. From 2012 to 2015, he was the Moderator of The United Church. He and his spouse, Tim Stevenson, have always been part of the struggle for the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in The United Church.

Boyde Clarke
Treasurer
Conception Bay South NL

Boyde is a partner at BDO Canada LLP in St. John’s and has provided his small business clients with financial statement audit services for over 30 years. He is an active member of Topsail United Church in Conception Bay South

Lance Howard
Bocabec NB  

Lance is originally from the Montreal area and, after earning both an engineering degree at Queen’s and an MBA in Manitoba, he worked as an engineer and senior executive for a major Canadian engineering and construction company. There, Lance had the opportunity to plan and build energy projects, both across Canada and in several developing countries. He has various community interests and has served on the boards of Passamaquoddy Lodge, Fundy Community Foundation, and Wesley United Church. Lance loves to work in the woods, write about local history, and go boating on beautiful Passamaquoddy Bay. 

Jackie Carter
Toronto ON           

Jackie was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan and moved to Ontario at an early age.  She works in the Financial Services field and began her volunteering career as a teenager spending time with young patients in the playroom at Sick Kids Hospital. Over the years, she has continued to volunteer and share her skills at Islington United and other organizations, such the Young Street Mission, where she taught Financial Literacy to adult members in the community.

Brenda Munro
Halifax NS

For the past thirteen years, Brenda has served as Executive Director of Pine Hill Divinity Hall at the Atlantic School of Theology. Her work allows her to support students, most of whom have uprooted their regular lives to follow a call to life in ministry. Brenda also serves on the UCC Incorporated Ministries Boards at Brunswick Street United Church Mission and Fairview United Church Family Resource Centre in Halifax.

Ryan Baxter
Thorold ON

Ryan Baxter was organist at First Grantham United Church in St. Catharines, Ontario, from 2016-2021. He now lives in Winnipeg where he attends the University of Manitoba, completing his Masters of Music in piano performance. He previously attended Brock University and Humber College. Ryan has been active as a pianist, organist, and accompanist for student festivals, examinations, and community recitals. He offers instruction in piano and theory.

The Rev. Paul Douglas Walfall
Secretary
Fort Saskatchewan AB

Paul was born in Kingston, Jamaica, was ordained in The Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA) and served in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. He was admitted to the Order of Ministry of The United Church of Canada in 2013. Since coming to Canada, he has served the Cold Lake / Pierceland Pastoral Charge (Alberta and Northwest Conference) and is currently serving the Fort Saskatchewan Pastoral Charge. He was elected President of Alberta and Northwest Conference in 2015 and was appointed to the General Council Executive in 2018.

The Rev. Michael Blair
Toronto ON   

Michael Blair is the current General Secretary of the General Council of The United Church of Canada. He served for 8 years as the Executive Minister, Church in Mission Unit, where he maintained relationships  with overseas partners, developed faith formation resources for the church, and initiated advocacy campaigns for the denomination.  Born in Jamaica, he came to Canada as a young adult with his family and was ordained in the Convention Baptist Church, and in 2010 was admitted to The United Church’s order of ministry.

Royal Orr
Montreal QC

The host of The United Church of Canada’s television program on VisionTV for ten seasons, Royal has given strategic communications counsel and leadership and spokesperson training to organizations as diverse as Global Affairs Canada, McGill University, General Motors (US), the Cirque du Soleil, and the Government of Abu Dhabi. Royal is on the Board of the Montreal City Mission, a community-based ministry of The United Church of Canada.

The Rev. Tim Reaburn
Chair
Sauble Beach ON     

Tim has lived and worked in rural Ontario for all his life. He was ordained by The United Church of Canada in 2001.  He currently sits on the Western Ontario Region Executive and is General Council Executive representative. He is also the Vice President of Carson’s Camp Limited, a seven hundred site camping resort in Sauble Beach, and President of JTL Limited, a land holding corporation.

Jim Simpson
Vice Chair
Naramata BC

Jim is a retired CPA and CFO.  He has been a life-long member of local communities of faith and over the last decade has become more involved at the regional level.  He is currently the Chair of the Community of Faith Support Council for Pacific Mountain Region.  He serves on the Naramata Centre Board, the 3 Point Housing Society Board, the Board of Pacific Jubilee Society for Spiritual Direction and has served as Vice Chair of the Board of the Vancouver School of Theology.

Jane Harding
Salmon Arm BC

Jane retired in 2021 from the position of Stewardship & Gifts for the United Church of Canada, serving British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and parts of Manitoba for more than 16 years.  

She is seen as an expert on revenue generation and stewardship. She is a key resource to charities embarking on capital campaigns.

She is an active member of Pacific Mountain Region’s Finance Council, Ministry Support Team and the Nominations Committee.   She is the chair of the Leadership Team and sings and worships at First United Church in Salmon Arm, BC.

Audit Committee

Lance Howard
Chair
Bocabec NB

Lance is originally from the Montreal area and, after earning both an engineering degree at Queen’s and an MBA in Manitoba, he worked as an engineer and senior executive for a major Canadian engineering and construction company. There, Lance had the opportunity to plan and build energy projects, both across Canada and in several developing countries. He has various community interests and has served on the boards of Passamaquoddy Lodge, Fundy Community Foundation, and Wesley United Church. Lance loves to work in the woods, write about local history, and go boating on beautiful Passamaquoddy Bay. 

Layne McFarlane
Moosomin SK

Layne grew up in south east Saskatchewan and joined the Carievale United Church in his youth.  He is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant and a Fellow Chartered Accountant.  He is currently Vice Chair of the Moosomin & District Regional Park, Treasurer of Bethel United Church and President of the Rocanville Cross Country Ski Club.  He and his wife Holly have five children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild in a blended family.  He owns a small farm where he spends much of his time in the summer and enjoys cross country skiing, golfing and playing pickle ball.

Steve Lowden
Hamilton ON

Steve Lowden, CPA, CA, is a financial services professional with more than forty years of experience in financial statement preparation, Canadian income tax, Canadian commodity tax, commercial real estate, life insurance and mutual funds. As a Chartered Professional Accountant, he has been involved in audits and understands financial statement disclosures, and is currently Senior Tax Manager at Vine and Partners LLP in Hamilton, Ontario. 

Ken Fanning
Parksville BC

Ken was born in Vancouver but as a military ‘kid’ moved around the country, returning to Vancouver to complete a Commerce degree at UBC.  He joined CIBC and held progressively senior roles in branch management, administration, human resources and technology, residing in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary.  Upon retirement he and his wife Phyllis settled in Parksville on Vancouver Island.  Ken has been a member of The United Church virtually all his life, providing leadership in several congregations, the former Presbytery and the Conference (now Region).  He is presently completing his term as Treasurer at Knox United in Parksville and is Chair of the Finance Advisory Council for the Pacific Mountain Region.  They have one daughter (both she and her husband are United Church Ministers) and two grandchildren.

Boyde Clarke
Conception Bay South NL

Boyde is a partner at BDO Canada LLP in St. John’s and has provided his small business clients with financial statement audit services for over 30 years. He is an active member of Topsail United Church in Conception Bay South.

Investment Committee

Jackie Carter
Chair
Toronto ON

Jackie was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan and moved to Ontario at an early age.  She works in the Financial Services field and began her volunteering career as a teenager spending time with young patients in the playroom at Sick Kids Hospital. Over the years, she has continued to volunteer and share her skills at Islington United and other organizations, such the Young Street Mission, where she taught Financial Literacy to adult members in the community.

Constance Lo
Toronto ON

Constance has her MBA from Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto) and is a capital markets professional with 15 years experience.  She has worked at both smaller boutique firms and at a big five Canadian bank.  Her experience includes working as a trader for retail investors as well as for portfolio managers and wealth managers with millions under management. Currently, she is part of the Trade team at Wealthsimple looking to change the Canadian landscape of retail trading and investing. She used to volunteer weekly at York Central Hospital and her goal has always been to positively benefit the community she lives in and beyond.

Don Hunter
Toronto ON

Don has been involved with The United Church of Canada for over twenty years, serving as a member, then Chair of the Audit Committee, followed by a member, then Chair of the Finance Committee, and a member of the Executive of General Council. He is a member and vice-chair of trustees of Islington United Church in Toronto, having previously served as treasurer for ten years.

David Martin
Halifax NS

David was born in Ireland, but has lived in Halifax since 1987.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers and has his Executive MBA from the University of Toronto.  He has 40 years of banking service and has worked in London, England, Bermuda, Toronto and Halifax.  He retired in 2006.  He has held Board positions with numerous organizations including the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, Nova Scotia Agricultural College Foundation, University of King’s College, Autism Nova Scotia and Rockingham United Church. David was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for Community Service.

Yasmina Borki
Toronto ON

Yasmina Borki is an experienced trader at Canoe Financial with fifteen years of industry experience. Her experience extends to both the Buy and Sell side, as well as Risk Management. Mrs. Borki holds a Master in Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from Concordia University. She has also earned her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is an avid runner.

Joint Grants Committee

The Very Rev. Dr. Marion Pardy
St. John’s NL

Marion, the 37th Moderator of The United Church, has served the Church in both urban and rural settings. She was Conference Minister in Program and Leadership Development in the then Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario and in Newfoundland and Labrador Conference. As well, she was Program Consultant, Ministry with Children, in the General Council Division of Mission in Canada. Dr. Pardy served as minister to Gower Street United Church in St. John’s, Newfoundland, from 1990 until her election to Moderator in August 2000.

Marlene Lightning
Maskwacis AB

 Marlene Lightning is a leading Elder at the community of Maskwacis in Alberta. She is a longtime servant and member of the United Church in her community and continues to serve as its community of faith chair. She is a great-grandmother, a grandmother, a knowledge keeper, wisdom holder, cultural practitioner and mentor to many. 

Royal Orr
Chair
Montreal QC

The host of The United Church of Canada’s television program on VisionTV for ten seasons, Royal has given strategic communications counsel and leadership and spokesperson training to organizations as diverse as Global Affairs Canada, McGill University, General Motors (US), the Cirque du Soleil, and the Government of Abu Dhabi. Royal is on the Board of the Montreal City Mission, a community-based ministry of the United Church of Canada.

Kathy Brett
Gander NL

Jane McDonald
Kentville, NS

Jane is a member of the General Council Executive and serves in a number of roles at Regional Council 15 including Chair of the Division of Finance and Administration and President-Elect. She is Council Chair at Orchard Valley United Church in New Minas, NS.

Governance & Nominations Committee

The Rev. Paul Douglas Walfall
Fort Saskatchewan AB          

Paul was born in Kingston, Jamaica, was ordained in The Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA) and served in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. He was admitted to the Order of Ministry of The United Church of Canada in 2013. Since coming to Canada, he has served the Cold Lake / Pierceland Pastoral Charge (Alberta and Northwest Conference) and is currently serving the Fort Saskatchewan Pastoral Charge. He was elected President of Alberta and Northwest Conference in 2015 and was appointed to the General Council Executive in 2018.

Mary Royal Duczek
Almonte ON  

Mary was born and raised in Nova Scotia, in The United Church of Canada.  She has served in ministry in The United Church since 2007, and is currently serving in Almonte, Ontario. She served on the General Council Executive from 2009 until 2018, chaired a working group of the General Council on Socially Responsible Investing and Resource Extraction in 2011-2012 and was     a member of the Joint Grants Committee from 2012-2017.  Mary has also chaired the Camp Whitney Board, served on Presbytery Executive and the Executive of the Regional Council of the Eastern Ontario and the Outaouais.

Craig Bater
Ottawa ON  

Craig is semi-retired after more than 40 years engaged in the private practice of law in Ottawa, Ontario.  He has been an active director on the boards of local Chambers of Commerce for many years and has also been involved in numerous other leadership positions for local non-profit community, charitable and economic development organizations, including the Ottawa International Airport, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Diabetes and 100 MenWhoCare Ottawa. 

Craig and his family have been life-long members of the United Church of Canada. He has served as Chair of Council, Chair of Stewards, Chair of Trustees, Chair of M & P, Youth leader and Sunday School Teacher at Orleans United Church.

Brenda Munro
Chair
Halifax NS

For the past thirteen years, Brenda has served as Executive Director of Pine Hill Divinity Hall at the Atlantic School of Theology. Her work allows her to support students, most of whom have uprooted their regular lives to follow a call to life in ministry. Brenda also serves on the UCC Incorporated Ministries Boards at Brunswick Street United Church Mission and Fairview United Church Family Resource Centre in Halifax.

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