Foundation Personnel

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

Acting 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

Grants Officer

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

Jessica Smith

Gifts Officer

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

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
Vice Chair
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.

The Rev. Evan ᓅᑎᓐ Smith
Toronto ON   

Evan is serving at Toronto Urban Native Ministry and works on the front lines doing pastoral care and harm reduction with sex workers, Indigenous LGBTQ2SA youth, families, people who are incarcerated and street-involved folks. He is part of the Interim Office of Vocation Indigenous Candidacy Board and is serving a second term as the moderator’s appointee to The United Church of Canada Foundation Board. Evan is also on the Interim Executive Committee of Shining Waters Region in the United Church.

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. 

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.

The Rev. Tim Reaburn
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.

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
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.

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.

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. 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. He has been in that role for eight years. 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.

Janet Stockton
Toronto ON

Janet is currently the National Professional Standards partner at BDO Canada LLP. Janet has over thirty years of experience in the audit and accounting practice, with exposure to various levels of organizations and industries such as mining, real estate and construction. She acts as a gatekeeper for foreign filers into Canada — including the UK, Australia, Europe, India and the US. Janet is a member of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board of Canada, the Financial Reporting Advisory Committee to the Canadian Securities Advisors, and a member of CPA Canada’s Securities Regulation Advisory Committee. Janet served on United Church of Canada’s Audit committee from 2007 – 2015.

Jim Simpson
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.

Audit Committee

The Rev. Tim Reaburn
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.

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

 

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

Allan Barss
Regina SK

Allan has served in various policy roles for the Government of Saskatchewan, including as the Executive Director in the Ministry of Finance, providing oversight on all matters related to public sector compensation, pension, and benefit plans. He is now a Senior Financial Consultant with Investors Group, practicing as a Certified Financial Planner.

Constance Lo
Toronto ON

 

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.

Luke Nagel
London ON

Luke is a Certified General Accountant (CGA), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).  He is retired now, but during his 35 years of employment he supervised and managed many portfolios for individuals, trusts, and charitable organizations.  He is a member of the Huron Shores United Church.  Luke has served as Treasurer of CFA Society of Vancouver, on the Board of Trustees and Stewardship Committees of New. St. James Presbyterian and is Past Co-Chair of the Finance Committee and former Treasurer of the Building Committee of Huron Shores United.

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.

David Martin
Halifax NS

 

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.

Janet Sigurdson
Abernethy SK

Janet is an elder of the Peepeekisis First Nation in Saskatchewan and a member of the General Council Executive. She is a United Church ordained minister, having trained at the Dr. Jessie Saulteaux Resource Center (now Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre) and a fervent advocate for Indigenous justice.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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