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The Team

The Team Overview

People from across the country make up The United Church of Canada Foundation. People who give, people who volunteer their time and professional skills, people who pray for the Foundation’s work are the key to achieving the Foundation’s mission.


Board of Directors


Allan has lived in many different communities, but has always called Saskatchewan “home”. He worked for SaskTel for 12 years and in that time gained a Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Regina. It was during that program that he first fell in love with finance. Allan later earned a degree in law (with distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan and there learned more about wills, estates and tax. Since graduating from law Allan has been a non-practicing member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan. He worked in various policy roles for the Government of Saskatchewan, finishing his career in public service 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.  Allan is married to Colleen.  They have three amazing children and four hilarious grandchildren.


Sue recently retired from Perpetual Energy Inc., and worked for the main shareholder of this company for 33 years. She has her 4th year level of RIA designation which is the equivalent to the CMA program today. Sue has proudly worked in the Oil & Gas Industry in Calgary for over 40 years.

As a lifelong member of The United Church of Canada, Sue attended Scarboro United Church as a child with her family, then later became involved with Westminster United Church where she was a member for 43 years. During the 43 years Sue was treasurer, chair of the board, and a presbytery rep. Sue was a key leadership person when the congregation started the process of looking at how to do church different in the south of Calgary. The result of this was the creation of One Church United, an amalgamation of three churches making Living Spirit United Church. Sue is currently a member at Parkdale United Church where she is chair of the Ministry & Personnel Committee, helps with Sunday school, has facilitated adult education workshops and is chair of the Parkdale United Church Foundation.

Sue has been a presbytery rep numerous times, chair of Planning & Administration for the Presbytery and chaired Calgary Presbyter. Sue has chaired 3 times the Conference Planning Committee for the Alberta and Northwest Conference meetings, and has been on Conference Executive.


Jeff Crittenden currently serves as minister at Metropolitan United Church in London, Ontario, and has worked in congregations in Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick, and Quebec. Jeff is also Adjunct Professor of Homiletics at Huron University College at Western University and the Director of The Centre for Practical Theology.  Jeff loves participating in Triathlons and leading Pilgrimages!


** July 2, 2019:

Today we sadly share the news that board member Corey Copeland died suddenly on Saturday. We understand that he suffered a heart attack while cycling with a friend.  ‎We will greatly miss Corey’s intelligence, curiosity, wisdom and friendship. Our prayers go to his daughter Emma and all of his family members that are coming to grips with Corey’s sudden death. You can learn more about Corey’s life and the legacy he leaves in his obituary in the Globe and Mail

Corey is a retired executive, active volunteer and past Clerk of Rosedale United Church in Toronto. During his career he led investor and government relations, sustainable development and strategic planning for multinationals such as Alcan Inc. and Rio Algom Ltd. He initiated the Rio Tinto Alcan Fund – a $200 million non-profit subsidiary  – and oversaw community support programs in Canada and internationally. He also chaired the business and sustainability roundtable of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, served as an advisor to the board of the Equitas Centre for International Human Rights Education and was a director of Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. He holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, and has also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.


Brenda is a lifetime member of Rockingham United Church in Halifax, NS and current serves on Rockingham’s Stewardship Committee.  She graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education and worked at Dalhousie University in Halifax for sixteen years in various health related departments including Student Health, Environmental Medicine, Dean’s office Medicine and Family Medicine.  Brenda believes in encouraging Self-Care for all with whom she works

For the past thirteen years, Brenda has served as Executive Director of Pine Hill Divinity Hall, at Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, NS, a job that brings her great joy particularly in with students in the On-Campus and Distance programs of Lay, Ordained and Diaconal streams of study who attend AST.

The best part is working with the Pine Hill Board to allocate bursaries to students, most of whom have uprooted their regular lives to follow a call to life in Ministry.  Pine Hill can offer such bursaries using income from ethically invested endowments, following the UCC guidelines for Investing.  For the past number of years, Pine Hill’s has invested a portion of its endowments with the Foundation.

Brenda also serves on UCC Incorporated Ministries Boards at Brunswick Street United Church Mission and Fairview United Church Family Resource Centre in Halifax.


Royal Orr is a strategic communications advisor and trainer with a career background in community organizing, journalism and broadcasting, and leadership training. Royal is the Founder and Principal of Les Communications Royal Orr, a Senior Faculty Member at the Canada School of Public Service in Ottawa, and an Affiliate Member of Faculty at the Ingram School of Nursing in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University.

As a community organizer, Royal was the Executive Director of the Townshippers’ Association and the volunteer President of Alliance Quebec in the 1980’s in Quebec. He became a radio personality in Montreal, first with CJAD, then as the voice of Canada’s national open line radio show, Cross Country Check-up, and as the host of the CBC Radio morning show in Montreal. For ten seasons, Royal was the host of the national television program of the United Church of Canada on VisionTV and director of a number of award-winning documentaries, reporting on development and justice issues with United Church partners around the world including those in Colombia, the Philippines, India and Israel-Palestine.

He moved from journalism to the field of communications and public relations and held the position of president of the multi-media production unit at Columbia Communications and vice president at Cossette Communications in Montreal as well as starting his own consultancy.

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.

He has a B.A. (Honours Religion) from Bishop’s University and did graduate studies at McMaster University with the Canadian philosopher George Grant.

Royal is on the Board of the Montreal City Mission, a community-based ministry of the United Church of Canada, a member of Hatley United Church, and lives with his wife Louise Caron in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.


Gary Paterson has served in ordained ministry in the United Church for 41 years, from small churches, both rural and urban; to Conference Office (“have workshop will travel”); to First United in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver (the country’s poorest neighbourhood); to the big “cathedral-like” St. Andrew’s-Wesley United in the downtown area. From 2012 to 2015, he was the Moderator of the United Church. He and his spouse, Tim Stevenson, (also ordained, presently serving as the Deputy Mayor of Vancouver) have been together for 36 years; they have always been part of the struggle for the full inclusion of LGBTQ people.  Gary is passionate about poetry, progressive theology, the changing church and grandchildren.


Tim has lived and worked in rural Ontario for most of his life.  He currently resides in Sauble Beach on the shores of Lake Huron.  He holds an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Waterloo, a Masters of Theological Studies from Conrad Grebel College and a Masters of Divinity from Emmanuel College.  He was ordained by the United Church of Canada in 2001.  He is currently sits on the Western Ontario Region Executive and is General Council Executive representative.

Beyond the Church he is 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.  In his spare time he is an award winning jam and preserve maker.


Nora Sanders has served as General Secretary of the General Council of The United Church of Canada since January 2007. Her prior career as a lawyer and public servant focused on justice and Aboriginal issues in Ontario, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Saskatchewan. She is a lay person in the United Church and has played an active part in several congregations, including teaching Sunday school, chairing the board, and starting a house church. Her first involvement in the United Church nationally came when she was one of the “Kindling Group” speakers at the Arnprior Conference in 2005.


Evan Smith completed an undergraduate degree in 2009 from The University of Toronto specialising in Women and Gender Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies and graduated from Emmanuel College within the Toronto School of Theology at The University of Toronto in 2013 with a Master of Divinity.

Evan is serving at Toronto Urban Native Ministry and works on the front lines doing pastoral care and harm reduction with sex workers, Indigenous LGBTQ2A youth, families, people who are incarcerated and street-involved folks.

Passionate about encouraging people’s spiritual health, Evan serves Indigenous people living on the margins through the practice of both Traditional Spirituality and Christianity as part of the ministerial work at Toronto Urban Native Ministry.

Evan 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. When not doing ministry, Evan works as a Birth Centre Aide at the Indigenous-led Toronto Birth Centre.


Leigh was born, raised and ordained in Alberta and Northwest Conference.  After completing a BA in Religious Studies, she went to St Andrew’s College for her Masters of Divinity.  She has done ministry in Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Conference (2 year internship), Saskatchewan Conference (great settlement charge!) and had the honour of serving in Montreal and Ottawa Conference as well. Leigh was in ecumenical shared ministry in Slave Lake when she served as President of Conference as well as completing an STM in the area of rural ministry and community development.  She is back home now, serving in team ministry at Robertson-Wesley United Church in Edmonton.


Janet is currently the National Professional Standards partner at BDO Canada LLP. Janet provides practice leadership and promotes audit quality for the firm. She consults clients on matters including securities regulations, auditing and financial reporting, as well as the development of technical accounting training and publications.

Janet has over 30 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.


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 also appointed to serve as the Connexional Publishing Officer of the MCCA and participated in the publication of a new hymnal for Caribbean Methodism.

He was admitted to the Order of Ministry of The United Church of Canada in 2013. After completing the B.Sc in Economics and Accounting from the University of the West Indies, he was to later graduate from the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) with the Diploma in Ministerial Studies and the B.A. (Theology).

Since coming to Canada, he has served the Cold Lake/Pierceland Pastoral Charge (Alberta and Northwest Conference) and is current serving the Fort Saskatchewan Community of Faith in Alberta. He was elected President of Alberta and Northwest Conference in 2015 and was appointed to the General Council Executive in 2018. He is also a graduate of Drew University with the Doctor of Ministry degree, focusing on Courageous Leadership.



Audit Committee

Steve Shaver (Mississauga ON)

Steve is the Chief Executive Officer of a private investment company located in Oakville, Ontario.

Upon graduation with an Honours degree in Business Administration from Wilfred Laurier University in 1972 he articled with Ernst & Young in Kitchener, Ontario (formerly Clarkson Gordon). He received his Chartered Accountants designation from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1974. After two years as an audit manager Steve joined the firm’s Management Consulting practice specializing in financial restructuring. He then was appointed a partner in Ernst & Young’s insolvency and financial restructuring arm where he was responsible during his tenure for, amongst other assignments in many fields, managing some of the largest trust company insolvencies in Canada on behalf of the federal and provincial governments.

In the early 1990’s Steve left Ernst & Young to start an investment company. The strategic objective of the company was to provide both investment capital and management advice to smaller Canadian controlled private corporations. Latterly the company also invested in smaller public companies where capital and advice was required. From its inception the company has had or still has interests in land development, residential real estate, newspaper and magazine wholesaling, distribution, franchising, canola oil manufacturing, technology and others. In conjunction with the company’s investments Steve has sat on many private and public company boards and has served in various capacities including Compensation, Governance and Audit Committees.

Steve acts in the capacity of Trustee for numerous Estates and also provides management and advisory services to a number of companies and individuals.

Patricia Hassard (Ottawa ON)

Patricia Hassard is a Director and the Corporate Secretary for Tradex Management Incorporated, a mutual fund company for the public Sector.  Patricia trained as a lawyer and is a Member of Law Society of Upper Canada.  She served the Federal government for the majority of her working life in roles such as: Senior Counsel in Legislation, House Planning Secretariat and Director of Operations in Security and Intelligence Secretariat at Privy Council Office; Senior Assistant Deputy Minister in Policing and Law Enforcement, in Emergency Management and National Security at Solicitor General; and Deputy Secretary to Cabinet for Senior Personnel.

As a volunteer, she is a member of the Board for Cornerstone Housing for Women Corporation and coordinates Bingo on Sunday nights at the Women’s Shelter.  In her congregation, Woodroffee United Church she is a member of Council, the Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Committee, the Right Relations Working Group, and the UCW.   She serves as a Lay Presbyter and is a member of the Supervision Committee for the General Secretary of the United Church of Canada.

Patricia also makes time for pilgrimages with the Church to El Salvador, Israel, Zambia, Ireland, Cuba and Haida Gwaii.  She is a Member of Just Food and Friends of the Farm, a regular patron of National Arts Centre, Great Canadian Theatre Company and Stratford Festival and is a self-proclaimed news junkie.

Investment Committee

Don Hunter (Toronto ON)
Don has been involved with the United Church of Canada for 20+ 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 10 years.

Don currently serves as Chair of three boards in the financial industry, including membership on large Investment committees. Prior to retirement, he was an audit partner with Price Waterhouse and PwC with two of Canada’s largest banks as his main clients.

Bill MacLachlan (Calgary AB)
Bill MacLachlan is director and past chair at Mawer Investment Management Ltd. Bill comments regularly on investment issues for CBC NewsWorld, CBC Radio, and BNN. He has contributed to the National Post, The Globe and Mail, the Calgary Herald, and other media. He has also written on ethical investing for the Institute of Corporate Directors and has been a speaker for the Canadian Investor Relations Institute and the Strategy Institute. He also has extensive experience in the charitable sector, is a senator of the Calgary Zoo, and is past president of Aspen Family and Community Network Society. Bill is a member at St. Andrew’s United Church in Calgary.

Rob Richards (Toronto ON)
Rob Richards, president of Heathbridge Capital Management, has over 35 years’ experience in the investment industry. Beginning as a research analyst, he has practised portfolio management for the last 15 years. An active fundraiser, he has served on boards of community organizations and of his congregation, Rosedale United Church in Toronto.


Paul Johnson, Chair (Hamilton ON)
Paul Johnson is the director of Neighbourhood Development Strategies with the City of Hamilton, Ontario. In this role, Paul works with neighbourhood residents and private and public investors to develop action plans for neighbourhood renewal. Paul was previously the executive director of Wesley Urban Ministries, an outreach ministry of The United Church of Canada. Wesley Urban Ministries provides a wide range of services and supports to individuals and families of all ages in Hamilton who are trapped in cycles of poverty. Paul lives in Hamilton and is a member of Westdale United Church.

Jane McDonald (GCE rep) (Kentville NS) 

Janet Sigurdson (GCE rep) (Abernethy SK)



Sarah began her work in the charitable sector as a fundraiser and 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.

416-231-5931 ext. 3410 or (toll free) 866-340-8223


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.

416-231-5931 ext. 2026 or (toll free) 866-340-8223


416-231-5931 ext. 2021 or (toll free) 866-340-8223