Everyone in Simcoe Muskoka deserves a chance to lead a good life. This conviction drives thousands of dedicated donors, volunteers and community partners to come together through United Way Simcoe Muskoka to generate the caring power to advance measurable, lasting change in our region
– for today’s residents and for generations to come.
Together, we focus on three key strategies that create opportunities for everyone in our region to achieve a better life:
By supporting those living in poverty with programs that help meet basic needs and create opportunities to build a brighter future.
By filling service gaps to ensure every person across our region has the chance to participate and thrive in their community.
By ensuring children and youth have the resources necessary to improve their chances of success in school and in life.
Embracing different abilities, perspectives and experiences, we are jointly motivated by a strong commitment to service – to our donors, our neighbours and our region. Our achievements are defined by the collective success of the communities we serve. Devoted to excellence and innovation, we strive to go beyond expectations, always seeking new and better ways to achieve our shared goals.
“People provide me with the motivation, inspiration and desire to leave my campsite better than I found it.” With an M.A. in Philanthropy and 25+ years in business and community leadership, Dale has established four charitable foundations and served on 10 boards. Recently, the change maker, coach and collaborator has transformed United Way Simcoe Muskoka into a leading-edge social-change agency. She values UWSM’s unique role in understanding the most pressing challenges facing local communities, partnering to find solutions, and engaging donors to build the communities we all want to live in.
Although born in Orillia, Lynne lived abroad before recently returning to Simcoe Muskoka. Now she is enjoying re-acquainting herself with local communities and learning about the work that’s being done to make them stronger. At UWSM, she supports the Board of Directors and the growth of Women’s Leadership Council, a philanthropic network addressing the issues affecting women and girls. Lynne, who studied Community and Justice Services, spent several years at a non-profit in Mexico with the same focus. Our countries and communities may look very different, she observes, but core needs are very similar.
UWSM’s mission and Mary’s are one in the same: the desire to make a difference in the community. After early success in the technology sector, she decided to follow her heart and employ her sales and management skills to improve life for our most vulnerable populations. Now, with more than a decade of volunteering and experience at some of Ontario’s largest public and non-profit organizations, Mary is dedicated to building the strategies and gathering the resources to ensure every resident of Simcoe Muskoka has the tools to craft successful lives.
Paulina joined UWSM after leading fundraising portfolios at two other United Ways. She speaks from experience as she develops further collaborations between UWSM and the local labour movement. Many years ago, she received help from a community program and realized the importance of such easily accessible and strong support systems. An opportunity to join United Way turned into a 23-year career (so far!) and she hasn’t looked back. She thinks the best part of her job is working with like-minded individuals who see the need and are willing to support UWSM.
An active volunteer throughout her adult life and a current leader of the local Francophone community, Lori-Ann has passion for non-profit initiatives that create a lasting community impact. She contributes to UWSM by fostering mutually beneficial relationships with the donors who make this impact happen. Having complemented her Business Administration Degree with a post-graduate Fundraising and Resource Development Certificate, Lori-Ann appreciates the ongoing mentorship she receives from the leaders at UWSM, who she recognizes as “pioneers of social innovation.”
With a self-admitted need to help people, Suzanne loves to share information about the resources available in local communities – and how UWSM funding makes a difference in the lives of our neighbours by making those resources stronger and more accessible. Her 20 years in the charitable sector has taught her the value of listening – to the challenges of front-line staff who deliver programming; to residents who are affected in so many different ways to the pressures of today’s world, and to the donors who each have a vision of a better tomorrow.
Laara sees herself as a community connector, matching people interested in making a donation to the right giving opportunity. She realizes she was fortunate to have grown up in a community and a family that surrounded her with support and gave her a great start. Now she wants to build on her education (a B.A. in English and a Volunteer Management Certificate) and give back. Laara believes there is something truly satisfying in bringing individuals together, connecting them to a common goal, and building a better, brighter community because of it.
As a journalist, videographer and media producer, Michele has focused her training and experience on the non-profit sector as an employee, consultant and volunteer. She is thankful for the support and good fortune she has enjoyed throughout her life, and feels strongly about giving back. UWSM’s corporate communications, marketing and media relations provide a constant supply of interesting challenges that Michele enjoys meeting through collaboration and innovation. Having spent most of her life in Simcoe Muskoka, she values the opportunity to strengthen local communities for her loved ones and neighbours.
After six years assisting regional employees with their UWSM fundraising, Roz moved to the community impact and investment side of the house where she oversees the deployment of donor dollars with the help of passionate and skilled volunteers. A B.A. in Canadian Studies and post-graduate certificate in Resource Development provide an ideal foundation for the multi-layered challenges Roz faces while addressing high-priority social issues and local service gaps. She feels fortunate to live, work and volunteer in a community where there is such strong cross-sector collaboration tackling these big problems.
Tapping into his cross-sector executive experience, John has overseen momentous growth in UWSM’s social enterprise activity in recent years. This revenue diversification has strengthened organizational stability, increased the community impact of donor dollars, and established a new community funding program. Such success inspires John to continue evaluating, improving and creating internal processes, tools and teams to elevate UWSM’s ability to change local lives. Currently, he is developing a more modern digital infrastructure to better inform our donors about what we do and how their dollars count in their community.
With a Master’s degree in History and graduate certificate in research, Andrew’s commitment to learning new things and applying that education is well documented. UWSM staff and volunteers rely on his ability to develop technology-based solutions that streamline processes, increase internal capacity, and produce valuable data that drives funding decisions. Andrew credits his research background for his ability to visualize and present innovative solutions. His thirst for knowledge and efficacy is quenched on a daily basis as he confronts new and varied challenges that are important for his community’s wellbeing.
When Nancy joined UWSM in 2004, it was with a strong desire to make a positive difference. She didn’t realize that her passion would grow with her role as she took the lead in serving Ontario’s most vulnerable populations. Now, Nancy manages staff, volunteer and contractor teams that collaborate to deliver UWSM’s social enterprise programming to approximately 13,000 at-risk families annually. Keeping her skill set sharp with ongoing training, she says her work is especially rewarding when travelling to remote regions to see the positive results first hand.