Board & Staff
The work we do at Raising the Roof would not be possible with out the incredible support of our Board of Directors and Board of Advisors, as well as the dedication of our Staff team.
Board of Directors
Stephen Gaetz is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at York University in Toronto. As Director of the Canadian Observatory on Homeless and the Homeless Hub, Stephen Gaetz is committed to increasing the impact of research on homelessness policy, planning and practice, thereby contributing to solutions to end homelessness in Canada. His research on homelessness has focused on youth, economic strategies, nutritional vulnerability, education and legal and justice issues, as well as solutions to homelessness from both a Canadian and international perspective. Recently he has co-edited volumes on youth homelessness in Canada and on Housing First. In 2014, Dr. Gaetz also became President of Raising the Roof, Canada’s leading charity focusing on solutions to homelessness.
Eileen McCormack has over 20 years of experience in the Global pharmaceutical industry. She has worked in various sales, training, marketing, corporate strategy management positions in the US, Canada, Japan and in Global/International functions. Eileen has a well-developed understanding of the diversity of key international markets. Eileen’s teams build and execute strategic cross-functional plans for specialty and primary care products early in the product lifecycle up to the launch period and beyond. She has also been involved in all aspects of Business Development, Merger and Acquisition activity as a key driver for both short and long term revenue in major geographical focus areas. She has lead numerous multi-disciplinary teams across all phases of product lifecycle, building business cases to gain approval for product R&D development investments, multi-billion dollar product launches and line extensions. She is a specialist in building capabilities, developing integrated systems, designing processes and governance to grow successful teams and franchises. Eileen has also been involved as a skill-based volunteer consultant to not-for-profit associations and trusts, with specific interests in women’s issues and mental health. She has a breadth of speaking experiences in business and as a guest lecturer at Canadian universities. Eileen holds an M.Sc in Health Sciences. She lives and works in both Canada and the US, thanks to the support of her husband and three wonderful children.
David Bradshaw, TreasurerIndependent Director Read More
Most recently, David was the Vice President of Client Business Support for Tangerine, leading the entire client processing for all lines of business. Prior to this role David was the Vice President of Sales and Service for ING Direct Canada, overseeing the Retail Cafes across Canada Contact Sales and Service Centres. During his tenure, the Contact Centres were certified Gold Standard by The Contact Centre Employer of Choice and awarded Best Contact Centre as per Contact Centre World. Prior to returning to ING Direct Canada, David served as Vice President, Service Delivery at Echo Marketing Solutions where he was responsible for leading the Contact Centre, Client Services and Sales planning. David is the Treasurer and board member for Raising the Roof and is a past member of the Chair of the Contact Centre Council and Board of Directors for The Canadian Marketing Association. David has contributed to and published articles on Social Media in the Contact Centre, Leadership, Variable Compensation Programs, Cultural Change, On Boarding New Talent and Creating an inspiring Vision and Strategy.
Keith Damsell is the Vice President of Global Internal Communications at Franklin Templeton Investments. In this capacity, he oversees communications and events to the investment company’s more than 9,000 employees around the world. In addition, he is the chair of Franklin Templeton’s Toronto Involved Committee and plays a key role in the company’s charitable giving programs and activities across Canada. Prior to joining Franklin Templeton in 2007, Keith was a business reporter covering a range of sectors and industries for The Globe and Mail and the National Post. Keith is married with two children and calls south Etobicoke home.
Katie Davies has devoted her career to helping vulnerable young people create pathways to fulfilling and self-sufficient futures. Her studies in psychology and subsequent graduate degree in Counselling prepared her to consider the importance of combining community and clinical approaches. This has led Katie to create award-winning programs recognized for their innovation and impact. Working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary since 2002, Katie is the founding director of the Youth Housing and Shelter division assisting street-involved and homeless youth to end their experience of homelessness forever. Katie is currently the Senior Director of Services with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary.
In her current role, Karen is an enterprise leader providing strategic direction, market leadership and advocacy for overall RBC capability, aligned to regional opportunities and organizational strategy. She acts as a primary point of contact and relationship leader within the market for High Net Worth client requirements and leads a regional team in delivering Private Banking business results. She aligns Private Banking solutions to Canadian Banking business lines of Personal Lending, Personal Payments/Accounts, Investment Mgmt, Commercial Markets and Insurance. Over the past 30 years, she has had extensive exposure to Personal Markets, Business Markets, Sales Support/Effectiveness and Human Resources. Organization awareness is a proven strength, she understands the big picture and how everything links together in driving a successful business. She is a highly motivated, dedicated professional that brings passion and a proven desire to succeed. She is recognized as a superior leader, coach, integrator, collaborator, motivator and developer of others. She's had the opportunity to work in two of the largest markets within Canada, BC District and GTR on both the Personal/Commercial and Private Banking Platforms.
Wendy grew up in Montreal and settled in Toronto after attending York University, where she majored in psychology. She has been working in the not-for profit sector for over 25 years. Wendy has worked with a variety of youth serving agencies in Toronto, initially at Scarbourough Boys and Girls Club, and then at Youthdale Treatment Centres and finally at Central Toronto Youth Services (CTYS). Wendy has also sat on the Board of Cabbagetown Community Arts Centre. Since arriving in Nova Scotia in 2002, she has held leadership positions at a variety of not-for-profit programs with a focus on housing and homelessness. Positions include: Program Director at Phoenix Centre for Youth, Executive Director of Supportive Housing for Young Mothers (SHYM) and Director of Programs and Services at YWCA Halifax. Wendy joined the Hospice Society of Greater Halifax in April 2014 as CEO. Wendy recognizes the importance of ‘home’ and has dedicated her career to ensuring that it is accessible for all. Wendy has served on the Board for Raising the Roof for three years.
John HallPartner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Read More
John Hall is the National Leader of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s Investment Management Group and a member of the Firm's National Council. He practices exclusively in securities and corporate commercial law with particular expertise in advising mutual funds, pooled funds, hedge funds, closed end investment funds and other structured products, and their investment managers, advisors and distributors. He has extensive experience advising financial institutions and independent fund managers and distributors on a wide range of fund governance, compliance, securities registration, sales practices, investment restrictions and advertising issues. He acts for many foreign advisors and fund promoters on private placements into Canada and on the provision of investment advice on a pooled and segregated account basis to various types of clients. He also acts for industry participants in business acquisitions and divestitures and corporate reorganizations. John is recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada, The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory and The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada.
Wayne HelgasonIndependent Director Read More
Wayne Helgason is the recently retired CEO of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg and is currently the Chair of the Board of the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD). He has been a Board Member of Volunteer Canada and United Way-Centre aid Canada. He has been an active member of the Winnipeg Aboriginal community for more than three decades and is the current President of the Center for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD) and Vice-President of the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Center. He has recently been appointed to the Canadian Museum on Human Rights (CMHR) – Standing Indigenous Advisory Committee. He is a recipient of the Queen's Jubilee Award, the Millennium Social Justice Research Award of the University of Manitoba .He has lectured on such varied topics as children at risk, poverty, employment and training, Aboriginal self-government, human rights and social security. Mr. Helgason has been a contract lecturer at the University of Toronto - Faculty of Preventative Medicine, Banff School of Management and the Canadian Centre for Management Development (CCMD) in Ottawa . Mr. Helgason is a band member of Sandy Bay First Nation, Manitoba and he and his wife have recently relocated to Vancouver Island to take up grandparent duties.
James Hughes is a current Fellow with the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. James Hughes was formerly the President of the Graham Boeckh Foundation, a leading private philanthropic organization in the mental health sector. Prior to this, he was New Brunswick’s Deputy Minister of the Department of Social Development. With a budget of over $1 billion and nearly 2000 staff under management, the Department of Social Development is responsible for a wide range of programs and services in the province including child protection, early childhood development, income assistance, disability support and senior care. Previously, James also served as the Director General of the Old Brewery Mission (OBM), Quebec’s largest centre serving homeless men and women. James Hughes is a lawyer by training. He practiced law in the areas of commercial and civil litigation, commercial transactions, real estate and bankruptcy. He has degrees from Queen’s University (B. Commerce), University of Cambridge (B.A. Law) and McGill University (B.C.L). Mr. Hughes was the founding President of Youth Employment Services, now the premier Montreal based non-profit provider of employment and entrepreneurial services. He has served on the boards of various local and national organizations including the National Council on Welfare, Prosper Canada and Portage Addiction Services.
John is currently Director of the Investment Funds and Structured Products Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission, where his team is responsible for regulating investment products that offer securities for sale to the public in Ontario, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, structured products and scholarship plans. Over the course of John’s 25+ year career, in addition to his current role, he has been general counsel and chief compliance officer of an asset management company, has engaged in the private practice of law, and has headed the government relations and regulatory affairs function at a securities industry trade association. John holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at Western University and a law degree from the University of Windsor. He speaks English and French. John sits on a number of Boards of Directors. He is an experienced traveler and scuba diver, having traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, Australia/Pacific, and throughout the Americas, from above the Arctic Circle to the southernmost point in South America.
Sheldon has been the Executive Director of Choices for Youth for 15 years, having spent 5 years prior to that as a Board member. During this time the organization has emerged a leader in developing innovative solutions to the needs of at-risk and homeless youth. Sheldon is co-chair of the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness and co-chair of the national Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homelessness Program. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, and a Board member of Raising the Roof. On a provincial level, Sheldon is a member of the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Addictions (Department of Health and Community Services).
In its 30th year, HOMES Publishing Group consists of eleven consumer and trade publications and nine web sites for home related industries. Mr. Rosset is the longest serving member of the Board of Directors for Raising the Roof. Previously, he was a member of the Board of Directors for BILD (Toronto Home Builders Association),where he was awarded ‘Member of the Year’ in 2008. Mr. Rosset was also the past president of Housing Guides America and is the previous winner of best Newspaper Promotions in North America, 1973 (Globe & Mail). HOMES is the current media sponsor for BILD, ARIDO, and NKBA. Mr. Rosset has been engaged in publishing for 44 years, having created and established dozens of publications, web sites and unique marketing concepts for the newspaper and magazine industries. HOMES established an annual charity golf tournament in 2004 which has since donated over $200,000 to Raising The Roof in support of homeless youth. Mr. Rosset has also established a charity softball tournament for the new home industry in 2014 which raised over $30,000 for Habitat For Humanity.
Larry Thomas is currently a National Account Manager at Canadian Traffic Network. He began his career in advertising sales at Reader’s Digest in 1979 and after holding a number of positions of increasing responsibility, in 1988 he was promoted to Advertising Sales Director and became VP & Publisher in 1998 In 2011, he joined Golf Canada, as Chief Commercial Officer, where was responsible for overseeing revenue generation for all activities including the RBC Canadian Open, CN Canadian Women’s Open and other partnership initiatives. While at Reader’s Digest Larry was a member of the Board of Directors of Reader’s Digest Magazines and Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Print Measurement Bureau (of which he is a past Chairman) and is also a past Chairman of Magazines Canada. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Food and Consumer Products of Canada, Consumer Health Products Canada, Tourism Industry Association of Canada and is a past President of the Toronto Chapter of the American Marketing Association. In 2000 he was honored with The Advertising Club of Toronto’s Magazine Award of Merit for outstanding contribution and ongoing excellence in the advertising industry. Born in Montreal in 1955, Larry is a 1976 graduate of Queen’s University. He later graduated from the Marketing Management Course at the University of Western Ontario in 1987. Larry and his wife Leslie live in Etobicoke and have three children.
Carolann Barr has over 20 years of progressive senior leadership and program development experience in health and social service environments, including YouthLink’s pre-employment program for street involved youth in Toronto. She has worked with diverse and marginalized youth and adult populations, with a strong focus on poverty, homelessness, mental health and addiction issues and has devoted her career to help reduce barriers and create initiatives to combat homelessness. Carolann joined Raising the Roof in 2008 as the Director of Research and Community Initiatives. One of her early accomplishments was the planning and implementation of a successful national conference Partners Solving Youth Homelessness. She subsequently led research and co-authored the national report Youth Homelessness in Canada: The Road to Solutions. In 2010 Carolann became the organization’s Executive Director. Since then, she has planned and fostered national research efforts, partnership-building and public awareness initiatives aimed at breaking the cycle of homelessness. These have included Raising the Roof’s Child and Family Homelessness and Youthworks Initiatives; signature annual National Toque Campaign; and provocative public education efforts, including the following campaigns: Homeless youth have nothing, but potential, the Street House, Humans for Humans, and the most recent Homeless Shelter Installation (all in pro bono partnership with international advertising agency Leo Burnett).
In her role as Marketing and Communications Manager, Caitlin oversees all external communication from Raising the Roof, including digital and social media, publications, newsletters, public and media relations, and national campaigns. She works closely with pro bono media and advertising partners to produce and disseminate the organization's public education campaigns, including the recent Homeless Shelter Execution and Humans for Humans. Caitlin has worked in a variety of positions in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Previously, she worked with Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, a nonprofit organization focused on the conservation of Toronto’s watershed. Prior to this, Caitlin worked as a Strategy Assistant at Starcom Mediavest Group, a Junior Project Officer with Health Canada, and has volunteered for multiple organizations, including The Olive Branch for Children in Tanzania and LUMS in Vancouver. Caitlin completed a Master of Professional Communication from Ryerson University, where she focused on strategic communication in the non-profit sector. She previously attended Carleton University, where she obtained a degree in Communication Studies, focusing specifically on image, politics and persuasion.
Leanne joined Raising the Roof as a volunteer during the 2015 Toque Campaign. After a few months of volunteering her time, she was hired for a contract position as an Event Coordinator. During this time she produced the very successful national Child and Family Homelessness Summit. She started her position as Development Coordinator in September 2015. Leanne has a decade of front-line experience working and volunteering with a wide variety of vulnerable populations such as seniors, people with mental illness, children with developmental/behavioural challenges and people living without a place to call home. She completed her Social Services Worker Diploma with honours at Algonquin College. She has consistently continued her studies, taking classes at Dalhousie University, Ryerson University and George Brown College. Leanne is very passionate about homelessness and housing issues in Canada, and is thrilled to do her part at the national level to support long-term solutions to ending homelessness.
Arundel joined Raising the Roof in 2011 after almost a decade of work experience in the affordable housing sector. In her role as Director of Development, Arundel oversees all revenue generation for the organization including the annual, national Toque Campaign and research initiatives. Arundel is passionate about long-term solutions for homelessness and volunteers weekly December – April at Out-of-the-Cold. Arundel is a Board Member of Egale Canada Human Rights Trust and former Board Member of The Teresa Group. Arundel and her husband Noble are parents to three boys, Dougie, Colin and Frankie.
Elisa Traficante has over 15 years’ experience managing and evaluating community projects with at-risk youth, both as a Manager and a Director in various community organizations. Firmly rooted in an anti-oppressive framework, Elisa is passionate about developing social justice initiatives and programming. She graduated from the Institute of Child Studies (OISE/University of Toronto) with a Masters in Child Studies and Education; where she focused her research on developing prevention models for FASD. In her professional career she has supported youth facing multiple barriers such as homelessness, addictions and mental illness in both rural and urban programs. Most recently Elisa was the Manager of Youth Support Programs at Eva's Phoenix, a transitional housing program for homeless youth, located in Toronto. Elisa acted as the Chair of Eva's Mental Health working group and bring with immense knowledge and skills in the field of mental health. She leads The Upstream Project and our community initiatives focused on prevention.
Board of Advisors
University of British Columbia, Okanagan
Professor, Faculty of Education, York University
University of Toronto
Senior Policy Analyst, Prevention and Promotion Initiatives
Coordinator – Youth Employment Partnerships
City of Toronto
University of Guelph
Senior Research Associate
University of Toronto
Associate Professor, School of Psychology
University of Ottawa