Senior Executive Team
Our Senior Executive Team, led by President and CEO Daniele Zanotti, is responsible for the day-to-day management of United Way Toronto & York Region. This team oversees the strategic elements of our work, such as building relationships with stakeholders, managing financial and volunteer resources, and delivering on the priorities set by the Board of Trustees. Like everyone who works here, members of this approachable and professional team live, breathe and exemplify our values in everything they do.
President and CEO
Daniele Zanotti was named President & CEO of United Way in June 2016.
With more than 20 years of experience in the public and non-profit sectors, he has earned a reputation as an accomplished, strategic, and energetic leader. Daniele served as CEO of United Way York Region from 2007 to 2015. During that time he led an evolution that transformed the charity from federated fundraiser into a convener, mobilizer, and agent of community change. Under his guidance, the charity launched new initiatives to foster community dialogue; invested in more targeted and effective ways; and brought new social services to the communities most in need.
In 2015, Daniele was the catalyst of an historic merger between United Ways in York Region and Toronto. He committed himself and his organization to a broader alliance for community change — and established a new regional organization that is now better positioned than ever before to tackle issues on both sides of Steeles Avenue.
Following the merger — as the new head of resource development and captain of the first-ever United Way Toronto & York Region fundraising effort — Daniele led the 2015 campaign to a record-breaking achievement: $100-million for United Way’s agencies, programs, and initiatives. In this capacity he also played a fundamental role in driving greater alignment between strategies for youth, poverty reduction, and community investment across Toronto and York Region.
Before joining United Way Daniele served organizations like the Rexdale Community Health Centre; the Regional Municipality of York; Family Day Care Services; and Villa Charities Foundation. He is deeply involved in the community outside of his professional career. Daniele has been a member of the steering committee for CivicAction, and has volunteered on the boards of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC); the Human Services Planning Board of York Region; and the Vaughan Community Health Centre.
Daniele has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Toronto and Bachelor’s Degree from York University. He lives in Vaughan with his wife and 2 children.
Chief Operating Officer
JoAnne Doyle assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer in January 2017. In this new role, she oversees United Way’s business operations, organizational planning and governance functions. This includes building effective operational models that address global trends and challenges that shape United Way’s work. JoAnne also steers the integration of our work with United Ways across Canada and internationally.
JoAnne first joined United Way in 2011 on an interim basis as Senior Vice President, Community Impact. In this position, she led and shaped a streamlined, community-facing department and provided leadership on United Way’s strategic initiatives, community investment and partnership building, research, evaluation, and public policy. Prior to her current position, JoAnne maintained the role of Chief Operations & Strategy Officer, where she oversaw core cross-divisional teams including Finance and Administration; Information Technology and Operations; Strategy, Research and Evaluation; Communications and Public Affairs; and Planning and Governance.
JoAnne has deep roots in the community and social services sector with expertise in community health. Through her independent consulting practice, she’s helped numerous organizations in areas such as capacity building, strategic planning, governance, and operations. A dedicated volunteer, she has held Board and Executive Committee positions for the Welcome Inn Centre. Her previous roles include Executive Director at the Guelph Community Health Centre and the North Hamilton Community Health Centre.
JoAnne holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from McMaster University.
Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Public Affairs
Pedro Barata is Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Public Affairs at United Way. In this role, he guides strategic communications, organizational strategy development and implementation, research and evaluation, as well as policy and public affairs. Pedro first joined United Way in 2011 as Director, Public Affairs, with responsibility for strengthening the organization’s voice on systemic issues.
Pedro’s work and extensive volunteer activities in the non-profit sector span almost two decades, where he has focused on public policy, community organizing and communications. His prior experience before joining United Way, included roles at the Atkinson Charitable Foundation and Family Service Toronto. During this time he’s also advised all levels of government on social policy fronts including: poverty reduction, income security reform, housing and homelessness, as well as community benefits agreements.
Pedro holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto.
Senior Vice President, Community Impact
Debra Shime joined United Way in March 2012 and now holds the position of Senior Vice President, Community Impact. Until June 2015, she was Vice President, Community Impact. As Senior Vice President, Debra works with the Community Impact Department to implement strategies and programs that relate to United Way’s community priorities.
Before coming to United Way, Debra spent five years as Executive Director of University Settlement, a multi-service neighbourhood centre that has been operating in downtown Toronto for over 100 years. Prior to that, she spent over fifteen years in New York City working in a variety of positions across the social services sector. Before starting at University Settlement, Debra was the Senior Vice President of Criminal Justice and Community Based-Services for Safe Horizon, the largest crime victim assistance organization in the United States. At Safe Horizon, Debra oversaw criminal justice programs and community-based services and led the organization’s response to the events of September 11. This response included financial assistance, case management and clinical services, job training, and community organizing to support those affected.
Vice President, Information Technology and Operations
Ann Edmonds joined United Way in February 2011. As Vice President, Information Technology and Operations, Ann provides strategic leadership in information systems and technology focusing on enterprise-wide technology projects. She oversees the day-to-day IT operations pertaining to system security, network, infrastructure, application development, reporting and business intelligence and end-user support. Ann is also responsible for the design, execution, monitoring and control of the internal operational activities required to implement our overall organizational goals and objectives.
Prior to joining United Way, Ann has spent her 20-year career in the not-for-profit sector working for YMCAs across North America. Most recently as the Vice President Information Technology for the YMCA of Greater Toronto, Ann provided leadership to several enterprise initiatives, including the implementation of new systems for program, membership, fundraising, volunteer management, and finance; introducing new web technologies; and stabilizing infrastructure in a rapidly growing association. Ann is a recognized leader in the YMCA movement having held IT positions at YMCA Canada, YMCA of the USA, YMCA Edmonton, and YMCA London.
Ann holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Western Ontario.
Vice President, Marketing
Goodwin Gibson joined United Way Toronto & York Region in September 2016, as Vice President, Marketing.
With over 25 years’ experience in developing and executing integrated marketing strategies, he provides proven leadership and oversight on all initiatives as they relate to donor engagement and stewardship of the United Way brand.
Goodwin has worked with major brands across numerous sectors, from financial services to healthcare to technology. And he has built and managed top Canadian agencies, with past roles including CEO and Founder of Conversion Marketing Communications Inc; President of MacLaren MRM; and Senior Vice President at Cossette Communications Group. His non-profit experience extends to campaigns for World Vision and the Heart and Stroke Foundation; he was also part of the team that launched the Luminato Festival.
A dedicated community member, Goodwin has held several senior volunteer roles with the Canadian Marketing Association, and he is current Chair of the Board at SKETCH—an organization that provides youth facing barriers with access to local arts programming.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Visual Arts from the University of Western Ontario.
Vice President, Finance and Administration
Michael Herrera joined United Way in August 2009. As Vice President, Finance and Administration, Michael provides strategic leadership in accounting and financial management. He supervises the Finance and Administration Department's day-to-day operations and oversees the development and delivery of accurate and relevant reports to United Way stakeholders.
Michael has spent a career in service to the not-for-profit sector, having worked with social services, religious and arts organizations. Most recently, Michael was the Interim Treasurer at the Anglican Church of Canada. He has held similar positions at YMCA of Greater Toronto and National Ballet of Canada. Previously, Michael was a manager at EY
and, as an independent consultant, he supported arts and heritage organizations through the development and delivery of financial and governance training to a variety of organizations throughout the province.
Michael's community involvement includes past governance roles with organizations such as Social Planning Council, Toronto Foundation, and Ontario Museums Association. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Crow’s Theatre and on the Finance and Property Committee of Sherbourne Health Centre.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto and has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants in Ontario since 1996.
Vice President, Strategy, Research and Policy
Michelynn Laflèche is Vice President of Strategy, Research and Policy at United Way Toronto & York Region.
Prior to joining United Way, she studied and worked on social justice issues relating to race and gender in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. She obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa, her Master’s degree at the University of Toronto and undertook postgraduate studies jointly at the University of Toronto and Karls Ruprecht University in Heidelberg (Germany).
Michelynn worked as a research consultant on equalities and social justice for numerous organizations in Canada and Germany over a period of ten years, before relocating to London (UK). She joined the Runnymede Trust in 1997, the UK’s leading social policy research charity concerned with cultural relations and equality, where she managed Runnymede’s projects relating to European social policy, citizenship, and employment. She was appointed Chief Executive of Runnymede in February 2001 and led the organisation for eight of its most successful years until returning to Canada in 2009.
From January 2009, Michelynn worked as an independent consultant before joining the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance (formerly Toronto City Summit Alliance). Michelynn joined United Way in May 2011 as Director of Research, Public Policy &a Evaluation. She took up her current role in January 2017.
Vice President, Human Capital
Rahima Mamdani joined United Way in 2005 and now holds the position of Vice President, Human Capital. Until 2011, she was Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development. Rahima is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership on the development and implementation of human resources and volunteer engagement strategies. She provides senior management with strategic counsel on people issues, provides advice and support across the organization and directs the development and administration of initiatives related to HR programs, talent management and organizational culture.
Rahima began her career at Bell Canada 20 years ago and has since worked for Saville Systems, Rogers iMedia and Buy Buddy Inc. Rahima currently volunteers with the Inclusion and Equity Committee of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Over her career she has provided HR consulting services for not-for-profit organizations such as Right To Play and Greenpeace Canada and volunteered with the Toronto Children’s Aid Society, the Aga Khan Development Network, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Toronto Public Library and HR Council for the Voluntary/Non-Profit Sector.
Rahima holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology and a Masters of Library Sciences from the University of Toronto. She has been awarded the designation of Certified Human Resources Executive by the Human Resources Professionals Association.