Announcements

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Volunteer Canada announces two new appointments

Renata Rusiniak, Acting Director, Corporate Citizenship 

Volunteer Canada is pleased to welcome Renata Rusiniak as Acting Director, Corporate Citizenship starting immediately. In her role, Renata will be the organizational lead on supporting companies in their employee/stakeholder community engagement programs, convene the Corporate Community Engagement Council, and lead the consulting practice for businesses.  “Renata’s leadership, her knowledge of the corporate landscape and her commitment to innovation will be an asset to Volunteer Canada, especially during this moment in time,” said Megan Conway, President and CEO of Volunteer Canada.  

“I look forward to supporting Volunteer Canada’s Corporate Citizenship programs over the next few months.  Purpose-driven corporations play an important part in advancing the mission of Volunteer Canada.  Through the efforts of the Corporate Community Engagement Council, Volunteer Canada can achieve its goals to increase participation, quality, and diversity of volunteer experiences across Canada.  It’s a challenging time for non-profits who rely on volunteers to fulfill their missions but with challenge comes opportunity and I’m confident that Volunteer Canada is well positioned to take on this challenge,” said Renata.

Renata is an employer brand builder fueled by a desire to foster connected corporate cultures and extra-engaged employees. With a blended background in human resources, marketing, communications, and environmental social governance, Renata is well-positioned to engage audiences with authentic storytelling about people, programs, and social impact. She has worked across multiple business sectors including cybersecurity (eSentire), finance (Manulife), technology devices (BlackBerry and L3-Wescam), and food (Cadbury-Schweppes) within Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Her 20 years of corporate experience has led Renata to her next career chapter as the Director and Founder of Green Horseshoe Solutions – enabling companies to build their employer branding through revitalizing engagement programs, forging community partnerships, instituting ESG practices, and communicating impacts that matter. Renata holds an honours BA from the University of Waterloo and a Certificate of Community Involvement from Boston College Centre for Corporate Citizenship. She is a certified Corporate Social Responsibility Practitioner and believes that investing in people and the planet paves the way for profits. 

Originally from Hamilton and currently residing in Guelph with her husband and two sons, Renata is active in her local community. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, advises as part of the Strategy Committee for the Guelph Community Foundation, and mentors social enterprises at Innovation Guelph. Previously, Renata has served as a Board Director with the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce (including 2 terms as Chair of the Board) and Leadership Waterloo, mentored with Women in Communication and Technology (WCT), served as a member of the University of Waterloo Alumni Council and volunteered her time in the equine community with Equine Guelph. Renata is an avid skier, equestrian, and general advocate of all things outdoorsy.


Shaminda Perera, Knowledge, Practice and Learning Lead 

Volunteer Canada is pleased to announce the hiring of Shaminda Perera, MEd. to the position of Knowledge, Practice and Learning Lead, beginning Monday, September 26, 2022. 

“We are excited for Shaminda to lead the development of a new learning agenda that will support Volunteer Canada’s key stakeholders,” shared President and CEO Megan Conway. “In particular, his work will help identify important questions that will help strengthen volunteer infrastructure in the years to come.”  Shaminda will also play a leading role in our data-driven engagement initiative — work that is meant to raise awareness, understanding and access to data on giving and volunteering across the country.  

Shaminda’s passion is to help others learn and grow, and he is a creative and strategic thinker. With over 2 decades of experience in the field, Shaminda is an expert in Performance and Learning. Since 2012, he has been leading learning initiatives to support not-for-profit organizations and community groups to apply best practices in volunteer involvement. He specializes in strategizing system-wide competency frameworks, knowledge management, innovating learning, leading communities of practice, and volunteer management. He has been serving in senior leadership capacities since 2008. 

He transitions to Volunteer Canada from Volunteer MBC, the Volunteer Centre serving the cities of Mississauga, Brampton, and the town of Caledon, in Ontario. While at Volunteer MBC, he has been instrumental in implementing numerous signature knowledge, practice and learning initiatives, building the centre’s learning portal, and innovating Volunteer MBC’s learning services. After over a decade of service, he ends his term as the Manager of Learning and Resource Development. Shaminda holds a Master of Education in Adult Education degree from Yorkville University, New Brunswick. His thesis focused on building learning organizations in the social impact sector.

No stranger to Volunteer Canada, he has been contributing to our mission since 2012. He developed the national Screening Training train-the-trainer program in 2012 on behalf of our provincial project partner, the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN), authored the chapter covering the standard ‘Orientation and Training’ in the CCVI (2017 ed.) online course, developed our learning portal, and developed the e-learning product of Volunteer Canada authored online course in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

“I am thrilled about the opportunity Volunteer Canada has given me to serve the Social Impact Sector on a national platform. As an active practitioner in the sector, I have always admired Volunteer Canada’s efforts and initiatives to be the voice of volunteerism. The organization’s work is crucial now more than ever when we all experience a world that is quite different today. During the pandemic, we saw the Volunteer Centres, social purpose organizations, supporters, and volunteers rise to the challenging environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector continues to go through rapid change, and there is important work to be done. I am very aware that our stakeholders I will be working with, and my colleagues are relying on me to collectively push forward the values and benefits of volunteerism. I am committed to doing my best. I eagerly look forward to contributing with the privilege of my education, the opportunities my community has given me and the expertise I bring - to strengthen the volunteerism infrastructure in Canada,” says Shaminda.

His current volunteering and philanthropic engagements are through the Lions Club International. He is a Lion since 2015 and currently serves as the President of his home club - the Mississauga Cooksville Lions Club. Furthermore, on the philanthropic front, Shaminda and his son Kristyen (14) are the annual co-sponsors of Volunteer MBC’s ‘Youth Lead by Example’ award presented to an exemplary youth volunteer/group in Peel. 

He is a settler in Canada since 2010 and, with Kristyen, calls the city of Mississauga their home. Shaminda’s interests include creative activities, with considerable experience in leatherwork, tabletop role-playing games, and abstract art.

Welcome Shaminda and Renata!