Our Staff

 

Our Staff 

At Volunteer Canada, we’re passionate about community involvement. Our team brings a range of knowledge, skills and experience to strengthen volunteering in Canada.


Conway, Dr. Megan - President and CEO 

Megan Conway Megan Conway loves sparking creativity, curiosity and capacity across teams, organizations and networks to mobilize social change.  With twenty years of diverse leadership roles in government and the charitable, voluntary and academic sectors, Megan has been recognized for her ability to scale innovation, to use evaluative thinking to build and adapt programs, and as a systems change champion.  

Dr. Conway earned her PhD at the University of Waterloo in Urban Planning with a focus on community development and scaling social innovations across sites and scales. Megan is most proud, professionally, of her efforts to create systems that enable youth participation, equity and achievement.  Starting as a volunteer in Regent Park, she spent over a decade as a senior leader within Pathways to Education—launching the Kitchener program and then becoming the National Vice President of Programs and Research.  She is also the Co-Founder of the Laurier School in the Community, a unique service-learning offering option at Laurier. Megan spent eight years as the Academic Chair of Health and Community Programs at Algonquin College in the Ottawa Valley where she launched a Rural Enterprise Hub and managed a diverse professional team of 100 faculty to enable student success.  

Currently Megan serves as an Executive in Residence at Capacity Canada and as a Fellow at Carleton University’s School of Public Administration and Policy where she leads international research on charitable sector capacity building and place-based change. Megan loves the snow and any chance she can to get on to a bicycle.  She lives with her husband and two young children in the Ottawa Valley.


Aynalem, Martha - Chief Financial Officer

 

 

 

 

 


Blais, Alyssa - Director of Engagement and Membership Services

Alyssa is an organized management professional with more than 15 years of experience leading operations, projects, and staff in community-based organizations. She has a proven track record of guiding teams through growth and transition, driving greater efficiencies, engagement, and revenues.

In 2018, Alyssa took a leave of absence from work and travelled to the Philippines to volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS) and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). She was part of a project called BRAVO (Building Resilience and Adaptability through Volunteer Organizations) to help support and strengthen several chapters in Panay Island.

Alyssa holds a BA in Psychology and a graduate degree in Administration. She graduated with distinction from St. Francis Xavier University and the Canadian Women's Foundation Leadership Institute for emerging leaders in 2015. A lifelong learner, she is pursuing her Master's in Adult Education, specializing in Women's Leadership & Community Development.

Alyssa is currently a board member of the Annapolis Community Health Board, a volunteer at the local theatre in Annapolis Royal and sits on the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. She lives in Cornwallis Park, Nova Scotia, with her dog Lulu.


McCarroll, Leigha - Social Policy Analyst

Leigha is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy at Carelton University with a background in civil society research and evaluation, policy analysis, and knowledge mobilization. Drawing on over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, Leigha’s research prioritizes equity and justice, bridges theory and action for social change, and builds decision-making capacity of the voluntary sector. Leigha is currently based in Ottawa.

 

 

 


Olsheski, Alyson - Manager, Membership and Communications (on parental leave)

Alyson OlshekiAlyson has over 13 years in communications and relationship management throughout the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Her education, work and volunteer experiences have taken her from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, the Ottawa Valley and Toronto with a focus on event management, community outreach and volunteer engagement. 

Alyson has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology from St. Francis Xavier University, a Post-graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Humber College and a Graduate Certificate in Sport and Event Marketing from George Brown College.

She currently resides in Waterloo, ON where she enjoys exploring the local markets and trails. Alyson understands the importance of building connection and empathy and loves to see how volunteering strengthens communities across the country. 


Perera, Shaminda, MEd. - Knowledge, Practice and Learning Lead

Shaminda Perera is Volunteer Canada’s Knowledge, Practice and Learning Lead. He leads an innovative and future-focused portfolio that works across the organization and our diverse stakeholders to build and deliver a learning agenda that strengthen Canada’s volunteering infrastructure.

His passion is to help others learn and grow with over 2 decades of experience as a Performance and Learning professional. 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.

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.

He gives back to the community through volunteering and philanthropy with the Lions Club International since 2015. Currently, he serves as the President of his home club - the Mississauga Cooksville Lions Club. Shaminda is always happy to share how volunteering helped him succeed in Canada.


Porter, Madeline - Associate, Skills Exchange for Good

Madeline Porter has ten years of experience in the homelessness sector. She is experienced in coordinating collective impact initiatives and fostering strategic cross-sector partnerships to address complex community issues. Madeline has a Master of Canadian and Indigenous Studies from Trent University, where she conducted her thesis research on the implementation of national homelessness and housing policy. Madeline started her career by volunteering at an emergency shelter and has since held roles as a frontline worker, transitional housing coordinator, case manager, and homelessness system coordinator. She is deeply committed to supporting communities to end homelessness.  

 


Rusiniak, Renata - Corporate Community Engagement

 Renata Rusiniak 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 (ESG), Renata is well-positioned to engage audiences with authentic storytelling about people, programs, and social impact. With over 20 years of corporate experience, Renata has worked across multiple business sectors including cybersecurity (eSentire), finance (Manulife), technology devices (BlackBerry and L3-Harris), and food (Cadbury-Schweppes) within Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  

 

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, ON with her husband and two sons, Renata is active in her local community. She currently advises on the Strategy Committee for the Guelph Community Foundation, and mentors social enterprises at Innovation Guelph. Previously, Renata has served as the Board Chair of the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, held Board Director roles with Leadership Waterloo and the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, 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.


Shim, Jason - Chief Technology Officer

Jason Shim brings 18 years of experience in the digital and technology sector to Volunteer Canada. Jason has led multiple organizational digital-first strategies that bolster operations, marketing, fundraising, and program delivery.   

Jason has previously served as Director of Digital Strategy and Transformation at Pathways to Education Canada, where he led technology and innovation. He led Pathways to become one of the first charities to issue tax receipts for cryptocurrency donations and co-authored the book Bitcoin and the Future of Fundraising with Anne Connelly. Jason’s passionate about helping organizations harness technology to make a difference in the world.


Vandenberg, David - Manager, Corporate Citizenship

Photo David VandenbergDavid Vandenberg is a community builder and social impact specialist focused on strategic partnership development that drives actionable results for stakeholders. David has held roles at Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, Burlington's Emergency Meal Program, and Crestview Strategy. 

David is experienced in non-profit management, government relations, strategic planning, and DEI best practices. He has advised and consulted elected officials, various levels of government, and organizations on a wide variety of community engagement strategies, major projects, policy design, and fundraising campaigns. 

David is presently a Director of the Halton Women’s Place, an Advisory Board member of the Compassion Society of Halton and advising the City of Burlington on their Housing Task Force. 

David holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from McMaster University, a Not-for-Profit Leadership and Management Certificate from Mohawk College, was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International in 2021 and was awarded the Platinum Jubilee Medal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by the Government of Canada in 2022 for community service.


Wettlaufer, Emily - Communications and Events Coordinator

Emily Wettlaufer is bringing her ability to create engaging narratives and love of storytelling to Volunteer Canada as our Communications and Event Coordinator. Emily recently graduated from Conestoga College with a bachelor's degree in public relations, where she obtained foundational and practical knowledge in communications and events.   

Emily thrives on finding new ways to tell an organization's story and has helped non-profits around the Waterloo Region reach their audience and shape their brand. She is deeply passionate about improving her community and using her expertise to shape them for the better.