Who We Are2018-10-20T22:16:06+00:00

Our People

Together, we are possibility

Our mission is to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals
and mobilizing collective action in the Thompson Nicola Cariboo region.

Through our values, we seek to:

Demonstrate trust, integrity, respect, inclusivity, and transparency.

Energize and inspire volunteerism and volunteer leadership.

Endorse innovation, partnerships, and collective action.

Provide non-partisanship leadership.

Embrace diversity.

Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is a group of dedicated leaders in their professions and in our communities. They volunteer their time to help govern United Way with knowledge, insight and passion.

Hugh MacInnes - Board Chair
Hugh MacInnes - Board ChairGillespie & Company LLP
Hugh has been on the United Way Board for nine years. He is a practicing lawyer of almost 30 years working in the fields of business law and employment law. He has split his time between working for law firms and working as in-house counsel at an international company. Hugh feels passionate about working with non-profits to build their capacity to be strong and sustainable organizations.

Hugh is an avid athlete who enjoys skiing, playing and watching hockey and cycling in his spare time.

Keith Davis
Keith DavisTD Wealth Management
Locally born and raised, Keith is proud to call Kamloops his home with his wife and two sons. Keith is an Investment Advisor for TD Wealth. After being involved as a donor for many years he joined the Campaign Cabinet in 2014 and was also a part of investing the funds raised on the Kamloops Community Impact Council.

“I strongly believe in the United Way’s efforts and mission. Most of us are very fortunate in our lives and the United Way gives us the opportunity to help others at the time they need it most. The work accomplished amongst all of their partner organizations is truly incredible and makes a profound impact in our community.”

Jameel Aziz
Jameel AzizSchool District 73
Jameel is an educator who has had past roles as a coach, teacher, vice principal and principal within School District 73. Jameel has served as President of the Canadian Association of Principals and is past Chair of the United Way Board. Jameel has been on the Board for seven years.

He feels especially passionate about addressing child poverty in our community. As an educator he has witnessed first-hand the success a child can have when a caring adult is involved in their world and they are given the opportunity and resources to be successful. Jameel believes public education has the potential to be a great equalizer but children living in poverty can often overshadow the ability of students to be successful.

In his spare time Jameel is an avid runner and has completed seven half-marathons.

Homer Hamm
Homer HammUnifor Local 10-B / Domtar
Homer joined the United Way Board three years ago as the labour representative. He has also been instrumental in the local Domtar workplace campaign, which raises over $50,000 for the Kamloops Community Fund. Homer has been involved with high school boys’ basketball for over thirty years, through coaching and sitting on the committee for the 1993 Canada Summer Games and “AA” Basketball Championships.

In his spare time, Homer is an avid woodworker and enjoys creating furniture for his home and the homes of his friends.

Ashleigh McClellan
Ashleigh McClellanSandman Hotel Group
Having spent the majority of her life in Kamloops, Ashleigh is passionate about giving back to the community that has given so much to her. With a background in Sales and Hospitality, she has enjoyed building corporate relationships founded on camaraderie. In addition to being a Director on the United Way Board, Ashleigh is also Co-Chair of United Way’s GenNext Council, a volunteer organization working to encourage young professionals to get involved in the community.

She is passionate about bringing together vibrant, young professionals to share their strengths, passions and creativity while building a better community.

Leslie Groulx
Leslie GroulxDistrict of Clearwater
Leslie is the CAO for the District of Clearwater and a representative for the North Thompson on United Way’s Board. She is passionate about the community she lives in and gives back to her community through Rotary, the Trails Task Force and volunteering to plan the Clearwater Canoe Regatta and Canada Day celebrations.

Leslie is passionate about affordable housing, youth integration programs and food security. She believes United Way is working to address these issues in her community and that is why she is a member of the Board of Directors.

We are a beacon for social change. We don’t just scratch the surface of social issues by using band-aid solutions.

Our Campaign Cabinet

These community leaders volunteer their time to lead our annual fundraising campaign. They come from a variety of backgrounds and help make our communities a place you’re proud to call home.

Joshua Knaak - Cabinet Chair
Joshua Knaak - Cabinet ChairFit Financial
Katie Neustaeter
Katie NeustaeterBroadcast Centre
Deep roots in the community of Kamloops and a great desire to support those in need are just a few reasons that Katie felt humbled and privileged to be asked to serve on the United Way’s Campaign Cabinet. Katie was previously employed as a Support Worker and her insight into the lives of those less privileged and in need of resources made her affiliation with the United Way a natural pairing. Now a Creative Writer/Producer at Broadcast Centre, Katie hopes to contribute not only her time but also her media and advertising knowledge and a dash of creativity to the work of the Campaign Cabinet.
Brendan Shaw
Brendan ShawBrendan Shaw Real Estate
Ryan Deneault
Ryan DeneaultKGHM Ajax
Aleece Laird
Aleece LairdFresh Inc.
Harj Parmar
Harj ParmarCapri Insurance
Jeremy Commazetto
Jeremy CommazettoMary McGregor Law Corp.
Lucas Daoust
Lucas DaoustCity of Kamloops
Michele Logan
Michele LoganRBC

We inspire people to come together to make lasting difference in our communities. We dig deeper to identify underlying root causes of social issues.

We work together with community partners to generate long-term, sustainable solutions that positively impact the health and well-being, education and financial stability of all members of our communities.

Our Women’s Leadership Council

This is a new United Way initiative being developed by women in Kamloops to help change the stories for local young women in need, and hopefully the stories of their children. Click here to learn more about this initiative.

Therese Zulinick
Therese Zulinick
Thérèse Zulinick is a principal and director with Urban Systems, a professional consulting firm committed to supporting vibrant communities. Therese’s passion is working with local governments, Aboriginal communities, private industry, and non-profit organizations in western Canada to help build communities that are safe, sustainable and prosperous.

Therese was one of the first board members for the BIG Little Science Centre from 2002 to 2004. She worked with the Centre’s early founders and supporters to ensure quality science education and programs could be offered in a financially sustainable way to all children in Kamloops.

More recently, Therese’s passion for communities has been extended to the Kamloops Women’s Leadership Council. Therese is working with other female leaders in her home community to facilitate grassroots change for women and children who face difficult barriers and challenges.

Therese lives in Kamloops BC with her husband Randy and their two children. Therese loves playing in the outdoors with her family including water skiing in the summer and hitting the snowy slopes of Sun Peaks in the winter.

Chantelle Stone
Chantelle Stone
From the boardroom table of an international company, to leading advocacy groups, Chantelle’s approach to leadership is that everyone can be and already is a leader. For the past two decades she has provided financial and administrative support alongside her husband as they built their company, iCompass Technologies, into a multi-million dollar organization. Her passion is community development.

She helped launch a campaign to assist her local college to transition to a university, joined and helped strengthen a support group for new moms, is an active Rotarian, and tirelessly supports all programs lead by her local YMCA. She is the mother of three daughters, a business owner, Zumba instructor and psychology student. Chantelle and her husband Todd have been married for 15 years and live in Kamloops.

Chantelle’s authentic desire to understand what our community offers and how it can evolve for our future generations is what has led her to help establish a United Way’s ‘Women’s Leadership Council’ that will help change the stories of young women, single mothers at risk, and vulnerable youth.

She is a proponent of striving for joy over perfection and instills those values in her children.

Rae Fawcett
Rae Fawcett
Rae has lived in the Kamloops area since 1949. Her three children were born and raised in Kamloops and still reside here. She has served 10 years on the Provincial Agriculture Environment Initiatives which, among other things, was responsible for the development of Environmental Farm Plans throughout B.C.

Along with her husband Ron, she has supported many programs in the Kamloops area to help improve the quality of those in need of help and assistance. She has always believed that education be the enlightenment of all people.

She joined the Women’s Leadership Council after listening to the needs and goals planned by the committee. “I’m so glad I agreed to be part of this group as I find myself surrounded by smart, enthusiastic and very caring women who are going to make things happen in our wonderful community!”

Denise Underwood
Denise Underwood
Denise is an educator with the Kamloops Thompson School District and has taught both French Immersion and English classes in various elementary schools in Kamloops and area. Denise has a passion for working with children, especially vulnerable youth, and strives to make a difference for those in her community.

Previously, Denise was the director of the not-for-profit Eureka Science Program for Kids at TRU, which created many programs to engage underserved youth populations. She has also served as sponsorship coordinator for the Cariboo Mainline Regional Science Fair committee. Currently, she is the Vice-President on the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kamloops and region. .

Denise has a Bachelor of Science degree from UBC and a Bachelor of Education degree from UBC/UCC. In addition, Denise completed her Masters of Education in Community Leadership and Administration with a focus on at-risk youth through Gonzaga University. Currently, she is working on specializing in Special Education.

She lives in Kamloops with her husband, Steve and their three children. When not shuttling or chasing her kids, Denise enjoys being in the outdoors, hiking, biking, playing tennis, waterskiing and snow skiing.

Rhonda Maskiewich
Rhonda Maskiewich
Rhonda was born and raised in Kamloops. She is a senior environmental planner and principal with Urban Systems. Rhonda is the corporate lead for Urban Systems’ integrated environmental services team and is a corporate resource for environmental planning initiatives across western Canada.

Rhonda is a strong advocate of integrated design, sustainability and community involvement. Through her work on environmental and natural resource management issues, Rhonda has come to realize that the social components of these issues are often understated and misrepresented. This has led to Rhonda working toward understanding and, hopefully, addressing socio-economic issues within communities.

Rhonda acts as a coach and mentor to young professionals in a formal setting through her work, professional associations and academic institutions. She also provides mentorship to a host of young people through her hometown network.

Through that network, Rhonda was introduced to the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) and was honoured to be invited to be a part of the founding board. Rhonda has witnessed children and youth who have fallen through the cracks, and sees her participation in the WLC as an opportunity to work toward change. All children and youth are born with potential, it is the community in which they are raised and the support they are provided that will allow them to flourish.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela.

Lisa Fuller
Lisa Fuller
Born and raised in Kamloops, Lisa works as a Human Resource Manager in the private sector.

Lisa is passionate about Kamloops and is very involved with a variety of community organizations including the Women’s Leadership Council, Venture Kamloops, United Way, Rotary, Human Resources Management Association, and more. She is extremely passionate about supporting and volunteering her time to assist non-profit organizations and individuals within our community as well across the province and globally.

Lisa strongly believes in helping families, children, and women to overcome their day-to-day challenges to achieve their dreams. Anything is possible!

As a lover of the outdoors, Lisa spends her time at the lake, running in the trails or skiing at the hill. Taking time to establish and maintain trusting relationships is a priority for Lisa as she believes that is the key improving someone else’s day.

Tara Decker
Tara Decker
Tara Decker is a lawyer and managing partner with HMZ Law. Originally from Saskatchewan, Tara met her husband while in law school and moved to Kamloops, his home town, in 1996. She has come to love the city and its amazing community spirit. Tara is a committed volunteer and has spent many hours working with youth in our community.

Tara is the proud parent of two daughters. The family enjoys the many outdoor activities that this region has to offer and when not at work, or in a meeting, she can be found skiing, hiking, boating or coaching one of her girls’ sporting teams.

“The change starts within each one of us. And ends only when all children are free to be children” – Craig Kielburger

Janet Bryson
Janet Bryson
Janet moved from Edmonton to Kamloops with her husband in 1974. She spent her career as a primary school teacher in Kamloops and is currently enjoying the benefits of retirement. Janet has been a director of the Stollery Charitable Foundation since its inception in 1994. The Foundation is committed to supporting health, education, poverty alleviation, and human rights initiatives that benefit the residents of Kamloops and Edmonton. Her work with the Foundation has enabled Janet to learn about the needs of the local non-profit sector and engage with many organizations as both a volunteer and a funder.

Janet enjoys travelling and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She loves the City of Kamloops and is pleased to be a part of the Women’s Leadership Council.

We specialize in bringing together all sectors of a community including individuals, businesses, organizations and government in pursuit of a common goal – to create opportunities for people to live better lives.

Our Staff

Our team is a dedicated group of professionals who each bring a unique skill set and perspective to the table. They all have one common goal in mind; making the community they live in the best it can be.

Danalee Baker
Danalee BakerExecutive Director
“It’s all about people and giving back.” That’s how Danalee responds when people ask about the forces of motivation in her life and work. The United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo Executive Director has carried this passion through a diverse career in education, business, and non-profit.

She finally found the perfect place to make a difference in the community at United Way. In her seven years with the regional organization, she has helped shape their Community Impact work by collaborating with donors and stakeholders to strengthen the relationship between business, non-profit and local government. This has helped United Way strategically invest dollars in programs and services both to address and to prevent social issues like poverty, addiction and social isolation. “When everyone has the opportunity to thrive,” she says, “it’s a better community for all.”

Born and raised in Kamloops, Danalee has travelled and worked around the world and across the province. Deep local roots and a broad world view sustain both her work and her personal life. As the mother of two young children, Danalee considers the Thompson Nicola Cariboo region not only a great place to work, but a great place to live, play, and raise a family.

Geralyn Alain
Geralyn AlainDirector of Marketing & Communications
Geralyn received her Bachelor of Journalism at Thompson Rivers University with a major in Public Relations. Previously at United Way, she has held the role of Community Campaign Manager. She has now stepped into the position of Senior Resource Manager with us. In this role, she helps manage much of our own marketing, and she fosters relationships with donors on the business and individual level.

Outside of United Way, Geralyn teaches dance at her very own Barre business, sings, and is always very active. Geralyn is one of the most hard working, go-getter-people we know, and we’re so thankful to have her here.

Kristi Rintoul
Kristi RintoulSenior Manager of Community Impact

With over 12 years’ experience in the world of not for profit, Kristi has extensive experience working with those accessing services as well as with volunteers and donors sharing their gifts.

“I’ve seen firsthand the impact a caring community can have on those in need which is why I’m so excited to be a part of the United Way’s campaign and community impact initiative. Collaboration is so important and providing access to a multitude of services is paramount to ending the cycle of poverty, supporting children at risk and providing a safe neighbourhood for people to find their success in“.

New to Kamloops; Kristi, her husband and two little boys are looking forward to settling into their new neighbourhood and learning more about this amazingly giving community.

Ashlee Hyde
Ashlee HydeCommunity Campaign Manager

Ashlee is the Manager of Resource and Community Development at United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo. Her office is based in Williams Lake at Thompson Rivers University and she often travels to the South Cariboo.

She was born and raised in Williams Lake and is proud to call it home for herself and her husband. She has a certificate in Office Assistant with Bookkeeping Applications and is a certified International Event and Wedding Planner. Ashlee loves helping in her community and is glad to give back in the Cariboo region as a whole.

Outside United Way, Ashlee enjoys running her Event Planning and Rentals business with her mom, playing soccer with the local ladies league and doing wood working projects along side her husband.

Francy Hayward
Francy HaywardSuccess by 6 Regional Coordinator
Francy has been with United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo for 8 years. She has had numerous job here both on the community impact and office administration sides. Her goals with United Way are to keep that staff team both productive and fun while achieving our goals as well as to keep serving the community in a meaningful way.

Francy graduated from University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Sociology. She grew up in our rivalry city Kelowna, but now calls Kamloops home. She loves to spend time with her two children making sure they are learning and growing as much as possible. She has a passion for food – growing it, cooking it, and eating it!

Amy Berard
Amy BerardDonor Services Manager

Amy is the Community Impact Manager at United Way. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Thompson Rivers University and while there, started working for United Way in 2010 as a co-op summer student.

The stories she heard from volunteers and agency staff changed her and she has been with United Way ever since. She left Kamloops to work for and learn from the team at United Way of Winnipeg for two years, but came home in 2015. With experience in managing the fundraising campaign and leading United Way’s community impact strategy, she has seen firsthand how the generosity of our donors can transform a life.

Amy has received the TRU Distinguished Alumni Award (2013) and Kamloops Business Magazine Top 10 under 40 Award (2013). We are lucky to have such a passionate person on our team.

We monitor and measure the impact of both short and long-term solutions to ensure they are affecting social change that leads to stronger families and more vibrant communities.