Stay tuned for more information about QCOP 2014 Speakers!



Ohenewa Akuffo

Canadian Olympic Team Wrestler

Ohenewa Akuffo is an Olympian, world medalist, wrestler, professional speaker and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Bodily Prosperity, a company she established on principles she derived from her high-performance lifestyle as a world-class athlete. Through Bodily Prosperity, she helps clients achieve optimal health and fitness through one-on-one coaching sessions, workshops and speaking engagements.

In her 20-year journey as a high performance athlete, Ohenewa has represented Canada in several World Championships. She has travelled around the world for numerous competitions, has won many feats and was a presenter at the 2013 International Olympic Academy Young Participants’ Session.

As a community advocate with a passion for inspiring youth and young adults to achieve greatness, Ohenewa is often invited to speak at schools and community organizations. Volunteering and giving back to the community has been at the heart of Ohenewa’s work outside her wrestling practices and competitions. She has worked with AthletesCAN (2004-08), RBC Olympic Program, KidSport Ontario and ChangeTheWorld: Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge to promote the importance of volunteering and the difference youth can make in their lives as well as in their communities. She has also partnered with the Heart & Stroke Foundation and Plan Canada.

1472035_677693855583808_1202683_nRuss McLeod

Chief Operations Director, Me to We

Russ McLeod joined Free The Children and Me to We in early 2004 and now serves as the Chief Operations Director of Me to We.

A business graduate from the University of Ottawa, Russ is one of the creators of the university’s School of Management Career Center. This Prince George, B.C., native has become a driving force behind the Me to We philosophy and business model. With his passion and vision, Russ has helped fuel the shameless idealism of the Me to We team in order to accomplish world-changing successes.

Russ took the helm of Me to We’s operations after leading countless international volunteer trips throughout the world, inspiring thousands in his capacity as a seasoned speaker with Me to We’s speakers bureau, and acting as the creative driving force for We Day – Free The Children’s signature events. Russ is also the co-creator of the Canadian Living Me to We Awards, hosted in partnership with Canada’s largest women’s magazine, and he has been responsible for the relationship management of high profile partnerships, including CTV, MTV and Telus.

As a new father, Russ is now even more committed to Me to We’s mandate for social change. His passion for world issues and international travel has helped him realize what is truly important. With the help of his team, and the passionate world-changers who take part in Me to We programming, he is committed to making the world a better place!


Michel Chikwanine

Former Child Soldier, Inspirational Speaker on the ability to create change

Michel Chikwanine has overcome unimaginable pain and struggles. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Michel grew up amid the terror of the Great War of Africa. He witnessed the torture of his father, the rape of his mother, and endured torture of his own. Much of his childhood was ravaged by the death and decay of a war that claimed the lives of 5.8 million people, his father included, and forced him to be a child soldier. Michel now inspires people to believe in their ability to make a difference and leaves audiences with a new perspective on life, a sense of hope through social responsibility, and a desire for change.

An accomplished motivational speaker, Michel addresses audiences across North America. He has spoken to over 100,000 people and has shared the stage with such distinguished speakers as Free The Children founders Craig and Marc Kielburger, Dr. Jane Goodall, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., former Prime Minister Paul Martin, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, former U.S Vice-President Al Gore, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr., Nobel Peace Prize laureate Betty Williams, actress Mia Farrow and musician K’naan, just to name a few. He was also a speaker on Oprah’s “O Ambassadors Roots of Action” speaking tour, largely reaching students at resource-poor schools.

Sharing his personal story, Michel has captured the attention of national media, including CBC, CTV and major daily newspapers.



Abid Virani

CEO & Co-Founder, I Have Hope In The Fight Against AIDS and Canadian Top 20 Under 20

Abid is a 23-year-old social entrepreneur, public speaker, and storyteller. Over the last eight years, Abid and his friends built and managed I Have Hope In The Fight Against AIDS, a Canadian charity that engaged youth in the global fight against HIV and AIDS. The charity ran international projects in Cambodia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Lesotho. Additionally, they ran programming here in Canada reaching thousands of students across the country. Abid is a graduate from the University of Guelph, where he studied international development. His first film, Start With Us, has screened across Canada and been shown in multiple film festivals. He has shared the stage with many notable speakers, including Justin Trudeau and Craig Kielburger. In 2010, Abid was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 by Youth In Motion and in 2013, he received the North American Ashoka Award for Emerging Innovators. Currently, Abid is focused on self-growth and is exploring the art of storytelling. You can learn more about Abid athttp://abidvirani.com/.



Michael Cooksey

Vice President and Regional Director of Planning and Sales for Ontario for BMO Harris Private Bank

Born in Toronto and raised in Ottawa. Michael attended Algonquin College graduating in Sales and Marketing Management. He joined BMO Financial Group where he has assumed increasing responsibility in retail, commercial and Private Banking over 40 plus years. Presently he is Vice President and Regional Director of Planning and Sales for Ontario for BMO Harris Private Bank.

In the community Michael has been very active with Rotary International, being a club president and past District Governor in District 7070 (Greater Toronto Area). He is on the Board Directors of GTA Scouts Canada Foundation, member and Past Chair of the Haliburton Club (Scouts Canada) and is a past director of the Scarboro Golf Club. Michael has been recognized by Rotary International for his service with the Citation of Meritorious Service by the Rotary Foundation. He is a Paul Harris Fellow and major donor to the Foundation. He has received the Award of Merit from Scouts Canada for his work in Scouting.



Adil Dhalla photo

Adil Dhalla

Director of Culture at the Centre for Social Innovation

Adil Dhalla is a ukulele playing, bow tie wearing, Director of Culture at the Centre for Social Innovation. His story, as he describes it, has been “one helluva adventure”, which includes community organizing for the Obama campaign in Brooklyn, helping Tanzanian farmers leverage technology to improve their efforts and most recently, being among the pioneers in the mobile video space with his acclaimed brainchild – My City Lives. Adil has long been enamoured with CSI and the potential of its community to create a social innovation movement. He strongly believes that it’s up to each of us to change the world, and accordingly, his energy is spent animating the community by instilling a shared sense of purpose, elevating happiness levels through awesome service and evangelizing the many stories of systems change and social innovation. We are so excited to have Adil at QCOP and can’t wait for you guys to meet him!


buddha elbow sm

Stephen Leafloor, aka. “Buddha”

Social Worker, Founder of Blueprint for Life

Stephen Leafloor, also known by his Hip Hop name “Buddha,” is an internationally recognized and awarded social worker, celebrated dancer and founder of Blueprint For Life – considered one of the world’s leading companies using Hip Hop as both a community development tool and as a model for alternative education and healing.

Stephen holds a Masters in Social Work with over 27 years of experience as a social worker. His company has pioneered accessible outreach programs that bring empowerment, hope and positive change to Canada’s north and urban centers. The Blueprint For Life team has reached over 4500 youth through 70 programs in over 48 communities to date.

A Co-founder of the Canadian Floor Masters, (Canada’s oldest B-Boy / breakdance crew 1983), he has performed for James Brown, Ice-T, Grandmaster Flash, Blackeyed Peas and George Clinton. At 53, Stephen has been selected as one of Canada’s “Top 45 Over 45″ for Zoomers Magazine, spoken at TEDx, is a proud father of three and still gets down in the Cypher!


UntitledAlisha Virmani

NB Young Humanitarian of the Year, National Youth Advocate/ Speaker on Bullying

New Brunswick’s Young Humanitarian of the Year, Alisha Virmani, is a national youth advocate for violence and abuse prevention programs and a representative for the Canadian Red Cross’ RespectED programs. After experiencing cyber bullying first-hand, Alisha was empowered to take various steps to eliminate interpersonal violence. At the young age of 17, Alisha appeared in Senate Committee to propose new legislation surrounding cyber-bullying and successfully established many key amendments to New Brunswick legislation to address the issue of bullying. Alisha is currently in her second year of the Life Sciences program at Queen’s University and continues to share her story across the nation to advocate for the importance of youth engagement at all ages and levels.



Shawn Cheung photo

Shawn Cheung

Founder, Raising the Village

“In January of 2005, I had completed my final credit to receive my university business degree, ready to take on the world. I had been hired by a top consulting firm, held a signing bonus in my pocket, and the big city lights and the corporate travel lifestyle in my sights. According to the world around me, I was “set”. But my future did not sit well with me. A burning question was still left unanswered:

‘Is this it?’


Raising The Village is built around this idea of community.
By asking questions, we can work together to find the answers.
And those answers tell each and every one of us to be somebody.”

Read the rest of his inspiring story here: http://www.raisingthevillage.org/about/founders-story/
Follow him on Twitter: @shawn_cheung

*stay tuned for more information regarding speakers for QCOP 2014!

Past Speakers

A big thanks goes out to all the past speakers who came to QCOP 2013! The day couldn’t have been what it was without all of you!

Keynote Speakers

Brock Warner

Donor Programs Officer at War Child Canada, TEDx Speaker, Blogger for 101fundraising

At War Child Canada/US, Brock is responsible for managing and implementing core donor programs including direct marketing, monthly giving, tailoring cultivation programs for donors, as well as administering the general donor cultivation program. He is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University and Humber College, and previously worked in direct marketing for some of Canada’s most high-profile charities. He is a TEDx presenter, avid blogger, and lover of remarkable non-profits.


James Maskalyk

Humanitarian, Physician and Author of Six Months in Sudan

James Maskalyk practices emergency medicine in Toronto at St. Michael’s, an inner-city hospital  where he was this year’s recipient of its “social responsibility” prize. He is an award winning teacher, and an associate and founding editor of the open access medical journal Open Medicine.  He directs a program that works with Ethiopian partners at Addis Ababa University to train East Africa’s first emergency physicians. James is a member of Medecins Sans Frontieres, an organization for which he has worked as both a journalist and a physician, most recently in Dadaab, Kenya, home to the world’s largest refugee camp.  He was MSF’s first official blogger, and from this he published a bestselling book about his experience as a field physician entitled, “Six Months in Sudan”.  He is working on a second.


Michael Johnston

Founder and President HJC Consulting

Michael Johnston is the founder of the global fundraising consultancy, Hewitt and Johnston Consultants. He has been a fundraiser for 24 years, and has worked with 100’s of organizations in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. Mike is an expert in fundraising innovation and integrated campaigning – most especially in the use of digital technologies and their integration with traditional fundraising methods – from sustainer to legacy gifts. He is the author of two books: The Fund Raiser’s Guide to the Internet and The Nonprofit Guide to the Internet and the editor of two books: Internet Strategies: Best Practices for Marketing, and Direct Response Fund Raising: Mastering New Trends for Results. Mike was a founding Board Member of the Washington-based e-Philanthropy Foundation, and was its first chair of its Education Committee. In addition, Michael was the founding Foundation Chair for the first global charity online lottery, www.globelot.com.

Dr. Jacline Abray-Nyman

CEO of United Way Centraide Canada

Jacline Abray-Nyman is an accomplished leader in the public sector with over 20 years of demonstrated success in senior roles. Jacline’s career has focused on stakeholder and external relations, philanthropic fundraising and more recently, in the non-profit sector, on capacity building and shared value. Acting in the capacity of principal gifts strategist and chief development officer, Jacline has personally negotiated many significant philanthropic gifts and business partnerships working with stakeholders around the globe. Currently, Jacline holds the position of President and CEO of United Way Centraide Canada. Prior to this leadership role, Jacline joined Queen’s School of Business (QSB) in 2008 as the Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations and drove the strategic planning and roll-out of QSB’s $100 Million campaign. As an Assistant Professor, Jacline has taught marketing, marketing ethics and social responsibility and has ongoing research interests in marketing, philanthropy and the social-mission sector. Jacline recently concluded a major research project entitled “Transformational philanthropy and networks of co-created value in Canada.” She currently serves as a member of the advisory board of GIV3 and Queen’s School of Business Centre for Responsible Leadership and has volunteered in leadership positions of numerous organizations including the Peter F. Drucker Canadian Foundation for Nonprofit Innovation and the Calgary Chapter Board for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Jacline holds a Bachelor of Administration (University of Ottawa), an MBA (University of Calgary), and Doctorate in Business Administration (Cranfield University, UK).

Greg Overholt

SOS Founder

Greg Overholt is the founder and executive director of SOS: Students
Offering Support, and is a 2008 graduate of the Business and Computer
Science program at Wilfrid Laurier University. Greg originally planned for a corporate career with promising co-op placements at companies such as Research in Motion and Bell Sympatico. However, his passion sharply shifted to a career in social entrepreneurship after witnessing the enormous impact that a student club had on students both locally and in marginalized communities around Latin America, and dedicated his last year of studies and most of his free time
to supporting students from across North America to have a similar impact
on their campus. Greg has been honoured as a recipient of Waterloo’s Top 40 Under 40, and
twice as a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year,
in the Young Entrepreneur category in 2009, and in the Social Entrepreneur
category in 2010.


Jonathan Skarsten

Co-Founder & Co-President, Nyantende Foundation

Jon is currently in his fourth year in the Queen’s Commerce Business program. Jon is the co-founder of the Nyantende Foundation, which operates in the greater Nyantende area of the Eastern Congo. The Nyantende Foundation’s mission is to empower Congolese youth by enrolling them in local elementary and secondary schools. As government institutions are largely absent in the Congo’s Eastern region, families are forced to pay monthly fees in order to enroll their children in local schools. However, as a significant percentage of the adult population are without stable income, youth often remain on the streets with no means to pursue an education. By subsidizing the cost of their schooling, Nyantende Foundation gives Congolese youth the means to improve their capacities thereby possessing the freedom to pursue a life they have reason to value. Jon serves as a Portfolio manager for Queen’s University Investment Council, sponsorship co-ordinator for Queen’s Commerce Trading Competition, a finance writer for DayonBay.ca and more.


Angela Simo Brown

General Manager, AIR MILES for Social Change

Angela is the General Manager of AIR MILES for Social Change, a national social venture that offers government incentives to all Canadians for making healthier or more environmentally responsible lifestyle choices – powered by the unparalleled reach and popularity of the AIR MILES loyalty currency. In her 15 years with LoyaltyOne, the operator of AIR MILES for Social Change, Angela has progressed through a range of leadership roles, concentrating primarily on the development of strategic partnerships and reward suppliers for the organization. Most recently she was instrumental in the establishment and growth of innovative public sector partnerships focused on sustainable and healthy lifestyle incentives. As a committed and passionate environmentalist, Angela helped lead the formation of a series of grassroots eco-initiatives across LoyaltyOne which ultimately triggered the transformation of the organization into a prominent corporate sustainability change agent for Canada. Angela holds a degree in Business Administration from Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Gillian Barth

Executive Vice-President, CARE Canada

Gillian Barth has close to 30 years experience in the fields of human resources, international development, and program research and management. She has worked with CARE for 20 years and today serves as CARE Canada’s Executive Vice-President. Ms. Barth plays a key role in managing the organization’s strategic plan and program quality, as well as representing CARE Canada to the CARE International Federation. Earlier in her career, she worked with Global Development Group, Canadian University Services Overseas and World University Service of Canada in positions relating to long-term development programming and human resource applications, both in Canada and internationally. Ms. Barth holds a B.A. in Political Science/International Relations.

Jason Colero

Director, Education Programs & Argos Foundation, Toronto Argonauts Football Club

Jason Colero started with the Argonauts in 1985 as a ball boy/locker attendant working for the visiting teams on game day. While working with the Argonauts, Jason attended York University and graduated with a BA in Psychology in 1995. He went on to receive a Post Secondary Diploma in Corporate Communications in 1998. In 1999, the Toronto Argonauts named Jason the Manager of Community Relations. He founded and facilitated the Huddle Up Bullying Prevention Program, presented by Tim Hortons. Inspired by Jason’s personal life experiences, the program has visited almost 500,000 students, received numerous awards, and is listed on the Ministry of Education website as a leader in bullying prevention. Jason is also the Director of the Level the Playing Field Program which has successfully established football in ten Toronto District high schools. Today, Jason continues his service to the Toronto Argonauts as the Director of Education Programs and The Argos Foundation.

Jennifer Jones

Director, Indigo Love of Reading Foundation

Jennifer spent her early years in marketing communications, ‘dating’ industries in Toronto and Asia and then returned to Canada for her Ivey MBA.  Following that Jennifer worked at CIBC Small Business marketing and sponsorship and then joined the CIBC Corporate Sponsorship team that ran the CIBC Run for the Cure and Weekend to End Breast Cancer.   This is where she ‘fell in love’ with social responsibility as it’s a perfect blend of the head and the heart.  Jennifer joined Indigo over five years ago to lead the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation which provides funding to transform high-needs elementary school libraries and since then also launched Indigo’s first cause marketing campaign Adopt a School which unites stores, schools and their communities to puts books into the hands of children across Canada.



Speaker Testimonials

“When I was invited to participate in the 2011 QCOP conference, I had no idea what to expect. As it is relatively new, organized entirely by students, and not what I thought would be a “hot topic” for university students, I have to say my expectations were modest. Boy was I wrong! These students organized a high impact, well paced and very professionally organized weekend conference. I expect that every student who attended the conference will have experienced a profound reassessment of their values, life goals and beliefs. Many will have been awakened to the power of philanthropy and its impact on both the giver and the recipient. Topics ranging from corporate philanthropy to grassroots actions, provide participants with a broad range of approaches to making a difference.

This generation of university students has more resources available to them to shape the world than ever before in our history. A unique conference in every way, QCOP serves to remind all those involved of the opportunities and responsibilities of shaping the future. It is so important to put these issues onto the radar of those who will be thought leaders for our next generation.

It was an inspiring experience and I thank you for inviting me to participate.”

Susan Doyle - President and CEO, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation


“QCOP 2011 was one of the most unique conferences I ever had the privilege of participating in. Not only were students engaged and inspired but, together, they were giving off an aura of a generation determined to change the world. Participants draw from various programs and schools, making this one of the most valuable experiences for any students interested in living a philanthropic life. I have no doubt that QCOP 2012 will be a huge success.”

Abid Virani - Co-Founder and CEO, I Have Hope in the Fight Against AIDS



2012 Speakers

Ted Garrard
President & CEO of SickKids Foundation

Ted Garrard assumed his position as President & CEO in July 2009.  SickKids Foundation is responsible for raising funds for The Hospital for Sick Children, one of the most respected children’s hospitals in the world, and for granting funds across Canada to advance child health.  SickKids Foundation raises more than $100 million annually from more than 300,000 donors, the second largest donor base of any hospital foundation in North America.  SickKids Foundation is also one of the largest charity foundations in Canada holding endowments valued at more than $700 million.


Michael Prosserman
Executive Director and Founder, UNITY Charity

Michael Prosserman aka “Bboy Piecez” found his passion for break dancing at a very young age. By the time he was three, Michael was already standing on his head while watching Saturday morning cartoons. Since then, Michael has performed for over 300 audiences of all ages, has spoken at over 50 schools, & has taught over 50 workshops across the world. Michael has done work in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Nunavut, the Yukon, Italy, and Asia. Michael started his own business the Funk Fanatics and Founded a youth-led Charity called UNITY.


Fraser Green
Principal & Chief Strategist, Good Works; Author, 3D Philanthropy

Fraser Green is unique in North America with respect to his combined expertise in market research and philanthropy. He is a self-confessed ‘market research freak’ who believes that donors, prospects and members have so much more to tell us if we simply ask them thoughtfully and appropriately. Fraser is Principal and Chief Strategist at Good Works, one of Canada’s leading fundraising consulting agencies. At Good Works, Fraser’s focus is on deep human communication, donor research and legacy giving. Prior to coming to consulting in 1996, Fraser was CEO of the New Democratic Party of Canada, Special Assistant to Ontario Premier Bob Rae and Director of Organization for the Ontario NDP. Fraser is a gifted writer and a sought after public speaker. He presents regularly at fundraising conferences in Canada, the USA and Europe. His articles and contrarian rants (as he calls them) are frequently published in professional journals. Fraser is the co-author of ‘Iceberg Philanthropy’ (2007), and a contributing author of ‘Me-Volution’ (to be published later this year). His new book titled ‘3D Philanthropy’ is receiving rave reviews from around the world.


Monica Patten
President and CEO of Community Foundations of Canada

Monica has had many years as a leader in philanthropy, most recently as President and CEO of Community Foundations of Canada. During her tenure the community foundation network grew from 30 foundations to over 170 and by the end of 2010, collectively, held $3 billion in assets.

A recognized leader in the development of community philanthropy around the world, Monica is in frequent demand as a speaker and philanthropic advisor both in Canada and around the world. She presently serves on various Canadian Boards of Directors, including the Lawson Foundation, Rio Tinto Alcan Fund, and the Community Forward Fund. Monica has served as a Trudeau Foundation Mentor and is a Synergos Fellow – a role that connects her with colleagues in philanthropy around the world. Monica is a founder of the Global Fund for Community Foundations and currently serves on its Board.