United Way of Peel Region Elects New Board Chair and Members

BRAMPTON — The President of Baxter Corporation has been elected as United Way of Peel Region’s new Board chair. At the Board of Director’s meeting immediately following the annual meeting, Barbara Leavitt, was elected Board Chair. She has been President of Baxter Corporation since 2002. Ms. Leavitt has over 20 years of extensive leadership experience in the Canadian healthcare industry and is directly responsible for Baxter's commercial operations in Canada. She graduated with her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Western Ontario and received her MBA from the University of British Columbia.

In addition to her work with United Way, Ms. Leavitt is actively involved at the Board level with MEDEC, (2011 -2012 Board Chair for the national medical technology association) and Catalyst (Corporate Advisory Board) and was recently certified as a Corporate Director by the Institute of Corporate Directors, Toronto. She was United Way of Peel Region's Campaign Cabinet Chair for 2010 and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors in 2010.

“I am honoured to be elected as chair of the Board of Directors,” Ms. Leavitt said. “I am very proud of the work of United Way of Peel Region and the difference we make in the lives of individuals and families in our community. United Way of Peel Region with the support of our business partners, individual donors and many volunteers improves lives, strengthens neighbourhoods and makes our community great for everyone.”

Other officers elected were Shaila Mehta, partner at Deloitte, as Vice Chair; Snigdha Malik, Branch Manager at Advent Financial Group, as Secretary; and as Treasurer, Norma Trim, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and Commissioner of Corporate Affairs with the Region of Peel.

The following individuals were elected to the Board of Directors for their first three-year term:

Judy Burns joined Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) in November, 2006. CCO is the provincial agency responsible for guiding cancer care delivery in the province. Judy is responsible for the development of the cancer plan for the province which will guide cancer work for the next four years. Prior to joining CCO, Judy held the position of Director, Child Health Services for Critical Care, Psychiatry and Adolescent Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Before joining SickKids, Judy was a Principal Consultant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Judy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, a Masters degree in Health Administration and is a Certified Health Services Executive with the Canadian College of Health Service Executives. She began her career as a critical care nurse at Toronto Western Hospital.
Judy is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of ErinoakKids, a childrens’ treatment centre, serving 10,000 children with developmental challenges in Peel and Halton Regions.

Linda A. Kuga Pikulin is the former President of Pepsico Beverages Canada, a position she was appointed to in 2010. Linda had responsibility for Pepsico Canada’s bottling enterprise and its beverage portfolio of brands including Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7Up, Aquafina, Lipton, Tropicana and Gatorade. This position included the sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution of the Pepsico brands. Linda also served as the President of Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) Canada, a position to which she was appointed in 1998, making her PBG’s highest ranking female operating executive. Linda joined Pepsi in 1982, and until 1988 held a series of roles with increasing responsibilities in sales, marketing and operating positions in Pittsburgh, PA; Asbury Park, NJ; and Austin, TX. Linda is also extremely committed to the community. She is actively involved in the Peel community and was the 2007 Chair for the United Way Campaign. She was also a Cabinet Member for the 2009 and 2010 Major Individual Giving Campaign. Linda has also been recognized by the Women’s Executive Network in Canada for two consecutive years as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

Sadaf Parvaiz is a champion of the inclusiveness vision at Ernst & Young. She is passionate about creating an environment that is and feels inclusive for all EY people. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from York University (Canada), a Chartered Accountant designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario and a holds a Certified Public Accounting designation in the U.S. She is working towards a Certificate in Intercultural Studies and provides coaching to leaders in her organization on leading and leveraging diverse teams. Her volunteer activities have included the Brampton Safe City Council and the Society of Pakistani Canadian Professionals and Academics.

Joanne joined the Region of Peel staff in 1984 and is currently the Supervisor of Performance Measurement for the Human Services Department. In her 27-year career, Joanne has demonstrated leadership and expertise in a broad range of Human Services roles, including Children’s Services, Ontario Works, Homelessness, Quality Assurance and Performance Measurement. Joanne is a graduate of Ryerson University and of Sheridan College. She holds a designation as a certified Quality Practitioner and worked on the team that led the Region of Peel to the National Quality Institute Canada’s Award for Excellence. She has served as a community volunteer with Brampton Safe City, Residents groups and Neighbourhood Advisory committees. Joanne is a founding member of the Region of Peel’s Toastmasters. She joined the United Way’s Community Investment Cabinet in 2007.

John Russo is a partner at Pallett Valo LLP. John practices in the area of commercial litigation, with a particular focus on contractual disputes, creditor remedies, asset recovery, enforcement of security, and insolvency. He often represents clients in complex business litigation disputes and appears before the Superior Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal for Ontario on a regular basis. John also represents trustees, receivers and secured creditors in various insolvency proceedings. John’s clients include mid-size and large companies across a number of industry sectors, financial institutions, religious and charitable organizations. John has a B.A. from the University of Toronto and J.D., Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Michigan). He was called to the New Jersey State Bar in 1997, the New York State Bar in 1998 and the Ontario Bar in 1999.

Motilall Sarjoo (SARJ) is a long time resident of Brampton, Ontario. He is employed by Chrysler Canada at the Brampton Assembly Plant, home of the Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger and the Chrysler 300C. Sarj is a full-time workplace trainer at this facility and from time to time facilitates other programs for the CAW National Union at the Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario. He is the President of the Brampton-Mississauga & District Labour Council and Co-Chair of CAW Local 1285 Union in Politics Committee. He is a dedicated volunteer working tirelessly for the betterment of all in our communities, provinces and entire country respectively.

Raj Venkataraman is a Corporate Lending and risk management professional at GE Capital. Raj has been an Executive of the Young Leaders Council (YLC) of United Way of Peel, for the last three years. He was actively involved in shaping & developing the strategic plan of the YLC and is involved in executing its Strategic Priorities. As a passionate leader, he conceptualized and led the development and launch of a Leadership Development Initiative for YLC, titled Step Up and Learn, which was targeted at Young Professionals. This initiative received extensive media coverage for the innovativeness and impact to the community. In 2011, Raj was nominated for the Youth Agent of Change award, sponsored by the Centre for Social Innovation. Raj is passionate about creating community impact through transformational leadership and strives to give back to the community. Raj is a first generation immigrant from India, who moved to Canada to pursue higher education at Acadia University, in Nova Scotia. He has a very diverse cultural exposure having lived in India, Singapore and Japan.

In addition to the newly elected officers, the following individuals are continuing as Board members: Barb Leavitt, Snigdha Malik, Louroz Mercader, Geovanni Mosquera, Carl Oxholm, Joseph Palumbo, Serge Rochette, Narendra Shah, Norma Trim.

Close to 200 volunteers, businesspersons, donors and staff from the United Way of Peel Region welcomed the new members of the Board of Directors at the UWPR’s Annual General Meeting. The event held at The Garden in Brampton was sponsored by Baxter Corporation.

About the United Way of Peel Region
Established in 1967, United Way of Peel Region serves the communities of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. Through its Community Fund, United Way invests in services, programs and initiatives that develop resilient people, grow strong families, and build vibrant neighbourhoods and communities. The mission of United Way of Peel Region is to engage with our community, through partnerships, to ensure people are cared for, connected and included.

For more information contact:
Trudi Ford
Communications Manager