Fast Pitch participants
Fast Pitch 2017 participants

The Winnipeg Foundation’s

Fast Pitch 2017

A community competition where everyone wins!

Four charities crowned champs at The Showcase!

After 10 weeks of preparation and practice, four local charities were crowned Fast Pitch champions on March 23, 2017.

Grand Prize ($10,000 grant): Sunshine House
People’s Choice ($5,000 grant): CanU Canada
Coaches’ Choice ($2,500 grant): Project Neecheewam
Presenters’ Choice ($2,500 grant): SSCOPE (Self-Starting Creative Opportunities for People in Employment)

About Fast Pitch

The Winnipeg Foundation’s Fast Pitch is a coaching program to help build the capacity of, and create visibility for, Winnipeg’s charitable sector. Fast Pitch is part of an international movement that helps organizations create powerful, high-energy cases for support, delivered in three minutes or less!

2017 Organizations/Presenters

A & O: Support Services for Older Adults

A & O: Support Services for Older Adults provides specialized programs and services that are accessible to older adults and support and enhance their social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual lives and promote active participation in all aspects of community life.

Presenter: Amanda Macrae, Chief Executive Officer

Agape Table

Agape Table is a community nutrition assistance and education centre. 300 people visit the program each weekday seeking free or subsidized meals, subsidized groceries, clothing, and nutritional education support.

Presenter: Dave Fenuik, General Manager

Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba

Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba is a non-profit legacy established following the 1999 Pan American Games held in Winnipeg. Since its inception CSCM has been the 'hub' for high performance sport in Manitoba. They to provide sport science, sport medicine and guidance to Winnipeg's aspiring Olympic and Paralympic athletes become champions; both on the field of play and in their communities after the lights of international competition dim.

Presenter: Jeff Powell, General Manager


CanU inspires hope and confidence in the leaders of tomorrow through its out-of-school mentorship and educational enrichment program for youth in Grades 5-12. Throughout the year, CanU Kids participate in a wide range of educational experiences on post-secondary campuses and develop their nutrition, health, academic, social, and leadership skills. CanU programs are designed and led by university student volunteers who are honing their leadership and community service skills.

Presenter: Roger Berrington, Executive Director

Friends of Upper Fort Garry

Friends of Upper Fort Garry was created to save the HBC Upper Fort Garry Fort site, where the decision was made to create the Province of Manitoba and to enter the confederacy of Canada. This important heritage site has been secured and it is now protected for the future as Upper Fort Garry Provincial Park, managed and being developed for education and enjoyment by the Friends.

Presenter: Penny McMillan, Director

International Institute for Sustainable Development – Experimental Lakes Area Inc. (IISD – ELA)

IISD-ELA is a world-class freshwater research facility. Their mission is to conduct ecosystem-based research that improves our understanding of human impacts on the environment and provides science-based solutions for clean water and healthy ecosystems. Headquartered in Winnipeg, the operation consists of a 22,000-hectare parcel of land east of Kenora, ON in which they have legislative authority to conduct experiments in 58 lakes.

Presenter: Matthew McCandless, Executive Director

Project Neecheewam

Project Neecheewam provides shelter, residential treatment and crisis services to children and youth in care of child and family services agencies. They provide high quality care from an extended family viewpoint with Aboriginal values and consider all of the children to be like nieces and nephews. The staff teams come from a variety of backgrounds that includes life experience and education relevant to their field.

Presenter: Cory Campbell, Executive Director

S S C O P E Inc. (Self-Starting Creative Opportunities for People in Employment)

SSCOPE Inc. provides casual and part-time employment opportunities, through social enterprise business ventures, to those coping and recovering from mental health issues. Through supportive employment, the goal is to move members on to regular employment opportunities.

Presenter: Angela McCaughan, Executive Director

Sunshine House

Sunshine House is a community drop-in and resource centre focusing on harm reduction, population health promotion, and social inclusion. They are a gap-filling organization that works with folks in under-served populations, providing programming that fulfills people’s social, community, and recreational needs. They use a harm reduction approach in their programming, meaning that people come as they are, and are not expected to be ‘clean’ or sober.

Presenter: Chelsea Jalloh, Co-Chair

West Central Women’s Resource Centre (WCWRC)

WCWRC works with women who are largely low income, Indigenous or newcomer, who face multiple barriers that include oppression, housing insecurity or homelessness, food insecurity, low levels of English and low levels of education and literacy. Their programs help to meet their basic needs as well as to build their capacity to be advocates for themselves in the various systems they may be engaged with.

Presenter: Lorie English, Executive Director

West End Cultural Centre (WECC)

WECC fosters a culture of innovation through their artistic and collaborative choices, with an eye on their financial stability. They promote artists, helping to shepherd them to the next stage of their career. Their collaborative and rental activities are carefully curated to showcase artistic expression that is progressive, cutting edge, and exciting for audiences, artists and the community.

Presenter: Jack Jonasson, General Manager

Winnipeg Children’s Access Agency (WCAA)

WCAA provides supervised visitation and exchange services for families who have experienced domestic violence. They utilize volunteers as Visitation Monitors and have an extensive visitation monitor training program.

Presenter: Mary Lobson, Executive Director

The Wrench

The WRENCH aims to create stronger, healthier communities by removing barriers to building, repairing, and maintaining bicycles with a focus on educating youth. They make bikes accessible to the public by providing programming, education and resources for community members, groups, and organizations. The Wrench also supports emerging and existing school and community bike shops.

Presenter: Benita Kliewer, Co-Director

Willow Place

Located in Winnipeg, Willow Place is Manitoba’s largest women's shelter supporting women and children who are experiencing domestic violence. Willow Place is committed to providing effectual services through both residential and outreach programs. With a 38-person capacity, they serve a diverse population of women and children that are frequently high need and vulnerable families.

Presenter: Lesley Lindberg, Executive Director

Youth Agencies Alliance

Youth Agencies Alliance (formerly Coalition of Community Based Youth Serving Agencies or CCBYSA) first came together in 1995 due to the high incidence of gang activity in Winnipeg's inner city. The primary intention was that the four original agencies would share information, wisdom, and resources to support one another. YAA provides a forum for agencies to speak from their collective experience. Each of our 18 member agencies is separately run with different boards, focuses, and locations. They meet monthly to explore and develop collaborative efforts to improve the lives of marginalized youth and their families in the city of Winnipeg.

Presenter: Karen Ferris, Executive Director

2017 Coaches

Edward Acuna

Edward Acuna is a Relationship Manager with Royal Bank of Canada, where he has worked for seven years in Commercial Banking. He is responsible for the commercial credit portfolios of a variety of Manitoba charities. His work involves thorough understanding of his clients’ roles in the community. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a focus on marketing. Edward’s volunteer roles include organizing fundraisers for Winnipeg Art Gallery and Canadian Olympic athletes. He is also an account executive for the United Way, past member of the Alumni Advisory Board for the Asper School of Business, and founding board member of a national business case competition. Edward was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Peter Anandranistakis

Peter Anandranistakis is an Associate with MLT Aikins. He advises clients in the area of commercial law/commercial real estate. Peter was born and raised in Winnipeg and is very attached to the Winnipeg community. He attended St. Paul's High School, and then the University of Manitoba where he attained his B.A. (Hons.) in Political Studies. Following that he then attended Robson Hall law school at the University of Manitoba. Peter is a huge fan of music, movies, books, and self-improvement / personal development.

Charlene Birdsall

Charlene Birdsall is a Portfolio Manager and Investment Advisor with National Bank Financial in Winnipeg. She has over 20 years of experience in the financial and insurance industry, and is passionate about helping clients achieve their financial goals. When not reading about stocks and bonds, Charlene enjoys golfing, gardening, and cooking, which she loves to do as a way to bring together her family, including her husband Rick and kids Alexis and Calvin.

Florence Carey

A Partner with MLT Aikins, Florence Carey has several areas of specialty, including charities and not-for-profits. Her work in this area focuses on applications for charitable status as well as resolving disputes with Canada Revenue Agency. Her academic achievements have been stellar – earning her no fewer than 20 prestigious prizes and scholarships. Florence has played a leadership role with a number of Winnipeg charities, serving as director for the Manitoba Lung Association, Immigrant Centre of Manitoba and Versatech Industries. She is Member of the Advisory Committee for the United Way of Winnipeg’s Tomorrow Fund. Florence was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Aaron Challis

Aaron Challis is a Lawyer with Fillmore Riley LLP and practices primarily in the area of civil litigation. He is from Winnipeg and attended the University of Winnipeg to obtain a BA with a major in Political Science. After graduating from U of W in 2008, he worked with youth for a community organization. Aaron then attended the University of Manitoba for law school, where he participated in many extra-curricular activities, including helping in the setting up of the Legal Help Centre. Aaron enjoys travelling when his schedule allows.

Dean Cooper

As a TV/Media Production Instructor for Red River College’s Creative Communications and Digital Multimedia Design departments, Dean Cooper teaches students media production theory and practical techniques of storytelling through video. He is also Co-Owner/Producer of Afterimage Media Productions, a full-service video production company with a number of high profile local clients. Dean is a professional voice-over artist and has produced game-day broadcasts for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Manitoba Moose. Dean was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Sarah Dann

Sarah Dann is a Founding Partner of Creaddo Group Inc. Sarah is an entrepreneurial HR professional who positions organizations for growth. As a partner to people leaders, Sarah develops engaged, focused teams aligned to an organization's strategic objectives. Sarah's talent is collaborating with leaders to focus on key objectives and communicate with their teams effectively through change, maximizing results for her clients. Sarah has been a Professional member of the HRMAM since 2003 and received the CPHR designation in 2007. A life-long learner, Sarah recently became certified in Critical Incident De-Briefing and Trauma Support.

Doug Darling

Doug Darling is the executive producer and founder of Tripwire Media Group, a video and animation production house in Winnipeg that started in 2009. Doug has grown Tripwire into a successful production house, boasting a team of six dedicated full-time staff. While still telling the stories of many local Manitoba companies (such as Tourism Winnipeg, Winnipeg Airports Authority and National Leasing), Tripwire has expanded their reach across the continent, working with big name clients, including Scotiabank, Tobasco, Target, and Mark's.

Nicole Drysdale

Nicole Drysdale is a Commercial Account Manager with RBC, where she has held a number of positions over the past ten years. Her outstanding sales and performance has been recognized repeatedly by RBC. She created and delivered a financial literacy workshop for youth, mentors new employees and has fostered new partnerships with RBC and the community. Nicole is a Certified General Accountant and has an honours degree in Business Communication. She has extensive volunteer experience with Rainbow Resource Centre, Reel Pride Film Festival, Winnipeg Pride, United Way of Winnipeg and RBC charitable initiatives. Nicole was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

David Elrick

David Elrick is a Senior Manager in the tax department at KPMG LLP. He has previously worked as Tax Manager at Investors Group. David regularly makes presentations on tax topics to groups of all sizes. He is an experienced coach and mentor who works closely with students as part of CPA Canada’s In-Depth Tax Program. David is a Chartered Accountant with Bachelor of Commerce degrees in both accounting and finance. His community interests include animals and the arts. For most of the last 10 years he has volunteered his time at Senior’s tax clinic’s where he prepares tax returns for low income seniors. David was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Gord Flaten

Gord Flaten is the Vice-President of Western Operations at G3 Canada Ltd. He is a senior manager with expertise in strategic planning, project management, and marketing and sales. Prior to G3, Gord devoted many years to the Canadian Wheat Board primarily in a marketing and sales capacity. He attended Harvard Business School, specializing in Strategic Negotiations in the senior executive program. Gord is a Trained Volunteer Mediator with Mediation Services Winnipeg and enjoys travel and reading.

Kerry Fraser

Kerry Fraser is a Regional Manager of Marketing and Communications with CBC. Kerry loves a good story, so fast-forward a few years and two university degrees later, she decided to make her living helping other people tell their stories. By doing so, she enjoyed an exciting, 20-year career in marketing, communications, and public relations in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in Canada, US and abroad. Recently, she has been enjoying her time working with community groups such as Spark, The United Way, The Gathering, the West Central Women's Resource Centre & the Spence Street Thrift Shop.

Maxine Kashton

Maxine Kashton is Vice President Finance & Operations at The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, which serves more than 2,000 local businesses. She oversees financial reporting, ensures organization sustainability and maintains strong relationships within and outside The Chamber. Maxine is overseeing a new business support program currently being developed for Winnipeg Chamber members. On behalf of The Chamber, Maxine is involved in a Small Business Connections Group and Financial Literacy Committee. Maxine was also a partner in a small business responsible for business and marketing plans, accounting, and operations. She is a Certified Management Accountant and a Chartered Professional Accountant. Maxine was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Alanna Keefe

Alanna Keefe is C3 Project Manager & Business Advisor with the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba, where she provides clients with comprehensive business advice and coaches them on results-oriented entrepreneurship. With a Business Administration background, her career has included work in the non-profit sector with Winnipeg Art Gallery, St. John’s-Ravenscourt School, and Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers. She has also provided development and marketing consultation services for a number of local organizations. Her volunteer roles have included Mount Carmel Clinic Foundation, Trip Dance Company, and Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra. Alanna was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Jill Knaggs

Jill Knaggs is an innovative and accomplished manager with extensive experience solving problems, developing programs, and managing campaigns. She is currently engaged by the Manitoba division of Canada's largest trade and industry association, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME). Her role is to bring a strategic focus to provincewide marketing and communications activities including brand development; market and member research; traditional, digital, and experiential marketing; corporate/member communications; creative development; media planning & buying; database/email and direct marketing; media and public relations; community involvement; promotions and conference, sponsorship, and tradeshow strategy. Jill was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Scott McFadyen

Scott McFadyen is the President of eX4 strat, a Winnipeg firm dedicated to advancing the interests of Private and NGOs to government and the public. From 2011 to 2016, Scott served as the Western Regional Manager for the Canadian Propane Association (CPA). Prior to joining the CPA and returning home to Winnipeg in 2011, Scott worked at Daisy Consulting Group, a public and government relations firm in Toronto from 2008-2011. Scott is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a degree in Political Science (Canadian History). While in University, Scott was elected Vice-President of the University of Manitoba Students' Union with a constituency of 24,000.

Nyasha Mukumba

Nyasha Mukumba is a senior accountant with KPMG LLP. She has worked with several charitable organizations reviewing their financial statements, and reviewing their business operations. Nyasha moved to Winnipeg from Zimbabwe to attend the University of Manitoba, from which she graduated with a Bachelor Commerce degree in accounting and international business. While being in Winnipeg, she had the opportunity to volunteer with several charities. She is currently involved in the finance team, and the creative/marketing team of the church that she attends. Nyasha also enjoys teaching the violin.

Dale Murphy

Dale Murphy is a general manager who has spent most of his career leading technology units. Dale is very passionate about using collaboration to provide effective results. As a lifelong sports coach of both youth and adults, he has found synergies between leading sports teams and leading business teams; and enjoys when he can find opportunities in one setting and apply them to another. Dale is empathetic to members of his team, adjusting his leadership style to match individual needs and leading in a way that he would like to be led.

Dale is married with two boys and has lived in Winnipeg his entire adult life.

John Murray

John Murray is a Lawyer with Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP. John graduated from Bond University in Australia. Upon completion of his degree, he received his accreditation to practice law in Canada in 2013. Prior to his studies overseas, John attend the University of Manitoba to obtain his B.A. (Advanced) degree. John’s community involvement includes operating as the General Manager of VA Angels Winnipeg Chapter, which is an organization dedicated to building Western Canadian industry through early stage investing.

Kathi Neal

Kathi Neal is the Director of Development with the Lung Association, Manitoba. She is a strategic thinker with a passion for developing, delivering, and measuring communication strategies and marketing campaigns in the public and not-for-profit sectors. She has worked in communications and fundraising for over 20 years. Her background in public relations, combined with her strength in partnership-building and awareness-raising, helps her build capacity for worthwhile organizations.

Kevin Parsons

Kevin Parsons is currently Director, Business Development and Sales, with Precision Weather Solutions. He has extensive business experience, including co-founding Snap It Memories, for which he manages finances, branding, marketing, customer service and logistics. Kevin has also worked as a corporate consultant with an IT firm, an account manager with a communications firm, and in marketing and special events management. He has a Bachelor of Commerce in marketing and entrepreneurship. Kevin is a past board member for the Young Associates and Winnipeg Entrepreneur Exchange, and has participated as a coach and judge for business case competitions. Kevin was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Maria Penner

Maria Penner is a lawyer at Fillmore Riley LLP. She practices primarily in the areas of corporate, commercial, and corporate immigration law. She currently co-chairs the Securities Sub-Section, Manitoba Bar Association and holds the position of Vice-Chair of the Immigration Sub-Section, Manitoba Bar Association. Maria is fluent in Spanish. In her spare time, Maria is an avid runner and fitness enthusiast.

Justin Phillips

Justin Phillips is President and Founding Partner of Sycamore Energy Inc., a solar and renewable energy developer with clients throughout North America, Caribbean and Australia. He launched the business in 2009 and successfully acquired start-up grants and funding. In 2012, he pitched his idea on CBC Television’s Dragon’s Den. Justin previously owned and operated a digital marketing business and has an extensive sales and marketing background. His success in business has been recognized with several awards. Justin serves as an observer on the Board of Health Science Centre Foundation and is a member of the Economic Leadership Council of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. Justin was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Stephen Porco

Stephen Porco is a lawyer with Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP. His practice is concentrated in the area of corporate and commercial law, including commercial real estate transactions and development, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property matters. Stephen's practice also includes charities and non-profit organizations. Prior to becoming an Associate, Stephen spent the summers of 2011 and 2012 as a summer student with TDS LLP.

Chris Reichert

Chris Reichert is Vice-President of Blackwood Family Enterprise Services, a boutique planning firm that helps affluent families to communicate and reach consensus so ownership is transitioned in a way that ensures family relationships remains strong. His business experience includes sales, management and business ownership. Chris holds a Master of Business Administration (marketing major) and a Bachelor of Commerce in entrepreneurship and international business. He has been a keynote speaker at sales conferences and a guest judge for MBA case competitions. As a volunteer, Chris has delivered Christmas hampers and sandbags, was a winter storm rescue driver for Concordia Hospital, and cycled from Yellowstone to Winnipeg for Habitat for Humanity. Chris was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Michael Silicz

Michael Silicz is an Investment Advisor with National Bank Financial Wealth Management. He is a former Policy Analyst with both Manitoba Justice and the Consumer Protection Office. Also a solicitor, Michael has operated his own law practice. In addition to a Bachelor of Laws degree, he holds a Master of Public Administration in business/government relations. Michael is a member of the We Believe in Winnipeg Toastmasters Group, and is Past President of the Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties, and a Director of both St. Paul’s College Foundation and the University of Manitoba Alumni Association. Michael was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Jason Smith

Jason Smith is the Director of Special Events for the Canada Summer Games, taking place in Winnipeg July of 2017. Prior to this, Jason held roles as Director, 2016 Heritage Classic for the Winnipeg Jets, overseeing all aspects of the event & festival in Winnipeg, as well as of VP, Entertainment & Events for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and President of the 103 Grey Cup Festival. Jason has previously worked in several positions within the local, national and international music and event industries, including Manager, Music Programs at Manitoba Film & Music and Managing Director of The 2014 JUNO Awards.

Mary Beth Taylor

Mary Beth Taylor, CFRE, has over 20 years of experience in the charitable sector. A proud graduate of the University of Manitoba, she spent eight years on their alumni & development team. Mary Beth obtained her CFRE in 2003 and has taught numerous fundraising courses with topics ranging from the History of Philanthropy to Campaign Planning. She has also volunteered with AFP, CAGP, AMREF Canada, WWF-Canada, The Company Theatre, Best Buddies, HYTES, and her local community centre.

Mary Beth is thrilled to be part of The Creaddo Group and counts her son, Daniel, as her inspiration to devote her professional life to non-profit organizations. Daniel’s generation deserves healthy communities and a healthy planet.

Jill Winograd

Jill Winograd is the Vice President, Merchandising and Wholesale with EQ3 Furniture. She has worked with the company since 2004, beginning as an intern and working her way up through the ranks in various marketing, merchandising and sales roles. Jill has a Master’s of Business Administration from Queen's University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University of Manitoba. She is currently a board member of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation and her past community service includes the Young Associates, Jewish Federation and the United Way. Jill was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Bradley Zander

An Associate with MLT Aikins, Bradley Zander practices in the areas of corporate and commercial law. Originally from Brandon, Manitoba, he has lived in Halifax and, most recently, in Toronto, where he practiced corporate and commercial law at one of Canada’s top business law firms, advising national and multi-national clients such as Sirius XM Canada, Hudson’s Bay Company and Bauer Hockey. During the course of his career, he has provided pro bono legal advice to a number of charitable organizations. Brad was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

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