Fast Pitch 2018 participantsFast Pitch Semi-Final - 2018 participants


Four charities crowned champs at The Showcase!

After 8 weeks of preparation and practice, four local charities were crowned Fast Pitch champions on March 14, 2018.

Grand Prize ($10,000 grant): Candace House
People’s Choice ($5,000 grant): North End Women's Centre
1st Runner Up ($2,500 grant): Snowflake Place for Children and Youth
2nd Runner Up ($2,500 grant): Islamic Social Services Association

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!

2018 Organizations/Presenters

Adoption Options Manitoba Inc.

Adoption Options was the first licensed private adoption agency in Winnipeg. They are a not-for-profit agency that facilitates domestic and international adoptions and provides information, education and counselling to birthparents, adoptive families, adoptees, professionals, and the publicAdoption Options believes in the dignity, value and worth of birthparents, the adoptive parents, and the adoptees.

Presenter: Bonnie Snow, Executive Director

Candace House Inc.

Candace House provides a safe and comforting home-like day refuge within one block of the law courts for victims and survivors of violent crime. Working closely with partners and community, they are also increasing access to holistic and culturally appropriate care by connecting victims and their networks with critical resources, referrals, training, and support services.

Presenter: Cecilly Hildebrand, Executive Director

Ethio-Canadian Dancers Group Inc. (Ethio-Canadian Cultural Academy Inc.)

Ethio-Canadian Cultural Academy was founded to introduce the beautiful culture of Ethiopia to Manitobans and Canadians as the whole. Ethio-Canadian Cultural Academy Inc. aims to develop, enhance, and promote recreation of various dance types and cultural diversity here in Manitoba. All their traditional dance, Amharic and Tigrinya language, cultural and heritage education programs are open to all who are interested. They hope to build cultural understanding between all the communities they operate in and serve.

Presenter: Yalembrhan Beyene, President

Green Action Centre Inc.

Green Action Centre promotes environmental action and education in Manitoba. Their mission is to encourage greener living by sharing practical solutions and a positive, proactive approach that individuals can take at home, work, or school. Key activities include the promotion of green commuting, composting education programs, an environmental speaker’s bureau for school presentations, waste reduction and sustainable living efforts, and their social enterprise, Compost Winnipeg (which collects organic waste from commercial and residential clients).

Presenter: Tracy Hucul, Executive Director

Holy Names House of Peace Inc.

Holy Names House of Peace is a refuge in the heart of the city, it is a life affirming community that empowers newcomer women to begin anew. The House of Peace is a safe and supportive home for 19 newcomer women in transition for up to two years. During this time, the women heal from past trauma, learn life skills, and move forward with their goals and dreams. The House of Peace also offers programs to the general community all year round.

Presenter: Maria Battaglia, Development Coordinator

Islamic Social Services Association Inc.

In collaboration with mainstream human services organizations, Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA) provides family, health, and social welfare services, inclusive of the many cultural and ethnic groups that comprise the Muslim communities of Manitoba. ISSA helps facilitate, bridge, navigate, advocate, collaborate, and educate through direct service and support to individuals and communities.

Presenter: William Barr, Chief Operating Officer

Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities Inc. (MLPD)

The Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) is a united voice of people with disabilities and their supporters that promotes equal rights and full participation in society while also facilitating positive change through advocacy and public education. MLPD is a cross-disability organization that has been working since 1974 to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, has the same access to opportunities.

Presenter: Jennifer Sande, Provincial Coordinator

Niigaanaki Day Care Centre Inc.

Niigaanaki Day Care Centre Inc. is a not-for-profit, charitable organization that is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Niigaanaki Day Care Centre is an established early learning centre licensed for 57 children from ages 2 to 12 years. The centre receives funding from the Government of Manitoba - Family Services as a licensed child care facility abiding by the Child Care Act/Rules and Regulations of Manitoba.

Presenter: Lois Coward, Executive Director

Nine Circles Community Health Centre Inc.

Nine Circles provides primary care services to Winnipeg's Downtown Point Douglas (minority or marginalized populations). Nine Circles provides comprehensive STBBI prevention, testing, and treatment services in Winnipeg. Nine Circles provides primary care, treatment, support, and care coordination for Manitobans Living with HIV.

Presenter: Mike Payne, Executive Director

North End Women’s Centre Inc.

North End Women's Centre is located on Selkirk Avenue in the North End of Winnipeg. They support women and their children on their chosen path of change through a variety of programs. Women can access a variety of programs when they are ready to work on their healing journey. These include a drop-in, individual and group counselling as well as support for and with their children. Women can also access addiction recovery, housing supports as well as support around sexual exploitation as a community participant.

Presenter: Cynthia Drebot, Executive Director

Rainbow Stage (1993) Inc.

Rainbow Stage is a unique Winnipeg artistic environment nestled in one of Winnipeg's three largest parks and the largest outdoor stage of its kind at 2,300 seats in Canada. Rainbow Stage has been a catalyst for many families in the creation of memories and family traditions. Rainbow Stage supports the artistic community while providing not only employment, but training as well.

Presenter: Julie Eccles, Executive Director

Skills Unlimited

Steps2work is a long-standing and respected not for profit employment service focused on assisting people with disabilities—primarily mental health issues and learning disabilities—to enter or re-enter the workforce. Steps2work assists clients to secure and maintain employment by providing a range of employment related services: vocational evaluation, employment services, and employment supports.

Presenter: Renee Greyeyes, Executive Director

Snowflake Place for Children and Youth Inc.

Snowflake Place for Children and Youth is a child advocacy centre which focuses on the needs of children and youth who have experienced abuse. The centre is designed to facilitate multi-system collaboration and foster best practices in child abuse investigations to ensure that child victims receive sensitive and immediate support in a child friendly setting that puts their needs first.

Presenter: Cheryl Martinez, Executive Director

Wayfinders Manitoba Inc.

Wayfinders is a community-based after-school mentorship and tutoring program that aims to provide all the necessary supports that students need to find success in high school, achieve high school graduation, and transition to a post-secondary program that speaks to their personal interests, talents, and goals. Through a multi-year mentorship-based relationship, Wayfinders works with low-income and underserved students facing barriers in finding success in high school.

Presenter: Meghan Loewen Cook, Director

Winnipeg Optimal Health Early Years Sports Club Inc. (OHEYS)

OHEYS Autism Programs is a registered charity in Manitoba that designs and delivers community-based activity programs for children and teens on the autism spectrum. We promote the principles of healthy children and families and the full and active participation of children with autism in our community.

Presenter: Bennetta Benson, Executive Director

2018 Coaches

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.

Florence Carey

Florence Carey is a Partner with MLT Aikins. She practises in the area of taxation, which involves corporate and personal tax planning, incorporations, corporate reorganizations, advice and assistance to small business and farm business, business succession and estate planning, as well as dispute resolution with CRA. She provides services to non-profit organizations and charities, including applications for charitable status, incorporations, corporate governance and bylaws, CRA compliance and audits, gift planning and general advice.

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, Tabasco, Target, and Mark's.

Mike Deluca

Mike Deluca is currently with RBC and is an accomplished business leader with an established track record of improving business strategy, growing business and delivering in high performance environments. He is an MBA graduate of the University of Manitoba and volunteers with a variety of organizations, including CancerCare Manitoba as well as the Asper School of Business.

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.

Carly Edmundson

Carly is a creative professional with more than 10 years of experience in marketing and communications. She has worked in a variety of industries, including prior positions at Winnipeg Airports Authority, Price Industries and Wellington West. As the Executive Director of Marketing & Communications for CentrePort, Carly enjoys building partnerships with local, national and international businesses and promoting the province's inland port to companies around the globe. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Young Associates and a volunteer coach for the Asper School of Business's JDC West Team Toba.

David Elrick

David Elrick is a Partner in the tax department at BDO Canada LLP. David regularly makes presentations 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 CPA with Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting and finance. His community interests include animals and the arts. For the last 10 years, he has volunteered his time at seniors’ tax clinics where he prepares tax returns for low income seniors. In 2016 and 2017, he was a coach in the Fast Pitch program.

Courtney Feldman

Courtney is President of HIGHStyle Image, a full-service impression management consulting and training company that offers training services in four key skills areas related to conveying lasting positive impressions: professional presences, podium protocol and presentation skills, performance and confidence, and social skills. As an Internationally Certified Impression Management Consultant® and Master Certified Civility Trainer®, Certified Culture at Work Trainer®, recognized by the International Civility Trainers’ Consortium (ICTC), Courtney has built upon her Honours degree from the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba and knowledge gained through past leadership and mentoring roles to become a leading expert in the field of impression management.

Kerry Fraser

Kerry Fraser is the Regional Manager of Marketing, Communications & Brand at CBC. She has amassed over almost 20 years’ experience in marketing, communications, and public relations in the private and public sector in cities across Canada.

Irene Friesen-Hughes

Irene Friesen-Hughes is a Certified Executive Coach and an experienced leader, learning and development professional, program and project manager, facilitator and board director with more than 20 years supporting diverse organizations within the not-for-profit and charitable sectors supporting women, the arts, newcomers, youth, Indigenous communities, HR professionals and healthcare providers. Irene believes that people are inherently whole and resourceful and sometimes benefit from objective, purposeful support to gain clarity, build resilience and design their intentional path forward. Irene is a strategic thinker with a compassionate heart, who is genuine and who generously shares her knowledge, experience and learning.

Cindy Goertzen

An entrepreneurial spirit, Cindy has worked in the private and public sectors at the local, national and international levels in a number of organizations in Canada and the U.S. Currently, she is COO and co-founder of Trivenity Corporation, which offers corporate development, corporate finance and bookkeeping for SMEs and NPOs alike. Cindy also co-founded Maira Group Inc., a majority owned Métis business, with her husband Dr. Andrew Goertzen, which specializes in medical imaging consulting. She is on the national board of Futurpreneur Canada and is Co-President of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance for the Canadian Delegation.

David Greaves

David Greaves launched Protexia in 2014 to help charitable non-profits take their fundraising performance to the next level. A professional fundraiser since 2004, David has organized annual campaigns, led project-based fundraising initiatives, and specialized in new donor development. Prior to his career in the philanthropic sector, David worked in technology sales in Calgary and in Winnipeg. He has also competed internationally as a bobsledder and now, as a volunteer, leads a bobsleigh and skeleton federation. David Greaves is passionate about the non-profit sector, as he aspires to help organizations achieve their goals through successful resource development.

Leah Inglis

Leah is a CPA and has previous case competition experience from University. She has competed in JDC West for 2 years. In 2014, she was on the JDC Tax Team where they placed second. Recently, she mentored 3 individuals writing the final CPA exam. She enjoys taking on mentorship roles and helping others.

Nicolas Joubert

Nicolas is a lawyer at MLT Aikins LLP pratising in the areas of corporate and commercial law as well as intellectual property law. He has significant experience providing advice to both start-up and tech companies on legal and general business matters. Nicolas holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (University of Winnipeg) and a Juris Doctor (University of Ottawa). Previously, he has worked as a management consultant and completed internships with both the federal government and a large multi-national corporation. He is passionate about refereeing soccer and has acted as a mentor for young referees in the province.

Jill Knaggs

Jill is an accomplished senior marketing leader with extensive experience solving problems, developing strategies and managing campaigns. She's created solutions that work across industries; from big business to niche not-for-profits. As a life-long Winnipegger, Jill is passionate about our city, our province and our future. Manitoba is a special place to do business and building communities. Jill has served on the board for KidSport Winnipeg, helped Assiniboine Park Conservancy develop a world-class volunteer program, supported The Winnipeg Foundation through their Fast Pitch series and provided strategic marketing support for organizations working to address critical issues for our city through Spark.

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.

Bruce Miller

Bruce Miller's passions in life revolve around sports, education and philanthropy. Until recently, he was Senior Development Officer of Indspire which is a national Indigenous-led organization dedicated to fundraising for programs directed towards Indigenous peoples. Prior to joining Indspire, Bruce was responsible for the Aboriginal Relations Strategy at United Way of Winnipeg as well as the Chair of the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management advisory board.

Bhavesh Mistry

Bhavesh Mistry is a Manager, Talent Acquistion – Operations and Analytics at London Life/Great West Lifeco Inc. He is a results-driven professional with over 10 years of experience developing and delivering practical solutions for internal and external clients. While in consulting, he was engaged with a broad range of clients across private, public, and not-for-profit sectors and industries. Included in his experiences are: human resources, talent management, organizational design, transformation and change management, total rewards (compensation), leadership development/ succession planning, executive and professional recruitment, employment policies/ procedures, continuous improvement, strategy and planning, risk and compliance, research and analytics, business planning, industry/labour market studies, and entrepreneurship training,

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.

Maria Penner

Maria Penner is a lawyer at MLT Aikins LLP. She practices primarily in the areas of corporate, commercial, and corporate immigration law. She has experience in the performing arts and enjoys singing. Maria is fluent in Spanish. She loves public speaking and running half marathons.

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, with a focus on corporate reorganizations and taxation issues, mergers and acquisitions and commercial real estate transactions and development. Stephen's practice also includes charities and non-profit organizations and intellectual property matters.

Debbie Ristimaki

Debbie Ristimaki is an experienced coach, facilitator, and writer. She has held a number of 'careers' with a major financial institution including leading and managing teams and has had the pleasure of working and coaching others across the country and internationally. She recently started her own company, Engaging Awareness, and calls herself the 'lead engager' as her mission is to support others through coaching and mentoring as they engage in life. She currently writes a column for a local paper and is a blogger and freelance writer. Originally from Montreal, she is enjoying life in her new adopted city of Winnipeg.

Michael Silicz

Michael Silicz is a portfolio manager and certified responsible investment advisor with wide-ranging experience in the public and private sectors. He serves as a director of the St. Paul's College Foundation and the Responsible Investment Association of Canada. Michael is a lawyer by trade, is the past president of the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties, and is a proud four-time graduate of the University of Manitoba. He is married and has an 18-month-old son named Elijah. Michael was also a Fast Pitch 2016 coach.

Jason Smith

Jason is Director, Special Events for the Canada Games in Winnipeg. He has held positions with the Winnipeg Jets, as the Event Director of the 2016 Heritage Classic, and the Blue Bombers as VP, Entertainment & Events and President, 103rd Grey Cup Festival. Jason previously worked in the national and international music and event industries, including as Managing Director of the 2014 JUNO Awards and Manager, Music Programs at Manitoba Film & Music. Passionate about growing Manitoba's arts industry, Jason has held board positions with the Manitoba Arts Council, Manitoba Music, the Western Canadian Music Alliance and Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers.

Mary Beth Taylor

Mary Beth Taylor, CFRE, has 25 years of experience including 15 campaigns. Held leadership positions at WWF (National Director of Development), Sunnybrook Foundation (Director of Planned Giving) where she spent 10 years establishing and managing fundraising (local, national and global) campaigns and worked at U of M, McMaster University, and U of T. She won the GOLD CASE VIII Award for Creativity, CCAE Gold Award for Outstanding work, and the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser by AFP. She was 50th on Ace Burpee's Top 100 Most Fascinating Manitobans 2016. She's on the Boards of SCE Lifeworks, Nordale Parents' Group, CancerCare Manitoba and AFP Manitoba (Diversity & Ethics Chair).

Kirk Vilks

Kirk Vilk is an associate Lawyer at Fillmore Riley. He grew up in Pinawa, Manitoba and received his Bachelor of Arts from McGill University. He was admitted to the Manitoba Bar in 2015. He is currently on the board of directors of the Manitoba Rowing Association and volunteers for Fillmore Riley's United Way fundraisers.

Delaney Vun

Delaney is a Partner at Fillmore Riley LLP practicing in the area of corporate and commercial law. She was raised in Winnipeg and graduated from St. Mary's Academy in 2003 and from U of M Law School in 2008. Currently, Delaney is involved in a variety of volunteer capacities: Director and Vice-President of the Manitoba Chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute; Committee Member of the Manitoba Organization of Disc Sports Women's Development Committee; and Committee Chair of The SMA Alumnae Business Networking Committee.

Courtney Weinstein

Courtney is a Lawyer with Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP. Her practice is focused in the areas of corporate and commercial law, with a concentration on mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations and commercial real estate transactions including financing, leasing and development. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba as well as the New York Law School.

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 & 2017 coach.

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