Education and outreach activity in Canada is carried out by a not-for-profit Support Association, led by active volunteers. Investment administration is managed by staff in our international office in Amersfoort, the Netherlands.
Oikocredit Canada Support Association led by a volunteer board and have responsibility for carrying out Oikocredit's grass roots education and outreach initiatives. These include representing Oikocredit at local events, as well as mounting webinars, workshops and annual meetings to educate the public about investment and development, and Oikocredit's work around the world.
Oikocredit Canada Support Association
From left to right top row: Will Postma, Karen Tsang and Julie Scott
From left to right middle row: Omar Allam, Carla Pellegrini, Brigid McQuaid and Jack Bolland,
From left to right last row: Vaishali Dassani, Ellen Pekilis, and Lindsay Wallace
Formed in 2016 from local support associations in Ontario and western Canada, Oikocredit Canada is one of about 30 support associations around the world. Our mandate is to educate Canadians about the value of investment and development, and the work of Oikocredit. As a Support Association of Oikocredit, we are a proud member of the Oikocredit international co-operative. We participate in the international Annual General Meeting and have contributed to international working groups and committees. We receive our funding from Oikocredit International and from fees from our members.
We are a non-profit association incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act and have been operating in this capacity for more than a decade. But our volunteers have been active in Oikocredit for much longer. In the past 30 years, several of our volunteers have served with distinction as Directors of the International Board.
Oikocredit Canada Board of Directors
Julie Scott, Director/Chair, Toronto ON
Julie has worked for 20 years in environmental, social and governance (ESG) research and policy. Her work has focused on incorporating ESG data in investment decision-making, including engaging with stakeholders on ESG risks. Julie has worked in Europe as an environmental policy consultant and in the Far East as a forest products analyst. Julie has a long-standing interest in governance and has obtained the Institute of Corporate Directors ICD.D designation. Julie currently serves as a director on the boards of social enterprises, including Career Edge and the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services. Other passions include hiking on and preserving the Niagara Escarpment through re-forestation programs and supporting newcomers to Canada and refugee sponsorship programs.
Jack Bolland, Director, Toronto ON
Jack has worked at the intersection of humanitarianism and sustainable development.In the Asia-Pacific, he developed risk management strategies and climate change resilience at the national level and international UNFCCC negotiations. He evaluated FDI & Overseas Development Strategies for the World Bank and the Department for International Development (DFID) with the British Government. During the days, Jack works at the City of Toronto on urban planning, design and new development. His passion for OikoCredit Canada lies in remodelling the stigma surrounding impact investing and ESG standards In Canada to maximize our triple-bottom line impact. Jack holds a BA (Honours) in Economics from Queen’s University and an MSc in International Development & Management from the London School of Economics (LSE).
Ellen Pekilis, Director, Toronto ON
Ellen Pekilis is an independent board director with expertise in governance, risk management, and strategic planning. She was formerly General Counsel with CSA, a major not-for-profit with 22 subsidiaries in 14 countries. She was accountable for global enterprise risk management, compliance and privacy in addition to legal services. She has global M & A and post-acquisition integration experience and writes about organizational governance and women in leadership. Her board experience includes CADTH; Endeavour Consulting for Non-profits; and the College of Optometrists. For the College, Ellen Chairs the Quality Assurance Review committee, is past Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, and Chairs discipline tribunals as required.
Carla Pellegrini, Director, Vancouver BC
Carla has over ten years of experience in non-profit and for-profit community development, social finance and operations management. She is currently the Executive Director at Food Stash Foundation's, a Vancouver-based charity working to improve food security while reducing the environmental impact of food waste. Prior to this role she managed the strategic and day-to-day operations at New Market Funds, a certified B Corp impact investing firm in Canada for four years. Previously, she served as Sonder's Head of Operations where she launched the hospitality tech start-up's Vancouver team and operations. Prior to moving to Canada, she worked abroad with One Acre Fund in Kenya and the US Peace Corps in Nicaragua. She is passionate about facilitating community-driven positive impact through a systems-level lens. She holds an MPA from Columbia University and a BA from Boston College. In her free time, Carla enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and serving on the volunteer boards of BC Pets and Friends and Oikocredit Canada. At Oikocredit she leads the organization's product development work.
Lindsay Wallace, Director, Toronto ON
Lindsay Wallace is a senior economist and impact measurement specialist with over 20 years of experience in economic development and financial inclusion. She is currently an independent consultant and Senior Associate with Limestone Analytics where she supports clients in strategy, impact measurement and evaluation. Previously she was Head of Impact for the Mastercard Foundation where she oversaw strategy, impact measurement and evaluation for the Foundation’s over $3B of committed investments. She was previously Deputy Director of the Financial Inclusion program where she managed $500m of blended finance investments. Lindsay previously led economic growth programming for the UK Department for International Development in Rwanda, including programming in trade, climate change, agriculture, land tenure reform and financial inclusion. She also has public finance experience working with Ministries of Finance in Ontario, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Guyana in budget reform, expenditure forecasting and fiscal transparency. She lives in Toronto with her husband, son and daughter.
Will Postma, Director, Toronto ON
Will Postma is the Executive Director at the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), the humanitarian and development arm of the Anglican Church of Canada. His current work with PWRDF is to ensure oversight of operations and programs in maternal and newborn child health, sexual health and reproductive rights and food security. Will has published papers and other learning materials on Participatory Development, Capacity Building and Results Based Management. He has carried out primary research on state and civil society dynamics in West Africa. He has taught, led and facilitated class work in secondary school, college and university settings and is glad for the important social impact investment work of Oikocredit.
Karen Tsang, Director, Toronto
Karen Tsang is a risk, governance, and operations professional with experience spanning the financial services, healthcare, government, and not-for-profit sectors. She is currently Director, Global Enterprise and Operational Risk at Manulife Financial Corporation where she oversees Manulife’s global risk management framework and risk operations such external financial reporting and advanced risk analytics development. Previously, Karen has worked with organizations such as Bank of Montreal, Great-West-Life, and the Scarborough Hospital to develop and mature their risk management and governance programs.
In addition to volunteering on the OikoCredit Canada board, Karen is also a managing consultant for the Zambian Tennis Association, supporting the linkage of Tennis and youth development in the country, and has previously served as Disaster Management Team Lead with the Canadian Red Cross and Board Director at Asian Community AIDS Services in Toronto, Canada. Karen holds an M.Sc. in International Management from the University of Liverpool, U.K., and a B.A. Honours in International Development from York University in Canada.
Omar Allam, Director, Toronto
Omar Allam leads Deloitte’s new Global Trade & Investment (GTI) group in Canada, with a focus on international trade, foreign direct investment, export development, and social impact services. He is also a core member of the Economic Advisory and Financial Services Advisory practices based in Ottawa.
Omar advises CEOs and leadership teams of North American organizations on their global expansion, and to leading multinationals on their growth in North America, EMEA, and APAC – while factoring in political risks, ESG, and CSR obligations. Prior to joining Deloitte, Omar founded a Canadian-based global business strategy consulting firm, where he served as CEO and global trade practice leader. He has previously worked on a wide range of projects in more than 25 countries around the world as a senior consultant with the World Bank, as a senior advisor with several MBB firms, and as a Canadian trade diplomat at Global Affairs Canada.
Omar is a regular guest on BNN Bloomberg and CBC News and has been quoted in a number of publications, including Forbes Magazine, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Omar holds degrees in business, geography, and environmental studies from Bishop's University and an executive certificate in international negotiations and mediation from the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs. He speaks English, French and Arabic.
Vaishali Dassani, Director, Toronto
Vaishali Dassani has over 15 years of experience in communications in the non-profit sector. She started her career in policy communication with International Food Policy Research Institute in South Asia and later with International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture in the Middle East. She is currently working with CDF Canada. Vaishali is a creative communication professional with knowledge of developing impactful and effective communications outputs that connect with multiple audiences/clients globally.
Oikocredit Canada Staff
Brigid McQuaid, Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper
Brigid began her career as a cartographer mapping her region of Canada. Her concerns moved global, and after assisting the Social Investment Organization (now the Responsible Investment Association). She helps Oikocredit Canada as an administrative assistant, in support of Oikocredit International's objectives.
Please contact us if you would like one of our volunteers to come and speak to your group. We love to share our Oikocredit story!