The Ontario Credit Union Foundation (OCUF) was incorporated May 11, 1979. Over the past 43 years we have supported credit unions and co-operatives with their philanthropic giving in communities across Ontario. OCUF receives oversight and strategic direction from a nine-member volunteer Board of Directors elected by members of the Foundation at the annual general meeting. The Foundation is similar to private and local community foundations in that it administers funds created by donors for specific charitable purposes. In addition to the 30 plus funds we manage, we maintain a general fund we use to support our main charitable activity, the support of youth education and leadership.
Charitable Registration #11906 7692 RR 0001
What We Do
We are a registered public foundation. What this means is we are registered with the Canada Revenue Agency and the Charities Directorate and as such have high standards (read that legal obligations) to uphold. We exist exclusively for charitable purposes. We are required to give more than 50% of our income annually to other qualified donees (e.g. registered charities) but are also permitted to carry out our own charitable activities. We receive funding from arm’s length donors.
Our primary activity is managing funds established by a donor that are held by the Foundation. These funds are gifted to the Foundation (ownership passed to OCUF) and we are required to ensure disbursements go to registered charities, support our charitable activity, or are moved to another foundation. The donor specifies where they wish the funds to go, or they may leave it to our discretion. We have two types of funds. Community Investment Funds and Permanent Capital Funds. Please refer to the Fund Information tab for more detailed information about our funds including out gift acceptance policy, fund description document, terms of reference for each fund type, and fee schedule.
We also offer services to member Credit Unions. We provide grant disbursement services for some of our credit unions. We also offer grant assessment and scholarship/bursary assessment. We have the advantage of being an independent, objective, third party which helps member organizations achieve their transparency obligations.
Additionally we conduct our own charitable activity in the form of a bursary program for financially deserving youth, resident in Ontario who are strong community citizens. Bursaries are granted to assist with post-secondary tuition at accredited college, university or vocational institutions.
“We partner with the credit unions of Ontario in support of youth education and leadership.”
With contributions from most of the credit unions of Ontario, we offer the CU Succeed Youth Bursary program for post secondary students (resident in the province) to assist financially deserving youth who are solid community citizens, with their tuition to accredited colleges, university and vocational institutions.
Board of Directors
Liisa Woolley, Chair – SVP Member Experience, Northern Credit Union
Liisa has a Bachelor of Arts & Science from the University of Windsor, with a specialization in Communications & Marketing. Liisa has worked in the credit union system for over 20 years, holding a variety of roles including Business Services, Sales, Marketing and Operations. Liisa provides overall organization management to assist in improving the lives of our members by developing and implementing tools and resources focused on using innovative strategies to help members succeed financially. She is actively involved in the credit union system, serving on several System Committees and Boards of Directors.
Liisa is an advocate for giving back to the community, and believes that credit unions have a responsibility to positively impact the communities they serve.
Frugina Ball, Vice Chair – Region Head, Member Experience, Greater Toronto Area, Alterna Financial Group
Frugina has over 25 years of Financial Services industry experience with the majority spent in senior leadership roles at both Alterna and a national Canadian Bank. These included the areas of Commercial Banking, Corporate Office, Wealth Private Client Services and Retail Distribution.
Specifically at Alterna, as part of her mandate, Frugina leads the growth and profitably of the branch portfolio; provides guidance and coaching to deliver superior member and customer experience in all channels; contributes to business development activities; overall leadership to the Retail branch teams in GTA, Wealth Management, Contact Centre and Affinity team oversight.
In her spare time, Frugina is a passionate champion of the benefits of a post secondary education. She has been an active volunteer in her high school, Toronto French School, as well as with Enactus Canada and her Church youth program. Frugina has an Honours Bachelor of Science from University of Toronto and obtained an MBA from Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario. She lives in Toronto with her husband and their daughter.
Adam Kirilo, Secretary-Treasurer – Vice President of Operations & Finance, Luminus Financial
Adam started in the Credit Union industry in 2006, joining the Audit Committee for Food Family Credit Union. Adam became Chair of the Board and an instrumental voice to lead merger discussions as his vision and determination proved influential amongst the other Directors. Adam continued his leadership on the Board as FFCU joined Luminus Financial in 2011. As Luminus Financial grew, its development fostered interest from Adam to join the Senior Management Team; to which he stepped down from the Board in early 2014 to live the dream of working for his Credit Union on a daily basis.
Adam is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University. He led the integration of an enterprise content management system, Laserfiche, and helped earn Luminus Financial a Run Smarter Award for Best Human Resources Initiative at the 2017 Laserfiche Empower Conference. He has governed a handful of minor sports organizations but currently enjoys watching his son play high level baseball and his daughter skate across the ice.
Chris Inniss, Director – CEO Mainstreet Credit Union
Chris Inniss, CEO & President of Mainstreet Credit Union, brings a strong and diversified background in financial services. A charismatic culture builder and big-picture thinker, Chris leads by example, fostering open communication and mentorship to empower his team to achieve the vision. Chris looks forward to transforming Mainstreet into a more digital organization while maintaining what differentiates us: caring for our members’ financial well-bring and our commitment to communities and local businesses.
In his down time, Chris enjoys spending time at home with his wife, daughter, and their three rescue dogs. He also enjoys making fun cocktails, competing in triathlons, travelling, and making connections.
Ken has a well-respected reputation in the credit union sector, leading PenFinancial in the position of CEO the last 4 years and prior to that spending 30 years with Meridian. Ken is a proud Business and Economics graduate of Brock University and has completed a variety of credit union focused courses in leadership, management and commercial banking practices. As a local Rotarian, Ken is very active in the community. He is a member of the board of directors for the Niagara Children’s Centre as well as the Red Roof Retreat in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ken’s co-operative and philanthropic efforts also extend nationally as a member of the board of directors for the Foundation for International Development Assistance, a Canadian Charitable organization that provides resources to rural communities in Haiti who are motivated to advance themselves economically. A life-long resident of Niagara, Ken and his wife Donna reside in St. Catharines and have three grown children. In his spare time, Ken enjoys travelling and keeping active by running and golfing.
Jason Moran has been part of the Credit Union system for over eighteen years, with the majority of his experience taking place within Manitoba and Ontario. Throughout his career, Jason has held virtually every retail branch position. “Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves” As a lifelong learner, he earned his MBA in 2017 and has completed education in areas such as Business Administration, Human Resources, Leadership and Innovation. He values the importance of community involvement and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Ontario National Young Leaders Committee and helped establish the Growing Minds Childcare Centre in Manitoba. Jason enjoys Tillsonburg and time with his daughters and wife and is looking for opportunities to contribute to the community.
Randy Murray, Director – Vice President Retail Branches, FirstOntario
Randy Murray is a financial industry executive with over 30 years of strategic leadership experience. Throughout his career Randy has always pursued his passions of developing people-focused work cultures and leading and motivating teams in surpassing organizational goals and expectations. A seasoned sales and operations professional, Randy contributed to the success of a number of financial institutions and service providers prior to joining FirstOntario Credit Union in 2009. Randy’s demonstrated track record of leading FirstOntario’s retail branch networks to deliver exceptional member experience and achieve sustained performance and growth resulted in his rapid progression through increasingly senior roles from Regional Director, Member Experience to Associate Vice President, Member Experience, and being elevated to his current position as Vice President, Retail Branches in 2019. Randy lives in Ancaster and loves spending time with his family, and he plays hockey and golf in his spare time.
Mimi Regimbal has worked with Sudbury Credit Union for more than 25 years. She began her career with the Credit Union as a part time teller, moving from there into the marketing area, and then to finance once she received her professional designation as a Certified Management Accountant. Prior to becoming CEO in 2009, she held the position of CFO. Mimi also holds a designation of Associate of the Credit Union Institute of Canada. In the credit union system, she is a member of the Central 1 Payments Advisory Committee and the CUSA Board (Credit Union Services Association). In her community she is a board member with the Sudbury McCulloch Hospice Foundation Board; the treasurer for a local Community Action Network and she also serves on parent council of her son’s high school. Mimi is a life-long resident of Copper Cliff, and very proud mom of her daughter and son.
Elisabeth is an independent business consultant educated and working in the fields of Hospitality Administration and Accounting since 1983. A lifelong passion, Elisabeth continues to hone her skills by taking courses to study the latest advancements. This allows her to ensure she provides the highest level of service to her clients; consistent with the commitment WFCU Credit Union has to its members. Elisabeth has been involved in the credit union system for many years as a member and serving in a variety of committee and board capacities. From 1999 – 2009, Elisabeth served on the Board of Motor City Community Credit Union in Windsor; six and half terms as Vice President, seven terms as Audit Committee Chair and three terms as Board Chair. In 2012, she was elected to the Board of WFCU Credit Union and continues to serve on the Audit Committee. Elisabeth is a graduate of the Credit Union Directors of Ontario Achievement program and continues to attend seminars, conferences and meetings to continue to expand her credit union and co-operative system education. Elisabeth is a consultant and member of the Sage Accountants Network serving as a Premier Advisor; past board member of the Southwestern Ontario Credit Union Chapter; and past Executive Committee member of the Windsor and Essex County Directors’ Association in Windsor.
Guido Chezzi, Retired Executive
Guido Chezzi has been involved with the Credit Union for 50 years. He was Vice Chair of the Ontario Credit Union Foundation and has received an achievement award from this organization. He has facilitated with young co-op leaders and has received a “Youth Mentorship Award” from the ON co-op. He was an avid member of Northern Credit Union. In June he received “Safety Recognition” for presenting to co-op students in various high schools about job safety in the workplace. His presentations covered the “Industrial Accident Prevention Association” in Toronto. Guido has managed the Credit Union for 15 years as a founder of the Coniston community. He was the chapter president in Sudbury for 33 different Credit Unions throughout the city. He also sat on the Cumis Board for 10 years on the International Program Committee and spent another10 years being a part of the Canadian Cooperative Association. Guido also dedicated his time in Africa working with various Credit Unions. He was a volunteer fireman for 35 years as well as being a community Lions Club member. He worked at INCO for 38 years. He has been married for 48 years and enjoys spending time with his wife Carol, their 2 daughters and their 5 grandchildren.
Tony Niessen, Executive
Tony Niessen has been involved in the credit union system since 1967 and was CEO of Family Savings & Credit Union until 1999 when he became CEO of FirstOntario. During Tony’s tenure with Family Savings, his credit union was honored at that time, to be the only credit union in Canada to receive the National Economic Community Development Award twice, as well as the St. Catharines Corporate Achievement Award in company with General Motors, TRW and Dana Corporation. Tony initiated the Ontario Group of 12, is Past Chair of the Credit Union Executive Society Ontario Council, and was a director of CUMIS Insurance. Tony’s involvement with the Charitable Foundation began in 1987 as a Director until the board hired him into the position of the Foundation’s first permanent Executive Director in 2005. From its very beginning, Tony has been a strong proponent of the Foundation leveraging its funding through partnerships with Ontario’s credit unions.
Clayton Shold, Executive Director
Clayton brings more than three decades of proven leadership and business development experience to OCUF, having held a series of increasingly senior positions with several of Canada’s largest and most prominent financial institutions. As VP Marketing Services with Foresters, a member based insurance organization, he lead the successful pilot for a major change initiative across Canada, the U.S. and U.K. In 2009, he decided to bring those leadership skills to the not-for-profit sector, where he fulfilled a successful mandate as the Executive Director of a children’s charity in Toronto. A lifelong volunteer, Clayton is Board Chair of Knox Heritage Place, a not-for-profit 80-unit seniors residence in Oakville. He is the Board Chair of the Oakville Milton Humane Society, and is President of the Canadian Club of Halton. Clayton and his wife are avid golfers and share their home with their eight year old boxer.
We invite you to review information by clicking on the document cover above. A PDF version will be downloaded. Step one – identify if a community investment fund (CIF) or a permanent capital fund (PCF) will best serve your purpose. The CIF is sometimes known as “flow through” fund, where you may donate a larger amount to it, then make a series of disbursements through out the year. The PCF is more of a “legacy” fund where the donated “capital” is preserved, and income from the fund is disbursed. Step two – complete an application form which details the fund purpose, who can provide instruction, etc. Step three – a deed of gift is prepared and signed by the donor(s) and OCUF.
At any time, we welcome you to contact us so we can answer any questions you may have. We are happy to walk you through the application process should you wish to establish a new fund. Income tax receipts are available for all eligible gifts (donations) to Ontario Credit Union Foundation.
An annual membership in your Foundation provides a host of tangible and intangible benefits, including:
- Membership in a charitable organization which funds the CU Succeed Youth Bursary
- The opportunity to make a difference in your own community with like-minded individuals
- Be part of a provincial organization showcasing credit unions of all sizes who are promoting charitable giving in Canada
- Access to our quarterly newsletter
- A tax receipt for your membership fee
- The opportunity to set up a monthly recurring donation from your credit card to support youth education and leadership
- Eligible to vote at the Annual General Meeting
- Eligible to be nominated to become a member of our Board of Directors
- Sleep well at night, knowing you have helped a deserving student get a step closer to achieving their dreams.
All for $20.
Credit Union Members
We are proud to support the credit unions in Ontario. Collectively we make a difference in communities throughout the province.
- Comtech Fire
- Creative Arts**
- Dundalk & District
- Fort York Community
- Health Care
- Healthcare & Municipal Employees’
- Heritage Savings
- IC Savings
- Kingston Community
- LIUNA Local 183
- Luminus Financial
*Alterna, or a division of Alterna Savings **A division of First Ontario ***A division of WFCU Credit Union
- Member Savings*
- Motor City Community
- Moya Financial
- Northern Birch
- Ontario Educational
- Oshawa Community
- Peterborough Community*
- Quinte First*
- Southwest Regional
- The Energy
- The Police
- Thorold Community
- WFCU Credit Union
- Your Neighbourhood
- Your CU
For a one time (tax receiptable) donation of $500 you can become a Lifetime Member of the Foundation. Many of the following people have been supporters of the Foundation for many years and others have received their Lifetime membership in recognition of their faithful and dedicated service to their credit union or co-operative association as directors or management.
We are proud to display this list of growing names:
- Donald Altman, City of Toronto
- Jerry Andrijiw, CEO Sunnybrook CU
- Donna Bailey
- James M. Barr
- David Bird
- Stewart A. Black
- Howard Bogach
- Stephen Bolton, Libro Credit Union
- Tim Bossence
- Phil Braginetz
- Barry Brydges
- John Burgman
- Earl Campbell, Director Alterna Bank
- Mary Cardamone
- Julio Catani
- Guido Chezzi, Director Emeritus OCUF
- Carol Chezzi
- Sharon Clarke
- Bruce Corbett
- Mac Davidson, Northern Credit Union
- N. Dianne Craig
- Ralph Dietrich
- Denis Empringham
- Francis Evershed
- James G. Frank
- Marty Gillis, WFCU Credit Union
- Fred Gorbet
- David Gunderson
- Blake Halladay
- John M. Harper
- Rick Hoevenaars, Libro Credit Union
- Mike Howard, Picuz
- Edward Howes
- Harry Joosten, Libro Credit Union
- Carole Kalil
- Sandy Kennedy
- Scott Kennedy, Copperfin Credit Union
- John D. Kwekkeboom
- Mel Lang
- Jean Lederer
- Audrey J. Lee
- Wayne D. Lee
- Bob Lockwood
- Sheena Lucas
- Ralph Luimes
- Paul Mackley
- Heather MacDonald
- James G. Maxwell
- Murray McDiarmid
- Phil Moore
- Denise Morneau
- Jack Morneau
- Kathleen Murphy
- Don Nicholls
- Tony Niessen, Director Emeritus OCUF
- Rob Paterson, Alterna Credit Union
- Terry Pepler
- Andy Poprawa
- Michael Porter
- Beryl Roberto
- Doug Robinson
- Ian B. Russell
- Ed Sarnecki, Ed Sarnecki & Associates
- Dave Schurman, FirstOntario Credit Union
- Peter Scott, Unifor Local 199
- Joe Simpson
- Dave Sitaram
- Judy Skinner, Donor
- Jack Smit
- Albert W. Suraci, Northern Credit Union
- Elizabeth Thorn
- Tina Vander Helm
- William J. Vanidour
- Paul Vayda
- Deb Vickers
- Bryon J. Walker
- Jean Wansbrough, Donor
- Dorothy Watson, Central1
- Scott Windsor, Meridian CU
- Dennis Wipp
- Christine Zawadzki, C.Z. & Associates