The Ontario Credit Union Foundation (OCUF) was registered in 1979. Over the past 40 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 45 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
Dan is currently the Chief Marketing & Community Relations Officer of Pace Credit Union headquartered in Vaughan. He started his credit union career in 1992 with North York Community Credit Union. Dan has experience in community relations and marketing but is also a Certified Financial Planner. He is active in his community both personally and professionally. For Pace he oversees such charitable initiatives as Pace Polo for Heart which raises $200,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation annually, the Pace Bursary Awards which provided over $62,000 of financial assistance to Pace members for post secondary education last year and the Pace Golf Classic which substantially funds the Bursary Award program. Outside of Pace, Dan sits on the Southlake Regional Health Care Centre Fundraising Committee and he’s a coach for the Aurora Panthers Girls Hockey Association. Dan and his wife Sheryl live in Newmarket with their three daughters.
Joel Lalonde is the CEO of Your Credit Union in Ottawa. Your Credit Union has been a long time supporter of the Foundation and Joel is happy to bring over 20 years of co-operative passion to the board. DICO, the caisses populaires and now Your Credit Union have allowed Joel to express his entrepreneurial spirit and demonstrate his level of dedication. Most of his free time is enjoyed at the cottage with his spouse Lisa and their wonderful daughter Emily.
Joanne Battaglia is a strategic marketing professional with over 25 years of experience in retail, B2B and the financial services industry. She has held senior Marketing positions with such companies and Dylex, Diversy, Kodak, CUMIS and Canadian Tire Financial Services. She joined FirstOntario Credit Union in 2011 as Director of Marketing & Product Strategy and held this role for several years. In 2018, she was promoted to the role of Vice President Marketing, Communications & Community Partnerships. In this role, Joanne leverages her marketing expertise, passion for community social responsibility and innovative approach to business to create impact in the communities that FirstOntario serves.
Joanne is active in the community, and is regularly seen supporting FirstOntario’s corporate sponsorship at various community events. She also serves as Vice- President on the Stoney Creek Chamber board, Director on St. Joseph’s Villa Foundation board and Director on the Hamilton Bulldogs Foundation.
Joanne resides in Stoney Creek with her husband, and as two children off attending university and pursuing their dreams.
Kevin is the Chief Marketing Officer at Comtech Fire Credit Union. In addition, he oversees the business development/partnerships business of the Credit Union. He has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, the last ten in the Credit Union system. Previously Kevin held the positions of Vice President, Sales & Service with Northern Credit Union and Chief Executive Officer of Fire Services Credit Union prior to its merger with Comtech. Kevin has served on the Board of the Canadian Fire Fighters Museum in Port Hope, and is the lead organizer of Comtech Fire’s Annual Charity Golf Tournament that has raised over $60,000 for the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation, with which he serves as an official Ambassador.
Kevin resides in Oakville with his wife Marisa, daughter Cassandra and Great Dane Luna.
Adam Kirilo is the Vice President of Operations & Finance at Luminus Financial. He started in the Credit Union idustry 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.
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.
As Meridian’s Vice President, Corporate Communications, Scott Windsor is focused on positively shaping Meridian’s brand among its Members, stakeholders and employees. Scott oversees the development and implementation of Meridian’s internal communications, media relations, issues management and corporate social responsibility strategies.
Since joining Meridian in 2005, Scott has supported a variety of initiatives including a brand re-launch, amalgamation with the former Desjardins Credit Union, and most recently led the development of Meridian’s first corporate social responsibility strategy and governance model which was approved by Meridian’s Board of Directors in 2013. Prior to joining Meridian, Scott held a number of positions in RBC Financial Group’s corporate communications team. He started his communications career at the multi-national public and government relations agency GPC International/Howe & Company where he worked on a variety of clients including CIBC, Drive Clean and the Metro Toronto Housing Authority. He has received numerous communications awards and recently received the International Association of Business Communicator’s Mentor of the Year award.
Liisa’s passion for the Credit Union system started over 20 years ago when she started as a summer student at Northern Credit Union. Since then she has committed her professional career to improving the lives of members by developing and implementing innovative solutions designed to help members succeed financially. As Chief of Member Experience with Your Neighbourhood Credit Union Liisa is responsible for overseeing the organizations marketing strategies as well as all member facing channels. She is actively involved in the credit union system, serving on several System Committees and Boards. 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.
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 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 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 the Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation. A lifelong volunteer, Clayton is currently the Board Chair of Oakville & Milton Humane Society. He sits as a Director on the Board of the Canadian Club of Halton and as a Director on the Deerfield Members Association. Clayton and his wife are avid golfers and live in Oakville with their two boxers.
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.
- Auto Workers
- Community First**
- Comtech Fire
- Creative Arts
- Fort York Community
- Health Care
- Healthcare & Municipal Employees’
- Heritage Savings
- IC Savings
- Kingston Community
- Luminus Financial
*A division of Alterna Savings
**A division of Your Neighbourhood Credit Union
- Member Savings
- Motor City Community
- Moya Financial
- Ontario Educational
- Oshawa Community
- Ottawa Police
- Peterborough Community*
- Quinte First
- Southwest Regional
- The Energy
- Thorold Community
- Toronto Municipal Employee Savings*
- WFCU Credit Union
- Your CU
- Your Neighbourhood
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
- Jack 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
- 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
- Michael Shepherd, FirstOntario Credit Union
- 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