Who We Are

Our People

Staff

Sarah Wuntke

Executive Director

Sarah brings a wealth of leadership and management experience with perspectives gained at both the executive and board levels. A former Army Officer, she was responsible for leading finance, HR, and operations in a military hospital, and has since worked in operational advisory and communications strategy roles in public, private and non-profit organizations. She is currently the Board Chair of the Calgary Military Family Resource Centre. Sarah has post-graduate education in public relations and communications strategy, health services and non-profit management, and is widely regarded as a skilled relationship-builder.

She joined SVP Calgary as the Executive Director in December 2019.

Ranita Charania

Director of Partnerships and Community Impact

Ranita is passionate about creating meaningful impact in her local community. Her diverse background in Business, Education and Community Development and extensive experience working with corporate, diplomatic, government, not-for-profit and community-based organisations have included leadership roles in Canada and around the world including with the Aga Khan Development Network in Uganda, the Secretariat of His Highness the Aga Khan in France, and more recently as a Regional Manager of Community Relations in Calgary.

Ranita joined SVP in January 2020 as the Director, Partnerships and Community Impact.

Board of Directors

Dave Hughes

Board Chair

Dave has worked at Imperial Oil for more than 31 years, working in all aspects of the business. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from U of C and an MBA from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. He joined SVP Calgary in 2014 after becoming involved with SVP as a Fast Pitch coach, which attracted him to the engaged philanthropy model. Since then he has served on the Investment Committee multiple times, coached Fast Pitch for a second time and joined the Board of Directors in 2015. Dave became Board Chair in 2018.

Heather Poole

Vice Chair

Heather Poole is a business professional with more than 22 years of experience in the oil and gas pipeline sector, working in various commercial, operations and regulatory roles. She has a Bachelor of Commerce from UBC, an MBA from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. Heather joined SVP in 2016, after volunteering as a Fast Pitch Coach. The opportunity to learn about current Calgary area non-profits, to use her management and business skills to help them grow, and to meet other people with similar interests were the key reasons she joined. Since then, she has participated in the Investment Committee and joined the Board of Directors.

Chris McFetridge

Chris has more than 13 years of sales, marketing, and business development experience in the Oil & Gas industry. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Systems Engineering from the University of Regina.

Chris first became involved with SVP in 2015 as a fast pitch coach, and joined as a partner soon after. The model of skills based volunteering drew him to SVP, along with the opportunity to learn about the non-profit industry in Calgary. Chris has served as a fast pitch coach three times, served on the investment committee, and was part of the community impact task force. He joined the Board of Directors in 2020.

James Newson

Secretary

James is a Manager of Predicative Analytics at the Alberta Energy Regulator and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta, as well as an MBA from both Queens University and Cornell University. With 17 years of experience as an IT professional in the oil and gas industry, James has provided consulting services ranging from software development, solution architecture, product design, and business intelligence.

James joined SVP Calgary in 2014 for the opportunity to follow his donation and volunteer his expertise to empower non-profits. James has served on the investment committee, is currently the Secretary on the Board of Directors, and is a member of the Finance & Audit Committee.

David Pickersgill

An engineer by training, corporate executive by accident, and former business owner by good fortune, David left the work-for pay world of manufacturing/construction many years ago, to join the work-for-joy world of volunteering with child-serving organizations. He worked ‘hands-on’ with five such organizations, and has chaired or served on the Boards of thirteen others, both in Calgary and nationally.

Geoff Zakaib

Geoff is the President of Zakaib Strategies Inc. – a management consulting firm based in Calgary. He specializes in the areas of business technology and information management. Geoff has a strong interest in data and is involved in a number of initiatives that span the public, private and social sectors. He is a Director of Data for Good and the organizer of the Calgary chapter. He co-founded CivicTechYYC and has helped to build the civic tech ecosystem across Canada. Geoff is active in the Open Data / Open Government movements as the Executive Director of Open Calgary. He was previously a community member of the City of Calgary e-Government Strategy Advisory Committee and the External Advisory Committee of Civic Innovation YYC.

Geoff is passionate about the use of data and technology for social good. The initiatives that he has started provide opportunities for members of the community to volunteer their technical skills to help nonprofit / social organizations that are doing amazing work in our city.

Kathryn Waslen

Kathryn Waslen joined SVP Calgary in 2014 because she wanted an opportunity to work with others to help create and maintain a positive influence in our community. She loves the model, the partners involved, the learning and growth and the organizations we partner with. She wanted to serve on the SVP Calgary board because of the mutual belief with SVP that the community at large is at a turning point. Kathryn has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Texas Pan American. She is currently working in the wealth management industry with a particular focus on philanthropy.

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