Chapter Board of Directors
President – Ron Smith, CFRE

Ron became our chapter President in October 2023. He currently serves as the Manager, Fund Development with Inn From The Cold

Professionally Ron has held several senior positions over the past seven years with an emphasis on education, ministry and healthcare. Today Ron spends his days as Development Manager with Inn From The Cold.

In his spare time, Ron enjoys being active with his family, reading, and serving others when able. He is currently completing a degree in Leadership from Trinity Western University and gained his CFRE.  Ron is looking forward to making a meaningful contribution to the AFP Calgary community and is hoping to do so in the position of President after the September 2023 AGM.

Past President – Marni Halwas

Marni has been working in the non-profit sector for over 20 years; her current role is Director of Fund Development with Accessible Housing Society. Marni’s interest in fundraising and philanthropy started at Calgary HandiBus Association in 1999.  Since then, Marni has worked as an Associate with ViTreo Group and with The ALS Society of Alberta.

Marni has experience in annual giving, prospect research, planned giving, events, major gifts and donor stewardship. She has a particular appreciation and understanding of small shop operations. Marni has worked with corporations, individuals, estates, foundations and service clubs.

In 2001 a supervisor recommended Marni get a membership with AFP Calgary & Area Chapter and begin to network, build skills and make connections in the sector. This interaction with chapter members and leaders is what really peaked Marni’s interest in the profession.

Marni first joined the AFP Calgary & Area Board in 2011 as Co-Chair of National Philanthropy Day, along with Lorie Abernethy.  Since joining the Board, Marni has held the roles of Every Member Campaign Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and President-Elect.  Marni is thrilled to hold the President position on the Board and looks forward to continuing to serve the Chapter and membership.

Marni’s personal interests include camping, boating, and outdoor activities.

Treasurer – John Dumonceaux, CFRE
John Dumonceaux

John has been in the non-profit sector for over a decade, starting with The Arthritis Society in 2007. His journey into the non-profit sector started while operating a local running store, getting involved with sponsorship, and joining many of their event committees. From this start he moved on to a twelve year stint in the post-secondary field, starting as a mat-leave cover with Sponsorship, and working up to a Senior Development role. Currently he works at Hull Services as Director, Development & Communications.

He has volunteered for many years with AFP; as Volunteer Chair for the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, In-person Webinar Host for many years, and four years on the Generosity of Spirit Jury.

When not helping out with AFP Calgary, he puts on his cowboy hat and volunteers for the Calgary Stampede Parade Committee. Starting in 1989 as a Street Marshal, he has volunteered the last 32 years with the parade, currently Chair of Entries, managing a team of over thirty who recruit content each year for the kickoff to the Stampede.  He also is a 30+ year volunteer with the Calgary Police Service and their Volunteer Resource Unit, and has over 20 years with a number of Calgary’s iconic road races.

John was honoured to earn his CFRE in 2013, with the expert mentorship of Vincent Duckworth, and is forever proud of his White Hat award from 1989. An avid outdoor enthusiast, he has run 47 marathons and counting, including the iconic Death Race!

Secretary – Candice McCarthy

Candice joined the AFP Calgary & Area board in the role of Secretary in Fall 2024.

During her daytime hours, she is a Philanthropy Advisor at Calgary Health Foundation.

Professional Development & Advancement – Cindy Ngo

Cindy started fundraising in 2013 before she even realized being a professional fundraiser is an excellent career path. Her journey started in a volunteer role for a school club while she was still a student at the University of Calgary. She was responsible for securing sponsorships for the club’s annual operations and gala.

Her next fundraising opportunity appeared during her internship at the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre. Cindy was not in a fundraising role at the time but she saw an opportunity to fundraise and ended securing a $2,500 grant for her program she was running.

At that moment, she knew fundraising was something she enjoyed and it helped make a difference in the community.

Cindy joined AFP in 2017 as a committee member because she loved planning events and bringing in new ideas. She wants to bring value to all members and create a community where seasoned and new fundraisers can both benefit.

Outside of fundraising, she loves food. She is a real foodie and is always out enjoying the best foods in Calgary. Wondering where to eat? She will have the answer for you.

National Philanthropy Day 2024 Chair  – Jason Lyver

Jason has been in the non-profit sector for over 14 years after starting at a regional branch of the Canadian Cancer Society. His love for this type of work has carried him on a successful non-profit career journey, working with such organizations as HIV Community Link and Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. Jason recently joined the team at Family Matters as their Director of Development. Previousy, Jason was the Director of Development position with Food Banks Alberta. Throughout his career, he’s gained valuable experience, on all aspects of fund development, and efficiently reaches his goals through community engagement, annual giving, major gifts, and planning gifts.

Jason enjoys giving back to his community. He has donated his time in many capacities with organizations in the province. He has volunteered with event planning for HIV Community Link and with Oneball, a charity that promote testicular cancer awareness. He currently volunteers as the Logistics Lead with ‘Look Good Feel Better’; an organization that helps woman living with cancer.

Since 2007, Jason has called Calgary home and appreciates what the city has to offer. He values healthy living and enjoys keeping active, whether that’s walking through Prince’s Island Park or joining a yoga class. He also enjoys travelling to and spending time in the mountains.

National Philanthropy Day 2024 Vice Chair – Kris Fernet

Kris joined the board in October 2023. He is the Senior Strategist and Digital Director with Touchworks Communications Inc..

For over 25 years, Kris has helped dozens of Canadian social impact organizations increase their Annual Giving Fundraising. With a strong focus on donor data maintenance and Direct Response Marketing, Kris is driven to improve fundraising programs with meaningful communications, accurate appeals, and timely reports.

Kris was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and continues living there with his partner, Deanna, and Sandy, a turtle. He is lucky to travel often to Kelowna, BC, and enjoys history and being in the outdoors.

Director – Derek Fraser, BA(H), CFRE

Derek is President of Derek D. Fraser Philanthropic Advisors Inc., a fund development consultancy in Calgary, AB. The firm’s current clients reach across a broad spectrum of non-profit organizations from independent schools, professional association foundations, performing arts organizations, and social service agencies, such as The Mustard Seed. Derek has worked in the non-profit sector since 1985 and has had the privilege of experiencing the width and breadth of fund development work with concentrations in annual giving, capital campaigns, major gift work both in Canada and abroad, Board development, strategic planning, alumni affairs, along with association organization and volunteer management. In July 2024, Derek will begin working with Global Philanthropic Canada as a Senior Consultant in the Calgary region.

Derek had previously been a part-time instructor with Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario, with their online non-profit studies program. He has also been a mentor, over the last 5 years, to almost 60 arts organizations through the “artsVest” national program administered by Business in the Arts. Derek first worked in marketing the Arts while working at the Shaw Festival Theatre in 1985, after completing an exciting fellowship program year at Disney’s EPCOT Center in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Derek served as chair of the AFP Canadian Council in 2013-2014 and is a past president of the Calgary & Area Chapter of AFP. He also served as Chair of the Major Gifts Committee for the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada, as well as committee roles for AFP Canada and AFP Global. Derek retired from the Board of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – AB/NT/NU Division in 2018 after 11 years and he also served on the Board of Youth Central in Calgary until January 2024 after 9 years of service. Derek is currently the Vice Chair of the Board of the Terminator Foundation in Calgary.

Derek holds a B.A. (Hons) in Film Studies from Queen’s University and earned his Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in 2004 with re-certifications in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2022.

Director – Sarah Hughes, CFRE

Sarah has served on the Chapter board for a few years, holding down the co-chair position for National Philanthropy Day in 2020/21.

Since 2023, Sarah has worked as the Director, Fund Development at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area. Over the past 20 years, she has helped many organizations achieve fundraising success.

Chapter Executive Director – Lorie Abernethy, MA, CFRE

Lorie Abernethy, MA, CFRE, Outstanding Fundraising Professional 2019, and a Past President of the Chapter Board, Lorie now fills the role of Chapter Executive Director since April 2022.

Lorie has focused her fundraising career in major gifts in the arts and education institutions. She moved into CEO/Executive Director roles and holds several board positions with non-profit organizations.

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AFP Calgary & Area Chapter