2019 Annual General Meeting

View the 2019 election results and officer assignment.

The 2019 Annual General Meeting of the Toronto Humane Society will be held

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 6:00pm

Ramada Plaza Hotel - Ballroom

300 Jarvis Street (north of Gerrard St., south of Carlton St.)

The meeting is open to all members of the Toronto Humane Society, although voting privileges are restricted to members who live or work within 60km of the shelter.

Becoming a Director

There are 15 seats on the Toronto Humane Society Board of Directors; six are up for election at the 2019 AGM.

AGM Material

Members will be asked to approve:

Open House

We’ve created a special “Ask Me Anything” member/volunteer event at Open House on Sunday, May 26 at 3:00 pm. If you have questions you can talk to Board members and senior staff, one-on-one in a relaxed and casual environment. Members will also be able to meet and speak with the candidates face-to-face. Of course, that’s not the only reason to come to the Open House – we’ve got tours, a bake sale and lots of family-friendly activities planned for the weekend of May 25 -26. For the first time, we are part of Doors Open Toronto which provides an opportunity to see inside some of Toronto’s most architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city.

Candidates for Board of Directors

Succession planning is integral to the success of any organization, and the THS is no different. The Board has a responsibility to plan for leadership transition. It looks at the competencies and expertise that will be needed in the longer term to ensure optimal organizational effectiveness. In order to achieve and maintain the balance of expertise required to oversee our charity, in addition to a commitment to animal welfare, skills such as fundraising, finance, governance, information technology, property and facilities and veterinary medicine are especially needed. This year, six seats on the Board of Directors are up for election. Candidates were invited to meet with members of the Nominating Committee to discuss their skills, interests and ways they can help the THS.

The Board is recommending six candidates whose professional qualifications, knowledge and experience appear to best fit the Board’s needs and will help ensure the continuing success of the Society through strong and effective leadership:

Shelley Austin
As an experienced animal welfare advocate, I feel that I am qualified and invested in Board governance for the THS, from both a rescue and policy perspective. As a Director on the THS Board for the past three years, I have actively contributed to enlightening Board members on the elements of successful re-homing of animals in the care of the THS, as well as assisting in adapting existing key policies, as Chair of the Animal Welfare Committee, which adhere to the Strategic Plan of the organization.

With extensive knowledge of rescue practices combined with the current movement toward shelter-pet adoption, I feel that I can continue to serve the THS animals and members well, advocating to save more lives than ever.

David Bronskill
I am excited to stand for election to return to the Board of the Toronto Humane Society. As a lawyer, after two years’ absence following a six year term, I welcome the opportunity to serve again on the Board to continue the ongoing evolution of the THS into a leading animal welfare organization. The THS has already made incredible progress since 2009, and I was privileged to play a small role as Board Chair, and in some initiatives such as the low-cost spay/neuter clinic and the member code of conduct.

In returning to the Board, I would like to focus on expanding our role in the local community through the provision of low-cost veterinary services, and more broadly through expanded advocacy on animal welfare issues, including leadership in making the Greater Toronto Area a successful no-kill community.

Mark Dilworth
Animals are my life – I currently live with five dogs! I am also a veterinarian and co-owner at Beaches Animal Hospital. Previously, I practised emergency medicine at a 24-hour hospital and an emergency clinic.

BAH is dedicated to helping rescue groups. Our amazing staff understand the importance of rescue groups, having critical access to veterinary services to enable animals to be treated and moved into forever homes. This is also why BAH has its own successful adoption program. I am also proud of BAH’s close relationship with the Toronto People with AIDS.

Over the years, I have been privileged to work with the veterinary staff at the THS and the Toronto Wildlife Centre to assist with advice and services. Seeking election to the Board seems a natural progression in this relationship and I look forward to working with staff to facilitate THS’s ongoing evolution into the leading animal shelter.

Kathy McDonald
I have been a volunteer with the Toronto Humane Society for over ten years. This experience, together with what I have learned from volunteering with other rescues including Toronto Street Cats and the Toronto Wildlife Centre, enables me to bring an important perspective to the board. I have very much enjoyed my three years as a board member. My goal is to serve another three year term during which more can be done to further the goal of the Toronto Humane Society to promote the humane care and protection of all animals and to prevent cruelty and suffering.

I have been involved in the world of animal rescue and animal welfare for over a decade now when I started feeding at two feral cat colonies, and became a foster home for Annex Cat Rescue. In May of 2008 I became a kitten feeder with the Toronto Humane Society. I’ve continued since then to volunteer weekly in the shelter. As well I have fostered over 100 animals: pregnant queens, moms and kittens as well as dogs and puppies. I have also had the privilege of fostering several animals who required palliative care. I am currently a feline enrichment volunteer; my favourite part of my weekly shift (other than socializing kittens) is to visit with the cats who are in isolation and require specialized medical attention.

I am a lawyer, called to the Bar in Ontario in 1981. I work full time as in house counsel for a non profit Canadian charity. My education and work experience are also extraordinarily helpful and provide good insights for me as a member of the board and its committees.

I’m very proud of the work done by the Toronto Humane Society and I hope to be able to continue to contribute to it as a member of the board. Thank you.

Diane Patterson
My knowledge and understanding of insurance and risk (as well as animal rescue) would help avoid possible financial risk to the organization. Previous experiences both in the insurance field and as a member of a rescue organization have provided considerable round table discussion situations. I have a very logical mind when considering processes and objectives, looking at the pros and cons of situations as well as potential risks including financial and reputational. I am very dedicated to animal rescue, having been involved in various capacities for most of my life.

Stephen Steele
I am a current THS Board member and Secretary-Treasurer of the Society. I am hoping to serve for another two years, after which I will have fulfilled my term limit under THS’ bylaws. Using my more than 30 years of Finance and Treasury experience with a major multinational company, I have strengthened THS’ financial security and introduced strategic planning to ensure the future sustainability of this organization we all know and love.

As Chair of the Audit and Finance, Strategic Planning and Budget Committees, I have helped THS to develop balanced budgets, eliminate debt, and grow a solid “rainy day” fund. As a result of skilled financial management, the shelter is now on a much firmer footing and can continue to provide animal care in case of unforeseen or unexpected events.

I know, very personally, the incredible role that cats, dogs and all animals play in enriching our lives. I believe passionately that every animal is special. And that every animal deserves our utmost care. I know that the Toronto Humane Society is dedicated to providing that care and am proud to play a small role.

Angela Young
I am a seasoned chartered professional accountant (CPA,CA) and chief auditor (CIA) with over twenty years of experience in strategic planning, financial management, auditing, governance and risk management. I have been a member of the THS Audit Committee since 2016 and Assistant Treasurer for over a year supporting THS Board on financial oversight. I also love being a volunteer dog walker and foster dog parent at THS.

I am elated to see the animals find their forever home with help from the professional, dedicated and compassionate THS staff. At home, I am happiest cuddling with Java and Latte, my beloved senior dogs and taking them for walks at the beach.

As a board member, I would like to extend my contribution beyond financial oversight and will use my love for animals and diverse experience in strategy, governance and risk management to help THS in becoming the leader in animal welfare.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I vote?

All members in good standing will receive a voting package in the mail ahead of the AGM. You can attend the AGM and vote in person, or you can mail in the proxy included with your voting package. Your proxy must be received by Friday, May 31 at 6:00 pm.

What’s involved in being a Director?

The Board of Directors of the Toronto Humane Society meets about once a month for two to three hours, although meetings may happen more frequently and/or last longer. Directors may also sit on Board and/or volunteer committees. Each Board and committee meeting usually requires some advance preparation, so Directors should expect to dedicate about 10 hours a month to the THS.

What does the Board do?

The Board focuses on policy and governance, setting goals and strategies for the organization and monitoring its performance. Operational details are the role of the CEO. A good way to describe this is that the Board decides what to do, while the CEO determines how to do it. The Board is not involved in the day-to-day management of the organization.

Read the Director Profile to learn more about what the Board does and what skills and experience are most needed. You may also find it helpful to read the minutes from past Board meetings.

How are Officers chosen?

Each year, the 15 Directors on the Board elect the Officers (Chair, President, Vice President(s), Secretary and Treasurer). It is usually the first order of business at the first Board meeting after the AGM.

Have a question that’s not answered here? Contact Claudette Turner at cturner@torontohumanesociety.com or 416 392-2273 x2117.