Year in review
Creating HOPE in a difficult year
Our mission at Make-A-Wish is simple: to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The children we serve are on an intense journey in their lives, and their families are doing everything that they can to help their children navigate through this journey.
The past year and all the complications that COVID-19 brought to our world made the struggles of families facing critical illnesses even more difficult. The global pandemic also made our mission of finding ways to grant hopeful, joyful wishes more important than ever before. In what felt like a dark year for so many reasons, we had shining moments here at Make-A-Wish Canada.
Our bold strategy of unification with the Children’s Wish Foundation to become Canada’s largest wish-granting organization under the Make-A-Wish name has made us a more cohesive and effective organization—we have shown great leadership in the charitable sector as to how things can be done even when times are as unusual as they have been.
Donations to our cause—like so many in the charitable giving space—took a drastic hit through our past financial year. Despite a 30 percent revenue shortfall in 2020 and thousands of wishes now waiting to be granted, we were able to reimagine how we could grant wishes in an existence full of restrictions, and deliver hope, strength, and joy from coast to coast to coast. Amidst a period of significant change and an era of physical silos where staff across Canada have had to work from home, we continue to prioritize efforts to build an organizational culture the likes of which all of us here in “wish world” feel a part of, and of which we can be proud.
At the heart of the successes in the past year, we have the donors to thank. Make-A-Wish reliescompletely on the generosity of others to fund the granting of life-changing wishes. We are also grateful for the volunteers. From our “wish granters” who work directly with wish families (though ‘virtually’ in this past year), to our board members helping to steer our ship at local and national levels, we owe them many thanks for their commitment. It was with their steadfast support that 1,000 heartfelt wishes were granted across Canada in 2020, and it is with their support that we will go on to grant the thousands of wishes now waiting to be granted.
Lastly, we were pleased and proud to welcome Lynne Hudson into the role as CEO of Make-A-Wish Canada in 2020. Lynne brings with her a wealth of past experiences with national non-profits and understanding of donors, partners, sponsors, volunteers and employees across the country. With her leadership I can say with confidence that Make-A-Wish Canada is not merely waiting for hope; we are creating it, every single day, and will keep doing so as the world works to emerge from the pandemic.
On behalf of all of my colleagues on the Make-A-Wish Canada board, thank you once again for your support and belief in the important work of Make-A-Wish.
Chairperson, Make-A-Wish Canada National Board
Our Leadership Team
Chief Executive Officer - Lynne Hudson leads Make-A-Wish® Canada in its mission to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Lynne’s past experience includes roles in both the for profit and not-for-profit sectors including time spent at Ernst and Young, Nortel Networks and Plan International Canada . Most recently in her role as President & CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), Lynne’s visionary leadership was instrumental in the success of the historic merger between the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and The CCS in 2017. Her results-oriented approach helped guide CCS through tremendous transformation to achieve an incredible 28% year-over-year reduction in fundraising expenses, a $33M bottom-line improvement in its first fiscal year post-merger and a $15M surplus in the second year. Lynne has a B.Sc in engineering from Queen’s University and an MBA from the University of Miami.
Vice President, Digital, IT and Data Management - Ivneet Chadha Ivneet’s lengthy career has focused on the transformation and management of information technology as a value-driven strategic asset. He spent over 10 years working at Ernst & Young with clients to deliver significant savings in operational costs, enhancing e-revenue opportunities through digital and business intelligence initiatives and improving e-business process efficiencies through automation and data driven analysis. Ivneet has also led enterprise resource planning upgrades, with operations in multiple countries. He holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering from Pune University and a MBA in Strategy, Operations and Project Management from Alliance Manchester Business School.
Vice President, Finance - Lisa Larsen, CPA, CA With expertise in financial planning, budgeting, forecasting and analysis and her proficiency in improving business processes and reporting, Lisa is recognized as a leader in creative problem solving and continuous process innovation. Her specialties include governance, compliance and internal controls. Lisa experience includes eight years in the public sector for the government agency Groupe Media TFO. During her tenure, the organization doubled in size and budget, as well as doubling in transaction volumes. Lisa was integral to the growth and dynamic evolution of the organization where she succeeded in delivering higher quality financial information to front-line managers, creating the capacity to undertake informed cost-benefit analyses, and providing them with more control and accountability. Lisa attained both a Diploma in Public Accountancy and Bachelor Of Commerce from McGill University.