Join the Women’s
Leadership Council

Drive initiatives to help eliminate child poverty in our community.

The Women's Leadership Council (WLC) inspires women through personal philanthropy, volunteerism and advocacy in order to positively affect change in the lives of children who are at risk of, or living in poverty in Peel Region.

By giving, volunteering and acting – you can make a real difference in the lives of the most vulnerable children in Peel:

Give: Membership in the WLC begins with your annual Leadership gift of $2,500 or more to United Way and can be part of a family contribution. Half the funds will be invested where they are most needed in the community and the other half will be designated to a special area of interest — in year one we will explore financial literacy initiatives.

Volunteer: Give your time and talents to a range of volunteer projects including: financial literacy training for low-income youth and families, breakfast drives for hungry students and creating personal hygiene kits for homeless youth.

Act: Lend your voice to raise the issue of child poverty and help mobilize advocates for change across United Way’s networks.

In partnership with United Way – a trusted community organization committed to sustainable poverty reduction – we will make a real difference in the lives of children and families experiencing, and vulnerable to poverty.

Member Benefits

In its first year, the WLC will recognize donors as Founding Members. Founding and subsequent members will:

  • Drive meaningful change in the lives of our most vulnerable children
  • Inspire other women to give back to their community
  • Take part in hands-on volunteer and engagement opportunities that make a real difference
  • Join a network of passionate, like-minded women
  • Receive invitations to community events
  • Be recognized as a WLC member in the annual Honour Roll
  • Receive gift level recognition at the Leadership level of $2,500 or more

Meet our steering committee

Louise Mitchell

Louise Mitchell is President and CEO of Louise Mitchell Consulting providing services to senior executive teams in Insurance, Banking and Financial Services.  With over 30 years of past experience at TD and RBC she is a highly strategic leader with proven ability to practically execute, build high performing teams and deliver strong business results.

Giving back is important to Louise. She is founder and Chair of the Women’s Leadership Council for the United Way of Peel, past Chair of Junior Achievement of Canada, and past Board Member of the Mississauga Board of Trade and recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Louise has been married to Don for 24 years and has a 17-year-old son, William.  She likes to read, golf and cook in her spare time.

Janet Baccarani

Janet is a tax-savvy wealth manager helping her clients find the right blend of wealth preservation and the transition of wealth to the next generation for the family’s long-term security. As a Chartered Accountant with executive-level business experience, Janet also has an in-depth understanding of the unique financial planning requirements of time-challenged corporate executives and business owners.  Janet and her husband, Zito, are the parents of two grown children and have made Etobicoke their home for more than 35 years. Janet is highly engaged in her community and has served on the Board of Directors of various organizations including, Trillium Health Partners, Etobicoke C.A. Association, and Renascent Foundation. In her spare time, Janet enjoys reading, golf, travel and the company of her three granddaughters.

Lori-Ann Beausoleil

Lori-Ann Beausoleil is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and is the National Forensic Services Leader and the National Real Estate Advisory Leader at PwC. She brings over 30 years of business and risk experience to the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) for United Way, and additionally, brings Board experience as a past member of the Board of Governors at Ryerson University and at AMREF (African Medical Research and Education Foundation).

Her late father was a coach and a teacher and he always impressed upon her and her sisters that education is an equalizer in society giving those that have an education opportunities that they may not might not otherwise be exposed to. It is that educational foundation that Lori will leverage as a member of WLC. Simply, Lori understands the importance of education as a catalyst for success.

Lori is also the proud mother of 2 daughters and understands the importance of supporting women. Whether she does this through the lens of her daughters or as a female leader at PwC, she appreciates the importance of gender diversity. She looks forward to supporting the WLC agenda around women and leadership.

Sarah Bhanji

Sarah Bhanji is an actuary with over 12 years of experience in the insurance industry, Sarah currently works at Aviva Insurance Company as Vice-President, Actuarial providing actuarial leadership to ensure liability and capital adequacy as well as sound risk management.

Sarah is actively engaged in volunteering both within and outside of the insurance industry. Feeling fortunate to have grown up where there was always a meal on the table and a warm bed to sleep in, Sarah believes that every child should have the right to grow up in this environment which is why the WLC’s mission to eliminate child poverty in Peel is so important.

Carrie Blair

Carrie Blair is EVP, Chief Human Resources & Communications Officer, Sun Life Financial. Carrie is responsible for the Company’s human resources and communications strategy and programs focused on advancing the talent, capabilities and culture of the company to deliver on its brand promise to clients, colleagues and communities.

Carrie has 25 years of experience in financial services.  Growing up in Peel, Carrie knows the needs of our community first-hand and is a strong advocate of “giving where she lives”.

Carrie also serves as Chair for the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council and is an active supporter of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.

Jeet Dhillion

Jeet Dhillon is Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager with TD Wealth Private Investment Counsel (TDW PIC) and has over 20 years of investment industry experience, including investment management, portfolio analysis and product management. She is responsible for the design and delivery of distinctive investment management solutions and services to private clients, corporations, individual pension plans and trusts. Prior to her current position, Jeet worked as Manager, Strategic Initiatives, assisting Senior Portfolio Managers with research and management of high-net-worth client portfolios while also spearheading strategic business initiatives for TDW PIC’s head office. The latter included a focus on the training of investment professionals and development of tools and resources for investment and wealth planning for high net worth clients. Jeet’s previous responsibilities also include that of Product Manager for TD Mutual Funds (2000 to 2004), Training Consultant with Canada Trust Investment Management Group (1998 to 2000) and Financial Advisor with Canada Trust (1995 to 1998).

Jeet is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Institute and the Toronto CFA Society. She graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and from Simon Fraser University with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

Jeet’s primary role is to provide investment counsel to her clients, specifically to develop and implement investment strategies tailored to meet their individual needs. Jeet has all of the skills required and also draws upon the vast resources available from TD Bank Financial Group to provide her clients with the highest level of service and support in attaining their personal objectives. She creates personalized long-term financial strategies, managing the optimal mix of services for portfolio growth, asset protection and tax efficiency. Jeet also helps her clients to develop fully integrated wealth management solutions by working with fellow experts in the Private Client Services centre who specialize in a variety of wealth planning areas such as trust and estate planning.

Spaformation is “Forming the links to positive change”

Kimberly Fleming

Kimberly's work experience has focused on managing a network of business operations across Canada.  In her various roles she has crafted growth strategies, implemented new programs and managed day to day operations. Kimberly is a multiple winner of corporate awards recognizing her performance and ingenuity. While juggling a family and career, Kimberly continued to volunteer in children, teen and young mom programs.

As a resident of Mississauga for over 17 years, Kimberly has witnessed the struggles that many Peel families face.  She strongly believes that by providing programs for children and families when they need support, the community will become a stronger, happier, and healthier place for everyone.

Brigitte Gougeon

Brigitte Gougeon is a mom, wife and a business professional with over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry.  As Associate Vice-President of Travel Insurance at TD Insurance, she has oversight for travel insurance solutions and embedded insurance benefits.  Brigitte has a master's degree in Business Administration.

Brigitte seeks to make a positive difference in the lives of her family, friends, colleagues and community.  She was taught early the importance of helping others and that even a smile can make a difference. Living in Mississauga for over 15 years, Brigitte joined the Women's Leadership Council to contribute to the wellbeing of children and families in the Peel Region.

Anna-Maria Kaneff

Anna-Maria Kaneff is a Vice-President with the Kaneff Group of Companies, a private Peel-based real estate company that develops and manages retail commercial, office, residential and golf properties in Southern Ontario. She is responsible for acquisitions and business development.


Prior to joining the Kaneff Group in 2010, she worked as an associate at a Toronto-based hedge fund and also at Moore Capital’s Toronto office, focusing on North American public and private investing in the energy and materials sectors. Anna-Maria also worked as an analyst in the World Bank’s private investment arm, the IFC, in their Oil & Gas Group. She began her career in the investment banking division at Morgan Stanley, working in both their New York and San Francisco offices.

Anna-Maria holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Foreign Service degree (with honors) from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She serves as a Governor on the Board of the Royal Ontario Museum and is a founding Board member of the Grassroots Reconciliation Group of Uganda, serving as its CFO and a Director of its Board.

Cathryn Klassen

Cathryn Klassen is Senior Vice-President, Global Organization Development at Sun Life Financial. Cathryn is currently responsible for Sun Life’s programs, processes and practices that support the growth and development of leaders and employees, as well as the delivery of HR shared services across its worldwide operations. She also served as the lead HR Business Partner for Sun Life’s corporate functions, and information technology and investments divisions.

Before joining Sun Life, Cathryn worked for two global consulting firms. She was also a public affairs manager in the telecommunications industry. She has an undergraduate journalism degree and a master’s degree in business administration.

As a resident of Mississauga, Cathryn joined the Women’s Leadership Council to contribute to the wellbeing of children and families in Peel Region and the development of a vibrant and healthy community.


"Peel Region is a beautiful community. However, many of our neighbours are struggling. I am proud to chair the Women’s Leadership Council. I believe WLC will bring together results-oriented women who believe in addressing critical issues of women and children in Peel Region."

Louise Mitchell
Senior Executive

United Way of Peel Region