Leadership and Advisory Council

The University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) is a Catholic institution of higher learning federated with the University of Toronto. USMC strives to offer students a transformative educational experience in a diverse and engaged community, encouraging, and supporting students and graduates to share their gifts in the cause of the greater good.

The University’s vision is to be a recognized leader in promoting respectful dialogue and action on care for our common home (Laudato si’) and solidarity with the human family (Fratelli Tutti).


Social Responsibility & Sustainability Advisory Council

The Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility & Sustainability Advisory Council (“Advisory Council”) provides advice to the Program Director on the creation and evolution of the SR&S: Diploma Program, Continuing Education and other actions that build a Community of Changemakers for a socially responsible and sustainable world.

Vision: St. Michael’s College Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility & Sustainability leads the Social Responsibility and Sustainability field in creating the “architects of intention” for an emerging sustainable world.

Mission: St. Michael’s Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility & Sustainability will purposefully build a leadership/changemaker community to create positive social and environmental impact in the world. A community practiced in systems, ethics, futures and critical thinking and ever learning the fundamentals of the emerging Social Responsibility, Sustainability and ESG field.

JESSICA PELCHAT, Chair

Jessica Pelchat is a permaculture designer and social entrepreneur that teaches, consults, and practices regenerative landscaping in order to reconnect people with nature. She is a graduate of the Social Responsibility & Sustainability Graduate program at USMC and is Permaculture Design Certified (PDC).

Her multidisciplinary work over the last two decades has been focused on creating a more sustainable future through the building of social purpose organizations and actioning climate change remediation of various forms. She served as Chief Sustainability Officer & Executive Vice President for a Canadian Profit 500 company, led the Canadian arm of a purpose-driven management consulting firm, and currently serves as a member of the Climate Action Advisory Committee for the Municipality of West Grey and board member for PAN (Permaculture Association of the Northeast).

She has long been an advocate for the return to more natural processes and self-sustaining systems, and is a USMC Program Mentor for emerging leaders in sustainability. www.wildchildregeneration.com


YVONNE JEFFERY, Vice Chair

Yvonne is VP, Sustainability, Vermilion Energy Inc. She is a Certified Sustainability CSR Practitioner, and a Community investment and sustainability professional, passionate about corporate citizenship, social responsibility and the achievement of shared value for both communities and corporations.

Yvonne’s skills and experience include:

  • Sustainability program development and GRI G4 reporting, including materiality analysis and stakeholder engagement, and aligning community needs and corporate vision
  • Community investment program management, from major opportunity identification to implementation and ongoing stewardship with an emphasis on positive social and environmental impact
  • Staff engagement through volunteer programs, including internal fundraising campaigns, natural disaster response, ongoing community service programs and event management
  • Community engagement and relationship building in diverse cultural and social contexts, such as developing nations, rural Canada and economically disadvantaged urban areas
  • Communication planning, management, implementation and analysis

SARA GELGOR, Chair, Marketing & Recruitment Subcommittee

Sara is a corporate and not-for-profit board director, ESG and sustainability leader, governance expert, and lecturer.

She was a member of the 2020-2021 Graduate Diploma in Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability cohort and designed a corporate ESG strategy for her Capstone Project.

Sara is a regular speaker at conferences, addressing a variety of ESG themes and topics, and was a member of the steering committee that developed the Governance Professionals of Canada designation program (GPC.D), for which she continues to design and deliver the course curriculum on corporate ethics. Sara obtained her undergraduate and MBA degrees at the University of Toronto, has an LL.B. from Queen’s University and a Master of Laws from Cambridge University. Sara holds the ICD.D designation and has completed the Osgoode Certificate Program in ESG & Climate Risk Law.


REBECCA LOUZADO, Chair of the Curriculum Subcommittee

Rebecca is Director, Enterprise Strategy & Transformation, Royal Bank of Canada. She is a strategic thinker and trusted leader with over 15 years of financial services experience. She managed and delivered a cross-segment social impact portfolio and helped develop triple bottom-line strategies for public and private entities. She is committed to delivering impactful solutions and is a champion of diversity and inclusion.

Rebecca has served as a Mentor in the Diploma program.

She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto and an Executive MBA from Ivey Business School.


ADEL RATANSI, Chair, Alumni Committee

Throughout my 10+ years of experience in high-growth venture-backed technology startups, I have developed a reputation for being a dedicated, independent, and self-motivated person with strong teamwork values. I have experience in sales operations, revenue management, and business development, working closely with internal teams across sales, marketing and finance, and collaborating with external vendors, agencies and partners to optimize and scale business operations.

I hold a Global Executive Masters in Business Administration from Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, a Graduate Diploma in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, St. Michael’s College, and a Bachelors in Management and Organizational Studies, Western University. I have also completed certificate programs in Sales Growth Leadership from Cornell University, and Digital Marketing Management from the University of Toronto.

I am currently studying in Europe as part of the FIFA Master in Sports Management, Sports Law and Humanities for Sport, with the intention of devoting my career to promoting sustainability in sports. These diverse experiences have shaped who I am today and given me a holistic perspective that drives me to create sustainable global solutions.


MIKE DEGAGNE, Council Member

Dr. Mike DeGagné (Ojibway from Animakee Wa Zhing 37 First Nation) helps Indigenous students find, and achieve, their life purpose in his role as President & CEO of Indspire, Canada’s largest Indigenous charity. He previously served as President and Vice Chancellor of Nipissing University in 2013, becoming one of the first Indigenous presidents of a Canadian public university. While President of Nipissing, Dr. DeGagné dedicated much of his work to Indigenous issues and ensuring that Nipissing University took a leading role in the Indigenization of the post-secondary education sector. He later served as the first President of Yukon University, a new hybrid post-secondary institution in Whitehorse, Yukon.

In 1998, Dr. DeGagné became the founding Executive Director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation where for 15 years he worked to encourage and support community developed, delivered, and culturally based initiatives addressing the intergenerational effects of abuses suffered in the Indian residential school system. In recognition of his support for residential school survivors and First Nation communities, Dr. DeGagné was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada – Canada’s highest civilian honour – in 2014, and was also awarded the Order of Ontario. Dr. DeGagné is a Visiting Fellow at the University of St. Michael’s College and a graduate of the Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility at the University of St. Michael’s College, in the University of Toronto.


BINDU DHALIWAL, Council Member

Bindu is VP, Environmental, Social and Governance, CIBC. Bindu is a purpose-oriented leader with over 15+ years of experience in legal and regulatory-related roles. She has deep expertise in the areas of customer experience, whistleblower programs, regulatory compliance, crisis management and environmental, social and governance (ESG). Recognized as a strategic thinker, she has transformed processes and structures resulting in increased group performance. As a strong people-oriented leader she has created and managed high-performing teams and built strong relationships across the organization.

Bindu is also a frequent speaker and advocates for equity and inclusion and an experienced non-profit board member.

Bindu is a graduate of the Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility at the University of St. Michael’s College in the U of T.


STEVEN FISH, Council Member

Steven has served the Sr. Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for Aurora Cannabis and Founder of ESG Ledger, a blockchain platform to collect, verify and publish corporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosures.

Previously he was Executive Director of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR).

As an entrepreneur and thoughtleader, Steven has played a seminal role in the advancement of responsible business leadership in Canada. He has deep experience in socially and environmentally responsible supply chains and stakeholder engagement. Steven is a Mentor Leader in the Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility & Sustainability at the University of St. Michael’s College in the U of T.


Mimi Marrocco

M.J. (MIMI) MARROCCO (Ex-Offico Member)

Mimi Marrocco is the Faculty Leader for the Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility at St. Michael’s College. She started the program in 2001 in partnership with the Conference Board of Canada; while serving as founding Director of Continuing Education at St. Michael’s.

She is the past Chair of the EthicsCentre CA (formally incorporated as the Centre for Ethics and Corporate Policy). She also served as President of the Ontario Council for Lifelong Learning from 1999-2000 and went on to become President of the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE) (2005-2007).

Mimi is the founder of Sense & Sustainability, a consultancy focused on affective approaches to leadership, stakeholder engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility. Mimi holds a Ph.D. in English Literature specializing in the work of modern writers of satirical fiction. Mimi brings a unique reflective and transformational perspective to the program. Mimi is an Instructor and Mentor Leader in the Program.


Dr. Michael Salvatori (Ex-Offico Member)

Dr. Michael Salvatori, a career educator and author with extensive experience in university administration and teaching as well as at the secondary and primary school levels, has been named the new Director of Continuing Education at the University of St. Michael’s College.

Dr. Salvatori leads the renewal and expansion of the University’s Continuing Education division. While overseeing existing programs such as the Diploma in Social Responsibility & Sustainability and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Certification, he also designs, delivers, and administers new non-degree courses, workshops, and other learning opportunities for a broad audience of adult learners, including Catholic teachers. His role includes responsibility for advancing the mission and strategic objectives of the University by developing new sustainable programming based on the needs of the community and grounded in market research.

Dr. Salvatori earned a PhD in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He also holds MEd and BEd degrees from the University of Western Ontario and a BA from the University of Toronto. Long a champion of second language education, he is fluent in French, Italian, English, and German and is author and co-author of numerous textbooks and teacher resources.


KATHRYN COOPER (Ex-Offico Member)

Kathryn is President of the Sustainability Learning Centre; a learning and networking hub for sustainability. The Centre focuses on the development of practical Sustainability Core Competencies and Whole Employee Engagement for Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. The Centre delivers sustainability focused professional development workshops to hundreds of people each year, through public and in-house programs instructor-led programs and E-Learning.

She participated in the International Society of Sustainability Professionals’ Task Analysis and Body of Knowledge development for sustainability. Kathryn is also a member of a Canadian initiative to conduct a nation-wide consultation and survey on the certification of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility professionals.

Kathryn teaches Corporate Social Responsibility and Culture Change and Engagement for Sustainability at Conestoga College.

She is a graduate of York University with a Master of Education on Sustainability and the Environment. She holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph.

Kathryn has been a Certified Sustainability Associate under the International Society of Sustainability Professionals; past Board Member of eMERGE Guelph, an NGO focused on reducing the environmental footprint of Guelph residents; and of the Upper Grand District School Board including the Board’s Environmental Education and Responsibility Committee. Kathryn is an Instructor and Mentor Leader in the Program.