July 05, 2012

Leading the way: The best of the best in philanthropy given top honours

February 16, 2012 – Calgary, AB – Hundreds of community leaders and supporters were on hand at United Way of Calgary and Area’s annual Spirits of Gold Awards.  The awards honour Calgary’s top organizations whose outstanding leadership and contributions led to Calgary’s highest United Way campaign achievement - $54M. More than 80 organizations were nominated for this year’s awards in a variety of categories.

“Each year, United Way calls on the community to come together to lead the way in making Calgary a great city for everyone,” says Heather MacDonald, Acting President of United Way.  “Today’s awards celebration recognizes and honours the incredible efforts of those who made 2011’s campaign a resounding success.”

Among the award recipients was Pembina Pipeline Corporation, a leading and growing energy transportation and service provider.  Pembina Pipeline was nominated for the BeCause award for their leadership in engaging Calgary’s next generation of philanthropists, 20 to 40 year olds, through United Way’s BeCause initiative.

“Pembina sparked new and creative ways to empower Calgary’s younger demographic to work together and be part of creating social change,” explains MacDonald.   “Organizations like Pembina showcase the incredible support of more than 1200 workplaces that embrace the work of United Way.”

Dave Kelly, a prominent media and entertainment personality in Calgary, was the recipient of the prestigious President’s Award, which acknowledges an organization or individual that goes above and beyond to make their community a better place to live.  Kelly has tirelessly given his time and talent in service to United Way for many years.

The Spirits of Gold Awards also gave United Way an opportunity to thank its past Campaign Co-Chairs, John Manzoni and Susan Riddell Rose, and formally welcome its new 2012 Campaign Co-Chairs.  Russ Girling, President and CEO of TransCanada Corporation and Leslie O’Donoghue, Executive Vice President of Operations with Agrium, will spearhead United Way’s 2012 campaign.  As leaders in the community, this duo will bring tremendous knowledge and leadership to make the upcoming campaign a success.

“We are honoured to have passionate community members like Russ and Leslie lead this year’s campaign efforts,” shares MacDonald.  “Together, they will bring a new energy and fresh, bold perspective to the campaign.”

Russ Girling, a graduate of the University of Calgary, has worked in the oil and gas and energy infrastructure industry for the past 25 years.  He held a number of prominent leadership positions within TransCanada before being named the company’s President and CEO in 2010.  Recognized for his commitment to community, Girling believes TransCanada’s four core values of integrity, collaboration, responsibility and innovation are at the heart of his and the company’s commitment to stakeholders such as United Way.

Leslie O’Donoghue is a successful businesswoman, lawyer, mentor and role model; she is a forward-looking thinker whose disciplined approach has led her to hold leading positions throughout her career.

For a list of 2012 Spirits of Gold winners, visit Spirits of Gold page

For more information on United Way’s work in the community, log onto www.calgaryunitedway.org

http://www.facebook.com/calgaryunitedway         http://twitter.com/UnitedWayCgy

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