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October 13, 2016

Beth Gignac joins United Way as incoming Vice President and COO

United Way of Calgary and Area is proud to announce Beth Gignac joined our organization on October 3, 2016, as incoming Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

In April 2016, Lucy Miller announced she will be retiring at the end of the year. United Way’s Board of Directors appointed Karen Young, our current COO, to become CEO, effective January 1, 2017. Beth will officially become Vice President and COO on January 1, 2017.

Both Lucy and Karen are pleased to have Beth join the organization following a rigorous search.

Beth brings over 20 years of leadership experience to United Way. During her career she has led high functioning teams, and has a robust history of working across organizations to build strong communities in Ontario and Alberta. Most recently, she was Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Sarnia, Ontario. Prior to that, Beth spent nine years with The City of Calgary working closely with partners such as Calgary Economic Development, Calgary Arts Development, Tourism Calgary, and the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority. Beth’s knowledge of Calgary and her entrepreneurial approach to strategic planning, service development, and service delivery will be an asset to both United Way and our partners.

Beth believes that understanding the experiences of everyone is important in building strong communities. In 2010 and 2011 she worked with a team of 37 Calgary artists, arts organization, social agencies and homeless youth, and adults to create “This is My City.” This project shared the stories of homeless citizens in Calgary, and was celebrated for its innovation and success by the former Governor General of Canada, The Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean.  

Beth has a Master’s Certificate in Municipal Leadership from York University’s Schulich School of Business. She also has an Honours degree in Dramatic Arts and Education from the University of Windsor.

She is a voracious reader and writer, likes hiking in the mountains, and enjoys spending time with family and friends. Beth is excited to return to Calgary to share in its optimistic passion for community building and doing the right things, right – together.