United Way WRC announces its first CEO

July 13, 2017  / 

WATERLOO REGION, ON – (July 13, 2017) Following a nationwide search, the Board of Directors of United Way Waterloo Region Communities is delighted to announce the appointment of its first CEO.


Joan Fisk brings a wealth of experience from the private sector, as well as leadership roles in the community.  Most recently she completed a six year term as Chair of the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network. She has also served as President of the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce.  In addition, Joan is involved with numerous other organizations, including Gore Mutual Insurance, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Guelph. For 17 years Joan was also President and CEO of Tiger Brand Knitting.

United Way Board Co-Chair Frank Voss says Fisk’s deep roots will bring immediate dividends.

“Joan is a long-time resident of Cambridge, and has strong relationships across the business, education and community sectors.   Her recent term with the LHIN demonstrated her ability to work collaboratively with a diverse group of agencies while building stronger health services.  She’s the charismatic leader we need to move ahead on bringing lasting impacts to the areas on which we focus; youth, poverty, and community”

Co-Chair Ingrid Pregel says the process to find United Way WRC’s first CEO was exhaustive. “We reached out to our networks and partners to discover what is needed to lead our United Way through the new reality of philanthropy.   Joan is very much about listening.   Her ability to engage with communities and partners with a goal of creating innovative solutions is key to our new United Way”

Joan Fisk is looking forward to this challenge. “Even though United Way has 75 years of history in our region, we are building something new; something designed to tackle the difficult community issues we know are standing in the way of our neighbours and friends having the best possible quality of life.”
Fisk takes over a post currently shared by Ron Dowhaniuk and Jan Varner and will officially begin her new role at the end of July.

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