Pillar Nonprofit Network Interim Leadership Announcement

In the spirit of Pillar Nonprofit Network’s ongoing commitment to shared leadership, the Board of Directors has accepted the proposal from the senior leadership of Pillar to appoint Rachel Berdan, VP Transformation and Community-Based Economy, and Tanja Kueneman, VP Finance and Strategy, as interim Co-Presidents/Chief Executive Officers effective July 21, 2022.

As co-leaders, Rachel will oversee Pillar’s programming and act as the primary contact for stakeholders and partners while Tanja will maintain financial and reporting oversight at an organization level. Rachel and Tanja are supported by Pillar’s senior leadership team and will continue to operate using a shared leadership model. Shared leadership at Pillar means that our senior leadership team shares knowledge, power and influence in strategic decision making related to the operations of Pillar.

Rachel Berdan (she/her) is an organizational strategist and heart centered coach with 10+ years of experience in the impact sector. Rachel joined Pillar in 2019 from B Lab where she built strategy and capacity to grow the B Corp brand awareness and Canadian identity within the B Corp movement. Previously, she was the Chief Operating Officer for rTraction, a London-based creative marketing agency and B Corp. Rachel holds an MA in Global Leadership from Royal Roads University. Having navigated significant changes in leadership and hard pivots throughout her career, Rachel has developed the capacity to not only bring clarity and stability during internal transformation, but also to spark innovation and collaboration in service of shifting systems.

Tanja Kueneman (she/her) is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with 15+ years of experience in finance, financial reporting and audit. She started her career in public accounting, with a focus on auditing not-for-profit entities. She then spent 9 years with Canada Life, where she led a team of finance professionals who optimized the business through focus on financial metrics. Prior to joining Pillar in 2021, Tanja supported a start-up in scaling to three times its size in two years. Tanja served on the board of directors as the past treasurer of MADD London and has previously spent significant time volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The Pillar team is confident that with Rachel and Tanja as co-leaders, supported by the Vice-President team, that Pillar is well-positioned to navigate this transition period while continuing to deliver on our mission, support our members and colleagues, and make further progress on our strategic plan. Pillar’s pre-existing shared leadership model has laid the foundation to ensure continuity for our organization and our network. 

The staff team is wholeheartedly committed to the work and the values that you know and expect from Pillar Nonprofit Network and we will continue to deliver on our promises to our network. The Pillar team is so grateful for the community support that we've received. We're all still here, with our hearts in the work, while also trying to navigate this difficult moment. We continue to cherish our relationships in the community and we remain committed to relational care, reciprocity, and transparency. 

The Board of Directors, in consultation with Pillar’s Vice-President team, will be conducting a search for Pillar’s next President and Chief Executive Officer in the coming months.

Should you have any questions about this announcement, please reach out to Pillar’s Board Chair, Mary Alikakos directly at malikakos@pillarnonprofit.ca.

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