2018 40 Under 40 Winners

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Susanne Chaffey

University Hospital Foundation
Edmonton, AB

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

  1. During her time at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, Susanne led a team of volunteers and staff to plan and execute the highest grossing gala in the organization’s history.
  2. As executive director of the Northern Lights Health Foundation, she led the foundation’s largest-ever capital campaign, with a goal to raise $16 million.
  3. Susanne led the Northern Lights Health Foundation through accreditation with Imagine Canada's National Standards Program, also facilitating workshops with other non-profits in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in Northern Alberta to support their accreditation.
  4. She has volunteered for both AFP and AHP, serving on event planning committees and as an instructor.

Q & A

  1. How did you get into health care philanthropy?

    I entered the field of health care philanthropy when I first moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta in 2006. Prior to the move, I worked in employment counselling supporting youth with barriers to employment. Upon arrival to my new home, opportunities were presented and one in particular, at the Northern Lights Health Foundation, intrigued me. I started there as the Events and Annual Giving Officer overseeing the annual giving program and planning and executing the signature events and after strong mentorship and training, I eventually became the Manager, Fund Development and then the Executive Director.

    At the Northern Lights Health Foundation, my eyes were forever opened to the world of health care philanthropy and the true miracles that can happen when the community comes together.  I have not looked back since.

  2. Why did you choose to make health care philanthropy your career?

    Health care philanthropy is not just my calling- it is my passion! To contribute to the growth of a community is uniquely rewarding. I often say that I am not in the business of fundraising but rather in the business of building strong, sustainable relationships with people who want to have a positive impact in their communities. I am simply the conduit for that and I absolutely love the reward that comes when connecting those people to their own passion for helping others and creating a stronger, brighter future. Health care is extremely important to me and I cannot imagine being anywhere but working in healthcare philanthropy. Health care touches everyone and good health is the key to a long and fulfilling life. Without good health, we are limited in how we can contribute to society. We are not able to take advantage of what this world has to offer without good health. We often take our health for granted and working in health care philanthropy is a constant reminder for how grateful I am to be healthy and for my family and friends to be healthy.

  3. What has been the #1 factor in your career success so far?

    Early in my career in health care philanthropy, I was very fortunate to have stellar mentors and coaches who were instrumental in who I have become. They supported and guided my personal and professional growth. A few of them immediately come to mind…Dan Fouts, Peter Read, and Kjersti Powell.  My coaches and mentors were able to see something in me that, at times, I couldn’t see in myself. They challenged me, opened my mind to new possibilities and supported me to become a strong, confident and passionate woman. At every fall, my coaches and mentors were there to lift me up. At every milestone, they stood with me as we celebrated. They were a constant reminder that I am capable of anything I set my sights on. The impact my coaches and mentors had on my development has instilled in me the desire to coach others. Investing in another person’s growth is something that is very rewarding and motivating for me.

  4. What is your greatest passion and why?

    One thing I am very passionate about is learning. We live and work in a world that changes every day. New laws are introduced. New ideas and approaches emerge. New problems arise and new solutions are sought. If we are not constantly learning, how can we expect to keep up with and stay in touch with the demands of the working world? Continuous learning is about more than completing training courses. I go into every project, every situation, and every conversation with a desire to learn. Every day, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be challenged by my fabulous work teammates, family, and friends. Learning has become an important source of motivation, stimulation and job satisfaction for me. Learning has allowed me to keep in tune with trends and developments in health care philanthropy. Through sharing my learnings and experiences, I can influence someone else’s life in a positive way and that brings me happiness.

  5. What are your future aspirations?
    Being a great mother and wife is extremely important to me. As a mother to two young children, I aspire to be a person they admire, trust, and respect. I want to be a strong role model for them and give them every opportunity to grow into independent, caring individuals.

    Having recently joined the University Hospital Foundation, I wish to contribute to their success by being an inspiring coach and leader. Empowering the team to achieve exceptional business results while connecting philanthropists to opportunities to fund innovative health care advancements is something that puts a bounce in my step!
Susanne Chaffey

Fun Fact:

I love to sing! At times, my hubby says I’m tone deaf…I hope he’s kidding!