about unum

unum is a Latin word meaning one

one Cause. one Community.

Simply put, our cause is that of creating transformational experiences that increase our capacity to create positive change. Change that starts from within. Change that can transform a community or even a country. One person, with one idea, can change the world… or simply change a community. It all starts with the power of one.

mission

Our mission is to provide educational programs, services, and funding to underprivileged and under served communities as well as disadvantaged individuals. These programs and services focus on themes related to accessibility to education, gender equity and female empowerment, global citizenship, as well as healthy, active living. Unum is a fully incorporated not-for-profit organization as recognized by the Government of Canada (Corporation number 1127940-8).

 

vision

Unum’s vision is to be a vehicle for people, causes, organizations, and communities to connect and transform the world around us into a place of peace, opportunity, acceptance, and purpose through a holistic and experiential approach to learning.

purpose

Our overarching purpose is to create transformational experiences while contributing to the well being and success of a person, a community, or a cause.

our founders

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JOE DANIS

Founder

Joe Danis has spent over 20 years of his life working to improve the world around him. For Joe, inspiration lies in fostering strong communities while empowering others to experience the power of community and contribution firsthand.

It was during his time as a student at the University of Winnipeg when Joe found he had a responsibility as an individual to contribute to the world around him. While studying International Development and Conflict Resolution, he was chosen to participate in a service learning program in Bangladesh. While the education benefits were clear, he was also amazed how the experience shaped him as an individual – learning more groundedness and empathy for global communities.

After graduating, Joe became the Director of Housing and Student Life at his alma mater, and took special interest in providing others similar learning opportunities he had. As Joe’s career shifted to the University of Manitoba, he created Praxis, an initiative to promote community outreach, service learning and social justice among University of Manitoba students. In 2005, he received the University of Manitoba Outreach Award for his development and implementation of Praxis. Through his initiatives, he has created several successful service learning programs in countries such as Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ecuador and Costa Rica. Joe also created several local initiatives at the University including the Reading Buddies program which connected university students with children in Winnipeg’s core. This program received the prestigious City of Winnipeg’s Mayor’s Award for Volunteerism.

Over the years, Joe has received a multitude of opportunities to speak candidly on his passions as they relate to the importance of contribution, connection, and compassion. He speaks to the value of leadership, innovation, and purpose as avenues to building healthy and diverse communities and successful teams. Joe has since identified his calling to be ‘connecting people to experiences and opportunities’. Humbled by his experiences across the globe and throughout his career, Joe still maintains that critical reflection must be a part of the human experience in order to ensure continuous personal growth and instill a true sense of connection to the communities he serves.

Joe is currently the Vice-President of Student Affairs & Organizational Development at Campus Living Centres and resides in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada with his wife Pam and their two children Maya and Luc.

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PAM DANIS

Founder

Pam Danis considers herself a MASTER CONNECTOR, who loves to seek out those with unique and creative spirits, bringing people together to create memorable experiences. Pam is a former basketball star, a three-time national champion, and an educator who specializes in teaching young people the value of creative play and active living. As a Physical Literacy specialist, she is consistently seeking new and innovative ways to engage participants and create an environment based on fun, inclusion, and personal growth. Pam is a master facilitator whose energy and passion is contagious and inspiring.

At her core, Pam sees empowering others as fundamental to her everyday existence. She is passionate about the role women play in our world and often finds herself advocating for women through sport and active living. From her experiences of creating a “Running with the Bison” outreach program for indigenous youth at the Skownan First Nation, to leading the Women’s Basketball Coaching Association’s annual “SHOOT FOR THE CURE” initiative, she continually embraces opportunities to grow, develop, and engage not only herself, but those around her. For her efforts in these areas, Pam was awarded the University of Manitoba’s annual outreach award in 2008.

In her down-time she enjoys spending time with her family, keeping her grounded and humble. As a wife, mother, friend, peer and mentor Pam plays many roles; roles she sees not as separate entities but complimentary of each other. She strives on a daily basis to be the best that she can be in all these roles, however in her 40 plus years of living on this earth she recognizes that “I cannot be everything to everyone all the time and that sometimes I will fail and that is OK.” This confident yet humble approach to life, coupled with Pam’s tremendous passion and energy, sets her apart as a mentor and role model for young women everywhere. Recently, Pam was awarded the 2017 Leading Women, Building Communities Recognition Certificate by the Honourable Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister for the Status of Women of the Ontario Provincial Government.

Pam completed her Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg and has taught in both the public and independent schools systems. As an athlete, Pam is a three-time National Champion, leading the University of Winnipeg Wesmen as their point guard and captain from 1992 to 1995 and was an inductee into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame (team category) in 1997. She was also the women’s basketball coach at the University of Manitoba and member of the Faculty of Kinesiology from 2000 to 2012. Pam currently resides in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada with her husband Joe and two children Maya and Luc, and of course her dog, Chepe.

meet the team

Sandra Quinteros has dedicated her life to making contributions to the communities around her. As a life-long learner, she has spent the past 37 years working in the field of international development in areas related to sustainable development, agriculture, humanitarian aid, water security and sanitation, and female empowerment. Sandra spent the majority of her career working with the Lutheran World Federation in El Salvador where she managed a multitude of projects working with vulnerable communities all over the country. She has worked with several international organizations such as Oxfam and Caritas while also engaging in projects in countries such as Haiti, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala. Sandra holds a Master’s Degree in Agronomy specializing in areas such as water security, risk management, and sustainable development.

SANDRA QUINTEROS

Lead Consultant

(Latin America)

Sofia is a motivated young woman who likes to challenge herself by engaging in projects that have impact and meaning. Her aspirations for life are to contribute to a more sustainable economic, social, and environmental development of communities. Sofia is currently completing her MSc in Sustainable Development at the Universita LUMSA in Rome, Italy and holds a Bachelors degree in Political and Administration Sciences from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. She has a multitude of experiences learning, working, and volunteering with organizations in countries such as Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Spain. Speaking multiple languages, Sofia could be described as a “global denizen” who embraces intercultural experiences while learning about the world around her.

SOFIA MOJICA BAQUERO

Lead Consultant

(Europe)

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Mabel Vonk is a coach and trainer who helps people build better relationships for collaboration and gain leadership and self-development skills. She diplomatically linked international businesses to the Panama Canal’s heavy hitters at the Dutch Embassy in Panama, connected refugees upon their arrival in Ecuador to aid organizations at UNHCR Quito, and co-created a large scale system of interconnected leadership teams out of Canada’s Toronto region. She is at her best when she coaches and trains to enhance connectivity, collaboration and self-development for social impact leaders and organizations. Mabel holds an MA International Professional Communication, an MSc International Relations and Diplomacy and is also a Certified Life Coach with Kain Ramsey & Achologist.

MABEL VONK

Lead Consultant

(North America)

T. 123-456-7890

Meghan Lavallee resides in Winnipeg and is the Director of Pathway Programs for Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology. She has followed a career path from post-secondary education to the not for profit sector back to PSE and supported student learning in both local and international settings. Regardless of the place, experiential learning and empowering exploration has been the centre of her work.

Meghan’s passion for this pedagogy started as a student and staff member within residence and student life communities at the University of Manitoba, while completing her undergraduate studies. From there, she turned her love of student development to a proactive educational attainment model with Career Trek, creating opportunities to catapult kids to career and education success. She is currently completing her MEd (Post-Secondary Studies) at Memorial University.

Meghan loves volunteering in her community, yoga, gardening and time in nature with her family and canine companions. She has worked to establish MB’s Career Development Conference, Let’s Get to Work!, is a member of the MB Association for Career Development, and supports career development nationally through committee work with CERIC.

MEGHAN LAVALEE

Member, Board of Directors

Clarence has over ten years of experience in developing, marketing, and delivering programs and services aimed at post-secondary students, and possess a multifaceted background in marketing, international student recruitment, event management, alumni relations, and Residence Life. He is a consensus builder that facilitates successful cross-departmental/industry/sector collaborations by aligning a diverse set of priorities, and integrating them into shared goals.

Clarence currently holds the position of Director, Marketing & Sales at Campus Living Centres, the largest student housing organization in Canada. Prior to that, Clarence held several roles at The University of Manitoba. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Milton Community Resource Centre.

Clarence has a Master of Arts in Integrated Studies from Athabasca University, and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Manitoba.

Sid Rashid is an Arab-Canadian lawyer, consultant, and community organizer with a passion for advancing the interests of humanity through peace, justice, equality, and the rule of law. Born and raised in central Canada, Sid’s Lebanese roots and travel as a child shaped his outlook on life and the world around him. A humanitarian by nature, he considers himself a global citizen and sees humanity as one, with all divisions and differences as secondary. In 2009, Sid was elected President of the 23,000 undergraduate students at the University of Manitoba, running on a platform of unity, equality and multiculturalism. In 2014, he completed law school at the University of Ottawa receiving his Juris Doctorate concurrently with a Master of International Affairs.

Sid currently resides in Ottawa where he serves as counsel with the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Section of Canada’s Department of Justice. His young legal career has included stints at the International Center for Transitional Justice in New York, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in Washington D.C., the Canadian Center for International Justice in Ottawa, the United Nations Development Programme in Beirut, and Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. Sid’s current work, to contribute to bringing those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes to justice, is a dream come true. Sid’s lifelong aspirations focus on pursing his aforementioned passion, exploring ways to make a difference, and contributing daily to making our world a more peaceful, loving and accepting place.

CLARENCE CHONG 

Member, Board of Directors

SID RASHID 

Member, Board of Directors