Alterna Savings honours the contribution of its women leaders this International Women’s Day

Ottawa – March 8, 2021 – On International Women's Day (IWD) Alterna Savings is proud to honour the contributions of its many women leaders, and the impact of its Community Microfinance program on female entrepreneurs.

This year's IWD theme is #ChoosetoChallenge – a call to action to address inequity, something Alterna Savings takes very seriously as an organization. At Alterna, women make up 65% of their employees and 59% of their people leader roles. The makeup of their Executive Leadership Team is 37% female, and 44% of their Board Directors are women.

These numbers are well above average. According to a financial services industry report by Mercer, women in the financial services industry comprise only 15% at the executive-level, 35% at the professional level, and 20% at the board level.

Alterna’s diverse group of female leaders includes:

Maria Barrados, Vice Chair of the Board
Maria retired from the federal public service as President of the Public Service Commission of Canada. Previously she was Assistant Auditor General at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. She has a Ph.D. in sociology and is currently Executive-in-Residence at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University. In her retirement she continues to serve as a community volunteer and to pursue her interests in public service reform, governance, financial and human
resource management.

Marilyn Conway Jones, Board Director
Marilyn started her career as a tax lawyer in a large accounting firm, but for many years has worked in her own practice as a real estate, mortgage and estates lawyer in the Greater Toronto Area. Marilyn sits on the board of Home Ownership Alternatives, and has done pro bono work for an organization dedicated to keeping seniors in their communities. She also serves on the board of the Caledon Parent Child Centre.

Bianca Garofalo, Board Director
As the owner of three local restaurants, Bianca Garofalo has been involved in the business community in Thunder Bay for over 10 years. Her business philosophy involves extensive partnerships with local purveyors and the tourism sector. These businesses are also responsible for the creation of over 100 jobs. Bianca was awarded “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” at the Influential Women of Northern Ontario Awards in 2013. She also provides mentoring for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.

Marianne Johnson, Board Director
Marianne is retired from the Bank of Canada, where she worked for over 20 years focused on economic forecasting and modelling as well as financial sector issues and regulation. Marianne works and leads in the areas of mentoring and change management and takes assignments with the Government of Canada. Marianne also has first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing small business in Canada, owning a family plumbing and heating business, with her husband since 1987.

José Gallant, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
José began her career with Alterna in 1989, and has provided leadership to various functional areas including finance, treasury, risk management, human resources, IT and facilities & procurement. A Chartered Accountant she holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Ottawa. She has served on the board of Bruyère Continuing Care, as an alternate director on the board of the Canadian Payments Association and is the Past President of the Ottawa Chapter of the Financial Executives International (FEI).

Frugina Ball, Region Head, Member Experience, GTA
Frugina’s impressive career in financial services began at TD Canada Trust where she was promoted through senior management roles to the positions of District Vice President followed by Vice President and Market Leader for TD Waterhouse. Frugina has a earned a reputation for her commitment to consensus driven design and strategies that lead to legendary client experience concurrent with volume and revenue growth. She holds an MBA, Finance from Queen’s University.

Kim Moseley, Vice President, Product and Marketing Communications
Kim has built an extensive career in financial services, having contributed marketing expertise to some of Canada’s largest brands including CIBC, Manulife and Scotiabank. She sits on the Board of Microskills, a non-profit organization focused on providing settlement, employment, and self-employment services to immigrants, youth, visible minority people, and low-income women. Kim is a graduate of the Ivey Business School at Western University.

Sandy Stephens, Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer
Sandy has 20 years of experience in legal, compliance and public policy roles. Most recently as Counsel at Blakes and Assistant General Counsel at the Canadian Bankers Association. She has appeared before numerous Parliamentary Committees including with respect to the 2019 federal budget bill, the 5-year review of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act as well as the review on sales practices. Sandy is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School.

Donna Tomie, Vice President, Human Resources
An accomplished executive coach and human resources executive, Donna has successfully built and led human resources, organizational development, training, recruiting and internal communications functions at the senior level. She has contributed her expertise to organizations such as Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, the TSX and the MS Society of Canada. She holds an Executive Coaching Certificate from Royal Roads University, and a Masters of Public Administration from Dalhousie University.

Community Microfinance Program rewriting the script for female-identified entrepreneurs

Alterna is also committed to work in their communities to improve economic equality and representation. For the past 20 years they’ve made great strides through their Community Microfinance Program.

This program provides needed capital to underserved entrepreneurs – of which 58% of the current portfolio are female-identified. Alterna considers it an honour to be part of re-writing the script and providing female entrepreneurs the funding, education and tools to realize their dreams and ambitions.

In celebration of International Women’s Day join Alterna’s Community Impact Team on March 10th for a virtual panel discussion that will explore the challenges facing female entrepreneurs.

About Alterna Savings

Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited (Alterna) has been the good in banking for 112 years! Alterna is made up of Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alterna Bank. Together, we have $10 billion in assets under management.

As the first full-service, member owned co-operative financial institution outside Quebec, Alterna Savings shares its expertise with more than 185,000 members through a network of 36 branches across Ontario, that includes partner Peterborough Community Savings; as well as call centre and digital channels. Members and customers also benefit from an industry-leading online brokerage, investment management services, and have access to the largest surcharge-free ATM network in Canada through THE EXCHANGE® Network, with over 3,700 ATMs to serve them.