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Know an emerging professional with strong leadership potential in volunteer management? Want to recognize their work? Nominate them for the TAVA Innovative and Promising Leadership Award!  Our application form is now open.

This Membership Year, we’re looking to recognize and celebrate a volunteer professional in our membership community who has met the needs of their organization, engaged their volunteers in new ways, or offered support to the greater community this past year. NOTE: Only current TAVA members can be nominated for awards. Applications are due Friday May 31 2024

2024 Membership Year Nomination Application Details:

We want to recognize a community member who aligns with the following values:

  • SHOWS LEADERSHIP:  Do you know someone who has shown extraordinary leadership in this time of change? Someone who has led with compassion, or has encouraged their team members and volunteers to rise to new challenges; developing new systems, programs or policies? 

  • VISIONARY:  Do you know someone who has addressed a challenge in a new and innovative way?

  • MAKES AN IMPACT:  Do you know someone who is moving the field of volunteer engagement forward? Someone who is thinking critically about volunteer engagement practices and leading the way for the new future of volunteerism. 


  • Nominees must be a TAVA member in good standing (i.e. has a current membership)

  • The TAVA Innovation Award Winner from the previous year (2023) and current Members of TAVA Committees are not eligible for nomination. Self-nominations are not allowed for this award. 

  • We’ll present the recipient with their award at the TAVA 2024 AGM on June 13th. Hooray!

Here’s What They’ll Receive:

  • A complimentary TAVA membership for the following year (2025)

  • A $50 donation to the charity of their choice

  • A feature story on the TAVA website

  • A letter of congratulations sent to their organization’s leadership 

  • The love, support and acknowledgment of the peers in their field!



Applications are due Friday May 31 2024 

If you have any questions about the guidelines or submitting an application, please contact Mab Coates-Davies, TAVA Awards & Bursary Chair at


        Dawn Ashford (2021)

        Quotes from our nominators:

        Brydne Edwards: "Dawn was instrumental in implementing our virtual care program during a very difficult time in our organization. Dawn consistently gathered feedback to identify areas of improvement and tactfully addressed barriers to virtual care utilization. For example, our healthcare providers reported that their technical skills were a barrier to virtual care implementation, and Dawn quickly offered volunteers to provide one-on-one support to clinicians. This required more time training volunteers than Dawn initially planned, and yet Dawn welcomed this opportunity to address a key barrier to healthcare in the community. In addition to the rapid implementation of a volunteer program to support client care, Dawn championed the volunteer program evaluation, identifying strategies for evaluation and opportunities to disseminate the results. In fact, Dawn recently presented the results of the program, which included volunteer interviews, at the International Federation of Integrated Care Internal Conference in May 2021".

        Larisa Nagelberg (2021)

        Quotes from our nominators: 

        "In March 2019, with the uncertainty of the COVID-19, Toronto Humane Society had to get animals out of the building-and fast. The organization had not yet been deemed essential, and the lives of animals were at stake. Larisa rose to the challenge and lead her small team to ensure animals were placed in the loving homes of suitable volunteers. Between March and April, 431 animals from healthy puppies to complex medical cases were moved out of shelter. With little warning and uncertainty around how the next months would play out, Larisa was able to increase foster placements by 32%. The work did not stop there, during the months that followed, proper case management was key to success all while she also oversaw the transport program. With changing government regulations, Larisa worked long hours, pivoting the program when necessary to ensure safety and on-going success".

        Faiza Venzant (2020)

        Quotes from our nominators: 

        "From connecting us to speakers, facilitating sessions, coaching members to get certified, to sharing knowledge with us about how poverty affects our volunteer communities, Faiza has opened up so many possibilities for the membership with her leadership. Faiza is helping our profession as a whole move forward.

        “Faiza always makes me want to just do more! Her  work within the YMCA, her advocacy for all things volunteer engagement, her drive to get us all certified, and her new found passion work in poverty simulation has shown me that she is someone to keep looking up to! Thank you Faiza for all that you do for our community of volunteer leaders."  

        Ruth Pentinga (2019)

        Quotes from our nominators:

        “Ruth leads by example. The volunteer program she has forged at YSM is a model for us all- one that is open and welcoming, while rooted in its foundations.”

        “Ruth is constantly mentoring new volunteer engagement professionals and is regularly working across agencies to support her peers.”

        “Empowering presence without intending to be. Look to her to ask the tough questions, challenge stereotypes, question assumptions…


        Christine Martin (2018)

        Christine Martin has been an example for all of us working in the volunteer engagement field. Her innovative approach using Liberating Structures to facilitate professional development sets new standards and inspires other TAVA members. At TAVA meetings, new and seasoned members listen closely to observe her methods and learn from her example.

        TAVA is very proud to have Christine as a member and thrilled to have her as the inaugural recipient of this special award.

        Thank you  for choosing to be a TAVA member. We love to learn, connect and share with you. We hope your TAVA membership adds value to your daily work and life!  - TAVA Executive Committee

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