Our Leadership Team

Karen Young, President & Chief Executive Officer

Karen Young

President & Chief Executive Officer

Karen Young joined United Way of Calgary and Area as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in June 2014 and has been the President and Chief Executive Officer since January 2017.

Karen came to United Way from The City of Calgary where she served for 26 years as an award-winning leader. As the Director of Community and Neighbourhood Services at The City, Karen led change management, strategic planning and policy, partnership management, funding and grant programs, financial administration, community relations, and program development initiatives. She was instrumental in securing $480 million to build four new recreation facilities in Calgary and led the Emergency Social Services efforts during the flood of 2013.

Karen is a visionary leader who believes that positive change begins at the community level and values partnerships and collaborations in achieving a common goal. Driven by her belief that all Calgarians have the right to a good quality of life, Karen is a catalyst for social change and has been serving our communities since the 1980’s, including on the Calgary Housing Company Board of Directors, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre Board of Directors, Trustee of the Burns Memorial Fund, and the Calgary Economic Development Advisory Group.

Prior to joining the Executive Team, Karen worked closely with United Way over the years on many projects including the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative, Calgary AfterSchool, and the Calgary Local Immigration Partnership.

Karen holds a master’s certificate in municipal leadership and a Bachelor of General Studies in Leisure, Recreation, and Tourism.


Gayle Burnett, Chief Operating Officer

Gayle Burnett

Chief Operating Officer

Gayle was the Chief Strategy Officer for the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and has led strategy, operations and finance in health and post-secondary sectors. She has developed and implemented many large-scale planning initiatives and has deep expertise in strategic planning, organizational development, consensus building and change management.

She has been Vice President, College and Learner Services and Chief Financial Officer at Bow Valley College, Chief Operating Officer for the Alberta operations of Canada Diagnostic Centres and has served in multiple leadership capacities with the AMA, as well as with Deloitte’s National Health Practice, Alberta Health Services, and the Government of Alberta (Alberta Health and Wellness).

Gayle has a Masters of Public Health (Health Policy and Management) from the University of Alberta.


Rhonda Roth, Chief Impact Officer

Rhonda Roth

Chief Impact Officer

Rhonda Roth first joined United Way of Calgary and Area in 2010 as Director of Individual Giving. Now as Chief Impact Officer, she is dedicated to building meaningful and trusted relationships with our donors, partner workplaces and foundations, and ensuring United Way has the resources to drive sustainable solutions to complex social issues. Working closely with all departments, Rhonda is responsible for developing and implementing integrated fundraising and giving plans for the initiatives, collaborations, and programs United Way funds.

Prior to joining United Way, Rhonda brought over a decade of fundraising experience serving at the University of British Columbia as an Associate Director in the Development program. Rhonda holds a Certificate in Fundraising Management from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, a Bachelor of Commerce, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Calgary.


Geoff Couldrey, Chief Transformation Officer

Geoff Couldrey

Chief Transformation Officer

Geoff Couldrey was Chief Operating Officer at Immigrant Services Calgary and brings a strong background in transformation, innovation, and technology as well as a background in mental health to United Way.

He has been Chief Operating Officer for Classroom Champions (USA/Canada), VP of Cloud Services for Britec Computer Systems, and both Vice President, Knowledge and Innovation and Executive Vice President for The Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Geoff has an Executive MBA with a specialization in Innovation Leadership from the University of Fredericton.

United Way of Calgary and AreaOur Team