Throughout 2022, Canada has been celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, marking her 70th anniversary on the throne and honouring the Queen’s unparalleled, seven decades of devotion to service. Through the Alberta government’s Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal program, 7,000 medals were distributed among several governmental, non-governmental and community-based organizations, including the United Way of Calgary and Area.

On November 24th, at a medal presentation ceremony and luncheon, United Way awarded Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee medals to ten individuals, recognizing and thanking them for their exemplary, compassionate leadership in the community, and their long-standing dedication to improving people’s lives.

Below, we’re pleased to introduce these ten outstanding individuals:

Bill Andrew
Bill Andrew started his own firm in 1972 and has had a successful career as a leading provider of life insurance, estate, and succession planning services for over six decades. Through his brilliance in putting together a deal, Bill is known as a legend in the life insurance industry. As a lifelong contributor to his community and his country, Bill has embraced philanthropy to enact positive change, particularly with United Way of Calgary and Area. Additionally, he was on the board and treasurer of YMCA; an active service club member with Rotary Clubs since 1972; the Al Azhar Shriners since 1969; and as a Freemason since 1960. Along with supporting cardiovascular research through the Cummings School of Medicine, University of Calgary, since 1994, Bill supports a variety of community and sports organizations as a philanthropist, volunteer, and advocate.

Sonalin Bhayani

Sonalin Bhayani is an ambitious and inspiring leader and a tireless advocate for Calgary communities and youth. As a Youth Engagement Manager with YMCA Calgary, she is instrumental in the delivery of programs that support vulnerable and at-risk youth in Calgary as they complete high school and build lasting connections with their communities. Sonalin is a true collaborator, working with United Way’s All In for Youth, as well as numerous agencies dedicated to our youth. She is an active volunteer within the Ismaili Community, dedicating hours of her time to education, community development and youth engagement. With her global perspective and positive outlook, Sonalin creates welcoming environments for youth from all backgrounds.

Elder Patrick Daigneault

Elder Patrick Daigneault is a Cree/Métis Elder, originally from Île-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan. A survivor of residential school, Patrick generously shares his traditional and vast knowledge with people and organizations in both Indigenous and Western communities in an effort to change systems and practices for the betterment of all. As a knowledge keeper, Patrick has facilitated many teachings and ceremonies, including weekly sweat lodge ceremonies for Miskanawah and the community. In his work with organizations such as United Way of Calgary and Area, City of Calgary, Miskanawah Community Association, YMCA of Calgary, Trellis, and others, Patrick has played a vital role in the formation of these organization’s Indigenous strategies in their pursuit of truth and reconciliation. With United Way, he was instrumental in the creation of our Akak’stiman Indigenous Strategy and Miskanawah’s “Wahkohtowin” framework.

Jerilynn Daniels

Jerilynn Daniels is the Regional Director for Community Marketing and Citizenship at Royal Bank of Canada, Alberta and Territories. In her role at RBC, Jerilynn is responsible for philanthropic giving, sponsorships and activations, and marketing support for more than 140 branches across this region. A passionate community supporter, Jerilynn is a Board member of Making Changes Association of Calgary and volunteers with Room to Read, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving literacy and gender equality in education within the developing world since 2007. In 2010, Jerilynn received the Hazel Gillespie Community Investment Leadership Award, the first Community Investment professional to receive the award after Hazel herself. In 2012, she received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal recognizing her work in Calgary and internationally. Jerilynn is a champion of Calgary’s not-for-profit organizations and agencies and has been a key driver in securing large corporate gifts. She applies her considerable experience and skill to her work as a mentor to many fundraisers and community investment professionals.

Pam Krause

Pam Krause’s commitment to social change and activism is inspiring, and as the President and CEO of Centre for Sexuality, Pam advocate for human rights and marginalized communities. Pam embodies open-mindedness and collaboration in the creation of safe spaces for people. Dedicated to issues related to women’s equity and social justice, Pam has worked and volunteered in the Calgary not-for-profit community for over 25 years. Since the early 1990s, she has been a powerful and compelling activist in Calgary’s 2SLGBTQ+ rights movement. Centre for Sexuality has flourished under Pam’s leadership as she remains mindful of the population the organization serves, ensuring supports and services are delivered in an accessible, timely, and dignified way. Pam is a highly respected and valued leader in the social sector.

Flora Johnson

Flora Johnson is an Indigenous Community Connector working in the Greater Forest Lawn Hub. She is a mother and grandmother, an incredible artist, and a force for connection in the community. As a strong supporter of people, Flora teaches others through stories, sharing her experiences and healing journey, and teaching art to help others heal and find their own warriors within. Flora works with many community organizations through her role as a Community Connector, including working and volunteering with RISE Calgary, the Women’s Centre, local schools where she teaches Indigenous children through art, and so much more. Flora has an indelible impact as a strong, unselfish and kind advocate and teacher in the community, never failing to make time for anyone who needs her.

John Masters

John Masters is a visionary advocate and community leader who has contributed to Calgary’s science and technology landscape for more than 30 years. He works collaboratively with private, not-for-profit, and government organizations to diversify Calgary’s resource-based economy by growing the advanced technology sector. John values giving back to the community and has led the growth of technological innovation within Calgary’s not-for-profit sector. On the Board of Directors for Operation Eyesight Universal since 2013 and currently serving as Chair, Governance & Nominations Committee, John gets immense satisfaction and a sense of gratitude from his time and effort in the international development and aid sector. A lifetime volunteer, John’s dedication to his community is demonstrated through his volunteer service to innumerable organizations and their boards and committees, including United Way of Calgary and Area. In 2009, he co-chaired the fall campaign, which raised more than $50 million, and he currently serves in a leadership position with The Tomorrow Fund, United Way’s legacy fund.

Kirby Redwood

Kirby Redwood is the Chief Executive Officer of Miskanawah and has proven to be a tremendous leader and ‘Elder in training’ for the organization, the staff, and families in the community. As a knowledge keeper, culture, integrity, and authenticity are at the heart of Kirby’s work with Miskanawah, and at the centre of the organization’s
day-to-day practices. Kirby leads in a genuine, “good way,” following cultural protocol in his work with Elders and Indigenous communities, serving as a true partner and understanding and appreciating what Indigenous “relatives” represent. He is part of the United Way of Calgary and Area’s Natoo’si Community of Practice, where he helps leads the change of decolonizing organizations; advocates and supports self-care for staff; and is committed to collaborative work with, and support of, other Natoo’si agencies.

Howie Shikaze

Howie has provided distinguished service as a board member or chair of several community organizations, including the Calgary Police Commission, YMCA, and CPA Assist, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta’s assistance and wellness program. As a key leader on United Way of Calgary and Area’s Community Hubs Initiative, Howie inspired the Rotary Clubs of Calgary to become founding partners with a $2M investment, while dedicating countless hours of volunteer work to the communities that need it the most. Giving back to his community is a responsibility that Howie feels deeply about, and he continues to make a lasting impact on the lives of so many.

Sharon Siebens

Sharon Siebens has spent decades volunteering her time and expertise, leveraging her influence to raise community awareness, support social causes, and realize her vision of creating of a strong and vibrant Calgary. Together with her late husband Bill, Sharon has always been at the forefront of new approaches to solving complex social issues in our community. As a valued, long-time supporter of United Way of Calgary and Area, Sharon has acted as a key investor in new United Way initiatives, such as Financial Empowerment, All In for Youth, Community Hubs, and The Social Impact Lab. Caring deeply for those around her, Sharon has made a tremendous impact funding programs and initiatives that have been replicated across the country. Sharon is a philanthropic trailblazer, and our community is very fortunate to have her.