Raising Social Capital
3:00-4:00pm. Day 1
Panelists: Karina LeBlanc, PDC Social Innovation Fund; Sandra Odendahl, RBC Generator Fund; Jeff Harriman, FCNB: Wendy MacDermott, United Ways of New Brunswick
Facilitator: Seth Asimakos
Seth is the co-founder and General Manager of the Saint John Community Loan Fund a community development organization that helps individuals and organizations create income, build assets and attain greater self-reliance. The Loan Fund’s pool of capital is built on investments by individuals, organizations and municipalities. It uses this pool to finance micro-enterprise, transition to work activities, social enterprise and housing.
The Loan Fund also delivers financial literacy programming, transition to work training, business training and coaching, and works with partners on social enterprise development. The Loan Fund is currently raising money to build the Social Enterprise Hub, a three story building that will fill vacant lots in a priority neighbourhood and house enterprising non-profits, micro-enterprises and social enterprises. It will be financed with grants, sponsorships, patient capital, and a conventional mortgage. For more information on the Loan Fund and the Social Enterprise Hub, please go to and for more information on Seth go to his Linked In profile.
Jeff works for the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB) where he researches the capital markets, provides educational sessions on capital markets topics and works with stakeholders to build the infrastructure required to develop and support emerging, on-going and growing businesses in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.
Jeff also participates in FCNB’s corporate finance activities related to the continuous disclosure requirements of private and public companies.
Wendy is a graduate of St. Thomas University and the University of Saskatchewan. After spending a decade in Saskatoon providing evaluation and strategic planning supports to community organizations and working for the Health Quality Council, and the Community-University Institute for Social Research, Wendy returned to New Brunswick.
Wendy spent her first four years as the Coordinator of Saint John’s multi sectoral poverty reduction strategy and joined the United Way serving Saint John, Kings, and Charlotte four years ago.
As the Director of Corporate Sustainability at RBC, Sandra leads a team responsible for global strategy and leadership in the areas of environmental and social credit risk management, environmental products and services, bank-wide environmental programs, and external relations related to corporate sustainability issues. In 2012, Sandra was appointed to head RBC’s Social Finance Initiative, a $20 million program to catalyse the use of private money and financial markets to solve environmental and social issues.
Sandra joined RBC in 1997 as a resource sector analyst. Prior to entering the banking sector, Sandra was a research scientist with Noranda Inc. in Montreal, and then an environmental consultant in Toronto and Vancouver, specializing in Environmental and Social Impact Assessments for resource sector development in Canada and Southeast Asia.
Sandra presently sits on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, where she also chairs its Grants Committee, and she is a Board member and Finance Committee member at Pollution Probe. In December 2013, she was one of 12 Canadians appointed to Minister Jason Kenney’s Advisory Council on Social Innovation. She writes a quarterly column on corporate sustainability for Listed Magazine, a magazine for directors and senior executives of Canadian publicly listed companies.
Born in Ottawa, Sandra has an M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto. Sandra is a licensed professional engineer, and earned her CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation in 2007.
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