Vice President Brand Strategy, Marketing & Communications

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Organization:             United Way Centraide Canada (UWCC)

Title:                            Vice President Brand Strategy, Marketing and Communications

Reports to:                  President & CEO and Secretary of the Board

Team:                          Five Direct

Location:                     Ottawa (preferred), Toronto or Montreal

Consideration for this role starts with your own objective self-assessment.

Are you a talented brand and marketing strategist who conceives ideas and plans that elevate and transform brands? You have expertise in integrated brand strategy development, brand management, campaign planning and execution, omni-channel marketing (digital first), and strategic communications and story telling.

Have you proven you can collaborate to craft, implement, and operationalize large-scale brand and marketing projects that demonstrate overall brand health, impact and build long-term public engagement?

Do you embrace servant leadership philosophy where your main goal is to serve?

United Way Centraide Canada leads a federated network; in this position you put the needs of the United Way Centraide network first and help your colleagues across the country develop, perform, and strive for excellence. 

Your role is to coach, mentor, and build capacity by enabling the network. Our ideal candidate understands that, while achieving one’s goals is critical, achieving through strong partnerships, authentic and trusting leadership, and integrity leads to greater long-term success.

This role is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to utilize your marketing and communications expertise to expand the impact and reach of United Way Centraide in pursuit of our mission which is to empower everyone to improve lives and build strong communities across the country.

You need to be an agile, influential, and collaborative leader that brings the best out of people and partners. We have made important promises to Canadians as a national network of local community builders who work to alleviate the conditions of the most vulnerable today and build stronger, more prosperous, and inclusive communities for tomorrow.

If this sounds like you, then please read on.


United Ways and Centraides have a long history in Canada, helping to shape Canada’s local community services and commitment to inclusive communities dating back over a century. They have been known by many names – among them Community Chest, United Appeal, and Red Feather. Together, they are a national network of local community builders, working to alleviate the conditions of the most vulnerable today and building stronger, more prosperous, and inclusive communities for tomorrow.

In 1972, designer Saul Bass created the iconic United Way logo, depicting the helping hand cradling mankind and surrounded by a rainbow symbolizing hope. The community impact mission – to empower everyone to improve lives and build strong communities – reflects the ideas outlined in the logo.

United Way Centraide Canada (UWCC) is the national office that provides leadership and services to United Way Centraide (UWC) members across the country.  UWC is Canada’s leading network of local community builders empowering people to make lasting social change in their community. Serving over 5000 communities, our federated network of 76 local United Ways and Centraides (each registered as its own non-profit and governed by an independent volunteer Board of Directors) tackle important social issues of poverty and social exclusion in their communities. Our vision is that everyone in every community can reach their full potential.

In Quebec, the organization operates as Centraide.  In the rest of Canada, oftentimes, the United Way and Centraide names are used together, recognizing the bilingual nature of our country’s culture and people.

United Way Centraide Canada plays a critical role in providing national leadership and membership support for the network of local United Ways and Centraides across the country. Together, the staff, volunteers, and supporters of local United Ways, Centraides and United Way Centraide Canada form the United Way Centraide Movement.

As a Canadian Movement with a strong heritage, they value trust and integrity, volunteerism, innovation, partnership, non-partisan leadership, and diversity. It is based on these values that they improve lives and build communities.


The volunteers who make up United Way Centraide Canada’s Board of Directors represent communities across the country and come from diverse backgrounds in business, government, labour, and social services.

United Way Centraide Canada’s executive team works closely with the Board of Directors to oversee and execute the day-to-day operations of the organization.

Further Details can be found at:


Reporting to the President & CEO and Secretary of The Board, the Vice President Brand Strategy, Marketing and Communications will be a dynamic and mature marketing professional with experience in complex and highly matrixed organizations. 

Our successful candidate will carefully balance driving the overall brand health and communications strategy for the organization while successfully servicing and engaging the movement to fuel impact with access to critical marketing and communications resources. This individual will build the UWC network’s digital capabilities and their marketing, communications, and storytelling skills and assets to strengthen the brand. In addition, this individual will lead the national office’s overall communications strategy with its United Way and Centraide members in support of the UWCC strategic plan. 

The opportunity will appeal to an accomplished, approachable brand and marketing communications executive with sophisticated relationship skills and experience successfully leading and inspiring through impact and influence. The successful Vice President Brand Strategy, Marketing and Communications will display rigorous business acumen that can inform fresh approaches – someone grounded but inquisitive, a leader with humility, a listener, someone with big ideas who is a systems level thinker. This leader will collaborate to build an inspired and engaged culture, one that fuels full brand alignment and elevated impact.


Reports to:                                                         President & CEO and Secretary of the Board

Key Stakeholders:                                           Board of Directors

                                                                                President & CEO

                                                                                Chief Operating Officer

                                Vice President, Community Initiatives

                                Vice President, Strategy & Transformation

                                National Director, Fundraising and Partnerships

Local Marketing Leaders Network (representation from across the movement of lead marketing personnel)

Direct Reports:                                                 National Director Marketing & Communications

                                                                                Manager, Marketing & Communications

                                                                                Manager, Communications

                                                                                Marketing & Communications Officer


Key External Relationships:        Agency, Vendors & Consultants

Maintaining strong community relationships as a senior leader and ambassador amongst external stakeholders


Authentic leadership capacity:

  • Believes in the power and collective impact of exceptional teams and the importance of collaboration with all key stakeholders - “we” is greater than “I”
  • Servant leadership style
  • Can paint a big picture, but also pays close attention to details
  • Values individuals and interactions over hard-and-fast processes – changing interactions and circumstances must shape processes to suit evolving markets and client preferences
  • A true role model and change leader, demonstrating honesty, openness, and transparency
  • Puts the interests of the organization ahead of personal interests
  • Not content with the status quo – has the grit to roll up their sleeves and lead the entire ‘indirect’ team to achieve bold objectives

Personal characteristics:

  • High emotional intelligence, including high levels of self-awareness, empathy, and motivation, and the ability to regulate emotions
  • Highly mission motivated; brings out the best in others by creating spaces for individuals to deliver on their ‘why?’
  • Can read people and situations, understand body language, and ‘hear the unsaid’
  • An expert in reciprocity and appreciation
  • Sets an example through hard work and collegiality
  • Lack of ego, preferring to recognize others
  • Brings a coaching and mentorship ‘style’


  • A self-starter with a can-do attitude and vision. This portfolio demands growth, innovation, and continual adaptation over the coming years and the successful candidate will need to provide effective leadership, model continuous learning, and think beyond today. Someone positive in nature, ready for any opportunity; high standards (‘good enough’ is never enough); a team player (we can do it attitude); a big National thinker


Coaching & People Leadership:

  • Experience coaching and improving marketing and communication professionals across the Network
  • Propel people toward the mission – can challenge and inspire
  • Holds people accountable; team builder; attracts, retains, and coaches individuals to grow and achieve within their roles and careers
  • Key Member of the UWCC Executive Team

Strongly Preferred:

  • A collaborator and innovator who will create a positive culture of planning, implementation, and review

Operating & Technology Skills:

  • Deep understanding of B2B and B2C marketing and integrating marketing strategies cross-channel
  • Strong awareness and use of digital marketing and social media channels (Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.) and partnership with social influencers
  • Strong understanding of traditional marketing channels such as TV, radio, and print, and possesses a strong network across a variety of media partners
  • Technological expertise surrounding creative production (graphics, video, design) and digital technologies (web, online, Google analytics, etc.)
  • Strong understanding of budget management principles, financial planning for operational effectiveness and bridging strategic planning with financial constraints

Strongly Preferred:

  • Understands the structural importance of planning and tools, but values effective response to changing circumstances as the true means to achieving goals
  • Demonstrated experience leading marketing campaigns with impact, driving revenue, and increasing market share within highly competitive industries/sectors
  • Experience supporting corporate communications
  • Understands the social sector– products, donors, competitors, and suppliers

Business Acumen

  • At least ten years of Brand, Marketing and Communications leadership
  • Experience crafting a broad strategy that has well-defined longitudinal goals as well as the flexibility to adapt in response to changing circumstances; you are cognizant that to reach goals, plans sometimes need to change
  • Capitalizes on opportunity, and creates collaborative relationships with stakeholders, donors, and communities
  • Experience working with an accomplished Board of Directors and an Executive Team determined to support the goals of United Way Centraide Canada

Strongly Preferred:

  • Leadership experience in the not-for-profit sector or charitable sector, ideally in a Federated model, either through work experience or through senior volunteerism is an asset
  • Views brand loyalty from the outside looking in, answering a simply complex question: why should I support United Way?


  • Bilingual (French) is strongly preferred
  • Pertinent degree, subsequent training/accreditation
  • MBA / MMKG / MSc Marketing / Journalism or related degree preferred


United Way Centraide Canada hires based on merit and is strongly committed to diversity and equity within its community and to providing a welcoming and inclusive workplace. It especially welcomes applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, women, persons with disabilities, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities.


If you are looking for an outstanding challenge and an opportunity to work with an exceptional team for a very important organization that is about to go through bold and aspirational change, and you believe you fully meet or exceed the qualifications outlined above, then we want to hear from you.

Please email and provide a copy of your current resume as well as a covering letter explaining why you should be considered as a serious candidate for this mission-critical position. Submissions must be received by April 16th, 2021. Please note that only qualified respondents will be contacted.

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