President & Co-Founder
Safe Haven Foundation of Canada
President & Co-Founder
A less than ideal childhood and upbringing ultimately prepared Karen Sherbut for the role of her life as a role model, mentor, and humanitarian. In this capacity she is able to provide what she so desperately had once needed; ultimately improving the lives of many young women, their families, and loved ones. Karen’s dream of providing for homeless teenage girls came to fruition in 1996, when Karen and her husband founded The Safe Haven Foundation of Canada. In a volunteer capacity at the helm of the Foundation, Karen’s steadfast commitment to Safe Haven Foundation continues to shape a better and brighter future for all of us. With over 35 years of senior marketing, management, and leadership experience, Karen has been extensively involved in the development and implementation of strategic plans and financial planning at both grassroots and national levels. An engaging and innovative leader, Karen’s focus on results-oriented programs, financial accountability, public relations, and award-winning campaigns have provided an enviable advantage to the Foundation at no cost. Karen’s passion remains visible and reflective through the time she dedicates not only to Safe Haven Foundation but also to the many boards and advisory roles she has undertaken over the years. She has also served as the Vice President of Britgary Properties for the past 22 years and leads the marketing and public relations strategies for the company. In recent years, Karen’s expertise has expanded to include operations and strategic planning of some of the Britgary’s newest endeavors.
Safe Haven Foundation of Canada
David Pickersgill has served as Safe Haven Foundation’s Vice President and Grants Committee Chair for the past 11 years. In 2016 David Pickersgill was named Citizen of the Year by the City of Calgary for his outstanding contributions. In addition to his work with Safe Haven Foundation, David has served on the following Boards: Big Brothers Big Sisters Local and National (3-year term as National Chair), The Alex and the Children’s Legal & Educational Resource Centre and was also a Calgary Board of Education Trustee for 5 years. In his previous career, David served as President and CEO of Con-Force. David was motivated to join our Board while seeking a vehicle for investing funds in child and youth-serving charities and states that it is the cost-effective impact of Safe Haven Foundation’s granting activities that keep him motivated. When asked why he does what he does, his response is simply “it’s about the kids, it’s always about the kids”. David has recently mentored a Haven’s Way™ Alumni into her first position serving on a Non-Profit Board alongside him and watching her grow into a strong, contributing young woman is one of his favorite memories. In addition to making Calgary a better place for children and youth, David enjoys wine-making and traveling, and once climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, a fitting metaphor for the mountains that he has guided so many young people in conquering
Treasurer & Co-Founder
President | Britgary Properties
As Co-Founder and Treasurer of Safe Haven Foundation, John Sherbut’s commitment to serving Calgary’s homeless and at-risk teenage girls has been unwavering. A visionary with an unbridled philanthropic spirit, John’s long-term financial and personal commitments to Safe Haven Foundation are simply and quite profoundly, a way of life for him. His larger than life commitment and steadfast championship of the cause nearest and dearest to his heart is a cornerstone of Safe Haven Foundation and our impact on the very fabric of society. John is President and Owner of Britgary Properties Limited, a real estate development company he established in 1982. Successfully spearheading the development of new shopping centres and the redevelopment of existing retail complexes, John has also led Britgary Properties into diversification into residential properties and start-up companies in recent years. John is now proudly taking two of his sons under his wings imparting his knowledge and wisdom as they transition the management of the companies to the next generation. His entrepreneurial spirit, solid business ethics, and sound financial management have seen Britgary Properties continually prosper in an industry that has shown great fluctuation over the past three and a half decades. These same values and knowledge base serve Safe Haven Foundation so very well.
A.B. (Sandy) Cameron
Secretary & Founding Board Member
Lawyer | Cameron Horne Law Offices
In early 1996, John and Karen Sherbut approached A.B. Sandy Cameron with the concept of Safe Haven Foundation. Sandy was hooked and in very short order, Sandy had the documentation in place for the incorporation and subsequent submission to Canada Revenue for the charitable licensing of the first program of its kind in Canada. Sandy Cameron has always had the belief that “there is an obligation to help those in need, particularly those who are in need through no fault of their own. Supporting Safe Haven Foundation allows Sandy to act on these very beliefs.” An astute and highly respected lawyer with over 45 years of legal practice, Sandy provides much guidance and direction in all legal and governance matters for Safe Haven Foundation. He ran an active practice in Calgary at Cameron Horne Law Office dealing mainly in Land Related Matters, Condominiums and Small Business matters since 1993. Semi-retired since 2007, Sandy maintains a small practice for select clients. His commitment to Safe Haven Foundation remains unwavering. Sandy’s contributions to society through his profession have been nothing less than profound; serving as a mentor, a volunteer, and an esteemed lecturer. He has served in senior volunteer capacities on many Boards, with one of his most notable accomplishments being the Founder of the Calgary Home Builders Foundation, a not-for-profit charity constructing affordable housing projects for those in need in the Calgary region. He has received numerous awards for his visionary and forward-thinking engagements, with the ultimate being the Maple Leaf Award for the greatest contribution by a non-builder member from the Calgary, Alberta Provincial and Canadian Home Builders Associations. Sandy is also one of the first members of the Alberta Home Builders Hall of Fame.
Director at Large
IT Professional | Manitoba eHealth
Independent Distributor | USANA Health Sciences
Although Mike is Safe Haven Foundation’s newest Board member, he has watched the Founders, Karen and John Sherbut build the Foundation from little more than a dream to where it is today. He, along with his wife Debbie, participated in a promotional video shoot for Safe Haven almost 24 years ago. The roles they played caused them to look inside themselves and learn much about who they were, their upbringing and where they wanted to go. Mike states that, “Safe Haven fills a gap in the existing social services. I believe that we provide a safety net to allow these young ladies to grow and thrive in a safe and secure family environment that they have not had the fortune to experience. A safe and secure environment is something that we should all be able to experience”. His desire to make a difference and help build a legacy with Safe Haven Foundation motived him to join the Board and knowing that a real difference is being made keeps him engaged. In addition, after meeting some of the young ladies and seeing and hearing about the difference being made in their lives, he says simply, “I know we are on the right track”. As an IT Professional with Manitoba eHealth and Independent Distributor with USANA Health Sciences, Mike brings well-rounded experience and skills to the Foundation along with his unwavering commitment and passion.
Director at Large & Founding Board Member
CEO | Direct Action in Support of Community Homes (DASCH)
A founding Board member of Safe Haven Foundation, Karen is an experienced and analytical professional with extensive experience in corporate and board governance, strategic planning, insurance, risk management, finance, human resource management, government relations, standards, and policy. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of DASCH (Direct Action in Support of Community Homes). A highly respected CEO, Karen has proven skills in effectively growing, managing and developing complex organizations both provincially and nationally. These organizations have ranged from start-ups through multimillion dollar corporations. Karen’s community and volunteer work include decades of commitment to family-centered organizations. In addition to her role with Safe Haven Foundation, Karen is the former National Chairperson of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Foundation, is a Harvard Alumna and the Governance Director of Radiant Kids School in Gurgaon, India (a project started by her graduating class at Harvard), and a Board member of the Christian Children’s Fund Canada. Karen is a visionary and innovative leader with proven ability to bring together and strengthen a team due to a high level of personal integrity, ethics and the willingness to lead by example.
Director at Large
President & CEO | Connect First Credit Union
As CEO of Connect First Credit Union (formerly First Calgary Financial), Paul Kelly brings decades of both financial acumen and leadership to Safe Haven Foundation. Paul initially joined our Board because he believed in the goals of the Foundation and recognized how his business and financial experience could help benefit Board decisions, and ultimately the young people that we serve. Paul led the then-named First Calgary Financial through the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 and, in 2011, the company achieved their most profitable year in history under his continued leadership. Early in his career someone advised Paul to volunteer for projects that would take him out of his normal sphere of responsibility, something that he has taken to heart. “When you get broader experience, you see a wider view, and that can help you grow personally, as well as the organization for which you work”. Paul describes the work that Safe Haven Foundation does as being “impactful, direct, local with a clear line of sight to help the girls at Haven’s Way ™ and ultimately benefitting our entire local community”. He is excited about the revitalization, new dynamic strategic plan and sees an exciting future for the Foundation as it works towards Vision 2020. Paul enjoys the annual Home for the Holidays event and hearing the success stories of the graduates. In addition to serving on the Safe Haven Foundation Board of Directors, Paul also serves on the Board for the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Director at Large
Senior Partner | Taurus Property Group Inc.
Paul McCloy, Co-Founder and Senior Partner of Taurus Property Group, is one of the newest Board members. Paul has been involved with Safe Haven Foundation since its inception after accompanying a colleague to the kickoff fundraiser for our first capital campaign to fund the building of the Haven’s Way™ Homes. Paul and his Taurus business partner, Bernie Bayer, have been involved on a personal and corporate level with the Foundation as both supporters and volunteers ever since. When the endowment fund campaign began, Paul and Bernie made a multi-year commitment on behalf of Taurus Property Group ensuring that homeless and at-risk teenage girls are served for generations to come. Paul previously was on the Board and held a Chair position on the Montessori Alternative Public School Society Board of Directors. He enthusiastically accepted the invitation to join the Safe Haven Foundation Board as he says that it offered him a great opportunity to give back to a cause that has always interested him. Paul brings to the Board pragmatism, extensive business discipline and know-how to tangibly measure and demonstrate our results. He paraphrases one of the philosophical tenets of the Fraser Institute – ‘If it matters, it’s worth studying and quantifying’. He sums up his motivation and the impact of the Foundation as “I support Safe Haven Foundation because of our long-term approach, because we are local, tangible and concrete, and for the meaningful change we are making in these girls lives; a fantastic ROI for all of society”.
Director at Large
President | TOSOTM
Safe Haven Foundation has always been part of Michael Sherbut’s life. At the very young age of 3, Michael could be found on site (ready to lend a hand with his Bob the Builder tools) where the Haven’s Way™ homes were being built. He has long talked about one day stepping into the shoes of his parents to carry on this incredible legacy and, in 2015 when Michael turned 18, he took that next step accepting an appointment to the Board of Safe Haven Foundation of Canada. A renaissance man, Michael has proven to be a leader in his scholastic and athletic endeavors and has been entrusted by students, teachers and coaches alike to take on precarious situations far beyond his years. His knowledge of the Foundation through the eyes of the next generation speaks volumes to the impact he will make in the years to come. Michael is currently attending York University where, in addition to completing an Economics Degree, Michael plays for the York University Varsity Volleyball team. Michael is President of his own management company, TOSOTM.
Director at Large
Partner | Inspira Energia
A Board member for over 10 years, Lyndon was attracted to the Safe Haven Foundation due to the Founder’s passion and the fact that the Board was an active team of business professionals applying their skills to the non-profit sector. An International Marketing and Business Development professional, Lyndon is currently President of Inspira Energia S.A. de C.V. Part of his philosophy regarding non-profits is that “all charities start off with the best intentions but only a select few have the discipline to endure long-term. Safe Haven Foundation has struck a balance of fundraising efficiency and financial responsibility while delivering an innovative program”. He states that “he is fortunate that his role on the Board allows him to learn first-hand of the progression of life stories from the girls in the Haven’s Way™ program and that the overwhelmingly positive feedback is a constant reminder of the focused and impactful presence Safe Haven has in the community. We give them a home they just don’t have”. Lyndon has also played an in important role in the success of the Foundation’s major fund-raising events over the years. He volunteered at all of the Street of Dreams™ Galas which was Safe Haven Foundation’s major fundraising event for many years and Co-Chaired the 2011 Gala which he says was both a privilege and a great responsibility. He also states that, “The Street of Dreams™ Galas raised significant net proceeds and also raised massive awareness for the portfolio of programs we were supporting at the time. It was intense and I really enjoyed collaborating with Safe Haven and later on with the Brookfield teams. I am always humbled when I attend one of our events”.