MEDIA RELEASE: CanWCC Names Catherine Chan as Chief Operating Officer

[TORONTO, CANADA, September 12, 2023] – The Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CanWCC) announces Catherine Chan as its new Chief Operating Officer.

Ms Chan was initially contracted as a fractional COO for CanWCC in December of 2021 to assist in growth planning and execution. In February 2022, Chan stepped into a full time position as Director, Operations & Stakeholder Relations, and was promoted to Vice President, Operations & Governance in March, 2023. 

In the last year and a half, Chan has been the driving force behind the growth at CanWCC, with the team expanding from two to nine staff under her guidance. In doing so, Chan developed the tools and processes necessary to hire, train, manage and upskill a passionate group of high-performers.

Ms. Chan redesigned CanWCC’s Trusted Partner program to ensure that future partners are “values-vetted” against innovative and feminist business practices. The revamped and expanded partnership program will be integrated across the organization over the next 18 months.

In addition, Ms Chan proposed and got greenlit the building CanWCC’s first Board of Advisors to ensure diverse voices, perspectives and lived experiences will inform and advise on CanWCC’s strategy, policies, and advocacy agenda. The current Advisory Board launched in May, 2023 after an extensive search, vetting, and recruitment process. 

In her new role as COO, Ms Chan will remain the lead for CanWCC’s WAGE-funded capacity building project. Chan’s mandate is to build the organizational DEI strategy and execute on any gaps.

Chan’s Chambers Working Group initiative will continue under her aegis, for which she has recruited ten other chambers across Canada to work through their own DEI process, using Radar Media’s DEI Mobilization Map

“I’m very grateful to Nancy for her vote of confidence in my leadership skills. This organization that she founded is incredibly impressive, and important to over 1.2 million business owners in Canada. It’s my privilege to help build an organization that is not only impactful in the short term but one that will still be around 100 years from now,” said Ms Chan.

CanWCC’s founder and CEO, Nancy Wilson, congratulates Catherine on her promotion, saying “Having Catherine on the team has greatly benefited me and the chamber, moving CanWCC forward substantially and allowing me to focus on strategy, funding, and future planning” 

Wilson continued, “Catherine’s a real force of nature when it comes to ensuring all the plates stay spinning, and she’s a well-respected member of the team. I’m looking forward to what we’ll achieve together for not just our members, but for all diverse women-identifying and non-binary entrepreneurs in Canada.”

Catherine Chan is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario (Western University) Master of Arts program, and has several decades of experience within various management roles before founding FitIn, where she largely bootstrapped building enterprise software for the fitness and wellness industry. Additionally, Ms Chan has been a business consultant for over 25 years, including as a fractional COO for other business owners.

About CanWCC:

The Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CanWCC) is a nationally incorporated, not-for-profit organization dedicated to advocacy, advancement, and connection for and on behalf of its members. CanWCC’s membership consists of diverse women-identified entrepreneurs and organizations that are at least 50% woman(en)-owned and led.

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