2018 40 Under 40 Winners

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Megan Tregunno

Women's College Hospital Foundation
Toronto, ON

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

  1. She led the major gift staff operations to build Canada’s first and only academic, ambulatory care hospital, surpassing goal by $7M and raising a total of $77M.
  2. She has built and led two of three teams across WCH Foundation. As Vice President, Chief Advancement Officer her team is responsible for major and principal giving, and as Executive Director, Chief Community Officer, she held accountability for marketing, communications, donor stewardship and event revenue. 
  3. Megan led the capital campaign efforts to build Ontario’s first barrier-free park for children of all abilities, raising $4M.
  4. She has held multiple volunteer roles with AFP’s Golden Horseshoe chapter in Ontario, including vice president of education and director of marketing and communications, and holds a CFRE designation. 

Q & A

  1. How did you get into health care philanthropy?
    I gained priceless wisdom from a very generous healthcare philanthropy CEO early in my career. After healthcare, he turned his focus to consulting and partnered with the communications agency I worked for at the time. I was currently in a public relations capacity, but had the opportunity to blend my communications skills with new fundraising ones and help create a new business division for the agency. Hearing firsthand about my mentor's deep sector knowledge, and real donor and volunteer stories, was like getting a custom master class in major gifts fundraising. We led three capital campaigns from feasibility study across to the finish line in under three years, raising millions of dollars for organizations that had no existing fundraising capacity.  I had developed an undeniable passion for connecting people and philanthropy for a greater purpose. I was hooked! Inspired by these experiences, I decided to embark on my own healthcare philanthropy journey by joining Women’s College Hospital Foundation in Toronto – an organization I was personally connected to, and one with a deeply compelling mission to revolutionize the way healthcare is delivered for women and everyone.

  2. Why did you choose to make health care philanthropy your career?
    I have been surrounded by nurses and doctors my entire life. My mother was a nurse who later moved into healthcare management. I grew up witnessing the collective power of compassion and gratitude. Healthcare philanthropy truly reflects my personal values of caring for others, showing respect and living with integrity. In fact, relationships fuel my passion for this work. I have the privilege of connecting donors and volunteers to our medical leadership and care teams. This is where the magic happens. Each relationship has its own distinct journey authentically aligned by shared values and unwavering passion for the mission. Growing and stewarding relationships both inside and outside the organization creates a strong sense of purpose for me.

  3. What has been the #1 factor in your career success so far?
    The philanthropic sector is in a constant state of disruption with new technology and changing demographics across our staff teams, volunteers and donors. I honestly believe my ability to lead intergenerational teams has significantly contributed to my success. That’s because I sought out the wisdom of several mentors to learn from their tried and tested experiences, and then blended these learnings with specialized education and ongoing professional development. I also have deep understanding of the generations coming up behind me. They think differently, they work differently, and they want different things out of their careers. I feel that my ability to blend the perspectives I have from both worlds, plus my natural hunger to figure out new ways of thinking that disrupt our traditional ways of working and connecting with new supporters, is at the heart of my current and future success.

  4. What is your greatest passion and why?
    My family is at the core. My husband and I strongly believe in the importance of role modelling a healthy lifestyle to our two young sons, and demonstrating kindness and compassion for others. Even at the young ages of nearly 5 and 3 years old, they understand what it means to help people and that it feels good. We've had them participating in fundraising runs and community activities from the moment they could walk.  My oldest might sometimes confuse the word donors for donuts, but he rarely misses a day without saying "have a great day with your donors, Mommy!" Does it get any better than that?

  5. What are your future aspirations?
    When the time is right, I see myself at the helm of an organization. I am driven by my desire to do better, learn more and always grow. I carry this drive with me personally with my family and professionally in my work across the philanthropic sector. My growth aspiration is also fueled by a strong belief in paying forward my experiences to new ambitious leaders. I look forward to sharing what I've learned with the next generation and mentoring them through their own healthcare philanthropy journey, much like my mentors have for me. I also see myself sharing what I know on a stage, in a teaching setting and maybe… just maybe, writing a book somewhere down the line. You never know, it might even be a cookbook!
Megan Tregunno

Fun Fact:

I love collecting recipes. I learned to cook and bake at a very young age from my late grandmother Norma Bidwell. She was a reporter and food editor for over 50 years. She wrote a popular newspaper column called “Stoveline” and helped locate long lost recipes for worried readers. I hold this same love for connecting with people through recipe sharing.