Announcing Leadership Transitions at Tamarack

With a mix of sadness, celebration and deep gratitude, the Board of Directors of the Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement announces Co-CEO Liz Weaver's planned retirement.


Liz's Impact at Tamarack

All of us who have benefited from Liz's wisdom and expertise know her to be a champion for collaboration, transformation and – above all – community. We have come to know and be inspired by the creative sparkle in her eye that shines when she's working with community leaders and when community solutions begin to spark. We celebrate Liz's commitment to grounding Tamarack’s work in the lived experience of people impacted by poverty and her relentless efforts to empower changemakers in Canada and beyond.

When Liz joined Tamarack, our learning and impacts were captured through a partnership with the Caledon Institute, which wound down operations in 2017. Under Liz's leadership, Tamarack launched and grew a Learning Centre, which includes measuring impact among its five learning areas, and a Digital Sales, Engagement and Learning team. Liz also played a critical role in securing five-year funding for Communities Building Youth Futures, a network of 20 youth-led partnerships in small cities, rural and remote communities, and First Nations across Canada.

Under Liz's leadership, Tamarack has shaped the fields of collective impact, community engagement, collaborative governance, community innovation, evaluating community impact and participatory grant-making. As a result, partners value Tamarack as a thought leader, innovator and resource to help their work move forward with impact. In 2022, the Schwab Foundation for Social Innovation recognized Tamarack as an inaugural collective social innovator, and Liz accepted this award on behalf of Tamarack at the World Economic Forum.

Liz is leaving an incredible legacy within Tamarack and amongst the communities we have reached, and we are excited to continue working with communities across the world to achieve our collective goals for years to come.

Liz will retire on November 30, 2024.


A Few Words from Liz

It has been an incredible journey for me to be part of the leadership team at Tamarack. I have learned from insightful and passionate board members, work colleagues, community changemakers, investors, partners and friends.

Tamarack’s deep connection to both individuals and communities and to partners at a local, provincial, territorial, national and international scales provides us with important insights about how place-based approaches are hubs of innovation, connection, deep commitment and belonging.

My time at Tamarack has allowed me to experience the impactful work happening by people in so many unique and diverse places. I am grateful for all that each of you have shared with me and with Tamarack. I look forward to connecting with each of you over the next few weeks as I move forward from Tamarack.


A Note from the Board

Receiving Liz's formal retirement notice marked a significant transformation for Tamarack. On March 25, 2024, after considering Tamarack's mission and the priorities over the coming years, the Board of Directors unanimously and enthusiastically voted to appoint Danya Pastuszek as CEO of Tamarack upon Liz's retirement. For two years, Danya has co-led Tamarack with Liz, developing and delivering leadership content, centring racial equity more prominently in Tamarack's work and securing significant resources from the government and various foundations. She spent the previous two decades of her career building and sustaining diverse collaboratives.

The Board is confident in Danya's values, vision and expertise, and in her ability to continue to provide the collaborative leadership that is core to Tamarack. In the coming months, Danya will work closely with the Board and staff to ensure Tamarack is set to grow in addressing public policy, build on finance and operations, and calibrate organizational alignment.

As Tamarack continues delivering on our collective vision, we must strengthen our operational structure. Therefore, we are recruiting a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)/Chief Operating Officer (COO) to enhance operational and financial capabilities. Shared leadership and collaboration will continue to be Tamarack's guiding principles. Danya, the new CFO/COO and other staff leaders will hold Tamarack’s core results and principles together and continue to engage with a set of communities to stay grounded in Tamarack's core work and learn from those closest to it.

We deeply appreciate Liz's work building Tamarack.

We are excited to work toward Tamarack's goals, grounded in its principles, for years to come.


Next Steps

In the weeks to come, we look forward to sharing the position overview for Tamarack’s COO/CFO, celebrating Liz and reflecting on her contributions to Tamarack and community change.


Tamarack Board of Directors:  
Nation Cheong, Chair 
Ana Gonzalez Guerrero, Vice Chair 
Dina al-Khooly
Natasha Beedie 
Sunshine Chen 
Colleen Christopherson-Cote
Bill Harper
Ben Henderson
Lori Hewson
Dr. Jiwei Li
Mary Pickering
Shauna Sylvester