Donna Charbonneau, Retiring Director, Operations

13 December 2023

Donna Charbonneau has been many things and seen many places during her years in the co-operative housing movement. She began in 1993 as the co-ordinator of Newmarket Housing Co-operative, moving within a few years to Rainbow Circle, and then to Ramer’s Wood in Markham. The grassroots experience of managing and living in a housing co-operative over many years has given Donna a solid understanding of co-operatives and co-op members that is the envy of those who joined the movement in other roles.

As a volunteer Donna has served on many co-op boards of directors. She was president of one of Canada’s leading federations, the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto. For eight years on the Board of Directors of the Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada, and a treasurer, she was a strong, effective presence. A dynamic workshop leader, Donna is organized, competent and able to give co-op members practical advice, based on her grassroots experience, while sharing the wider vision she has developed over time.

In 2006, Donna joined the Agency for Co-operative Housing as a relationship manager, where her hard-earned knowledge of the legacy co-operative housing programs made her invaluable. After ten years in that role, she accepted a stint as the Acting Manager, Operations (East), which led to her promotion to the permanent position a few years later. In 2021, Donna became the Director, Operations at the Agency.

Donna has the gift of developing positive relationships with clients and colleagues at every level. Her credibility and her capacity for hard work earn her the respect of all who know her. But it is her authenticity and sincerity that win our trust and our affection. She is leaving us too soon.

Tip of the Month

Infectious Arrears

In co-ops where board members are behind on their housing charges, the amount all members owe is almost four times higher than in co-ops where board members pay on time. This number speaks for itself.