An affinity partnership in action


Through generous contributions made by TD Insurance, Western University’s Department of Alumni Relations recently added two new full-time positions to their staff roster.

“Our partnership with TD Insurance has really flourished over the past decade, and these new positions will help us reach new heights,” says Trista Walker, Western’s Executive Director, Alumni Relations. “But, more importantly, we have the opportunity to mentor two professionals who are beginning their careers in the university advancement space.”

Annually for the next five years, TD Insurance will sponsor two Associates in Western’s External Relations portfolio. The one- to two-year contracts will allow young professionals to gain experience working on multiple projects and priorities over the course of their employment.

On April 2, 2018, Kate Avery, BA’16, joined Western’s Alumni Relations team as TD Insurance Associate, Digital Engagement. In her role, Kate supports alumni engagement through the use of digital and social media channels, and helps identify new opportunities to leverage digital technology. 

“Working in the digital engagement portfolio has allowed me to apply the creative, practical, and critical thinking skills I learned in university in my first professional job,” says Avery. “It has been amazing to be part of a team where I can develop my interests in social media and data analytics while interacting with my fellow Western alumni.”

“Kate’s position has provided Alumni Relations the opportunity to explore new offerings such as Western Reads, our new digital book club,” says Meghan Cocurullo, Digital Engagement Officer. “Additionally, we have been able to deepen the evaluation process of our digital offerings, tracking how new campaigns resonate with various demographics, and providing insight for conversations regarding future programmatic direction.”

Melanie Van den Borre, BA’10, Alumni Engagement Coordinator, Ceremonies at Western, was seconded to the position of TD Insurance Associate, Ceremonies as of September 4, 2018.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to grow in the Ceremonies portfolio while advancing my event management and development skills,” says Van den Borre. “This position will give me a variety of new experiences in donor events, leadership transitions and campaign celebrations, while allowing me to continue to build on the existing skills and relationships I’ve developed in my time at Western thus far. As a Western alumna, I know that this work is vital, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.”

“Melanie’s passion for events is inspiring as is her ability to manage a constantly changing work load,” says Alcina Stoetzer, Director, Institutional Engagement. “She will flourish in this new role that will help our team with a growing list of donor events, our Be Extraordinary campaign close celebrations, presidential transition work, and the Times Higher Education Summit coming to campus in June 2019.”

"We're thrilled to add a new layer to our long standing Partnership with Western in the form of two TD Insurance Associates in Advancement," says Anna Kavanagh, Vice President Affinity Market Group, TD Insurance. "We've been an enthusiastic partner in the Advancement community for more than 30 years. Providing opportunities like these for high potential candidates to pursue careers in Advancement is critical to the success of the Canadian post-secondary sector. We are delighted to support a world class institution and partner like Western in their pursuit of our shared goal."