Meet Our Members

The Tiffany Circle is a community of women philanthropists from across Canada committed to furthering the humanitarian mission of the Canadian Red Cross locally, nationally, and around the world. Meet five members and learn why they choose to support the Red Cross, how they decided to join the Tiffany Circle and their own Tiffany Circle experiences.
 

Carole-Ann, Alyssa and Samantha Miller – Halifax, NS

tc-millers-story-250x250.jpgAlyssa and Samantha Miller are what you’d call “overachievers”, and they come by it honestly. Their mother is Carole-Ann Miller, owner and operator of Maple Trade Finance, a transactional lending business. All three remarkable women in this family are members of the Tiffany Circle.

Carole-Ann first was introduced to the Canadian Red Cross when she was approached to make a gift to the Building for Humanity capital campaign. She admits she didn’t know a lot about what the Red Cross did outside of its global humanitarian efforts, but once she learned more, it was the community component that motivated her.

“Learning about how the Red Cross helps people locally in communities across Canada was what really resonated with me,” said Carole-Ann.  “I spent a few of my teen years living on the streets. I now live comfortably, and am very cognizant of the fact that others may not be so fortunate.”

Following the campaign, Carole-Ann decided to continue her involvement with the Red Cross through the Tiffany Circle. “I’m sure every woman has their own motivation for why they become a member, but for me, it was so that I could join my two daughters in making a community contribution together. My girls are my life and I’m very proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

Carole-Ann has reason to be a proud mama. Both her daughters, Samantha age 20 and Alyssa age 17, are accomplished, philanthropic young women. In addition to being members of the Tiffany Circle alongside their mom, they volunteer in various other capacities including soup kitchens, working with disadvantaged children, and organizing third party fundraising events.

The most successful fundraiser Samantha and Alyssa were involved with was for the Red Cross. They organized a campout event to raise funds and awareness. In addition to the funds raised overall at the event, these young women garnered more than $150,000 on their own for the Red Cross.

The most memorable experience of being a Tiffany Circle member for Carole-Ann so far has been her trip to Haiti with the Red Cross. “I had the chance to meet with people who have benefitted from donor generosity; it was an amazing journey. I appreciated the intelligence with how the Red Cross approaches their donations and their emphasis on sustainability in these impacted communities”.
Outside of this family’s fundraising activities and volunteer work, they are all kept busy with their ongoing education. Samantha is in her third year at the University of Southern California in International Relations, Alyssa has been accepted with a scholarship in Biochemistry to Queen Mary, part of the University of London England, and Carole-Ann is hoping to start her PhD in Organizational Behaviour shortly.

In such a philanthropic and driven family, it would almost seem like these women wouldn’t have time for any other interests, but all the Miller ladies share a passion for the arts. Their work with the Red Cross might just be their true masterpiece.
 

Anna Hunt-Binkley – Lake Country, BC

tc-anna-story-250x250.jpgSometimes there are moments in our lives that take us down unexpected paths. For retired lawyer and school trustee Anna Hunt-Binkley, one of those moments occurred after suffering a bad fall while away at a horse show. “I was recuperating at home from the surgeries and had time to reflect on where I was headed,” said Anna. “It was then that I received a call from Sarah at the Red Cross.” Anna and Sarah had worked together previously in a different capacity, and Sarah asked if they could meet to discuss the work happening at the Red Cross.

Anna had experience with the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program in the past to help her mom, and felt she knew a little bit about the organization. After an in-depth discussion with Sarah, Anna gained a more global understanding. “My eyes were opened to the breadth of the work the Red Cross does and the meaningful international work they are involved with.”

After thoughtful consideration, Anna jumped right in and agreed to Chair the Red Cross "Building for Humanity" fundraising campaign in Kelowna B.C., which raised $3 million. “I’m a firm believer that if you are leading a cause, you have to put your best foot forward, so after making our personal gift to the campaign, the Red Cross staff asked if I’d considered being a member of the Tiffany Circle.”

Since becoming a Tiffany Circle member, Anna has had the opportunity to attend the Tiffany Circle Summit in Washington hosted by the American Red Cross twice and is registered for her third. It was that first Summit that Anna said made a lasting impression. “The energy, commitment and vision of this powerful group of women leaders for the Red Cross had a profound impact on me. Since then, I’ve become much more involved in the Tiffany Circle because we continuously support and strengthen the Red Cross, and that is what is most important to me.”

Anna’s hope is that the Tiffany Circle will continue to grow here in Canada. She encourages others who are considering becoming a member to do their research. “Learn more about the Red Cross. Go and meet some of the people at your local branch.” 
Even with most of Anna’s time occupied by supporting community organizations including the Red Cross, she still finds time to explore other passions which include riding her horses six days a week. “It really does put a smile on my face. I enjoy being active and giving back,” said Anna. “I feel it’s very important in our lives.” Anna has been married to her husband for 34 years and they have three grown sons. She said “marital harmony comes with compromises however each person must continue to walk their own path.”

We are glad your path led you to the Red Cross Anna!

 

Michelle Al-Katib – Regina, SK


Michelle Al-Katib headshotWhere do you call home?
I’ve lived in the Regina area for last 22 years.

In two or three sentences, describe your personal history (professional or otherwise).
When I had kids, I resigned from my position as Administrative Assistant for Financial Development for the Saskatchewan office of the Canadian Red Cross. Since then I’ve chaired the local school community council and sat on the boards of the Regina Riot football team as well as Regina Minor Football. I am currently the team registrar for the Regina Thunder football team and, also, a literacy volunteer at Kitchener Elementary School.

How long have you been a Tiffany Circle member, and what are one or two notable Red Cross or Tiffany Circle facts about you?
I have been a Tiffany Circle member for six years. I’m on the SWAG and the Organizing Committees for the coming event in Regina. I also was on the organizing committee for the Red Gala in Saskatchewan for the Red Cross, co-chairing the event with my husband the last two years.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I attended a Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott concert with my son and his friends two years ago and would put it on the list of my top 10 concerts.

What would you describe as a “magic” moment during the past year for you?
My kids’ grade 12 graduation: watching them walk across the stage and accept their diplomas, seeing my daughter receive the silver medal for the second-highest average in her graduating class of 380 students, and listening to them deliver the toast to the girls and their parents. These were very proud mama moments.

Who or what inspires you and why?
My husband Murad (cheesy, I know): he runs a large international company, is perpetually jet-lagged and juggles multiple competing priorities. Despite all that, he still makes family and local community initiatives a priority and ensures that I am properly and sufficiently caffeinated when he is home. He is also the lead singer in a band and an amazing public speaker, which are two things that (a) I am not good at and (b) terrify me.

What drives you nuts?
My kids: I am a control freak, and they are young adults asserting their independence. Enough said.

What   is   the   most   important   reason   for   you   joining   the   Red   Cross   Tiffany   Circle?
It is an opportunity to give back and support an organization that supports anyone at their most trying time with women who have similar goals.


Learn how to join the Tiffany Circle by contacting:

Lisa Tobias
Associate Director, Tiffany Circle
lisa.tobias@redcross.ca
Phone: 416-480-0195 ext. 2265