"For over 40 years, it has been my privilege to serve individuals and communities within the health care system and to work alongside others who share my deep commitment to enabling philanthropy for impactful purposes."
After an illustrious career spanning 47 years in health care, Pearl Veenema, the visionary leader and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, is set to retire in January 2024. Pearl leaves behind a remarkable legacy of compassion, dedication, and philanthropy that has transformed health care for hundreds of thousands of individuals.
As we prepare to bid farewell to Pearl, we take a moment to reflect on her extraordinary journey from a nurse at patients’ bedsides to a visionary leader in the boardroom and beyond. At every step of her career she left an indelible mark on our health care landscape.
Pearl's journey began as a registered nurse in 1976, and her unwavering commitment to patients, families and health care workers ultimately led her to philanthropic development. Throughout her career, Pearl demonstrated exceptional leadership and an innate ability to connect with people on a personal level.
Under Pearl's guidance, the Foundation experienced tremendous growth, raising over $450 million for patient care, research, education, and capital redevelopment during her tenure. Her impact on health care philanthropy is further underscored by her significant contributions to the canon of fundraising literature and her designation as both a Fellow of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy and a Certified Fund Raising Executive. Pearl is a recipient of the prestigious Harold J. (Si) Seymour Award in recognition of a career that reflects exemplary standards in fostering volunteerism and philanthropy, and most recently, was recognized as 2023 Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Golden Horseshoe Chapter. Her passion for continuous learning and professional development has inspired her team to excel, and she has mentored hundreds of fundraising professionals throughout North America.
Reg Swamy, Chair of the Board of Directors for Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, expressed his bittersweet emotions about Pearl’s retirement, stating, "Pearl's talent, wisdom, and heart have been the guiding light behind our success and growth. Her dedication to nurturing relationships, empowering donors, and improving health care has left an immeasurable impact that will resonate for years to come."
Reflecting on her career, Pearl shared, "For over 40 years, it has been my privilege to serve individuals and communities within the health care system and to work alongside others who share my deep commitment to enabling philanthropy for impactful purposes."
As Pearl embarks on this new chapter of her life, the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation and the entire community express their heartfelt gratitude for her exemplary leadership and wish her the very best in her future endeavors.