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New leadership to help one-of-a-kind organization continue to grow and help entrepreneurs with a history of mental health and addictions challenges

Toronto, July 11, 2018 – As demand for the organization’s services continues to grow across Canada, the Board of Directors of Rise Asset Development is pleased to announce the appointment of Lori Smith as Chief Executive Officer effective August 13, 2018. Ms. Smith joins Rise after four years serving as National Director of Right To Play Canada, where she fundamentally changed its operation, doubling its overall annual revenue, building its programs and transforming its business systems.

“We are pleased to have been able to recruit a CEO of Lori’s calibre, with a career spanning nearly 25 years in development and fundraising for several premier organizations, including Toronto Public Library, St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation and CAMH Foundation” said Robert McGuire, Chair of the Board of Directors for Rise. “With demand for our services at an all-time high, we look forward to her leadership as we continue to expand. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Beth Dea, our interim CEO, for her great work in managing the organization during our CEO search.”

Rise works to empower business owners with access to financing and business support. The organization recognizes the interdependency of financial well-being to one’s overall quality of life and is committed to improving the lives of people who are unable to secure employment due to mental health or addiction challenges. In late 2017, the organization announced it had granted over $1 million in loans to Ontario entrepreneurs. In addition to its Small Business Lending program, Rise offers the Youth Small Business Program, the Peer Supported Start-up Program and mentoring.

In May, 2018, as part of its national scaling strategy, Rise opened its first office outside Ontario, serving Nova Scotia. On the heels of this successful move, Lori’s mandate will be to fully enact this strategy. With Lori’s entrepreneurial spirit, diverse fundraising expertise and experience in program growth, Rise aims to bring its programs and services coast to coast across Canada by 2021.

“The type of empowerment that Rise provides is unique in Canada,” said Sandra Rotman, a founding donor of Rise. “Lori is poised to help us drive the growth of this special organization, in the interest of assisting this distinctive population of passionate and talented entrepreneurs. We’re excited about our future.”

Launched in 2010, Rise is supported by Founding Donor Sandra Rotman, Impact Donors the Province of Ontario, Janis Rotman, Bell Let’s Talk and RBC Foundation, and Program Donors BDC, Citi Foundation, and Shoppers Drug Mart Foundation.