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Donor Profile

Laura Dottori-Attanasio

It’s important that everyone be given an opportunity to live life to their full potential.

Laura Dottori-Attanasio credits her incredible volunteerism to growing up in a small town. “You learn very quickly the importance of help- ing one another out,” she says. “You have to look after each other if you’re going to get by.”

It’s a philosophy that the CIBC Senior Executive Vice-President and Group Head, Personal and Business Banking, Canada brought with her when she moved to Toronto. At CIBC, she has championed diversity and inclusion in the workplace, leading an initiative at the bank to hire more people with disabilities.

As a volunteer and philanthropist, Laura has dedicated countless hours to the causes she cares about. As United Way’s 2018 and 2019 Major Individual Giving Cabinet Chair, she rallied the community around a network of social service agencies, ensuring people and families have access to the vital supports they need to thrive. In fact, her incredible commitment to giving back was recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Toronto Chapter, which awarded her the 2019 Outstanding Volunteer Award in honour of her work with United Way, the Centennial Infant and Child Centre Foundation and the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.

“I think it’s vital that we all be prepared to give, not just financially, but also of our time,” she says. “Business leaders need to look at what they can do both in the community and within their own organizations to effect change.”

The importance of this two-pronged approach has become even more clear to Laura during the COVID-19 crisis, when small acts of kindness and large-scale action are vital to the health of the community.

“Regardless of where we come from, we all have needed someone to support us,” she says. “And it’s times like these that remind us of that. When we can, we should be supporting and helping others.”

And she’s happy to lead by example. In 2019, Laura and her husband Mark Attanasio invested $100,000 in United Way’s network of community agencies. She also continues to offer her expertise and leadership to ensure her community has the support it needs during these unprecedented times. She hopes her generosity will inspire others to do what they can to ensure no one is left behind in the weeks and months to come.

“It’s important that everyone be given an opportunity to live life to their full potential,” she says. “It’s how you have a solid community and society.”