Written by Hannah Hudson, Financial Analyst, Community Health Services at Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Located at James W. Burns Executive Education Centre, the last Leadership Winnipeg session was focused on volunteering, board governance, and professional growth. The day opened with introductions from Her Honour, the Honourable Janice Filmon. It was incredible to meet her in person as you can immediately feel her passion for people and supporting our community. It was fascinating listening to Her Honour provide advice to us, as leaders in our little worlds, about how we shouldn’t underestimate opportunities to influence others and how we can use the power of language to change the tone of a conversation by harnessing gratefulness. She spoke of the importance of getting to actually know the people around you and, in the context of serving on a Board of Directors, getting to know your fellow members to make the experience worthwhile. It was an absolute privilege to meet Honourable Janice Filmon and I personally felt inspired by her passion and commitment to investing in our community.
Next up, our fellow Leadership Winnipeg student, Kamillah El-Giadaa, spoke about Volunteer Manitoba, the work the organization does, and her role within it. Kamillah indicated that Canada is one of the largest voluntary sectors in the world and emphasized how critical volunteers are within the non-profit sector of Manitoba. As someone who works in the healthcare industry and has strong ties to the community through my work, I strongly value volunteerism and see how our community benefits.
Jackie Hunt, Interim Executive Director with Volunteer Manitoba gave a thoughtful presentation on Board Governance which made us think about the type of organizations we may want to be part of through Leadership Winnipeg’s Board Connect program. Jackie spoke about the role and responsibilities of the board, types of boards, and best practices. It was especially interesting to hear about her time serving on various boards and the advice she gave to make our experiences valuable.
Before lunch, Debra Jonasson-Young with the University of Manitoba, gave us a brief history of her extensive background in various retailer and board roles. She spoke about looking at boards that links back to your own career where you think you can really add value but also be open to boards that you may not have any relation to, this is where we might expand our knowledge and perhaps offer a different perspective. All good advice to those serving on a Board of Directors or wanting to in the future!
After lunch, we listened to a short presentation from SPARK, a Winnipeg service for non-profits, essentially a matchmaker of non-profit organizations who require help for a short-term project or goal with a skilled volunteer looking to donate their time and knowledge. A great way for professionals from all industries and sectors to make connections in Winnipeg to help others.
The afternoon wrapped up with Tom Carson’s lead on some fun group activities and discussions about our personality profiles and group dynamics. All in all it was an inspiring day giving us perspective on how we can truly make a difference in our community!