New board members needed for dynamic and diverse leadership

With three board members ending their term, chair Jim Healey says they are looking for “a few good people” to re-energize the board.

“We need community members with a passion for helping the disadvantaged, especially around food security and social programs, to reenergize the board,” Healey said.

The board of directors is made up of volunteers who set the tone and direction for the local food bank and community kitchen, providing oversight, leadership and guidance.

Healey, in his 5th year as board member, is active in community events, fundraising initiatives, and is currently acting as Chair of the Board.

“For me, the issue of the working poor really touches me. There are people working but maybe at minimum wage, and they need a little leg up, a little help to get over the hump, and three or four days of food is sufficient to keep that family going,” he said.

Three directors have recently completed their term, and the team has already recruited one new member.

Rachel Larin, a mother of 2 young adults and a teenager, joins the board, offering a unique perspective as someone with lived experience.

With a bachelor’s degree from the University of Ottawa, Larin has worked with the National Aboriginal Women’s Association as Director of Communications, as well as a manager at St. Lawrence Parks Commission, where her biggest legacy was the implementation of the 1-800 reservation system.

But in 2005 Larin fell on some hard times.

After a difficult separation, she was left with a lot of debt and full custody of her three children, and needed a little help from her community.

“I couldn’t make ends meet,” said Larin. “On paper it looked doable, but my reality was that I was struggling to maintain a full-time job and still afford to feed my kids.”

As someone who visited the Agapè Centre food bank for a period of time, Larin says she can understand what people who are using the services are going through, and hopes to bring the link between front line services and the executive level.

“I want to offer my input based on my personal experience and to help bring ideas from the front line to the table,” she said.

Larin has volunteered at the Agapè Centre with fundraising events and Christmas basket registration. During this process people shared their stories of struggle, and Larin was happy she could genuinely say ‘I understand, I’ve been there, how can I help?’

“I’m coming in at a time when there are so many changes and opportunities,” she said.

Larin brings experience in fundraising, grant application writing, strategic planning, and marketing and communications,

“In this role, I can hone my skills and pay it forward,” she said. “I’m hoping to make an impact and help move the organization forward.”

Board membership is comprised of up to 10 directors, including 4 executive roles. Each member can serve a total of six years consecutively (3-year term renewable once).

The team meets monthly 10 times a year, and its committees (fundraising; strategic planning; membership; governance; budget and finance) meet on an ad hoc basis.

Healey says serving on the board is a great opportunity to give back to the community and open your eyes to some of the social issues that exist here that we may not be aware of.

“This role certainly puts that right in your face,” he said.

The chair also noted that some great additions to the board might include people with backgrounds in areas like project management, accounting, nursing/medicine, dietician, social work or mental health field.

The board plans to enter into strategic planning process this fall, so interested community members are encouraged to submit an application by June 13 for consideration before the summer.

For more details on the role, click here: Board Member Job Description

Click here for  Board of Directors Application Form

For more information or to submit an application, please contact Jim Healey, Chair of the Board of Directors at jim@roadsigns.ca

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