Our Annual General Meeting was held this week, and like most organizations the goal of the meeting was to report back to our membership and the public about key outcomes for the year. AGMs aren’t always the most exciting of meetings to sit through, but we did manage to squeeze in some laughter and maybe even a few tears!
The business portion of the meeting included presentations from our Chair Jacqui Winter, who focused on what the Board and staff had undertaken in terms of organizational reviews during the 2018/2019 fiscal year. This includes a full human resource review (including new job descriptions, key performance indicators and new performance evaluation structures) and a operational policy review. She also presented to the membership the Community Report for 2019, which outlines the impact of fundraising and investments made in the charitable community throughout the year. The financial statements for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019 were presented and are available to review on this very website (click here!) There were also some slight changes made to our By-Laws, in relation to the terms of office of the Executive Members and cleaning up some discrepancies when related to length of terms of length of time able to serve on the Board.
Election of Board of Directors
It is the responsibility of the Nominations Committee to ensure that the slate of candidates are representative of the community we serve. Our Board of Directors must represent diversity in backgrounds and skills and reflect broad community interests without domination by one interest group.
As we evolve from our beginnings as an Avalon based organization to becoming a truly provincial body, we are also working to have our Board of Directors reflect this – and as the terms of existing Board members expire we are recruiting additional Board Members from other parts of the province to assist with ensuring that our organization has a lens on the province as a whole. We have implemented our new Board skills matrix, as mentioned at last year’s Annual General Meeting.
Following those guidelines and our existing By-Laws, this year we presented the following Slate of Directors who were duly elected.
Jacqui Winter, Chair
Joe Browne, Past-Chair
Ryan Belbin, Vice Chair
Geoff Goodyear, Director, Labrador Representative
Erin Manning, Director
Amy McCarthy, Director
Patrick Roche, Chair Community Investment Committee, Western NL Representative
Lisa Williams, Labour Movement Appointee
Peggy Miller, Chair, Marketing & Communications
Doug Pawson, Director
Stephanie Normore, Treasurer & Labrador representative
Kathy Oake, Director & Central NL Representative
Sherry Walsh has been a steadfast volunteer with United Way. When she began her role as Treasurer, there were process improvements and clear direction that came our way. She has provided guidance when needed; support when asked; and has been a key part of our growth and accountability in terms of our financial reporting and tracking. Thank you Sherry for the years of service you have given to United Way through both your involvement in Deloitte’s workplace campaign and through your years as a member of our Board of Directors.
Its always tough to recognize board members as they depart, and we try to do so with the knowledge that as you leave they are also now a member of our community of ambassadors.
Mark Brown Community Builder Award
Once the business portion of the meeting was completed, we moved into one of the highlights of the year: Naming the recipient of the Mark Brown Community Builder Award.
In the early 2000s, Mark Brown started in earnest his work to establish United Way in our province. It took him a few years, but he did it. In 2005, United Way of Avalon launched. In 2009, we became United Way of Newfoundland & Labrador. Mark was Founding Chair, and is now a member of our Past Chairs Council, a group that works to ensure we remember our past as we forge our future. To recognize his efforts and the longevity of his involvement with United Way, in 2017 we established The Mark Brown Community Builder Award. This award serves to recognize an individual who works to build stronger and more resilient communities through their volunteer engagement with United Way and the community in general.
2019 Recipient: Kathryn Atkin
This year’s award went to a very special person in the United Way family – Kathryn Atkin. Kathryn has been a long time volunteer, having been one of the members of our Founding Board of Directors, then Secretary, then Vice Chair, to Chair, to Past Chair. Currently Kathryn is STILL involved with United Way. She serves in an official capacity as a member of our Community Investment Committee and our Past Chairs Council. Unofficially Kathryn has been a mentor to the staff of United Way, always there to provide the history and rationale of decisions made or being made; and has personally been a sounding board to our Executive Director for the past twelve years. Tammy indicates that she’s not sure she would have made it to this point without Kathryn’s support and level advice. (this is where the tears came in!)
In addition to her commitment to United Way, Kathryn has it in her blood to give back to the community. Her very first volunteer role was at the tender age of eleven. Even at that time, her leadership skills were an integral part of her very being. At 11, she was an assistant to the Secretary of the Harbour Grace Regatta Committee. From that point on, she was hooked on giving back.
Kathryn is nothing if not involved, currently serving with a number of local and regional committees and groups, including as a Board Member – Festival 500: Growing the Voices; Chair – Northeast Avalon Regional DARE Committee; Chair – Rotary Leadership Institute Atlantic (New Brunswick, Maine, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saint Pierre et Miquelon) – also a founding member and Member – Rotary Club of Avalon Northeast. And, this is not the WHOLE list!
For all that she does, and we hope for that she’ll continue to do for her community and home, this year’s Mark Brown Community Builder Award goes to Kathryn Atkin.
A new year brings reflections, ideas and thoughts of change. Change can start within or it can start wherever people decide to make it happen. Change can start with two people, at a town meeting, in a union gathering or in a classroom. And once it starts, it grows. As change happens, new things are possible.
Our goal at United Way is to inspire change on a local level. We will create opportunities for a better life for everyone in our communities. And we thank you for helping us make change happen here.
Tammy Davis/Executive Director