Marc Lachance always appreciated a challenge in his professional career. So when retirement came along, it was only natural for him to consider volunteer work to keep the challenges coming. He had heard through the grapevine about a site called Altruvest, which offered a service called BoardMatch that aims to match willing volunteers with board positions in non-profit organizations across Canada.
After uploading his resume, Marc was contacted by someone at Spectra Community Support Services. He joined the organization, and soon moved from general board member to board Chair, a position he has held for the past six years. As a member of the board, Marc and his team are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization and making sure that operational activities are aligned with that direction.
During his time volunteering, Marc has built an impressive resume. It includes growing the organization from one program to four, moving from three to 11 staff, and tripling funding. He also designed floor plans to optimize space for the organization and conducted an extensive study of its technical needs, securing external funding to implement the upgrades.
Marc was quick to cite insight and learning as one of the primary benefits of his volunteer experience. Being a non-profit board member gave him extensive visibility into both the social services sector and the inner workings of non-profit organizations. More than anything, he learned just how dire the need is for people with business backgrounds to volunteer their skills.
This knowledge provides the foundation for Marc's advice to others looking to get involved: don't wait, and don't question your ability. So often, we undervalue the skills we bring to the table, when there are so many organizations with causes that matter who need those skills more than anything.
To acknowledge Marc's exemplary leadership and commitment to the voluntary sector, he was presented with the 2012 John Huether Award for Volunteering Excellence by Volunteer MBC in April, 2012.
Written by: Jason Repovs