One month at United Way


One month ago I began my new adventures at the United Way of Fort McMurray. The time is flying by and I am having a blast.  What an amazing group of people to work with, both on the staff and all those who connect with us from the agencies, the board, community investment committee and workplace campaigns.  It has been an incredible immersion into the world of the United Way and how it facilitates impact, through the great work of its member agencies, the charitable organizations which it helps fund through the donations that come in during the community campaign.

I feel a little behind in other things, like planning for the Illuminate Talent Search and the cultural piece of the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, but I'm doing my best.  The truth is that I'm still trying to find my balance, and with all new professional transitions, it is going to take time.


It might appear from the outside looking in that I spend all my spare time painting.  I'll admit I've had the brush in hand a fair number of hours in June and July, but that is just my relaxation time.  Some golf, others play softball or slo-pitch; I paint pictures.


I love summer in McMurray, and even with the new job I've still found time to enjoy it, either on the shore of the Athabasca River out past the water treatment plant, or on the dock at Willow Lake.  This region is drop dead gorgeous in my view, especially at this time of year.  I feel so fortunate that we don't have to drive far to experience and enjoy it.

One of the things I've enjoyed the most about my new job is the fact that I can walk to work.  It is a mere three blocks, door to door, and on those days when I don't have outside meetings, I get to enjoy a number of strolls.  Not only do I get some much-needed exercise, I get to clear my head, and see what's happening in the neighbourhood.  I love it.  I also get to come home for lunch, which is a blessing.

As I contemplated change back at the end of April, I described one door closing, but multiple windows opening.  I feel incredibly fortunate with many things, and know that I am exactly where I am meant to be.  The work is challenging and fulfilling.  The team is passionate and engaged.  And my family, as always, is super supportive.  There is still a lot to learn, and much to be done, but I'm on a great path.

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