One year at United Way

There was a short period last year when I didn't know what I was going to do with my life.  It only lasted a couple of days, but it was rather unsettling.  Then I got the formal offer to come and work at the United Way.  One year ago today, I walked into The Redpoll Centre for the first time in my new role as Director of Communications and Community Impact.

"It was the best professional decision of my life," I said to the folks gathered in the Keyano Recital Theatre for the Community Building Awards.  It really was.

If life was a series of acts, it feels like I'm well into my second.  So much has changed. So much has been unexpected.

In the 1980s, I went on an unplanned visit to a broadcasting school.  It led to a 10-year career in radio.

An opportunity presented itself out of the blue to apply for a publicist job at Keyano Theatre.  At the time, it meant a $6,000 cut in salary, but it proved to be a great decision and resulted in a rewarding 15-year career at Keyano.

Just over one year ago, I painted a mural of Elsie Yanik on an exterior wall of my shop (now studio) facing the grassy right-of-way between our street and the next.  It began my evolution to "artist"; it has been the biggest shock and delight of my life.  Each day, I get requests to do portraits or participate as a visual artist in fundraising endeavours.

The United Way has been a tremendous catalyst for me, as have the people I get to work with on a day-to-day basis.   The volunteers who work on our board and workplace campaigns, and the good people who work with agencies, all have been important influences on this incredible journey.  I am grateful to them all.


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