Each year we present the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award at the Volunteer Manitoba Awards. We look forward to this day because it gives us a chance to recognize one of our volunteers and the impact their work has had on the community, as well as celebrate volunteerism throughout Manitoba.
A number of organizations we worked with this year nominated their Spark volunteer and wished to recognize them for their fantastic leadership and coordination, the outcome and impact of the match on the organization’s work, the depth and quality of their expertise, and their commitment to doing pro bono work for a stronger Winnipeg.
For the months of March and April, until the the awards night, we are celebrating these nominees for the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award, and their contributions to their community through a series of volunteer profiles.
Today we are profiling Dennis Dyck
With an extensive career in the nonprofit sector, including a 9 year tenure as Executive Director at Volunteer Manitoba, Dennis came to Spark in 2013 to volunteer his expertise in board governance and the all things related to the role of an Executive Director.
Since becoming a volunteer Dennis had completed two year-long mentorship matches with ED’s new to their roles. He is nominated this year for his mentorship match with Angela McCaughan, Executive Director of Self-Starting Creative Opportunities for People in Employment (SSCOPE), a social enterprise “that provides training and part-time employment through our diverse ‘green’ business streams to those overcoming and managing mental illness.” These green businesses are definitely diverse and include a thrift shop, lawn and yard care, snow clearing, moving, and recycling services… just to name a few.
Guidance in her new role
With a background in business Angela knew how to operate and grow these businesses but needed some guidance in some aspects of her new role as an ED of a nonprofit.
She contacted us interested in a mentorship match and we connected her with Dennis.
A mentorship match is a more informal (casual monthly meetings) than our typical project based matches and longer (typically six months to a year). They consist of matching someone new to their role in an organization (in this case an ED) with a person experienced in that role. The pair can focus on a particular challenge or simply get together to share all the successes, challenges, and opportunities related to leading a nonprofit.
Angela and Dennis’s match was the latter. They met monthly, with phone calls and emails in between as needed, to chat about the day-to-day of SSCOPE, and how to navigate any issues that would arise.
“We are moving forward in a positive direction.”
At the end of the year Angela reported a lot of growth and credits Dennis, saying it’s because of his “expertise and knowledge we are moving forward in a positive direction. We have been able to expand our volunteers and access funding and programs we were not previously aware of.”
While the match has officially ended, Angela notes that she and Dennis continue to meet and he continues to be a great source of guidance and support.
Thank you, Dennis for your mentorship work with Angela as she navigated her new role as ED of SSCOPE!