Candace House is a relatively new nonprofit with a solid idea and a firm foundation. It was started by Wilma Derksen in honour of her daughter, Candace, who was murdered in the 1980s. As Wilma spoke to others who had been affected by serious crime, she realized that victims of crime needed a “comfortable, safe oasis… a house near the law courts that could serve as a place of rest for victims of crime during their connection with the criminal justice system, a place in which victims could connect with others to receive timely information, nourishment, and encouragement.” (source) The physical house is still in the works, but Cecilly Hildebrand, the organization’s Executive Director, has been working on establishing relationships in the community, and creating frameworks for the organization’s current and future work. Cecilly has been working as the Executive Director for Candace House for over two years, but as Candace House gets closer to having a site, her responsibilities have been increasing, so she reached out to Spark for support in the form of an Executive Director mentor.
Since Candace House is looking at a capital campaign and increasing its programming and partnerships, we thought of Jackie Hogue, past ED of the West Central Women’s Resource Centre, as she was in that role as WCWRC was going through some of the same kinds of growth.
Cecilly and Jackie are meeting monthly for coffee, sharing, and support.
Spark’s Executive Director mentoring matches provide a safe space for new EDs to process some of their challenges with someone who has been there/done that. Past mentees have said that their match was “a really great opportunity to be connected to someone who could assist and support me through organizational challenges and changes. Through the mentorship I was given the time and space to reflect on challenges in my work. The mentor I worked with was able to provide tangible advice and, in some cases, resources to support me through these challenges.” Another Executive Director who had a mentoring match said that “it was very helpful to have my mentor’s advice on issues I am facing in my role as ED. I often feel isolated and unsure as to the long-term consequences of my day-to-day decisions so it has been very helpful to have my mentor’s feedback on projects and roadblocks I’ve faced in my position.”
If you work for a community development organization in Winnipeg and are looking for short-term, project-specific help, or if you’d like to volunteer your expertise, start here. Our matches make it possible for organizations to achieve what they can’t do on their own – be part of that change today!