Amy and Neil from CUHC with their Outstanding Pro Bono Award nominee Stephen Pitre

Amy and Neil from CUHC with their Outstanding Pro Bono Award nominee Stephen Pitre



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. So for the month of March, 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 Stephen Pitre, a specialist in the Business Analysis and Project Management disciplines in the IT sector, principal consultant at P.O.E.M Consulting Services, and Spark volunteer since 2015


Spark matched him with the Community Unemployed Help Centre (CUHC), a nonprofit organization that provides information, advice, and representation for individuals seeking to obtain income support benefits through Canada’s Employment Insurance and Manitoba’s Employment and Income Assistance programs. Stephen assisted CUHC by reviewing their IT and data collection systems and processes, with an eye to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.  


According to Neil Cohen, Executive Director of CUHC, Stephen “brought a wealth of relevant knowledge and expertise to this project […] He not only reviewed our existing systems but took the time to fully understand the organization and nature of our work.” This was achieved by meeting “with staff, individually and collectively, to understand the way in which they use the computer system and its various applications” and developed recommendations accordingly.   


At the conclusion of the project, CUHC was incredibly grateful to Stephen for providing them with  “a thorough, detailed analysis of [their] computer system, a written report and  valuable recommendations to provide greater efficacy to [their] operations.” Neil reported that some of these recommendations have already been implemented, resulting in “reduced costs and enhanced efficacy” for the organization, while others will be implemented in the future as the organization moves forward.  


Neil noted that “when Stephen asked why he agreed to take on the project, he simply said it was about giving back to the community.”  Stephen did give back, and his contribution to CUHC, means the staff, clients, and the community will continue to benefit from the advice and assistance he provided.


Want to read about other Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award nominees? Check out our profile on Foster Lyle and follow along for other nominee profiles this month!