There is nothing quite like the AVRBC community, and no one could attest to that better than this year’s IMPACT award winners Maggie Stewart and Lindsay Baker, who say that the community was there for them every step of their career. Here are Maggie and Lindsay themselves on what receiving the award meant to them. Thanks again to Better Impact for so generously making this award possible!
Exemplary Leader Lindsay Baker Looks Back
What does this award mean to you?
It means that the peers and colleagues who I respect and admire believe that I have consistently demonstrated excellent leadership of volunteers and have made a positive impact on the profession as a whole. Within my organization, it has raised my profile, enhanced my credibility and strengthened the role of our team.
What is the secret to your success?
I think the elements which have been critical to my success are: connecting with the AVRBC community and getting involved with the board, continually investing time and energy in learning, leveraging the incredible talents of the teams I’ve worked with and never being afraid to try something new even after something failed to produce desired results.
What support have you received from the AVRBC community to get here?
The AVRBC community welcomed me in on committees and the board, taught me best practices, generously shared tips, tools and templates to work from and offered going advice, support, education and inspiration. My involvement with AVRBC also changed the way I looked at myself and my work and allowed me to find my profession.
Has anything changed for you, moving forward after this award?
I feel AMAZING actually – happier, more energized and very proud. In terms of my career, I also feel a renewed energy and purpose as well as a desire to give back and help others find the support and community I have found with AVRBC and VMPC.
What would you recommend for new VMs starting out?
Invest time and energy in learning. Attend conferences, watch webinars, network with members, read books, volunteer on a committee or board, develop new skills and keep up with technology and trends. Also, find some mentors! I was very fortunate to have four strong mentors throughout my career – each teaching me what I needed to know in that moment and providing support, guidance and encouragement. AVRBC’s mentor match program is a built in place a great place to start. Go to the website, look at the member directory, and reach out to someone you want to connect with – schedule a Skype call or maybe meet up in person for a coffee. If that sounds scary, then reach out to me. I am always happy to meet new people and learn from them, so send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 604-659-3572.
Emerging Leader Maggie Stewart Wonders ‘What’s Next?’
I would have told you that I was sure that I had not won the award. In fact, I did not share the news that I had been nominated because I had prepared an entire “although not the recipient, I am proud” message.
However, as I stood there and was ushered to hold the award the right way, and to look at the right photographer… I began to realize that this amazing group of community-building all-stars had selected me as a symbol for what emerging leadership in volunteer management looks like.
Wow (In fact ‘wow’ has pretty much been the only word, on repeat, through my mind throughout this entire experience).
I think it is an understatement to say that I am honoured to be the 2017 recipient of the Emerging Leader award. It also does not feel sufficient to thank my phenomenal supporters that have walked with me and guided me on this journey that has lead me to this point. Every person who inconvenienced themselves to help, mentor, guide and/or support me is a personal hero of mine (and I am blessed to have many of these heroes). I think it speaks to the generosity of those in the Langara College and AVRBC communities of which I am so grateful to be a part of.
This award humbles me and motivates me. As volunteer coordinators, we work long and hard days, complete with an entire spectrum of emotions. When I notice myself sliding to the darker side of that spectrum, I look to the shining black diamond on my desk and remember the support and the energy of my communities.
I take a second to appreciate my supports, recall how wonderful life is, and then, the excitement floods back and I find myself wondering …. What’s Next?