About six months ago, I joined Girl Guides of Canada – Guides du Canada as Manager of Member Services. As an organization, we are committed to being catalysts for girls empowering girls and creating a safe, all-girl environment that invites girls to challenge themselves, to find their voice, meet new friends, have fun, and make a difference in the world. I manage the department that, among other things, specializes in building strong relationships with members; this includes onboarding, recognition, engagement, satisfaction, strengthening benefits and improving retention.
While I have only been a member of CSAE for a short time, I have had the opportunity to be involved in the membership committee and attend the CSAE conference in fall 2018. I joined CSAE because my former employer provided membership, and I was determined to keep it when I relocated from Ottawa to Toronto, where I look forward to increasing my engagement.
Why did you initially join CSAE?
I joined because my previous employer was offering CSAE membership as part of a group membership. I knew about CSAE and how others had been involved over the years but didn’t know what benefits existed with membership or how helpful it could be as a resource. When given the option I was at a place in my career with an increased level of responsibility and I was intrigued about having access to tools and resources, and other membership professionals to increase my skills and be better in my position.
What keeps you motivated?
The wide range of opportunities that exist to better the membership experience at GGC and the positive impact that can have on the lives of women and girls.
What has surprised you most about your professional journey so far?
I started working in the not-for-profit sector as a six-week temporary administrative employee immediately post graduation from grad school. I took the position as I searched for a career in policy research or international relations. As new opportunities presented themselves at that same organization, I found myself interested and excited about the work; that continued as I took on new opportunities and professional advancement.
Fast forward nine-years and I’m now working at my second not-for-profit organization where I’m passionate about data-driven decision-making and navigating political and organizational infrastructure to drive results and create internal processes, communications, and company culture focused on an exceptional member experience. I never would have imagined that 10 years ago.
What’s one piece of advice you would like to share with others?
Don’t be afraid to take risks. Allow yourself to be open and curious about new opportunities and don’t limit yourself to the one path that you think is the best path. You must push outside of your comfort zone and be willing to accept risks because the best stuff is on the other side of fear. Every single time.
Who inspires you?
In my career thus far, I have had the tremendous advantage and honour of working for two strong women (mentors) who have shaped me. The first encouraged me to realize the potential I had as a leader in our industry and lean into a professional opportunity I wasn’t sure I was ready for. The second pushed me to consider an MBA and provides the best, no-nonsense guidance for helping me achieve my goals. They are both incredibly smart, successful, forces that I continue to look to for inspiration.
What do you do outside of work?
I spend a lot of time with my dog: Nissa
I am always reading a good book, right now: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
I enjoy podcasts, right now: Believed by NPR
Spending time with friends and family
And watching television, binging now: The OA
Recommend another CSAE aspiring leader to be featured.
Gathoni Njuguna from the Canadian Bar Association.