Winds are changing at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the West Island. Long standing board chairman Sudeep Mathew handed over the reigns to newly elected chairperson Camille Fauteux this summer. Mathew will remain on the board as past president sharing his four years of board experience with the newly elected.
Fauteux, born and raised on the West Island, graduated from College Sainte-Anne and later achieved her masters at HEC, works in project management at Desjardins.
West Island Blog sat down with her to see how she plans to take BBBS into the future.
WIB:Why did you decide to run for chairman of the Board?
CF: I first joined the agency in 2007 as a Big Sister which has been, and continues to be an amazing experience. After seeing the positive impact that Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Island (BBBSWI) has on the Community I wanted to do more to help so I joined the Board of Directors in 2012. In June of this year I was elected president of the Board. I was more than happy to accept this important role and am very motivated to help the organization succeed and grow.
WIB: Where do you see BBBS going under your mandate?
CF: My goal is to assure sustainable financial stability for the organization, build a strong board of directors, increase the number of Big/Little matches and of course continue doing what we do best: helping the kids of our Community.
WIB: The Rib Fest was a great success – what plans do you have for next year?
CF: Yes – it was a success. We are thrilled with the outcome and the visibility that the event provided us. We received such positive feedback that we have already started planning the Montreal RibFest 2016. This will be an annual event for us.
WIB: What are the challenges that faces an organisation like BBBSWI?
We face a couple of challenges. One is our constant need for volunteers. With 58 children waiting to be matched, we need Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The other major challenge at the moment is funding. However, we know that corporate philanthropy is growing as more and more companies recognize the importance of investing in the Community. It’s a way for them to give back and build a better tomorrow. Sponsoring a charity sends a powerful message; it lets the community know that they care. We are developing amazing sponsorship opportunities that will benefit these companies as we grow our Board of Directors.
WIB: I can assume that you are recruiting new board members at the moment. What are the qualifications you are looking for?
CF: Yes, indeed we are looking to expand our Board. At the moment we are looking to fill the position of Board Secretary. We are also seeking individuals with: legal experience, particularly with regards to labor law; fundraising experience; PR & communications and someone with strong ties to West Island businesses.
WIB:What exactly is the role of a board member?
CF: The Board of Directors of a not-for-profit is responsible for the sustainability of the organization through ethical and legal governance, financial management and the implementation of procedures and policies that ensure the quality of the services rendered to the community. It supports the staff by making sure they have the resources necessary to fulfill the mission of the organization which means that the Board has an important role is raising funds.
WIB: If somebody would be interested to join the board of directors or simple know more about the agency who should they reach?
CF:Anyone interested in joining the Board or in learning more about BBBSWI should contact our office either by calling 514-538-6100 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
WIB: What makes big brothers big sisters of the WI so special (or an organisation that stands out or why people would want to be part of)?
CF: We have been serving the Community for 40 years. Accredited by BBBS of Canada, the Nation’s leading child and youth mentoring charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Island provides life-changing relationships that inspire and empower children and youth to reach their full potential. Every year we provide over 20,000 hours of mentoring to the youth of this community. Having a supportive and positive role model spend time with a child on a weekly basis has a lasting impact. It’s incredibly rewarding to know that as a volunteer I make a difference and I want others to know that they can make a difference too.