TAVA Member Spotlight
Every year, over 80 Volunteer Engagement professionals from across the Greater Toronto Area join TAVA for professional development and networking. Whether they are new to the sector or veterans in the profession, all TAVA members have experiences, ideas, and resources to share.
Please check back to this page for new member spotlights.
If you are a member, and would like to be spotlighted, please connect with the President (contact information can be found by signing into the Members' Only Section).
MAY/ JUNE 2019
Organization: Canadian Cancer Society
Role: Senior Coordinator, Volunteer Engagement
Why TAVA? "TAVA links me with other volunteer engagement professionals across the city, many of who work in very different sectors than I work in/ have worked in. Through TAVA I have grown as a professional and as a person through regular contact with friends and colleagues."
"Be a volunteer yourself (with an organization not your own) so you can see things better through the eyes of a volunteer and invest in your professional development annually."
Heather has volunteered on the TAVA Executive Committee for a number of years, first as Secretary, then, as President and Past President. Thank you Heather for your service and dedication to our professional community!
Organization: Centennial Infant and Child Centre Foundation
Role: Development and Communications Coordinator
Why TAVA? The combined expertise in any given meeting will offer insight and support for those who have chosen this profession. I love that so many sectors are represented and each person brings something unique to the table.
"Network, network, network. So often the volunteer manager is the driving force behind recruitment, training and engagement, which can feel isolating. I recommend joining TAVA where you will meet like-minded professionals."
In the past year, she has volunteered as TAVA's Vice President on the Executive Committee. Thank you Candy for your continued dedication and leadership!Read Candy's full interview
APRIL/ MAY 2019
Role: Senior Manager, Volunteer Engagement
Why TAVA? "Being a part of TAVA provides the community of peers we all need. I always walk away being inspired."
"I also recommend expanding your professional development and learning beyond the usual topics - what about learning more about marketing or adult education or event management? Read broadly. Keep learning and expanding your thinking and you are sure to grow!"
Christine is the recipient of the 2018 TAVA Innovation Award!
Nominations for the 2019 Innovation Award close on May 15- don't miss out on this opportunity to recognize a TAVA member who inspires you.Read Christine's full interview
Faiza Venzant CVA,
Organization: YMCA of Greater Toronto
Role: General Manager, Volunteer Development
Why TAVA? "TAVA is the place I go to find support, to continue growing as a volunteer engagement professional, and to encourage others who are pursuing a career in this field."
"TAVA has provided me with leadership opportunities as a volunteer Executive Committee member, with bursaries to further my education, and with chances to facilitate workshops. I have also been able to build friendships that will last a lifetime."
Faiza also volunteers as a Board Member at the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA) and as a Mentor at the Professional Association of Volunteer Leaders- Ontario (PAVRO). Faiza formerly volunteered on the TAVA Executive Committee, an opportunity open to all TAVA Members. If you are interested in volunteering on our team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org on for more details.
MARCH/ APRIL 2019
Organization: CNIB Foundation
Role: Coordinator, Advocacy and Community Engagement (GTA)
Why TAVA? "I'm able to apply my new knowledge in engaging with the volunteers I oversee."
"My experience with TAVA has been very positive thus far and knowing I am able to connect with other TAVA members for support with volunteer engagement issues puts me at ease."Read Ramla's full interview
Organization: Centennial Infant and Child Centre
Role: Volunteer Coordinator
Why TAVA? "TAVA provides access to a wealth of resources and professional development courses that will, without doubt, elevate my skills in this role."
"My primary focus and consequent challenge is recruitment, knowing the impact that numbers can have on the quality of our programming."Read Emily's full interview
FEBRUARY/ MARCH 2019
Organization: The Scott Mission
Why TAVA? "I saw the menagerie of offered workshops and resources ... all excellent, fabulous, and highly beneficial to maintain a successful volunteer program."
"I recommend using regular check-ins to ensure that volunteers are still in a ‘happy place’. "Read Christine's full interview
Organization: Bata Shoe Museum
Role: Manager of Education and Volunteer Resources
Why TAVA? "It’s a great opportunity to develop and maintain connections with individuals from a diverse range of organizations. Although I’m a new member, I have already benefited from the exchange of ideas and resources."
"Find a mentor! Mentors allow you to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience. They can connect you with others in the profession, help build confidence, and encourage personal and professional growth."Read Andrea's full interview
JANUARY/ FEBRUARY 2019
Thank you Mimi for volunteering on TAVA's 2018-2019 Conference Committee with Christopher Boyle and Hilary Kellam!
Organization: North York Seniors Centre
Role: HR Coordinator
What are you most excited about for the #TAVAMissionPossible Conference? "We have an amazing line-up of speakers. Four to be exact! We will get to share ideas, learn from each other, and enrich our learning in this dynamic field."
"TAVA brings awareness for members to see the importance of our profession. It's also a great way to network with a diverse group of volunteer engagement professionals."Read Mimi's full interview
Saskia will be a Speaker at TAVA's 2018-2019 Conference!
Organization: Harbourfront Centre
Role: Manager, Volunteer Resources
What are you most excited about for the #TAVAMissionPossible Conference? "I look forward to reconnecting with colleagues I haven’t seen in a while, and the chance to expand my horizons and network.
"My advice would be to self-reflect, identify where your knowledge gaps are, and tackle them using different approaches"Read Saskia's full interview
DECEMBER 2018/ JANUARY 2019
Thank you Hilary for volunteering on TAVA's 2018-2019 Conference Committee with Christopher Boyle and Mimi Lee!
Organization: Operation Smile Canada
Role: Coordinator, Volunteer & Student Programs
What are you most excited about for the #TAVAMissionPossible Conference? "I am looking forward to witnessing our theme, Mission:Possible, come to life as we listen to our AMAZING Speakers, connect with one another and share our stories."
"Through TAVA, my passion for working in the volunteer sector has expanded."
Thank you Christopher for volunteering on TAVA's 2018-2019 Conference Committee with Hilary Kellam and Mimi Lee!
Role: Coordinator- Volunteer Engagement
What are you most excited about for the #TAVAMissionPossible Conference? "I'm really looking forward to hearing inspiring stories from presenters, and attendees, about how they were able to redefine challenging situations into stories of success and innovation."
"Each time TAVA gathers, I am inspired by the diverse scope of experience, unique perspectives, and dedication to making a difference, that we collectively share."Read Christopher's full interview
NOVEMBER/ DECEMBER 2018
Organization: Distress Centres of Toronto
Role: Volunteer Coordinator
Why TAVA? "I learn valuable things from TAVA, which I sometimes use in my career or my own volunteer work. Even one "nugget" from a workshop can be worth the time it takes to attend."
"Be open to change. Question those new ideas, procedures, policies, etc., but don't resist them just because they're new. As I learned in a TAVA workshop, most change is uncomfortable at first, yet so much can be gained by giving yourself time to adjust."
Organization: Shelter Movers of Toronto
Role: Volunteer Services Administrator
Why TAVA? "It gives me access to workshops and opportunities to network. The first workshop I attended was about safer spaces and meaningful inclusion for 2SLGBTQ+ volunteers. I took away some great tips, and was really impressed with the expertise of the TAVA membership."
"Volunteering isn’t just something nice people do in their spare time. This is a workforce. Volunteers may be unpaid, but they are ‘real’ workers for a simple reason: their work is real. And their needs and rights are real."
OCTOBER/ NOVEMBER 2018
Organization: The LIFE Institute
Role: Manager, Volunteer Services
Why TAVA? "Aside from the workshops that are provided, TAVA has created a community of like-minded people who are all willing to support each other."
"My advice to someone looking to take the next step is to be ready for an exciting, challenging, humorous, and rewarding experience."
Organization: Operation Smile Canada
Role: Director, Volunteer & Student Programs
Why TAVA? "The tools, resources and workshops available to us have been invaluable. Most importantly, TAVA makes it easy to connect with incredibly talented and passionate Volunteer Management professionals."
"I highly recommend connecting with other volunteer engagement professionals through TAVA and other associations for the nonprofit sector. Not only will you feel a sense of community but there is also a wealth of knowledge through experience that exists within these networks."
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Organization: Heart & Stroke Foundation
Role: Manager, Volunteer Engagement Strategy
Why TAVA? "Connecting with others in this sector is vital. Often we're the only ones in our organization that does what we do so having a strong network of colleagues to share resources, knowledge and learnings with is vital to helping ensure we grow as professionals.""Never forget to keep having fun! We're so lucky to be in a profession where we get to open doors to make incredible impacts in the lives of others. That's a great responsibility but doesn't mean we need to be serious all the time."
Organization: Oasis Dufferin Community Centre
Role: President and Board Chair
Why TAVA? "A colleague said that you are a valuable organization."
"Never give up on volunteers who are going through a difficult time.
Simply being there for them when they are ready to return can result in
restored relationships and valuable assistance"