I’ve always had a great passion for the work charities do. I’ve served on many nonprofit boards and committees, and seen the tireless work that is done by these volunteers. I’ve also experienced the close and unique relationship the CEO has with the Board. So when I was considering making the switch to CanadaHelps from the for-profit sector, it was so important for me to know that I had a pre-eminent team of sector leaders supporting me – and the organization – if I was to make the leap.
One of those sector leaders is the Chair of our Board of Directors, Patrick Johnston, and I wasn’t the least bit surprised when, in late December 2014, Patrick was included on the list of 95 new appointments to the Order of Canada.
The Order of Canada is one of our country’s highest civilian honours and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication, and community service. In my mind, Patrick Johnston certainly fits that description. In my time at CanadaHelps, I’ve witnessed his unwavering commitment to this organization and to the strength of the Canadian charitable sector as a whole. Patrick is one of those rare individuals who embodies leadership and humility, passion and wisdom, authority and curiosity, discipline and action-orientation, and a can-do attitude. He is deeply centered in the desire to see the philanthropy in Canada grow and thrive.
Patrick has had an impressive career within the sector, penning influential reports, and serving in such roles as Executive Director of the Canadian Council on Social Development, senior policy advisor to a former Premier of Ontario as well as a federal cabinet minister, President and CEO of the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, and President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy (today known as Imagine Canada). He continues to serve the charitable sector today through his volunteer work, and his philanthropic advisory services.
I’m honoured to have the opportunity to work with Patrick on a regular basis, and so pleased that the work of a leader in the charitable sector has been recognized in this way.