Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Volunteering Can be Great for Your Spirit ...

Volunteering Can be Great for Your Spirit, Your Resume, and for Our Association   by Doreen Pendgracs, PWAC Vice President

Greetings to all my PWAC friends from across the region. PWAC RD Prairies and the North, Michelle Greysen, has been kind enough to ask me to write a post for this blog for two reasons:

1) I have been a long-time volunteer for PWAC—in the Manitoba chapter as membership chair and on the national conference committee in both 1998 and in 2008, as regional director from 1999-2003, as PWAC’s rep on the Access Copyright from 2003-2009, and then as your national vice-president 2011-2013.
2) I wrote a book about volunteerism—“Before You Say Yes: A Guide to the Pleasure and Pitfalls of Volunteer Boards” and over the past 30 years, have served on a number of boards in various capacities.

I have chosen to step down from PWAC’s national board in June (and not run for president) as I have considerable demands on my time right now that will take the majority of my time and efforts. My new book, “Chocolatour: A Quest for theWorld’s Best Chocolate” has become a series of books that will take my time and focus from here to eternity.

All kidding aside, when I embarked on the research for this book in the fall of 2009, I had no idea it would morph into such a major project and would take over my life. It has taken me six months longer than anticipated to write the book (I’m almost finished the first edition) and then I must turn my efforts to the printing and promotion of the book to the world at large. I have already begun writing parts of the 2nd edition and eventually, there will be a third. I believe it was PWAC member Ann Douglas who said she considers each of her books to be a deposit into her RRSP, and I can really relate to that. Chocolatour has taken a huge amount of my time and effort, but I am hopeful that will pay off in a positive response to the book and brisk sales to provide me with some financial security for the years to come.

Have you considered volunteering for PWAC? Whether you choose to serve on a national committee, run for the national board, or serve your own chapter … each role is extremely important and critical to the success of our association. A non-profit association—be it a professional association such as PWAC, a community, special interest, or religious group—none can be successful without the untiring efforts of its volunteers.

We at PWAC are fortunate to have volunteers who have and will step up to the plate to ensure that PWAC continues to serve us well. Congrats to Michelle Greysen, who has served us well as Prairies & the North RD and has now agreed to run for national president. I am pleased to be one of Michelle’s nominators and am confident that she will do an excellent job.

I’m also thrilled to see that Marie Powell has agreed to let her name stand for the position of RD. I have known Marie since she joined PWAC and have seen her dedication to our association grow and help form a strong Saskatchewan chapter for PWAC. I know that Marie will do an excellent job in serving as RD if she is elected by our region.

You will have received the bulletin from the national office today asking for nominations to the national board. If you feel you would like to run, let nothing stop you. It would be great to have an election for all positions versus having an individual acclaimed. We have so many talented and insightful members across the Prairies and the North.  Let PWAC help you shine your light and develop skills you may not otherwise have found.

But know that volunteering for your own chapter or serving on a committee is equally important. I hope that each chapter is beginning to think about electing a new executive to take the helm come June. New people bring new ideas and a renewed enthusiasm for our great association. Please help make PWAC strong by giving your time and energy to helping us move forward in achieving our collective goals.

Thanks for the opportunity to have served you over the past two years on the national board. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Toronto June (4-7) for PWAC@MagNet 2013 and look forward to leading a toast to our new president.

Most sincerely,


  1. Hello prairie members (and any others who are reading this),
    I agree with Doreen on the importance of volunteering. Thanks to Doreen and Michelle on all the work they have done for PWAC and good luck to Michelle in her run for national president and Marie Powell for her run to become Prairie RD.

    Over the years I have volunteered at least briefly for every organization that I have ever belonged to. I won't join any group unless I am at least prepared to attend meetings regularly; however I don't feel comfortable taking on leadership roles. It is great that people like Doreen, Michelle, and Marie are willing to do so.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Irene, and for all you have done to support PWAC and the MB chapter.

    Every since you have joined, you have taken on volunteer roles and helped plan our national conference. If only every member was like you, and would regularly attend meetings and get involved in some of the behind-the-scenes work, PWAC (and every non-profit member-driven assn) would be in much better shape.