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From the Board of Directors: Announcing Paddy Bowen as Volunteer Toronto’s Executive Director

January 21, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Cara Eaton
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Effective January 14, 2019, Volunteer Toronto’s Board of Directors are pleased to announce the appointment of volunteerism expert, Paddy Bowen, to the position of Executive Director. Paddy has led several local and national charities including Home Support Canada, St. Felix Centre, Mission Services, and the Alzheimer Society. She also spent nearly ten years as the President of Volunteer Canada.

After conducting a rigorous search, we are pleased to announce our decision to invite Paddy Bowen to lead Volunteer Toronto,” says Dana Dignard, Board Chair of Volunteer Toronto. “Paddy is a prominent non-profit executive in Canada, bringing a tremendous depth and breadth of knowledge of volunteerism and the non-profit sector to her work. We are confident that her visionary and innovative leadership will steer the organization to the next level of impact.

An inspirational public speaker, Bowen is the author of many resources on volunteerism. She was the mind behind the Safe Steps screening programming, which has been adopted throughout the non-profit sector. Bowen was one of the two primary architects of the Canadian Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating (GSGVP), now managed by Statistics Canada. She recently designed an innovative volunteer program model for Sinai Health Systems Palliative Care Unit, and created a volunteer program for All Saints Church Community Centre. In both of these cases, she successfully challenged management and staff to consider new ways to achieve goals through the involvement of volunteers.

The phenomenon of volunteerism in our society is a kind of magic that many people engage in, but rarely truly fathom,” says Bowen. “I’ve seen it, I’ve been part of making it happen and I’ve helped others get to a place where the contributions of volunteers is literally transformative—for them, for the organizations they work in, and above all for the people that those organizations involve and serve.

The examples of what volunteers do and how we need them are pretty much endless. The diversity, scale, and impact of volunteer contribution is literally mind-blowing. To be given the opportunity to work with our partners in government, the corporate sector, and above all my brothers and sisters in the non-profit world to grow and evolve the power of volunteering, is a true honour. I expect Volunteer Toronto’s future to be very exciting. And a lot of fun!

Volunteer Toronto is Canada’s largest volunteer centre with over 40 years of experience connecting volunteers to the organizations that need them. Our services empower local volunteers to find opportunities that make a positive difference in their community. Through in-person and online training, we also educate and help non-profit organizations and community groups run successful volunteer programs.

You can contact Paddy Bowen, Executive Director of Volunteer Toronto at or by phone at 416-961-6888 ext. 222.

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