Board spotlight – Carolyn Duhamel


Creating connectedness and belonging.

Carolyn Duhamel served as Executive Director of the Manitoba School Boards Association from 2000 to 2015 and of the Manitoba Council for Leadership in Education from 1997 to 2000. She is an honorary life member of both the Manitoba School Boards Association and the Canadian Education Association. She has an extensive record of Board service with many organizations.

Ms. Duhamel joined the Board of The Winnipeg Foundation in 2009. She currently chairs the Finance and Audit Committee and serves on the Centennial Advisory Committee, and has served on the Board Governance and Investment committees.

Q: You have been Chair of The Foundation’s Finance and Audit since 2012 and during that period, activity has about doubled – grantmaking has increased from $21 to $41 million annually; gifts have increased from 3,500 in 2012 to 7,700 in 2018; and assets have grown from $500 million to $946 million. What do you see as some of the challenges of managing growth?

The significant and rapid growth in The Foundation’s activities in recent years has generated increased complexity and workload within the organization and necessitated additional staffing in critical areas like finance and grantmaking. Maintaining up-to-date technology and ensuring robust security protocols and controls have been, and continue to be, priorities in protecting The Foundation’s assets and maintaining donor and community confidence and loyalty.

Q: The Winnipeg Foundation has undertaken various leadership initiatives in recent years, such as Nourishing Potential, Very READ-y, Growing Active Kids, and Downtown Green Spaces. Does any one of the recent leadership initiatives particularly resonate with you as having a meaningful impact on our community?

I’ve been encouraged and heartened by The Foundation’s many leadership initiatives to support children and youth in their learning at all age levels and in so many different ways – early childhood development, school readiness, child nutrition, scholarships and bursaries, summer learning programs and camps, and more. Investing in our youth at the front end, providing them with learning and growth opportunities in the early years, means a better future for them and for our communities as a whole.

Q: As a member of the Centennial Advisory Committee, how challenging was it to figure out meaningful legacy projects to mark The Foundation’s 100th anniversary in 2021?

The history of our city and of The Foundation, The Foundation’s vision of ‘a Winnipeg where community life flourishes for all’, and the Winnipeg’s Vital Signs® 2017 feedback about the need for greater connectedness and belonging, guided the Committee’s recommendations for legacy projects. The Community Archives and the Osborne/Downtown Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge proposals are both well aligned with these criteria (read more about the projects in the Centennial Projects Proposal), and both would be valuable contributions to realizing The Foundation’s vision.

Stay tuned in the months ahead for more information about the exciting events that will mark The Foundation’s centennial in 2021.

This story is featured in the Spring 2019 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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