PWAC BC Regional Volunteer Award 2016-17

From mid-April last year much of my life revolved around my mother’s hospitalization, death, memorial, selling her condo, settling her estate, selling my home and moving from Abbotsford to Victoria within a period of five months. After that I focused on physical, mental and emotional recovery, adjusted to my new home and began to build a new life. What a whirl.

One of the wisest decisions I made when Mother first went into crisis was that apart from keeping up with my responsibilities as Past President of the Fraser Valley chapter of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), I gave myself a sabbatical from freelancing. After some consideration I made an exception for this blog as my website is my main marketing platform.

I thought it important to keep a hand in, but am not sure how long I will continue. I haven’t ascertained yet whether it’s the blog that’s not motivating me anymore or whether my lack of zest is due to the nature of grief and its aftermath. Although I’m still not sure how anything will unfold going forward, I’m not putting any pressure on myself to embrace or abandon anything.

Therefore, because of my year-long hiatus it came as some surprise to hear my name called when Stephanie Lasuik, the BC Regional Director, announced the BC Regional Volunteer Award for 2016/17  at the PWAC National AGM.

Fraser Valley PWAC

In her remarks to the delegates and attendees Stephanie said:

Lynda has consistently gone above and beyond in her service to the Fraser Valley chapter.  During her two terms as chapter President and now as past-president, our chapter has benefited greatly from her keen organizational abilities, creative spirit as well as her dedication and thoughtfulness in ensuring that PWAC is represented within the community.

From attending events on behalf of our chapter, suggesting and organizing chapter business cards for members to hand out, assisting to coordinate co-sponsored events and ensuring that the local papers received news of our meetings – Lynda has been a dedicated volunteer and an excellent representative of PWAC at large.

In addition, Lynda has spearheaded two important chapter traditions; our annual strategic planning session which has allowed us to maintain focus on member needs through providing a diversity of learning and sharing opportunities, and a monthly “public frogging” wherein members are recognized for their accomplishments or contributions through being presented with Fraser the Frog – a whimsical muse and chapter mascot.

Michelle (R) gives Lynda a “public frogging.”  Alex, Lisa and Kathleen look on.

Although I didn’t seek or expect the distinction, it’s most gratifying to have my work for the Fraser Valley chapter acknowledged in this way. It was a joy to  use my administrative gifts to lead and create. Though its beginnings were somewhat like herding cats, I’m especially proud to have laid the foundation for a cohesive and forward-thinking chapter executive which functions as a respectful and supportive team.  The success of the chapter does not depend on a single individual (a factor which is often the death knell of organizations) but relies on a group of amazing, gifted and compassionate people who creatively move the group forward.

In addition to other initiatives I set in motion, I’m particularly pleased with the Executive Guidelines which I wrote and the Executive edited and ratified together. That document describes our best practices as a chapter and executive. When both the President and Vice-president were new to their roles in 2016 and I rather suddenly moved to another city, it proved an excellent resource.

Many thanks to the person who nominated me, and to Stephanie for taking the time to speak on my behalf as none of the other Regional Directors highlighted their recipients’ contributions. I was touched and delighted. I celebrated with a half bottle of bubbly and am looking forward to the arrival of the swag!

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