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An Interview with a Loaned Associate

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I sat down to interview one of our Loaned Associates to discuss his experience working with the United Way and what it has meant to him. For some background information on the Loaned Associate program, click here.

  1. Brian with his United Way Campaign Manager, Stephanie


  2. Tell us a bit about yourself. Name, occupation…

Brian Dickson, live in Burlington with my wife, 2 young daughters, Peyton and Harper, and Bernese Mountain Dog, Aila. I work for RBC as a Branch Manager in Ancaster. I’ve been with the organization for 15 years and in management for 5 of them.

 

  1. How did you come to the United Way as a Loaned Associate, and why you were interested in doing so?

This is a program that RBC, in our market, takes very seriously. Our Regional Vice President, Vince Isber, supports a senior leader to participate each year based on the value they can provide to the United Way. This year I was approached to take on this assignment. I was interested in the job as it gave me an opportunity to develop in an area of business and leadership that I have never experienced before. An ability to create positive change in a capacity outside of my traditional comfort zone was an exciting new adventure that I know was going to add value to myself and the community.

  1. So RBC is obviously an organization that cares about this community. Can you tell us more about their United Way campaign?

For the past many years we have had very passionate, strong, leadership with respect to the United Way. Top down driven messaging is key. Our leader in the market, Vince Isber, is a board member of the United Way, we then have 2 very dedicated UW Champions that deliver structured activities and deliverables, with a lot of flex for additional activities, to drive participation and support. The work that they do, from selling items in branches, to dress down days, to organizing team meetings and presentations, all on a volunteer basis, is truly commendable.

RBC gives significantly, not only with the chequebook, but with personal time of volunteers and through the loaned associate program. A truly dedicated organization to the community.

 



 

  1. Has this experience working with United Way taught you anything? If so, what?

My experience with the United Way has been one of many words, feelings and emotions; Humbling, gratifying, frustrating, and validating.

I’m humbled by the efforts of the few to support and help the many;

I’m grateful that this organization exists and the full time staff are as caring and selfless as they need to be;

I’m frustrated (and a little humbled) by the instant change in my own status and the ability of many to disregard direct communication attempts, when need is so great.

Finally, I’ve experienced a sense of validation that the people that do this work, year over year, are truly some of the most genuine people I know. My validation also reflects my own career path and employer, knowing that I work for an organization that cares as much as to continually allow staff to experience what I have year over year, without remorse, is uplifting.

I will return to my place of employment with a new sense of purpose, a new found drive and knowing that I am where I belong.

 

  1. Why is giving back important to you?

I honestly believe that I am a product of my surroundings. Having spent half of my life working for an organization that has an inherent culture of giving, has created a sense of pride with respect to giving back to the communities in which we serve.

We take and consume so much year over year that our ability, whatever it might be, to give a fraction of that away to support those in need is a privilege. I couldn’t imagine a world in which we didn’t care about our brothers and sisters. This is how we all succeed and grow strong. Together.