In April, in the centre of old Montreal at the chic Hotel William Grey, the National Bank Philanthropie Social celebrated young professionals and their philanthropic work. It was one of the first warm, sunny days in Montreal, and guests gathered on the terrace to enjoy a cocktail and la belle vie. The energy of the evening was young; the tone was mature, and the sense of ambition in the room was palpable.

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Hosted by the bright and savvy Marie Chevrier (Founder of Sampler), the National Bank Philanthropy panel featured professionals discussing their personal drives to be involved in philanthropy.

In response to a question about how to create buzz for an organization, Gérald Kounadis mentioned the message of the organization is one of the most important factors. He said: “never forget to answer: ‘why should I give to this organization?’” Hugo Thomas responded to the same question with a focus on reaching out to diverse groups. He said: “It’s easy to stick within the same groups of people. Appeal to a diverse crowd.”

Charles Paiment spoke about how his passion for History and Sociology pulled him into his philanthropic work, but has also discovered the joy of working with individuals of different professional backgrounds. Phillippe d’Etchevery, who had just graduated his MBA at 5pm that day (!) spoke about how he cherishes philanthropic work for leading him to ask ‘the big questions.’

After the question period, there was a buzz in the air. People stayed to mingle. In addition to hosting an especially engaging panel of young professionals and philanthropists, the National Bank Philantropie Social proved to be a fruitful networking opportunity.

Photos by Matthew Perrin.

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