Starting in law, moving to commerce, then jumping to social science and eventually landing where she is today, Tanya always knew she wanted to help people and give back to the world as much as possible. So much so, that she was able to turn her passion into her career. Touching countless lives working for numerous charities and health organizations, read about her gratifying fulfillment in today’s YPDaily…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
As an Associate Manager, Community and Ethnic Engagement at the Heart and Stroke Foundation my role is to help give Canadians more time, more life by supporting donors and third party fundraisers to raise lifesaving funds. I support and cultivate a diverse group of third party fundraisers including: individuals who have personally been impacted by heart disease or stroke; business owners who wish to contribute a portion of their revenues to an organization that has 97% awareness amongst the general public and community groups increasing awareness amongst priority groups who have a 3 to 5X greater risk of dying from heart disease or stroke than other populations. This goes well beyond a job, it is an opportunity to support a cause that touches all Canadians. By night I am an Executive with Toronto for Acumen, a member of the DiverseCity Steering Committee, and Grant Review Team Member and Grant Review Committee Member with the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
By doing my ‘job’ I am contributing to putting myself out of a ‘job’, working towards eliminating heart disease and stroke. Having worked with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Working to support Heart and Stroke Foundation donors and event organizers to plan unique events, often in honour of a loved-one who has been impacted by heart disease and stroke and raise life-giving funds for the Foundation. I am always renewed by the genuine passion of our supporters who donate their time and money to support the mission of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. I strive to cultivate a personal relationship with each of our supporters, and this also poses a challenge – my team is involved with over 400 events/year; being organically involved in each event and staying in touch is challenging. Outlook helps me remain productive and connected.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Get back to me in five years. As a planner, I am always calculating my next step, and cultivating relationships and experiences that will lead to future opportunities. Five years ago, with all my planning and precision I would not have anticipated being where I am today… so much of my success is based on ‘happenstance’ I guess we will just have to wait and see.
What does success look like to you?
Success is not static, the yardstick by which it is measured is always moving based on the context of the goal. Each goal I set for myself is comprised of multiple steps, and I endeavour to celebrate achievements along the way.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Well it’s not over yet, so I am not sure. From this vantage the opportunity to study at New York University with the World Health Organization, under the guidance of world-renowned experts and with a class of 27 individuals from every continent was a big career high. With most of my peers in the program speaking upwards of 3 languages each, and bringing with them a diverse set of experiences having worked in every corner of the globe I was steeped me in an international brew that was reminiscent of my years spent living in the United Arab Emirates as a child, and traveling to countries in South East Asia, North Africa, and Europe. That international perspective helps me to be an inclusive professional that values diversity of thought, experiences, and ideas.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Identify what makes you excited to wake up early and will fuel you when you are up late, and chase it with unyielding determination. Build a network around you, achieving your personal and professional goals requires diverse support systems and knowledge – mentors, professional networks, industry associations, friends, family, courses etc. Try and do something daily that helps move the needle towards reaching your goal. And finally, appreciate the journey as much as the anticipated destination – destinations change, if you are as invested in the journey as the destination, detours will be enjoyed not feared.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I am lucky enough to work with a charity that I am truly passionate about, the Heart and Stroke Foundation. By day (and sometimes night) my role is to help give Canadians more time, more life by supporting donors and third party fundraisers to raise lifesaving funds to help eliminate heart disease and stroke.
As a Team Captain for Team ‘Dirty Dozen’ in the Annual CIBC Run for the Cure in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation our team has raised several thousand dollars in support of breast cancer research for the last 5 consecutive years.
I also am strongly committed to alternatives to traditional philanthropy. This is why I co-founded Toronto for Acumen – a volunteer-run chapter of Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. Our mission is to champion patient capital as an effective complement to traditional aid by building a community of like-minded individuals in Toronto.
In addition, I enjoy financing Kickstarter projects – the world's largest funding platform for creative projects. It offers a new form of commerce and patronage where project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work, and offer products and experiences that are unique to each project.
What to you is notable?
Unreasonable passion, unrelenting dedication, and authenticity that extends beyond a job or ‘call of duty’.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone all the way.
Follow Tanya on Twitter @rumbleth