It’s that time of year again – time to welcome the new United Way KFL&A Campaign Chair for the upcoming 2019 campaign. This year’s chair, Scott Harris, Regional Deputy Commissioner for the Correctional Service of Canada, was introduced at the annual Workplace Volunteer Awards Luncheon on April 17.
Harris brings a lot of volunteer and leadership experience and expertise with him to the role of Campaign Chair. What motivates him to find time to volunteer with United Way? To answer that question, the United Way KFLA caught up with him to chat about his new role. Here are five things we learned about the new 2019 Campaign Chair.
- He has been involved with the United Way in some way for two decades
Harris moved to Kingston two years ago when he took on the role of Regional Deputy Commissioner for the Correctional Service of Canada, but his relationship with the United Way started well before that.
“I have been involved in the United Way Campaigns in some way for the past twenty years, largely through the Government of Canada Charitable Workplace Campaign,” he explained. “I have previously worked with the campaigns in both Ottawa and New Brunswick and since coming to Kingston, I have been involved in the Cabinet for the past two years.”
In fact, one of the first meetings Harris took when he arrived in Kingston was with the United Way KFLA cabinet.
“I was thrilled to learn about the long-standing relationship CSC has had specifically with the UW KFLA,” he said. “The idea of taking on the Chair role was an almost inevitable outcome of these early discussions. With a couple of years under my belt, 2019 felt like the right time to take on this challenge and I am excited to be working with a great Cabinet to make this year exceptional!”
- While he is the Campaign Chair, he sees his role as part of a larger team
“For me, stepping in as Chair is an opportunity to serve our community,” said Harris. “But I am just one person in the massive endeavour that is the 2019 United Way Campaign.”
Harris is looking forward to working with the Campaign Cabinet on upcoming events and he hopes to build on many of the already well established foundations in the community.
“We will be looking once again to work closely with our already committed leaders and friends who support the program. They remain the backbone of any campaign,” he said. “In addition, we will be working closely with employers throughout the region to ensure that people have the opportunity and convenience of being able to give in their workplaces too.”
- He believes communities are stronger with the United Way
“While I count myself blessed in many ways, like the vast majority of people, my life has not been immune from challenges, hardships and difficulties,” he explained. “I have family members who struggle with physical and mental illness. I have loved ones who struggle with addictions, homelessness and poverty and on a professional level, I have countless colleagues who struggle under the weight of post-traumatic stress and other injuries.”
For Harris, these experiences emphasize the need to give.
“Whenever someone finds themselves in these times of difficulty, the United Way and the agencies it supports provide an immeasurably valuable resource. I support the United Way and I encourage all community members to support the United Way for that reason. In the end, it makes us all stronger and makes our communities even better places to live than they already are.”
- He hopes to set the tone for the next decade with this campaign
“My hope for the year is that we will build on the successes of the past to have another great campaign this year,” he said. “I am mindful of the fact that we are closing out the decade this year and I see this as an amazing opportunity to set the foundation for the 2020s. We are working on some very unique special events and our Affinity groups like Women United and Next Gen, have definitely found their stride. We are still very early into the campaign and I don’t want to reveal all our secrets too quickly, but it will be a great campaign”
- He is happy to help with any food related campaign event
“I was seconds away from taking the title at the City’s pie eating contest a few years ago and I’m happy to judge almost any chili-cook offs or food related events that you want to throw my way.”