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Shopping for Volunteer Opportunities

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

We all choose a volunteer opportunity that engages our heart with experiences that create fond memories for life. Better yet, I like to compare the fit of choosing a volunteer opportunity to that fit of a perfect pair of shoes (ladies you know what I mean…). Beat the winter blues with a little retail therapy “volunteer style” – give back to your community. What’s on your Community “Volunteer” shopping list.? What Volunteer Opportunity best suites or matches your personality? Volunteer Retail departments to browse  or select from (but not limited to):

– Support Local Causes

– Working with Seniors

– Working with kids

– Service Clubs

– Sports and Recreation

– Arts and Culture

Where to go shopping:

1. govolunteer is a one-stop-shop online portal where interested Albertans can easily search volunteer opportunities best suited to their skills and interests in communities across Alberta.

2. Local Community Websites

3. Local Family and Community Services (FCSS Agency)

4. Your local Schools

On a side note; April 15 – 21 2012 is National Volunteer Week and many communities are celebrating their volunteers .

It’s important that we take time to express our gratitude to all volunteers. The most effective way to thank them for their great efforts is to highlight how their voluntary contributions are making a positive impact in each of our communities. Volunteers want to know the impact of their efforts.

I am proud to acknowledge I am just one of many volunteers in my community and I am always “shopping” for new volunteer challenges or opportunities.  As women, we want several good pairs of shoes to choose from depending on our outfit or mood. Lets go shopping together…

Yvonne Rempel | 780.827.1464 |

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Embrace Change and Grow your Passion for Continuous Learning

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

This last year and half has been a wonderful and enlightening experience. I had the opportunity to work with hundreds of passionate people working in the non-profit/voluntary sector  while being a part of the KnowledgeConnector initiative from concept to fruition. I was honoured to be a part of the process but am sad to be writing my last formal blog for this initiative. At the same time though, I am excited to see the project enter a new and exciting phase of change and expansion.

As this is my last blog, I would like to take the time to thank those who have been a part of this journey with me.  Specifically, I would like to thank those people for the input, wisdom and insight they have provided (you know who you are). Whether you were a part of the initial focus group(s), A.S.K. Workshop(s), Learning Provider  Forum(s), or simply one-on-one conversation(s) about KnowledgeConnector – you have all added great insight to this initiative. As a result of our collaborative efforts KnowledgeConnector will continue to build momentum.

This last year and a half has resulted in many learnings. Learning for myself, learnings from and by others and an appreciation and desire to learn more. I am excited to say that being a part of KnowledgeConnector has made me more cognizant of how to develop those attitudes, skills and knowledge that will make me a better leader. And with that, I have also learned to embrace change through a passion for continuous learning.

I have recently moved on and started to work with Alberta Health and Wellness as a Project Manager in the Community and Population Health branch. Promoting healthy behaviours to prevent illness and save lives is my other huge passion in life and so I am excited to work in a position where I can exercise that passion.

I hope that those of you that have completed an A.S.K. Leadership Assessment, or visited this site or started to further enhance your leadership skills in other ways are now also embracing growth, change and continuous learning. I hope you have also found that passion for continuous learning that will help you grow into your full potential.

Wishing you all the best of luck in your personal growth.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |



Pets Are Family Too!

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

April is Volunteer Appreciation month!

This weeks blog is dedicated to a special community group of volunteers – your local SPCA.

As a non-profit organization, looking to volunteers remain to be an important part of the successful operation of any SPCA facility and programs. You may volunteer weekly or only once or twice a year, they appreciate whatever spare time you are able to commit!

Volunteering is great for people of all ages.  It is an excellent opportunity to get work experience, socialize and meet new people while helping a worthwhile organization.  May you be a college student, stay-at-home mom, semi-retired or retired person who wants to get out and about for a few hours a week, they need your expertise and your help. Did you know you can drop in to most SPCA’s and just play with the animals – great pet therapy (thank you GP SPCA!)


Working with SPCA animals is rewarding, but are always in need for volunteers to help in other ways.  By volunteering for one of the following programs you can help us take care of our SPCA animals:

  • Foster Program
  • Summer Camp Program
  • Shelter Workers
  • Committee & Fundraising Members
  • Special Events
  • Calendar & Christmas Ornament Sales
  • Bingo & Casinos
  • Computer Office Workers

Make the right choice for your pet. All pets require time, dedication and love. Make adoption your first option – adopt a friend for life.

Yvonne Rempel | 780.827.1464 |

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Great Conversation Creates Great Leadership

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

Leadership requires collaboration, teamwork, great interpersonal communications and relationship building skills.  Here at Knowledge Connector we define Relationship Building as one of the 6 competencies that create a well-rounded leader. And within that competency lie 6 other categories. Relationship building, truly is an art and requires many skills. Thankfully, relationship building seems to be a skill the nonprofit/voluntary sector seem to be naturally inclined at-well at least with the hundreds of organizations I have worked with in Alberta’s Central East region. But of course, like anything, there is always room for improvement.

So let’s take a look at what the major skills, attitudes and knowledge are required to be an effective relationship builder. You may want to ask yourself where your skills are strongest and whether you might want to strengthen this very important leadership competency.

In our A.S.K. Leadership Assessment tool, a relationship is defined as a connection between individuals or groups of people based on mutual understanding or a common bond. Relationships are strengthened when there is accountability to each other and a desire to work through difficult situations. Every relationship needs to be fostered and nurtured.

It is broken down into the following components:

Collaboration and Team Development: The ability to teach team members collaboration skills like teamwork, loyalty, accountability, and mutual respect.

Inclusion and Diversity: The ability to consider diverse points of view when making decisions and taking action. The ability to be sensitive to different cultures.

Influencing and Advocacy: The ability to be an advocate for the organization and its members, and influence decisions that will support the organizational values and priorities.

Interpersonal Communication: The ability to encourage and use a broad range of communication skills, such as active listening and effectively giving and receiving feedback.

Dispute Resolution, Facilitation and Negotiation: The ability to understand the causes of conflict in the organization. The ability to suggest alternative solutions to conflict so that everyone wins. The ability to use various facilitation and negotiation skills to solve problems.

Community Engagement: To collaborate with the community to address issues that may affect the organization’s ability to accomplish its goals.

The  Alberta Association of Services for Children & Families knows how complicated good relationship building can be and that is why they are offering a workshop on Fierce Conversations. The course, Fierce Conversations®, teaches attendees how to “ignite productive dialogue that interrogates reality, provokes learning, resolves tough challenges and enriches relationships. It‘s the place to begin, the cornerstone of great leadership, healthy cultures, intelligent strategies and whole-hearted execution.”

It is a 2 day course and will be held May 14, 2012 – May 15, 2012 9:00AM to 4:00PM MST right here in the Central East region. If you would like to register and build your relationship skills simply visit or contact Dawn Papineau, 780.428.3660.

Happy relationship building!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |


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2012 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Comes to Jasper

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

2012 Canadian Special Olympics Winter Games were held Feb 28, 29 and Mar 1, 2, 3

Canada’s 10 provinces and two of its three territories were represented by more than 650 athletes, all of them with dreams of gold and aspirations to qualify for the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Seoul, Korea.

The theme “Just as Bold, Here for Gold” reflected the passion and goals the Special Olympics athletes shared with their Olympic counterparts. There were seven winter sports in which Special Olympics athletes competed. The excitement and enthusiasm generated by these Games are going to leave a lasting impression on our region.

St Albert ( was the main host of this event but Jasper was given the opportunity to host all alpine events at Marmot Basin Alpine Resort (

Over 700 volunteers from St Alberta and Jasper had registered from opening to closing ceremonies to ensure that the 2012 Special Olympic Canada events and activities were a success.

Meet Team Alberta:

More than 80 athletes from all over Alberta, more than 20 coaches and seven mission staff formed this years Team Alberta.

There was 31 athletes on two-floor hockey teams. Five curlers. Four figure skaters. Eight athletes snowshoeing. Six  strapped on speed skates. Of the 19 people putting on skis, eight competed in  downhill and eleven cross-country.

They came from Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, and everywhere in between.

At the 2012 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games, Team Alberta competed on home soil for the first time in 16 years.  During the days of Games the athletes of our displayed themselves with class, determination, and very welcoming hosts for the country. Our athletes competed hard, had numberous personal bests, and made themselves and their supporters proud.

The results for Team Alberta in all the individual sports go to

Congratulations to all our provincial athletes and to the volunteers for making this the best Special Olympics on home soil in 19 years – Way to make us proud in 2013!

Yvonne Rempel | 780.827.1464 |



Finding Resources to Enhance Your Leadership

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

It’s no secret, non-profit/voluntary organizations often depend on funding and resources to establish and sustain initiatives and programs that support Albertans in nearly every capacity is some way, shape or form. Non-profit/voluntary organizations are also amazingly innovative at finding ways to work miracles on a shoestring and as a result, I have funds wasted. But of course, they can always use and/or need more. This is why I have decided to blog about this very important topic.

We know being an effective leader isn’t simply defined by the number of resources a person has to do their job but it helps. Let’s face it; leaders need resources, whether that be time, money or both. So let KnowledgeConnector help you out.

Firstly, you can attend the Funders Forum, offered right here in the Central East region through the Information and Volunteer Centre for Strathcona County; a KnowledgeConnector learning provider. The workshop is offered on May 15 from 5:00 to 9:00PM. At the workshop, you will learn first-hand about specific funding grants and initiatives. You will also get immediate answers to your questions and, funders will be speaking to small groups on a rotating basis. For more information visit contact Susan Mihalievitch at 780.464.4242 or click here.

Aside from attaining grants, fundraising can also be very useful in expanding your skills as a leader. The Information and Volunteer Centre for Strathcona County is also offering a workshop called Fundraising 101: The Fundamentals. At this workshop, you learn how to ensure your organization is ready to raise funds, select the best fit in potential funders, use the right method(s) for raising those funds and learn to be aware of all the regulations. You will also become more savvy on volunteers and the “philanthropic process”. This workshop has a strong focus on the essential steps to building a fund development program that will allow your organization to be a success.

What are you waiting for? Register for one of those above and attain the resources you need to enhance your leadership.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Women In Charge

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

Did you know that March 8th is International Women’s Day? This year’s theme is to Empower Women.

This week’s blog is dedicated to four very special women – my RCC colleagues.

These four women are examples of “Women in Charge”, leaders in their communities.

All four encompass the 6 leadership competencies (big picture thinking, self-development, relationship building, management and governance, planning and organizing and strategic thinking). The other qualities that I admire and relate to as being good community leaders are (may include but not limited to):

  • demonstrate a healthy work/ life balance (I am
    still learning how to do that)
  • respect themselves and others
  • willing to learn something new
  • share ideas
  • value others opinions and suggestions
  • lead by example
  • confident
  • inspiring
  • positive role models and mentors for other women
  • community driven (STP’s in their own communities)
  • task oriented
  • willing to take a risk
  • willing to admit when they are wrong
  • proactive
  • independent
  • caring and trust worthy
  • team player
  • well spoken
  • knowledgeable
  • last but not least are great listeners…

The experiences and knowledge that we have shared to date have been rewarding and energizing and not to leave out memorable. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to meet four fabulous “Women in Charge” and I am a better person because of it.

As each of us move onto other chapters in our lives, the challenge will be to stay in contact. It is never good-bye but see you later!

Therefore, I am inviting people to celebrate inspiring women in their lives by sending a free International Women’s Day e-Card or honoring a woman whose efforts make a difference in your community or region; celebrate your “Women in Charge”.

Yvonne Rempel | 780.827.1464 |

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Social Enterprise in Rural Alberta

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

Do you know what social enterprise is?  I was somewhat unfamiliar with the term until I learned about it through Enterprising Non-Profits Alberta. Enterprising Non-Profits Alberta (Enp-ab) is a collaborative program that provides grants and technical assistance to non-profit organizations to support the development or growth of their social enterprises. They define social enterprise as generating business revenue.

Today, more than ever, non-profit/voluntary organizations are taking on more of a business model and are beginning to understand the importance of social enterprise. Because non-profits, just like businesses, need revenue to function! And of course, rural non-profit/voluntary organizations are always in on the latest trend thanks to initiatives and organizations like KnowledgeConnector and Enp-ab that help to keep us educated.

Enp-ab recently posted some great learning opportunities right here on KnowledgeConnector. The next one is, you guessed it, about “Building Your Social Enterprise”. They are hosting workshops in the spring and fall for non-profit organizations wanting to learn more about social enterprise and how to gain access to enp grants for business planning projects.”

The next available workshop will be held right here in central Alberta at Sylvan Lake on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM MST.

What can you expect to learn? The workshop is specifically for non-profit/voluntary organizations and invites staff, board members and volunteers alike. This workshop is specifically targeted at helping your organization learn to launch, expand or strengthen its social enterprise. You will learn about the social enterprise development path and find out the Enp-ab grant requirements. Yup, you read that right, they offer grants for organizations like yours. Plus, lunch is included!

So what are you waiting for? Register today or click here for more information on these great courses!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Libraries: More Than A Home For Books

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

We all know that libraries are a great place for learning. One can find a library in nearly any community in Alberta, find information, facts, and help in relation to any subject you may be interested in. Of course, you can also go to any library to be entertained and/or enlightened with fictional books available for any age.

As modern technology advances though, the demand for more innovative forms of education and entertainment grows. And of course, libraries everywhere are keeping up to that demand. Libraries today have taken the initiative to become a central point for community cohesion. They offer programs, services and resources that meet the demands of community residents and either work in partnership with or for other non-profit/voluntary sector organizations in their area.

Take the Wetaskiwin Public Library for example. They offer a plethora of e-resources ranging from e-readers and e-tablets that can be borrowed. Once you have your hand on an e-reader or e-tablet you can then gain access to electronic resources related to the following:

The Wetaskiwin Public Library also offers numerous programs and in fact, they have also hosted Knowledge Connector information sessions, A.S.K. Assessment Workshops and a local launch for the second phase of the KnowledgeConnector website. Their involvement in KnowledgeConnector demonstrates their commitment to providing and connecting their community residents with leadership development opportunities.

If you are looking for a connection to leadership development, remember to look right in your own neighborhood at your local library and right here on our website for links to upcoming development opportunities in your local area. If you are a library trustee check out the Trustee Learning available through the Association. They now also take on-site session requests tailored for your chair, board and/or trustees.

What are you waiting for? Go visit your local library to find e-resources, programs and knowledge related to leadership development. For more information on the Wetaskiwin Public Library, call (780) 361-4446.

Until next time.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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“Man In Motion” – Celebrating 25 Years

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

Where were you 25 years ago? The year was 1987

–  Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson sets a new world record in the 100-metre dash

– Edmonton Black Friday – tornado disaster

– Music: Los Lobos (La Bumba), Gloria Estefen, Whitney Houston, Gun n Roses, Rick Astley

– Movies: Dirty Dancing, Princess Bride

– Sidney Crosby was born

– Rick Hansen returns home to Vancouver after his Man in Motion world tour.

1987 – Twenty-five years ago, Rick Hansen had a dream – to make the world more accessible and inclusive and to find a cure for spinal cord injury (SCI). Rick’s dream took shape in the form of the Man in Motion World Tour (MIMWT). For 26 months, he and his team wheeled over 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries, raising awareness of the potential of people with disabilities. The completion of this epic Tour was a testament to willpower, physical prowess and the ability to lead a seemingly impossible campaign. It was the beginning of a lifelong and selfless journey to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay will re-trace the Canadian segment of the original Man in Motion World Tour. Starting in Newfoundland and travelling westward to British Columbia, the nine-month relay will cover 12,000 kilometres, and visit over 600 communities from coast to coast – in every province and territory. With over 7,000 participants, this exciting and inspiring journey will celebrate and highlight Canadians who are the pride of their communities, recognizing everyday heroes, including youth, who are making a difference in the lives of others and who motivate us all to better our country and our world.

The Rick Hanson Canadian tour goes through Alberta Feb 15 to Mar 19 2012. For specific tour routes go to . Specifically highlight the NW region from March 16- 18 the tour travels up highway 16 Entwistle, Evansburg, Wildwood, Edson, Marlboro, Hinton and Jasper.

Follow our journey through 600 communities and across 12,000 kilometres by clicking onto the interactive Relay Map.

Yvonne Rempel | 780.827.1464 |

Rural Alberta Development Fund Volunteer Alberta
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