EPCOR’s Community Essentials Council was a fantastic experience

I wrapped up my term on EPCOR’s Community Essentials Council (ECEC) a couple of weeks ago with the final meeting of 2012. Some members had three year terms and will be continuing while the rest of us have made way for a new group of EPCOR employees and community representatives to take part. The ECEC was officially announced in May 2011 with the goal of enhancing EPCOR’s commitment to the communities it serves:

We’re committed to supporting the communities where we operate. In 2011, we established the EPCOR Community Essentials Council (ECEC) with the objective of creating a positive impact in our communities. The ECEC includes community leaders and EPCOR employees who meet quarterly to award up to $100,000 to selected eligible applicants.  The ECEC donates up to $400,000 per year.

Before the Q4 2012 meeting, the ECEC had already donated over $598,766 to 34 organizations. You can see some of the amazing programs and organizations that we’ve supported here.

ECEC 2012
From left to right: Jeffrey Lloyd, Liz O’Neill, Mack Male, Matthew Herder, Jamie Pytel, Brian Gerdes, Patti Lefebvre, Ruth Kelly, Simon Farbrother, Frank Mannarino, Not pictured: Robert Walker

Every quarter we met to review applications from a wide range of organizations. Over time we became more efficient at the adjudication process, but it never got any easier to decide against a worthy cause. I feel really fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn about so many of the great things happening in our community (for instance, I got to teach kindergarten). I also had the opportunity to learn about some of the challenges our community faces. There’s a lot of work to be done.

Getting to know my fellow council members was definitely a highlight of the experience. We all came from different perspectives, but everyone was pumped about the opportunity to help EPCOR make a difference, and I think we worked really well together. I felt pretty honored to be at the same table as all of them. Ruth Kelly served as our chair and she set the tone and kept us on track. The ECEC is lucky to have her!

I want to thank everyone at EPCOR who has worked on making the ECEC possible, but I especially want to thank Diane Allen. I know she put a lot of work into the ECEC and clearly it has paid off. Her contributions cannot be understated, and I’m very grateful that she was there to guide us through the process. I can’t wait to see which interesting challenges she decides to tackle next!

My seat on the council was the “Youth Representative” position, and I’m very happy to share that fellow Top 40 Under 40 alum Emmy Stuebing will be taking my place. She is currently the Executive Director of the Alberta Emerald Foundation and loves to get involved in the community, volunteering her time for a number of causes. She brings a lot of experience to the ECEC and I know she’ll have a positive impact.

You can learn more about the ECEC here and you can sign up for the quarterly e-newsletter here. If your organization would like to apply for ECEC funding, make sure you qualify and have a link to at least one of EPCOR’s three pillars for community support, then fill out the application form online.

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