Celebrating Volunteer Week: Who’s your executive?

  • April 02, 2019

Did you know that ADR’s William Holder was a professional tour caddy? That Health Law member-at-large Kim Jakeman is a professional Crossfit athlete? Or that Pensions and Benefits Chair Sonia Mak is a passionate dancer who does ballroom dancing and contemporary line dancing four times a week?

Neither did we. But then in honour of National Volunteer Week (April 7-13), CBA national Section liaisons decided to honour the hard-working executive Section members by introducing their personal sides to their Sections.

Section executive were invited to answer questions about themselves – how they started practising in that particular field, what makes them laugh (dogs and children mostly, FYI), their best moments, their personal mottos and what kind of animal they’d like to be, among others. We received responses from 55 members, mostly women, from all but a few provinces and one territory.  Their responses, as well as the photos that accompanied them, are being showcased during Volunteer Week on CBA’s social media channels.

When it comes to books, quite a few of the executive members have just finished Michelle Obama’s Becoming. Another repeat book was Tara Westover’s Educated. Privacy’s Past-Chair Suzanne Morin says she just re-read 1984 by George Orwell, “and thought for a moment, ‘it’s actually happening.’”

Politics is on a lot of the executive members’ minds these days, whether it’s the SNC-Lavalin affair in Canada or the circus south of the border. “I think a lot about the increasingly divided nature of our country,” says WLF Secretary Kelly McLaughlin. “It’s difficult to remain optimistic in the face of current events in our country and surrounding us. I think about how I can make even a small contribution to reducing the divide.”

Captain Marvel is on the mind of WLF member-at-large Gabrielle Battiste, and not because it’s a box-office smash. “My favourite line, ‘I don’t have to prove anything to you,’ is so powerful in so many ways,” she says. “I love who I am. I am silly, and creative and bold and honest, yet I grew up listening to ‘You should have been a boy.’ I never want anyone to feel they need to ‘prove something.’ Who you are is good enough!”

Asked what animals they would like to be reborn as, we found a number of our executive dream of flight – being birds without borders. As Immigration Branch Chair Lisa Middlemiss says, “Why walk when you can soar?” Cats, who can sit and do nothing all day, are also on the list, as are otters, beavers, and dolphins. Zack Shaver, the Communications Officer for Young Lawyers, on the other hand, would come back as an elephant, given his druthers. “Who wouldn’t want to be able to use their nose to grab things and squirt water? Elephants would also make good lawyers as they aren’t easily intimidated by other animals and never forget.”

For more about our executive members, check out our Volunteer Week web page, and follow @CanadianBarAssociation on Instagram and @CBA_News on Twitter.