Hi there, I’m Melissa! Thank you for visiting and taking a moment to read.
I feel incredibly lucky to be the newest member of the Collective Results (CR) Team.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to efforts that seek to have a meaningful impact on people’s lives. Working towards a more just and healthy society is my primary motivator. It’s also what attracted me to the work of CR. CR is passionate about supporting organizations that are committed to doing good work.
For the past 14 years, I’ve been fortunate to work within such institutions and for such mandates; first in public health, and most recently in post-secondary education to address wellbeing. Working on complex social issues in these different settings, and in the community, has taught me so much about myself.
As I start this new adventure, I reflect on some of my lessons learned. Often these have come from experiences when I’ve stumbled and had to pick myself back up. These moments have shaped some of my strengths and the attributes I hope to bring to CR and the communities I serve.
Listening - when you’re keen to see impact in your work, it can be easy to miss the most valuable moment to simply listen and learn from the people and communities you serve. I’ve learned to always start with listening. My guiding ‘mantra’s is often – how can I be in service to you? When you ask this authentically, and deeply listen, your actions and next steps should be pretty clear. And, always check-in and listen more along the way!
Nurturing relationships - I place a great value on meaningful relationships and human connection. One thing I know to be true; without trusting working relationships, it can be very difficult to address the needs of communities and have the impact you’re working towards. Taking time to nurture relationship can be challenging in a world that does not always value or create space for such things. This is a challenge I always welcome with open arms. Part of nurturing relationships for me is to share about myself – my whole self. We are so much more than the work we do – I’m a mom, partner, friend, sister, daughter, part-time student, activist, wannabe crafter, and the list goes on. I will always bring those aspect with me in my work.
Self awareness and social location – I also try to be explicit and mindful of privileges that come with my identify and social location. These come with me, wherever I go. I’m a white settler of Swiss Mennonite heritage living in Waterloo, able-bodied, cis-gendered, heterosexual, and overall, healthy. These are all privileges that I have not earned, and I must use responsibly in all facets of my life.
At the end of the day, I approach my work with love, kindness, empathy, and a critical eye to how systems are operating in often invisible and ubiquitous ways that benefit some, and disadvantage others. I get excited by the complexity of systems work. At the heart of this work is the spirit of collaboration. The more we can collaborate and find our common ground, the greater the impact we can expect to have. I look forward to working with you and sharing my lessons learned along the way!