We seldom hear from them. They provide immense insight, vision, effective strategies, investment and even perspectives from all angles. Who are these people? They are simply the ones who work behind the scenes. In other cultures, their name varies but in our context, their title is board director.
In this Championing Change entry, we will focus on David Marshall, CEO of MarshallZehr Real Estate Capital and also a member of the Board for Life Change Adventures (LCA).
David, a man of Faith, alluded to the fact that he is fortunate to not only be able to incite change on the economic foundational landscape at both the micro and macro levels but also in the lives of people, students in particular. “The change I am focus on is using my abilities to work with students and developing a personal faith in Jesus Christ while learning how to use their faith in whatever field they choose. We live in a time where students from diverse backgrounds come to Canada to study and we can meet, interact and build relationships with these people.” A part from his work with Life Change Adventures, David also invests his time, knowledge, and wisdom in providing mentorship as he believes that mentorship can significantly aid character development especially when centered on scripture and its teachings. A recipient of high quality mentorship himself, Dave admitted that he does not see people as projects, “I just want to be their friends. It’s all about relationships.”
In response to the question about his views on what LCA has accomplished and could do going forward, Dave did not hold back. He noted that the selfless approach of the volunteers and staff can be attributed to the Christian faith roots of LCA which are taken from scripture; to serve others and care for the needy is commendable and has replicable qualities. He feels that the efforts of the organization could be maximized if more funding was possible and so, acknowledged the operational need for the division of LCA into two facets which would improve funding access.
I could not resist but ask what was unique about the way LCA does things. There are thousands of charitable organizations which share similar principles so what makes this one special? I thought. “I think it is the people that have brought LCA together; it’s a very grass-root. There is a unique theme is a very specific community and they truly care for everyone in that community. Despite the facts that the leaders have Christian based principles, they are well respected and everyone knows that there is deep care. It’s different from other organizations that jump in, do an event then leave. It’s that this organization has become a part of the DNA of the Sunnydale community. Schools see tremendous value. It’s not about money. You know something is successful when so many people wanting to volunteer. Another thing, it’s not about the leadership which is unique. It’s there to train and equip youth leaders and just provide help when they need it. That’s how you let a leader lead.”
Introspectively, Dave went on to state, “As a student, I was mentored by the leadership of LCA. I believe so much of what they are doing to now. It’s a part of my life. The whole DNA of equipping youth people in their own context is what happened to me. I am still mentored by Jeremy and I value him. That mentorship allowed me to mentor others which is like the passing of the torch per se.”
As it is my natural proclivity, I inquired about his thoughts, ideas and advice to youth with potential. He made it concise, digestible and lucid. “Go to people doing a very good job and ask how you can be involved, learn, be equipped and find your vision.”
David Marshall, member of the LCA Board and a firm proponent of mentorship.