Monday, 27 July 2015

Meet a Board Member: Chairman Bill Swan

 Bill Swan

When I sat down to interview the Chair of our Board of Directors, I'll be honest with you, I learned far more about him than I anticipated! The things I knew about Bill before I sat down with him were basic: he was a generous, easy-going retiree who lives in Port Perry with his English wife Rosemary. However, after our chat, I learned that Bill is a well-traveled, experienced businessman who's headed multiple non-profit endeavours in multiple countries.

Bill's professional background includes many years of successful leadership experience as VP of Sales and Marketing then President and CEO, from start-up companies to multinational organizations in the IT, Financial Services and Audio Visual industries.  He has lived Canada, the US, and England and conducted business in over 16 countries throughout his career. 

In the midst of his careers, Bill explained that he first started working with children/youth charities when he and two other local gentlemen started the East Sussex Motor Project in the south of England. The organization helped young offenders in trouble with the law through building and racing stock cars-- a positive outlet in which they could focus their attention, while being mentored by the volunteers involved. 

In 2007, after first living in Indianapolis, Indiana, then 17 years in South East England, Bill and Rosemary moved back to Canada and landed in Port Perry where Bill officially retired. Instead of slowing down, Bill joined several local organizations, and utilized his skills to help charities such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham, the Port Perry United Church, and the 1st Port Perry Scouts. 

Bill also started up and Chaired the Port Perry House Tour, which is going into its 7th year, and has raised over $60,000 for the YWCA, Joanne's House, Community Care Durham Scugog, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham. Bill is also VP of the choir at the church. 

When I asked Bill why he joined our Board of Directors in 2007, he said when he moved to Port Perry he was looking in the community for local organizations he could help out with, and Big Brothers Big Sisters just happened to be looking for people to join our Board. It was a win-win! After a few years as a Director, Bill was asked to be Vice Chair, and has held the position of Board Chair since 2013.

When he's not busy with local charities or the church, Bill and Rose like to golf, sing in Port Perry United Church choir, go to the movies, travel and spend time with their 3 children and 2 grandchildren.  

If you're interested in learning more information about our mentoring programs, please call Cheryl Holmes at 905-985-3733 ext 2.  

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