You may have heard us say it before, that we are nothing without our members. The same is also true about our staff and DECA team, which includes facilitators, leaders, project managers, community builders, program coordinators, entrepreneurs, property managers and event organizers with a history of working within and collaborating with the nonprofit, for-profit and public sectors.
Our staff are ambitious and impact-driven, and like many organizations we’re often faced with the challenge of helping them grow and further their careers. To this end, we support their professional development, provide them with regular feedback, involve them in projects they feel passionate about as much as possible, and support their entrepreneurial side projects and passions.
Recently we reflected that we should do more to celebrate the achievements of our incredible staff team when they reach milestones, and so today we’re happy to share a bit of news with you, let’s call it a couple graduations…
It’s hard to be at CSI and to not know Erin Kang. Our Events Manager is a powerhouse in her work at CSI and in her professional projects. She’s organized pop-up markets at CSI, connecting local artisans to our community and selling her own line of jewelry. She’s brought storytelling into our spaces and the city in a big way with Stories of Ours and with Untold Stories by Social Innovators. She came to CSI as an intern, was hired after she graduated from her B.A. at U of T, and has elevated our events services ever since.
Erin has always been interested in city building, studying Urban Studies, Human geography and History, and is a super nerd – like super nerd, as in she was Secretary and then President at the Toronto Undergraduate Geography Society and Secretary at the Urban Studies Student Union.
Well, all this will come in handy in her amazing new job as the Project Manager with Shape My City where she will be managing the future direction of the Shape My City platform, a network that connects people to others, resources and projects to build a better Toronto. Best of all, her work will keep her connected to CSI, and we know we’ll be collaborating with her real soon.
“As I leave this summer of 2016, I leave to pursue work that aligns with my academic background and personal interests, and nurture my own personal work at Stories of Ours – but I will never truly leave,” she said, before taking a bite into a slice of pizza. “It has been an honour to support the incredible spirit each member brings to their work, and even more so to receive the overwhelming support of CSI and the community. Thank you for this gift. Whether our paths cross over food or over purpose (or food with a purpose, as CSI has taught me) – I look forward to it.”
We’re sad to see her go, but way happier that she is following her passion and making her mark in the world. Thank you Erin for the tireless dedication and commitment to excellence you have brought to your work at CSI. We love you Erin!
Kyle, like Drake, started from the bottom and now he here. And by the bottom we mean the banking industry, and by here we mean he is CSI’s new Marketing Manager! Three years ago Kyle found refuge within our community and decided that one day he would work for CSI.
His drive and talent were undeniable. He cut his chops as a DECA designing posters for our spaces that brought our internal communications to new heights, combining elements of pop culture, children’s literature and an almost Manichean sense of morality. Christopher Walken shaming us into doing our dishes. Beyonce extolling the virtues of name tags. The Giving Tree lamenting a world in which trees are valued more as toilet paper than for the selfless love they can provide a boy…
Having decisively conquered the poster game, he was hired for part-time comms support. This sparked a two year journey that took Kyle back to night school for nonprofit management and marketing. He earned a chance to lead a massive market research project at CSI unlike anything we’d undertaken, and then turned his attention to filling vacant spots at Spadina and Regent Park.
“Between the staff and community this is among my favorite places on earth,” Kyle was overheard saying at the CSI Cafe. “I’m so grateful to CSI for investing in me, and to the members whose word of mouth outside, and big smiles inside, make marketing this place so easy.”
We’ll see if he still thinks it’s easy when we tell him what we have in store for him.
Kyle and Erin are just two stories we’re sharing today among many more to tell. The staff are truly always up to remarkable work elevating our game and bringing new ideas and initiatives to life.
So thank you, to all of you, who make CSI what it is, and when you see Kyle and Erin – or any staff member for that matter – give them a huge high five!