Volunteering: A Way of Life

Dave Hutchinson knows a thing or two about volunteering. A native of Calgary, AB, Dave came to our vibrant city in 2013 to take on the role of Business Analyst for Diversified Transportation Ltd. He has been an active volunteer in our community since his arrival and he’s just getting started!

Growing up in Calgary, Dave cut his teeth volunteering for fundraising activities with cubs and scouts troops in support of local causes in his city. He came by volunteering honestly; his parents were active members in their community and included volunteer activities as part of the fabric of their family life. Dave’s mother, Geraldine, taught her children a simple lesson: find something you do well and use that to do good for others.  An avid baker, Dave’s mom often donated baked goodies to support the homeless and other vulnerable sectors in their community. As a teenager, Friday nights of hanging out with friends often took second place to volunteering with his parents and two brothers to try and make their community a better place. Their parents were clear in another one of their messages: stay humble, and go forth and make a difference.

Dave’s memories of volunteering were positive and he remembers the experiences as being fun and meaningful. This stayed with him through to his adult life, and volunteering became a natural part of his routine. Upon arriving in Fort McMurray, Dave aligned himself with the Northern Kickoff Football game committee and was tasked to be part of the Volunteer Team responsible for managing and strategically organizing the 200+ volunteers needed for the event. As a relatively new member to the community, Dave was partly motivated to get involved  to help grow his social network and make connections beyond his work associates. The experience was definitely worthwhile. Not only did the committee pull off a memorable event, the friendships, business connections and network Dave developed have proven invaluable.

As part of his work portfolio, Dave was sent to Prince George in 2014 to assist the local organizing committee responsible for rolling out the transportation plan for the 2015 Canada Winter Games. This included arranging busing for athletes, courtesy cars for officials and games personnel, and organizing equipment transportation. It was a detailed plan that required months of planning and strategic timing. It was valuable experience for Dave that served him well when he took on the role of Transportation Coordinator for the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games in Fort McMurray. This was an example of corporate volunteering at it’s finest! Diversified Transportation lent its knowledge and expertise to the city and provided key personnel, like Dave, to operate in a volunteer capacity to ensure the games were a success. The primary focus was on the athlete and spectator experience and the company understood that a seamless transportation system would be one of the “make or break” components to a successful event.

The Western Canada Summer Games was just the first in a series of events that Dave participated in as part of his role with Diversified. Next came the CCAA Basketball Championships, the CCAA Soccer Championships and the Baseball Canada Cup. Dave’s fondest memories from these events was receiving texts from participants that said, “This was the best tournament I’ve ever been a part of. Thank you.”

It’s now difficult to attend an event in Fort McMurray where Dave isn’t volunteering! Whether it’s WinterPlay, the Canada Day Parade, the Santa Clause Parade or the Festival of Trees- chances are, you will see Dave’s smiling face. He is proud to have been part of some incredibly memorable events in our city and is humbled to have been part of bringing our community together and connecting people to each other. His network has grown, and so has his heart. His parents should be proud- his community certainly is!