Our Ambassador Q&A series gives you a behind-the-scenes look into the work of our wonderful team of Chamber Ambassadors. As business peers who actively use The Winnipeg Chamber to achieve their professional and personal goals, our Ambassadors are the perfect people to talk to if you’re considering joining The Chamber – or want to increase your involvement.
We had a chance to chat with Monique Levesque-Pharoah, Director of Sponsorships & Events at HSC Foundation to talk about why she volunteers as a Chamber Ambassador, HSC’s Virtual Savour event and how they Reimagined their fundraising strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meet Monique!
Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (WCC): What is the Savour Virtual: Wine & Food Experience and what does it support?
Monique Levesque-Pharoah (MLP): Savour: Wine & Food Experience is the Health Sciences Centre Foundation’s annual signature event. When we gather in person, Savour is a glamourous evening of delicious culinary creations, impressive ambiance, and fantastic wines. We’re producing a virtual event this year with guests celebrating at home—still with delicious wine and food and excellent entertainment. We’re very excited! We consider this to be the socially distanced social event of the season. The event typically raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for important initiatives at Manitoba’s hospital.
Health Sciences Centre is Manitoba’s flagship hospital with specialized support for trauma, neurosurgery, burns, transplants, and psychiatric health. Supporting the HSC Foundation helps HSC to improve care, advance research, acquire new cutting-edge medical equipment, and develop facilities as the health care needs of Manitobans evolve.
As part of our Savour fundraising, we are looking for support for the acquisition of three portable ventilators that can be used outside of the hospital’s ICU and for patient transport; and new exercise equipment for the hospital’s Movement for Mental Health program.
WCC: Why did you become an ambassador of The Chamber? What are the benefits?
MLP: I became an ambassador with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce in 2007 because I believe that a strong Chamber is good for the local economy and I wanted to do my part. Also, through my Chamber role, I have the opportunity to keep Winnipeg business leaders engaged in health care, and share how their partnership and philanthropy can save lives, change lives, and bring comfort to families throughout Manitoba.
WCC: Why did you become a chamber member? How does your membership help you in your business life?
MLP: I’ve been fortunate to be a part of organizations that believe in the power of Chamber membership. When you are a member of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, you immediately become part of a wide network of inspiring leaders who are passionate about excellence. The type of relationship-building that is enabled by the Chamber makes Winnipeg a better place to live. Chamber membership helps me connect with people who are enthusiastic about supporting the Foundation.
WCC: We are running a campaign called, #ReimagineWPG where we recognize Winnipeg businesses who have embraced change and pivoted their business for the better. How did you pivot and embrace change in regards to your fundraising? How did your event change?
MLP: The Health Sciences Centre Foundation responded quickly when COVID-19 descended upon Manitoba. We engaged with the hospital to find out what specific and timely initiatives we could support to help HSC deal with the pandemic. While we still raised funds for our ongoing initiatives, we paid special attention to the new and emerging needs brought on by COVID-19.
Our donors have been responding in a significant way and so we have been able to lighten the load of frontline health care workers and provide important equipment for treating patients.
Like many other charities in Manitoba, we have had to reimagine the events and programs that bring people together physically. So, for our Savour event, we are designing an interactive and entertaining virtual program that we think our supporters will love from the comfort of their own homes. Last year, we had an in-person crowd of 700. We’ve managed to maintain most of our partners from last year and even attract new partners this year. It’s different, but really exciting!
WCC: What would you say to someone who is on the fence about becoming a Chamber member?
MLP: Just do it! Chamber membership is an important way to connect with businesses throughout the city and work together to strengthen the economy and enhance the community for everyone.
To become a Savour 2021 sponsor, please call Monique Levesque-Pharoah, Director of Sponsorships & Events, at 204-515-5620 or send an email to [email protected].
CLICK HERE to purchase tickets online for Savour: Wine & Food Experience on Saturday, Feb 20!
Volunteer with The Chamber!
There are several volunteer opportunities with The Chamber for you to get involved, be showcased, tell your story, and give back.
In addition to personal growth, we know that volunteering at The Chamber must be aligned with your professional goals as well. Ambassador Volunteers receive exposure and relationship-building opportunities at events, and their depth of knowledge to improve both their experience of giving back and The Chamber as a whole is relied on as well.
Interested in learning more or being a Chamber Ambassador? CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE to join The Chamber today!