Canadian Cancer Society
Michel is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Cancer Society – Quebec Division and has served as Chairman of the Audit and Risk Management Committee since 2014.
1- Michel, can you tell us a little bit about your involvement with the Canadian Cancer Society?
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national organization which has had a tremendous impact in the fight against cancers in Canada. It has secured this position through the trust of the public and donors. Without a doubt, for this type of organization, reputation is the most valuable asset. The Audit and Risk Management Committee, which I’ve had the honour of chairing, is critical in this regard. The Board of Directors counts on our diligent analysis, reports and recommendations to make informed decisions. In a sense, the Chairman and the Committee members are gatekeepers for the organization’s good reputation when it comes to its sound financial management. My role is also to recruit Committee members and provide the organization with access to a range of skills and experience. The Committee is involved in budgetary preparation and monitoring, audit oversight and supervision of the risk mitigation plan.
2- What pushed you to engage yourself with the community?
Since the start of my career, I’ve been involved with non-profit organizations. I consider myself to have led a privileged life, and it just seems normal to be able to give a bit of my time to society. My wife is a researcher at the CRCHUM and has taught me about the importance of medical research in finding short- and long-term solutions for patients. As is the case for many of us, I know people who have suffered from the terrible disease that is cancer. When I was given the opportunity to become Chairman of the Audit and Risk Management Committee, I simply had to accept it.
3- How important would you say is giving time, energy and financial contributions to the Canadian Cancer Society? Where do the funds go?
One of the greatest challenges facing non-profit organizations is recruiting volunteers. While funding is also extremely important, many organizations could not reach their objectives without the contribution of volunteers. The funds raised by the Canadian Cancer Society are used to finance research and support a range of assistance and prevention programs. A smaller proportion is dedicated to defending the interests of the public by calling for laws and government investment aimed at improving the health of its citizens.
4- What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your involvement with this organization in particular?
I’m always impressed by those who, despite difficult circumstances, find a way to bounce back. Without a doubt, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is the capacity for resilience of human beings. I’ve met several people suffering from cancer during my time with the Canadian Cancer Society, and they’ve all had this same strength.
5- Any upcoming events you’d like to share?
The next major fundraising event, the CIBC Run for the Cure, will be held on September 30 and will bring together more than 100,000 participants in different parts of the country. The goal is to raise $17 million to support the fight against breast cancer. Other activities held by the Canadian Cancer Society during the year include the Relay For Life, a pan-Canadian event in which communities join together in the fight against cancer, and the Daffodil Ball in the spring, to name just a few.
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