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TAVA Member Spotlight


Name: Faiza Venzant CVA, CVRM

OrganizationYMCA of Greater Toronto

RoleGeneral Manager, Volunteer Development

Working in the Volunteer Engagement Sector for: 18 years

Volunteer Roles: Board Member at the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA), and, Mentor at Professional Association of Volunteer Leaders- Ontario (PAVRO)

Been a part of TAVA since: 2003

Faiza is also a mother to two boys, Qayam and Malik. 


"TAVA has provided me with leadership opportunities as a volunteer Executive Committee member, with bursaries to further my education, and with chances to facilitate workshops. I have also been able to build friendships that will last a lifetime."

As someone working in Volunteer Engagement, how does TAVA help you?

TAVA is the place I go to find support, to continue growing as a volunteer engagement professional, and to encourage others who are pursuing a career in this field. TAVA has provided me with leadership opportunities as a volunteer Executive Committee member, with bursaries to further my education, and with chances to facilitate workshops. I have also been able to build friendships that will last a lifetime.


In the past year, what was your most memorable professional project and why?

Working with my colleagues on the Child Protection Circle at the YMCA has been my most memorable professional work year to date. This group is dedicated to the protection of children and vulnerable persons and I represent and advocate for our volunteers. The work is difficult and heartbreaking and frustrating at times but knowing that we are doing our very best to protect children and vulnerable persons is something I am really proud of.

Would you please explain the professional success you're most proud of and how you implemented it?


This past year, I have been focusing on my coaching and leadership skills. I lead a team of dynamic, intelligent and hard working women in the volunteer development department at the YMCA. Together, we support thousands of staff who partner with thousands of volunteers. My colleagues all have goals and ambitions personally and professionally. Being an effective, kind, patient coach and owning that part of my leadership role has been rewarding. I am seeing my team members flourish in their roles and I feel a great sense of pride in their success.

I've been intentional in this work by participating in coaching and leadership training, by seeking out volunteer roles that allow me to use the skills I have learned and by seeking out stories from coaches and leaders that I admire.


In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge to working in Volunteer Engagement?

The general public doesn't understand the value of volunteers and volunteerism.

What advice would you give to someone looking to take the next step in their Volunteer Engagement career?

Volunteering is transformational for the people who choose to volunteer and everyone has a right to contribute to their community. There will be days when this work is not easy, not fun, and undervalued. Make volunteers your focus.

When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

I write children's books. My first book My Mamma Wants to Eat Me Up! was published last year and I am now working on publishing my second book.

I also volunteer for the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA) as a Board Member and as a Mentor with Professional Association for Volunteer Leaders - Ontario (PAVRO).

I am happiest, laugh the loudest and have the most fun when I am with my husband Earvin and my mischievous kids Qayam and Malik.

Published: April 2019
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