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Past Presidents report for 2016/2017 AGM and invitation to the community

By Gilles LeClair

Report from the past-president of the LSLA to members, as given at the AGM on Oct 18, 2017.

This last year saw a greater focus on the gardening aspect of the LSLA. And it was done with solid social media promotions, building ties with other groups and creating workshops and events that have added to the profile of Lethbridge Sustainable Living Association. CongratulationsMandy on a job well done! And it would seem as though you are not done yet. 2017 was only you getting your feet wet. Your leadership style has overseen the most successful AppleFest to date. Thank you Dil for taking the lead on that one.

At the last AGM in 2016 where I declared I was stepping down I wanted to help with the transition and change of leadership by serving another year on the board. Looking back it was probably an unnecessary step since I can now say that our president served the organization very well, and as hoped for, took the LSLA to a new level of professionalism.

Effective today I am stepping down from the board. It is now time to move on and leave a space for others to create and continue building this organization. The LSLA has several points of focus it can choose from. All of the paths lead us towards a more sustainable future. Presently our efforts are moving us towards creating more urban agriculture, more education on waste reduction and a drive towards better use of our food resources. There are still more challenges ahead of us that, given the energy of those within this group, can be taken on.

A few words to those who may be contemplating being on this board. Being part of a non-profit board is a personal growth experience. And it is a contribution to your community. It should always be a labour of love. And at the same time it is a great responsibility.

In this day of climate change, we are serving to help create a world that is sustainable on more levels than one. And by being part of this group your individual influence to the rest of the city increases. By being part of this board you are effectively walking the talk. Others will know your words are not shallow repetitions but assertions that come from a position of conviction and self-empowerment.

In this day and age citizens need to be educated and encouraged to make the changes necessary to ensure our very survival on this planet. That survival will mean major changes in the way we live and the way we provide for our existence. If we and our children are to survive the 2+ degrees of temperature change that is being forecast, we need transitions in an order of magnitude we have never seen before in the history of humankind. This is not an exaggeration, it is a fact. The need for urgent action is stronger today than ever.

As part of an organization that promotes sustainable living it is the LSLA that will over time be seen as one of those groups in Lethbridge who can supply the answers and the hope to a better world. This should be your guiding force.

As Mandy has demonstrated, leadership is not about telling people what to do but about inspiring others to action. It is the willingness to step forward and make things happen. While a group can only have one president it can have many leaders. It is a misconception to assert that only leaders can give permission or that all others will be followers beckoning to the leaders commands. No, leadership is far more fluid and creative than that.
So first, follow your intuition and if you see something that you know can be a sustainable solution – then it behooves you to act on it. But always keep in mind there are only 24 hours in a day so do your best to complete the task in front of you before taking on another one. If you do those two simple things -taking quick action on your inner guidance and completing the task in front of you- you will be an effective contributor to your board and your community. Good luck in your endeavours.

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