Kevin in Vancouver in 2010
Kevin Whyte is the Board Chair on the Board of Directors of CDSS. He is a good man who we at CDSS care about. I had this interview with Kevin because he is finished his term on the Board this year. I wanted to talk to him about his past with CDSS.
I had a good interview with Kevin Whyte and I will miss him along with CDSS work crew.
Paul: Why are you leaving the Board of Directors?
Kevin: I am sadly leaving the Board of Directors because I have reached the ten year limit to serve on the Board. A few years ago we changed the rules for Board membership and put a maximum of 5 – two year terms for Board members to ensure we were always having new people with different backgrounds and ideas join the Board and keep it fresh.
P: How Did you start working for the CDSS Board of Directors?
K: My family and I joined CDSS when our son Kyle was born. We were so welcomed and felt right at home immediately and since that time have attended almost every National Conference. Through this connection, I had the chance to meet many of the Board and staff over the years. I was approached and asked to consider joining the Board a couple of times while I was Chair of the Halton Down Syndrome Association (HDSA). Near the end of my time on HDSA local Board, Sue Fletcher who was Chair of CDSS at the time sat me down and inspired me to put my name forward and join the CDSS Board back in 2004.
Kevin and the Board of CDSS with Kirk and Janet
P: Why did you join the Board of Directors?
K: I joined the Board for a number of reasons. First off I have spent the last 20 years (10 years on the local Halton Board) and then CDSS Board because I wanted to give back to my community and the organizations that had such a positive impact on me and my family. I also wanted to join the Board to carry on the inspiring work from the dedicated people who came before me driving the Vision and Mission of CDSS. Many of these people had become my friends and mentors and I wanted to be part of this great organization.
Kevin and Lauren Potter
P: How many years have you been working and be on the CDSS Board of Directors? What did you do on the Board?
K: I have been on the CDSS Board for 10 years as I mentioned earlier. During that time I spent the first few years putting my energy into many of the committees at CDSS helping with fund development, finances, nominations, and communication projects. I then joined the Executive Committee and spent a couple of years as then Treasurer and then a couple more as the Vice-Chair before taking on the role of Chair.
P: What are you planning to do after you leave the Board of Directors?
K: The role of Board member is a volunteer position and the Board members dedicate hundreds of hours a year to help direct and support CDSS. After 20 years non stop on the HDSA and CDSS I think I will take a little break and spend some extra time with my family and friends. I have always been involved in a number of other charities including Special Olympics, United Way, and others and I will probably do some more work with those charities and maybe even join another charity board in the future.
Us having fun at the banquet in Winnipeg.
P: Do you have some memories of you on the Board of Directors of CDSS? What are some of your fondest memories?
K: I don’t only have some memories of my time on the Board but have thousands of memories. This experience has been without question one of the best things to happen in my life and I have made life long friendships with the Board, staff, and members. I could list a full blog of fondest memories but a couple that stand out would be attending the National Conferences meeting and supporting the membership, for sure the annual dinner dance and all night dance parties that would break out!, and the Board & VATTA meetings throughout the years where we would get together and work on where to take CDSS in the future.
Without question I think the most important memories are about a very special and emotional Board meeting when we talked about wanting to “Be the change we want to see”. Through that impassioned discussion we began to build the plans for a group of self-advocates who would become part of the fabric and the heartbeat of CDSS. That process was the birth of the VATTA group and from the first meeting of the VATTA group in a blackout eating pizza at the Waterloo conference in 2005, to every single time I have had the privilege of working with and learning from that group of inspiring women and men, is hands down the most special memory I will have.
P: Who will take your place on the Board of Directors of our Canadian Down Syndrome Society?
K: Every year there are elections at the Annual General Meeting of the CDSS at our national conference. This year a number of returning Board members and new members will be elected to the Board for the next 2 years. After the meeting, the new and returning members of the Board will get together and will nominate and elect a new Board Chair who will take my spot. We have an incredible group of Board members and any one of them would make a great Chair. I feel very confident in future of CDSS knowing it is led by the dedicated Board members, incredible staff, and inspiring self advocates involved with CDSS on VATTA, the Board and of course you Paul. Thanks for letting me part of your Blog!!
Thanks for the great interview, Kevin. Thanks to Kevin and his family for everything they did for us at CDSS.