The Leader in Volunteer Management Award, sponsored by Suncor Energy, is given to an individual who demonstrates excellence and innovation in the leadership of volunteers in one of Volunteer Calgary’s member organizations.
Volunteer Resources Manager at the Calgary Zoo
Dedication, commitment, sincerity, passion and enthusiasm are just a few words that people have used to describe Renée Fleming. During her 10-year career as Volunteer Manager at the Calgary Zoo, she has made magic happen for all of the volunteers that have come to share their time and talents.
Through her leadership and guidance, various departments at the Calgary Zoo have learned to recognize the value of volunteers and how they can be effectively integrated within the Zoo’s operations.
“Renée is always trying to find ways to make the volunteer experience as interesting and as engaging as possible. We have people doing everything [from] special events, working with our zookeepers to helping control crowds,” said Michelle Poisson, Director of Human Resources, Education and Health and Safety at the Calgary Zoo.
Fleming engages over 500 volunteers, who in turn impact over 1.2 million zoo visitors each year. Her enthusiasm is evident as she tries to engage as many interested volunteers as possible into the Zoo’s activities. She has worked with countless groups and individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
“Renée is “constantly [telling us] how valuable we are and that the Zoo really couldn’t [accomplish its vision and mission] without us. She is an awesome person to work with. She recognizes what people need; she is a great support and is always there with a smile on her face,” said Shirley Perves, a long time volunteer with the Zoo.
Fleming was also actively involved in re-designing existing Zoo programming and has developed some exciting, new volunteer programs.
“She created a youth volunteering program called KidzKonnect, a Volunteer Emeritus program to engage volunteers of all ages,” said Brooke Yeates, who nominated Fleming for the award. “She is also working at engaging more employee groups from corporateCalgaryto become involved in the Zoo.”
Renée Fleming is a shining example of the work, dedication and knowledge that a Volunteer Manager brings to an organization.
“Renée is a strong proponent for volunteerism. She believes it strengthens communities and benefits organizations and volunteers mutually, and she demonstrates that effective volunteerism involves relationship building. As she has built those relationships with people over time, she has developed a high level of trust with [them that will become] a cornerstone to her long-term success as a volunteer manager,” said Tina Barzo, previous recipient of Leader in Volunteer Management Award and Volunteer Manager at Parks Canada.
Fleming is a well-rounded individual with a passion for volunteerism so strong that it is reflected through her work with volunteers.
Check out the Volunteer Calgary Website for available volunteer opportunities with the Calgary Zoo.