September 10, 2019
Skills4Good’s mission is to help companies win the war for talent by matching talent with purpose. In this Spotlight Interview series, we direct a spotlight on selected employees of our corporate partners that we’ve matched with nonprofits across the country. As recognized leaders of their companies, these employees generously give their time, talent and treasure as nonprofit board directors to create significant impacts in the communities in which they live and work.
Eduarda (Eddie) McWhirter, CPA, CGA
Executive Vice President, Finance, LGM Financial Services Inc. (LGM)
LGM is a Skills4Good Client. It is a national leader in providing finance and insurance services to the Canadian automotive industry. It’s recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies.
Skills4Good matched Eddie with Quest Food Exchange, a nonprofit that provides dignified access to a variety of affordable and healthy foods to individuals facing food security challenges in British Columbia. Eddie currently serves as Treasurer of the Board.
Q: Why did your company engage Skills4Good?
A: LGM places strong support behind continuous learning for employees on an individual development basis. Our HR department does a fantastic job of providing employees with tools and resources to assist with individual development needs. Learning and development is important to LGM and it’s become one of the organization’s key focus areas for its employees. Providing employee development opportunities alongside with giving back to local communities is purposeful and rewarding.
The Skills4Good board program provides both an opportunity to give back, as well as a chance to develop leadership skills beyond the work environment. I was invited by LGM’s HR department to participate in this program with Skills4Good. The timing was perfect for me.
Q: Why did you choose to serve on the Quest board?
Quest Food Exchange truly resonated for me. Its mission is to reduce hunger with dignity, build community and foster sustainability. If I can assist Quest with growing its operations within the province, then I have accomplished a meaningful goal.
Q: What is the positive impact of your board service on your personal and professional goals?
A: I am at a phase in life where I have more time to commit to volunteer work. I have always wanted to be a board director of a nonprofit that supports the needs of my local community in positive ways. It’s rewarding to be able to share my accounting knowledge so that the organization spends less on accounting services and more on funding community programs.
Q: What invaluable contributions do you bring to the Quest board?
A: I have over 30 years of accounting experience in a variety of industries. Having said that, the Quest board is a well-rounded group that provides diverse expertise and skills for the betterment of the organization. I’m fortunate to be able to work with a talented group that enjoys supporting Quest. I believe I’ve learned more from the Quest board than what I have contributed in services.
Q: Could you share a story from your board service at Quest?
A: In my early months as a Quest board director, I learned the accounting area of the organization could benefit from process/reporting improvements. I rallied some LGM co-workers to assist with building system reports for the Quest team to utilize in their accounting processes. I’ve been informed that with LGM's support, reports and accounting processes at Quest are much more efficient!
Marilyn Bergen, Board Chair of Quest Food Exchange said:
“Eddie is on the Board for all the right reasons. She is a committed Board member and has provided invaluable support on the Finance side of our organization. She was instrumental in leveraging IT resources from her workplace to assist in developing improved reporting for the Quest team.”
“Having Eddie on the Board is inspirational to the entire team. She brings her professionalism to each meeting and gives back to all of us with her insights, wonderful attitude and humble approach to driving improvement. It’s her leadership, commitment and fun spirit that lifts everyone who is fortunate enough to work with her.”
LGM Financial Services Inc. (“LGM”) is a national leader in providing warranty, finance and insurance services to the Canadian automotive industry. It is recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. Aon Hewitt Canada has also recognized LGM as a Best Small and Medium Employer in its annual ranking of the country’s most engaged workforces.
Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.