Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
Why is a 40 under 40 winner
1. Under Lindsay's leadership, the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation created a series of videos to support the hospital and foundation's work. Collectively, these videos have been viewed over two million times and have won multiple awards at the local, province and international levels.
2. When she was hired, Lindsay's communication portfolio focused only on the women's hospital's work. Within eight months, she was given a promotion to oversee the entire communications department.
3. Through her communications and relationship-building work, Lindsay has elevated the Foundation's public visibility and continues to raise their profile in the Edmonton community.
4. She is an active member of her children's school community, including serving a two-year term as president of the school council.
Q & A
1. How did you get into health care philanthropy?
After graduating with a business degree, my first roles out of school were in human resources. Upon realizing this wasn't the best fit for me, I took a job that allowed me to learn the interior design business first-hand.
After having the first of my three children, I ran multiple businesses from home so I could be with them. I launched an offline and online mom's group, I ran a digital media consulting company, and my own interior design business, however nothing quite filled my bucket the way I believe a career should.
I then decided to return to a traditional office setting, and for several years, I worked at various media agencies, where I honed my marketing and communications skills, often working for non-profit clients. During this period in my life, I lost my mother to multiple health challenges. The loss of my mother when she was far too young, combined with my experience working with non-profit clients motivated me to search out a role where I could make a difference for people facing health struggles, which landed me in the position I hold today, as the Director of Communications with the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, a health-focused non-profit.
2. Why did you choose to make health care philanthropy your career?
I am a storyteller by nature, always have been. When I was a young girl, I remember watching an episode of Oprah that forever changed my perspective. Her guest that day threw a dart at a board that represented her audience. Wherever the dart landed, that person was asked to stand and share their personal story; everyone, no matter who has a story to tell. In true Oprah fashion, it was a real "ah-ha" moment.
From that day forward, I knew I wanted to fill a role that would allow me to tell the stories of those around me. Health care philanthropy is the perfect chance to tell stories that make a genuine difference in the lives of so many. It was a long road to the position I have now, which included a move across the country, but here I am!
3. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.
When I took the role with our foundation, our communications team had three members, including myself with only one digital communications person reporting to me. Within a few short months of joining the organization, I was offered the lead role for the department, and since then, I have grown our team to include four communications staff members and myself.
The most pivotal moment for me has been the work our team has put in to transition our foundation from primarily traditional communication methods to focusing more and more every day on digital communication strategies. Between the work of our digital strategist, our in-house video producer, and our data analyst, we have made great strides in online engagement and giving. In the last year alone, we have seen a 114% increase in online gifts, and we are trending to beat that organizational effort again this year.
4. What was your first job, and what is something it taught you?
Believe it or not, my first job was detasseling corn in the cornfields of southwestern Ontario, Canada. Working in the early hours of the day in a wet, cold field that by 10:00 a.m. turned into a sweltering, dusty mess certainly taught me the value of hard work, and solidified for me that I wasn't looking to do farm work for the rest of my life!
Even more impactful was my work for many years as a bartender during my university career. I spent many days and nights listening to guests share their stories with me from across the bar, further solidifying my desire to build human connections through storytelling. I also can make a mean Caesar now!
5. What are your future aspirations?
I want to continue to push the technological capabilities of our organization. Nonprofits have traditionally been the followers and not the leaders when it comes to using technology to achieve their business goals. I hope to change that for our organization.
I plan to source, create and implement new technologies and digital media opportunities that will continue to push our organization's philanthropic goals and achievements to new heights.