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Our President’s Report at the 2023 Annual General Meeting

interVivos held our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 29, 2023. Here is the report given by our President, Zohreh Saher. Questions? Email

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your President. Last year at our Annual General Meeting, I reflected on my journey with interVivos and what I envisioned for the organization in the year to come, and let me tell you, I had no idea what 2022-23 had in store for us all.

This has been a year of rapid change, constantly adapting, retooling, and building resiliency. Thank you to those who continue to support the organization and welcome to those who are here for their first interVivos AGM. As you know, we are the membership of this organization and this meeting is what ensures we can continue to have our non-profit status in Alberta. It is one of the most important meetings you will participate in as an interVivos board member.·

It has been a wild year, and I thought I would start with some gratitude:

  • Thank you for adapting, adding extra meetings, and continuing to lean into your volunteer roles while family lives and work lives have been so much more demanding. Thank you for your personal commitment. We curated two mentorship programs and a community engagement event while launching a new website, changing our approach to social media, developing internal tools, working with other nonprofits, and recruiting new board members. Those are just a handful of the things we did this last year.

  • I want to thank Vanessa for ensuring interVivos is in a strong financial situation. Also, for working with our accounting intern Dev to ensure that we ourselves are continuing to foster future leaders.·

  • Thank you to Madison for keeping our administrative processes running smoothly and for developing another successful board recruitment campaign.

  • Thank you to Brittany and Navneet for all your hard work to add to our capacity and ensure we are continuing to amplify diverse, underrepresented voices.

We are going to miss the four of you, as you have been involved with our organization for some time. You have left a great impression on us and you have an impressive legacy.

  • Sarah and Bianca, I am so excited to continue working with you. You have brought so much to our organization from communications, website development, social media engagement and a no-nonsense get-it-done attitude that ensures we have a strong voice and presence in the community. We only have two working groups, social media and website, and you two are the driving force behind both of them. You are always there to help me in a pinch and no task is insurmountable with the two of you at the helm.

  • In addition, I want to welcome our new board members: Fea, Nikki, and Suparna. Thank you for choosing us. We are in a rapidly changing environment, and the role of small non-profits is always changing. I look forward to digging in deep with you all this year on a new strategic plan and developing new tools and processes to help us build our internal capacity all while continuing to offer high-quality events and programs to Edmontonians.

We have been engaging with community groups to ensure we can build each other’s capacity. One big example of this was our work with Volunteer Alberta this past summer where they modeled our mentorship launch to match the youth participating in their program with non-profits. We need to continue to

seek out more partnerships like that. Even if it means volunteering with the Edmonton Food Bank more often or doing more presentations to community groups.·

Core to our ability to be successful is our ability to hold ourselves to account. For instance, we are looking at ways to make our processes more transparent and accountable around mentor selection. We are also continuing to take courses on anti-oppression, colonialism and racism. We are going to start a 3rd working group soon focused on equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

We have seen how the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities in our society and shown us some ugly truths about how we treat our most vulnerable, and the prevalence of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism. One of our mentorship programs last year focused on the 2SLGBTQ+ population and we must continue to focus on amplifying underrepresented voices.

Another group that requires our focus this year is the student and graduate population, who face significant challenges due to the loss of internships and jobs, both of which are critical to creating the next generation of professionals. We should continue to develop programs and events that they can access with limited barriers but also allow more youth to access our board and have a voice in decision-making. This means continuing to participate in programs like Youth at the Table and the non-profit board internship program.

The speed of change has been overwhelming at times, but also provides an excellent opportunity to define new policies and procedures. We need to understand cybersecurity and ChatGpt. We need to explore making our information more digestible.

This year has not just shown us all that we are more resilient than we could have imagined, but that we need to constantly retool, reimagine sustainable operations, and create a more equitable community with our programming and events.


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