Scott Douglas Jacobsen
A big welcome to a new member of the executive team, Jill Porter! She is a community development advisor at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Centre for Community Engaged Learning who also lives in the community served by GNH. Jill is the new vice chair for the advisory board. She has a background of over 20 years in non-profit, community and partnership development work.
Jill has worked in inner city communities through various non-profit organizations and government roles but for the past 5 years with UBC. “It was a new role when I began”, Jill said, “It was geared towards our Centre connecting with community organizations in different ways.” Through it, she found Gordon Neighbourhood House (GNH).
Over time, the relationship between GNH and Jill grew, especially since she lives in Vancouver’s West End. Her inclusion in the community was an additional pull for the position as well. Jill said, “I live there. I knew about GNH over the years through interacting with neighbourhood houses. It was a matter of reaching out.”
Jill had conversations with Paul and the team to look for ways in which the Centre at UBC, where she works, could collaborate with the GNH community. “I got excited,” Jill gushed, “I was inspired by Paul and the work that he is doing at GNH.”
Another attraction to becoming a member of the board for GNH was that she had “never been on a board of a community organization that was in my own neighbourhood.”
The role of vice chair of the advisory board for GNH is new. Board positions are traditionally 3-year terms. She is beginning her second term with this new role. “The first year I was on the advisory board, I was a member. The next two years, I was in a recording role.” Jill said, “I saw this as an opportunity to step up and take on more of a leadership role in the advisory board and help Paul and the CAB chair James Kim, with a lot of that work.”
When asked about the core value of GNH, she said, “What appeals to me, and what I believe the core values are, are inclusion, accessibility, reciprocity, just those opportunities around just being responsive and inclusive of the needs of community.” The values that support an organization to stay connected and in touch with its community.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Gordon Neighbourhood House Community Journalist/Blogger. He founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing.