By LAURA TESTER
One man worked for the world’s largest aerospace company, the other within Alberta’s energy sector for 25 years. Both desire to see A Better World Canada grow its support and influence across the nation.
Ray Loxdale of Halifax and Stu MacPhail of Red Deer are longtime volunteers who are part of a newly appointed board bringing forth a change of governance – from the local church board to a broad based representation including members from the community. Loxdale, a retired electrical electronics engineer who formerly worked for Boeing, and MacPhail, who most recently was Parkland Fuel Corporation’s executive-vice president of corporate development, are both experienced in governance. They’re both keen on promoting ABW. They’re also big supporters of youth involvement.
“To me it’s about positioning A Better World Canada to be viewed as one of the most highly respected and regarded international development organizations in Canada,” said MacPhail.
In 2004, MacPhail began managing several Kenyan projects and eventually started overseeing and sponsoring deep water well projects over there.
“The people who support and invest in our projects are becoming more and more advocates for what we do,” said MacPhail, now semi-retired. “I think that’s the primary driver of how we’re going to continue to grow.”
Loxdale would like ABW’s focus going forward isn’t too far-reaching.
“I think any organization has to do some things well and not be so broad that we don’t do a good job at any one thing,” said Loxdale, who started volunteering with ABW in 2003.
MacPhail encouraged anyone to get in touch with the board, other volunteers, and check out the website.
“Just learn more about the story,” he said. “I think a great way to get involved is to travel, take a trip. Come to Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania and see what ABW is doing.”
Canadians from all walks of life have travelled on humanitarian trips. Loxdale remembers when he took his first trip to Kenya with ABW back in 2003. It was life-changing.
“I was so motivated by what I saw and the work that was being done,” said Loxdale, a member of Halifax Seventh-day Adventist Church. “I just knew that it was something I needed to be a part of. It’s been so good and rewarding for me.”
He was especially pleased to see his wife and children so immersed in the experience.
Loxdale, 58, has led a couple of youth trips, a real favourite for him.
Both men believe it’s important to get youth engaged early and to learn from them as well. Developing leaders is important as the current leadership is getting older, added MacPhail.
Their board appointments are for one year, with the possibility for extension.
MacPhail wanted to be on the board because “there’s still significant opportunity for A Better World to do more and do it better.”
“We can set ourselves up for a more sustainable future. We’re not getting younger, so to be able to play a role in moving A Better World to that next chapter is pretty interesting.”