Our Featured Volunteer of the Month is Jamie Ferguson!

We are excited to feature Jamie Ferguson as our volunteer for the month of October. In fact, he is the third member of his family to have been featured. Claire, his daughter, was featured in August as our Junior Rider, and his wife, Melissa, was featured as a volunteer in December 2017 so it is fair to say that Lancers has greatly benefited from this wonderful family over the years.

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Beyond being a dedicated father and husband to Lancer rides, Jamie has been a member of our board of directors for the past nine or ten years. As the CEO of Sport Nova Scotia, Jamie felt that his professional experience provided him with a “non-horsey” way to contribute to Lancers. Working in the non-profit industry, he has a good knowledge of how organisations and not-for-profits work, including governance and operational pieces and he also currently serves on the boards for other non-profits. In the past decade, he has also done countless drop offs and pickups and show days with Claire!

According to Jamie, what has stood out most during his time on the board has been the recent undertaking of compiling a strategic plan to move the organisation forward. He noted, “lots of organisations do this but you don’t always see the commitment and dedication of the volunteers to follow through”. The result at Lancers has been that things have moved forward and parts of the strategic plan have already been accomplished. He added, “I am very impressed with the people at Lancers who have been able to carry out this plan and see it to realisation. It is a wonderful thing to witness.”

When we asked Jamie what he enjoys most about Lancers, he explained that it was the fact that the people he works with are completely dedicated and usually contribute to Lancers in a number of ways. He went further and astutely added, “I know what sport can mean to children, to everyone, but certainly to children. The responsibility and commitment developed through programs at Lancers is wonderful and helps to build them into contributors who will be good influencers in society in future. It is a good story from Lancers to tell”. Jamie has certainly seen this first-hand as a father of a junior rider who started riding in the Lancer Junior Beginner Course and recently went off to university from Ride 1. He elaborated: “I really enjoyed watching her go through the process of developing as a rider and becoming an instructor. It had a positive influence on her growth, she took on more responsibility, and found something she really loves.” All the times she watched his daughter ride have now become favourite memories of Lancers.

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As Jamie has had countless other volunteer opportunities in his life, we asked him how they compare to Lancers. For Jamie, it is the fact that while other opportunities have been more at a distance, at Lancers, he has the chance to see the impact up close, and it is a great reminder of the impact organisations have on kids. Although he is getting ready to wrap up his time spent on our board, in the future, Jamie has indicated that he would stay involved in our various committees and contribute in areas where he feels he can be useful. While he says he is more than happy to remain involved, he equally feels that it is healthy for organisations to have a change in governance over time. “I have all the confidence in the people at the table”, he said, “and I know they will be able to carry on”. In that vein, Jamie wanted to thank all the people who have been volunteering and helping Lancers and who have put this organisation into a successful position. Likewise, we thank Jamie for all his years of support and dedication as a volunteer at Lancers. His contribution has been so valuable and we have been fortunate to have him as one of our board members.

In closing, we asked Jamie if he currently participates in any sports or hobbies. He explained that most have been related to his children and now that they are away, he is now
“on the lookout for new hobbies”. Well, Jamie, we know of a really great hobby and sport and it will even keep you involved at Lancers! May we introduce you to…..riding! ;)

features, volunteerJanet Hawley