Matching job seekers with employers, charities
On July 1, Sid Mark, president and CEO of Friday Professional Group, assumed the role of president of Rotary Club of Calgary — Downtown. Two weeks later, he accepted a cheque in the amount of $200,000, recognizing the work of his club and more than 800 of their volunteers organizing the Stampede Roundup at Fort Calgary.
That was at the Wednesday Kiss concert. But at 2 p.m. on July 15, the decision was made to not let the Oxford Stomp take place; there was so much water under the stage it was deemed dangerous, and the field was a sea of mud.
But Rotary had completed its preparations. After a quick meeting with the committee, a call was made to the Calgary Drop-In Centre and 3,000 pounds of food from its world-famous beef and bun dinner, including more than 100 cooked roasts, were donated to supply the centre's guests with a sumptuous meal.
It was just the kind of offer one would expect from the Rotary Club, which, with an active membership of around 200, raises and distributes more than $1.5 million annually to local and global charities, thanks to its 65 hard-working committees and fellowship activities.
And just the kind of decision Mark would encourage, as a man who cares a lot for the less fortunate — in his business as well as his commitment to Rotary.
Friday Professional Group is a staffing and recruitment agency that has been in business in this city for 30 years, and has been owned by Mark for the past 10. It services all industries in providing temporary and permanent staffing for professional and office workers.
But Mark was concerned about the candidates who were not accepted to positions they had applied for, and sought a solution to their needs. He worked with staffer Steve Mix and developed software that would help job seekers find volunteer work until they were able to get paid positions.
Together they founded WeEmploy Inc., an online recruitment company that matches employers and charitable organizations with individuals seeking employment and volunteer activities.
There is no fee for job seekers who complete their detailed profile online, and the service is also free for charitable organizations.
And companies seeking staff can post an unlimited number of positions on WeEmploy for $99 per year, a big help to those who need people but do not have the budget to use conventional agencies.
The “Minstrel with a Message,” Tom Jackson, says, “We live in extraordinary times of stress for many and it will take extraordinary commitments for us to work through our difficulties.” A strong advocate for social responsibility, Jackson is lending his weight of influence, experience and profile as an Ambassador of WeEmploy.
Launched just one year ago, the site has attracted 150 charitable organizations and has already provided more than $250,000 in services to them both in Canada and the U.S.
Deeply rooted in collaboration and community building, it has become a centralized access point between individuals seeking various social services and the agencies who provide them.
It has spread across the country and south of the border, and a quick check on its website shows volunteer positions posted range from a gardener at Carewest and a crisis line volunteer at the Distress Centre in Calgary, to a board member for Anduhyaun Shelter for aboriginal women and children in Toronto.
Helping rebuild people's lives is catching on, and Mark and CEO Mix plan to franchise WeEmploy with a goal of two offices per province across Canada, and 120 locations in the U.S.
After many years of contribution to the game of tennis, Marcel Latouche, president and CEO of MLG Associates and founding member and president of the Institute of Public Sector Accountability, will be inducted into the Tennis Alberta Hall of Fame on Aug. 6.
Latouche has served as president of both Tennis Alberta and board member of Tennis Canada, during which time he worked tirelessly to promote junior development of his sport.