Interview with Adwoa K. Buahene, Board Member at PFC
-Name, foundation & title
Adwoa K. Buahene, CEO TRIEC (Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council)
-Number of Years working in Philanthropy
I have been involved in philanthropy my entire adult life, primarily through the donation of money or time. I have volunteered with numerous organizations such as the Red Cross, United Way, Rotary reading circle, and VHA Home Health Care. My official professional life within philanthropy started 3 years ago, as I joined Habitat For Humanity GTA.
– A quote that defines your work philosophy?
As it relates to work opportunities, I think I have always tried to look for a role that will challenge my capabilities on many levels – strategy, operations, leadership. I have the mantra of ‘learn, own, and improve’ that guides my actions and behaviours.
– What brought you to work in Canadian philanthropy?
Being in the not-for-profit sector has allowed me to marry two sides of myself. While I was a co-founder of a leadership consulting company, I also was on the VHA board and volunteered with the United Way. Giving back to the community is a core part of my personal identity, which had been instilled in me by my mother. She ‘encouraged’ (read ‘told’) me to have my first volunteering opportunity at age 12. With my initial experience of VP Donor & Community Partnerships, Habitat for Humanity GTA, and now as CEO of TRIEC, I feel like I have brought my passion and my skillset into harmony.
– As the new Board Chair, share something that our PFC members should know about you.
On a personal note, I am an avid traveler (though a bit less now with a four-year-old) and an amateur chef (or a really good cook – depending on definition). I have always enjoyed adventures and staying active.
– Separate from COVID-19, what are some of the most important emerging shifts in philanthropic practice that you are seeing in the field?
Since ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, I believe we will see more rapid movement on matters that were already beginning pre-pandemic. Greater consolidation, whether within the governance framework of a charity or across complementary charities within a sector. Donors will have increasing levels of scrutiny on program outcomes and insist on greater collaboration within the sector.
– What will you contribute to enhance PFC’s breadth of work and sector leadership?
I am hoping that my knowing all sides of philanthropy – donor, volunteer, grantor, and grantee – will allow me to support the PFC leadership as they deliberate strategy and how best to be of service to members.