Getting to Know Your Trillium Council – Cindy Gonsalves

CSAE Trillium Council represents members across our regional network. This series of articles will allow you to get to know the volunteers who make up the 2021 Council. Each Council member was asked to answer questions about their professional and personal lives – to share a little of themselves. Our first Council profile is of the Chair of the Trillium Network, Cindy Gonsalves.

Cindy Gonsalves is the Director Finance and Operations of the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Ontario.  Connect with Cindy on LinkedIn.

When asked about her motivation to join the Council, Cindy stated:

I would say my motivations were both personal and professional.  I started my volunteering with the Trillium Network on the Awards Committee, moving up to Chair of the Committee after a couple of terms.  At an Awards Gala, I was introduced to Rozalyn Arcé-Werner, the President of the Council at that time, who I am privileged to have as my mentor and chief encourager.  Professionally I have grown tremendously and personally have a strong network of colleagues who I now count as true friends.

When asked what she wished all members knew about the Council, Cindy responded:

Without a doubt, it’s the dedication and devotion the Council members have to serve the members of the Trillium Network, and now through on-line collaborations, members from across the country.  It’s a joy to see how much can be accomplished when you have a Council made up of strong, smart and passionate people.   

Other than Council, Cindy is also involved in the following committees:

This year most of my energies are focused on Chairing the Council and providing support wherever I’m needed.  I have kept my volunteer role on the Trillium PDX committee and am also involved in the CSAE Leadership Forum and the Network Council Chairs Group.

When asked who inspires you, Cindy had the following to say:

Hands down, it’s the future leaders of our industry – the oftentimes maligned millennials.  Within every group there are leaders and the leaders of the millennials are definitely not accepting of the status quo and will be, I think, transformational. 

When asked about the best OR worst piece of advice she had ever received, Cindy noted the following (which is particularly important to keep in mind as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic):

I think the best and most enduring piece of advice that I’m reminded of every time I fly is that you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first as you can’t support others if you don’t take care of yourself first.

Cindy’s proudest accomplishment is:

I had older parents, who grew up during the Depression and who had to leave school by the eighth grade. Seeing first my daughter and then my son walk across the stage of the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall made me burst with pride.

And one thing that people would be surprised to know about Cindy is:

My very first job in the association world was as a meetings coordinator for an AMC and the clients I supported were CSAE Trillium Chapter, MPI Toronto Chapter and SITE Toronto Chapter.  What a great start to a career that when I retire at the end of the year will have spanned 30 years.

Cindy has been a dedicated passionate volunteer with CSAE for many years and it has been a pleasure getting to know her a little better. We look forward to ‘introducing’ you to the other members of the Trillium Network Council over the next several issues of FORUM.