Getting to Know Your Trillium Council—Rebecca Harris, M.A., CAE

CSAE Trillium Network 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. This month’s Council profile is of Rebecca Harris.

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

I have volunteered with CSAE Trillium for several years, including on the Board several years ago. I decided to put my name forward for another term on the Council, as I wanted to contribute to my network and assist with the planning and strategic direction of my association. Being on the Council is also a great learning and networking opportunity—I get just as much (if not more) than I give.

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

How much of a team it is – everyone works so well together! The Council is made up of individuals from varying backgrounds and experience levels and everyone is an important contributor to the work of the Council.

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

I currently sit on the following Committees for the Trillium Network: Membership Committee (Vice-Chair), FORUM Committee, Summer Summit Committee, and the Awards Committee. I also sit on the planning committee for Technology Day. This year I also sat on the CAE Taskforce and the Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce with CSAE.

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

So many people inspire me in many different ways! My family has always been a big inspiration for me. My grandmother was a one-room schoolteacher at a very young age, and I often think about the impact she had on shaping the minds of children when she wasn’t much older herself. My parents are also a big inspiration for me, they have worked tirelessly all their lives, and encouraged all their children to pursue university educations in the era of their passion and to pursue careers no matter where it took them… even if that was far from home in Newfoundland.

I still remember my Dad’s advice when I got my first job at the age of fifteen: “always find something to do even if you’ve finished your assigned tasks—make yourself an invaluable member of the team by doing more.”

When asked what is something people would be surprised to know about you, Rebecca had the following to say:

I’m not sure… maybe that I am super shy and have had to work hard to be comfortable speaking in front of people. Some people may also be surprised to know that my educational  background is in the arts—I have a BFA in Fine Arts (my focus was sculpture although I now do mostly oil painting) and an MA in Art History.

When Rebecca has 30 minutes of free time, she likes to:

If I only have 30 minutes of free time, I would say read. I love to read and can often be found enjoying a good book. Lately I’ve mostly been reading fiction: mystery, crime procedurals, science fiction, and fantasy. If I have a little more time, then I’m probably painting or kickboxing!

If Rebecca won the lottery, she would:

Retire and focus my time serving on the boards of charitable organizations that are working to make the world a better place for children and youth or those with chronic diseases. I’d probably also buy a summer home back home in Newfoundland and spend more time relaxing by the ocean and spending time with family.

Rebecca is a passionate volunteer with CSAE 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.

Rebecca Harris is the Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Residences Treating Youth (OARTY). Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn – or follow her on Twitter @beckymharris.