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RBC Donates to YMCA of Okanagan

(L-r) Ray Warren; John Devitt; Cassandra Thomas; Martin Thibodeau; Courtney Hesse; Pam Shaw & Brittany Morris

What is your position/title and company, and what do you do there?

Ray Warren, Vice President Commercial Financial Services. As Vice President Commercial Banking for the Okanagan and West Kootenays, I lead a dynamic team of Relationship Account Managers, who work closely with clients in a collaborative manner to help them plan and achieve their business objectives. 

I am passionate about community involvement and am fortunate enough to be able to work for an organization that also understands and sees the value in giving back to our communities. By deepening community relationships, we will only create a better place for all humankind.

What is your connection to the Y?

Both the YMCA and RBC are good community partners and have enjoyed a long-standing community relationship. Personally, I have been fortunate to actively participate in a number of community events alongside many of my RBC family, either at the YMCA Healthy Kids Day, YMCA Cycle for Strong Kids or at the Charity Golf Tournament. Most recently I was so pleased that RBC Foundation and RBC Future Launch had committed $50,000 to renew the YMCA Job Development program we began funding in 2019. 

COVID-19 has had major impact on our lives and how we interact and when presented with the opportunity to provide some additional financial support to local organizations, it was an easy choice for Courtney Hesse and myself to provide financial support to the YMCA and their Youth Mindfulness Group.

What do you think are the biggest issues facing our community?

Outside of homelessness, it is ensuring that our youth are afforded opportunities without barriers. These young individuals will someday reimagine the way our country works and chart a prosperous and inclusive future for us all.  It is incumbent upon everyone to do their part, because when young people succeed, we all win – educators, institutions, governments, employers and our society at large.   

How do you feel the Y helps those in need?

The YMCA Jumpstart and Connect Employment programs provide advice, education and opportunities to youth aged 15 to 29 to develop the skills to gain employment and move towards their career goals. Youth are provided with employment counselling to increase job searches, interview, social and soft skills. Too many young Canadians are caught in a ‘no experience, no job’ cycle and these programs break down that barrier.  

Why does RBC support your local Y?

RBC’s purpose is to help clients thrive and communities prosper, so by partnering with our local YMCA we are delivering on our purpose. With a continued vision to be among the world’s most trusted and successful financial institution it is critical, in my opinion, that we look to find ways to give back to what matters most. The YMCA Employment programs delivers on that commitment and has significant impact on today’s youth. 

What are you personally looking forward to/planning for the future? 

My wife and I most recently bought ourselves a little tear-drop trailer and are looking forward to getting out and seeing much of what Canada has to offer.  The outdoor adventure awaits.