Our very own Executive Director, Pat Singleton was selected to be the 2015 KW Octoberfest Woman of the Year! Everyone who knows Pat would agree this is a well deserved honour. Here is the Tribute that was read about her….
Pat’s dedication to her work at the food bank goes far beyond the important task of nourishing bodies. Pat understands that while food is a vital basic need, the people using the food bank often have addition hunger; a hunger for a sense of belonging and a feeling of community. Pat has taken the food bank from the charity model of handing out food to needy people to a vibrant community space that offers programs supporting people through the births of babies, raising of children, and moving through the senior years. She has welcomed new programs and services that support people who are homeless, struggling with addiction issues, or those who simply need some time to regain their strength both physically and emotionally. Pat is known for investing in people, whether it be participants who use the food bank or the staff that are part of her team. Pat creates a culture at the food bank that is inherently valuing of people which has resulted in not only exceptional service to individuals but a tremendous amount of job satisfaction among the staff team. She inspires loyalty and commitment and when you meet her, you know you have a friend for life.
Pat has a reputation for being fair, honest and a person with the utmost integrity. She has inspired her colleagues at the food bank to grow and be their best in all areas of their lives and she provides the practical support to make that possible. The food bank is a great place to work for a variety of reasons, most notably the supportive and family-like environment she has fostered. Pat has hired numerous people who have accessed the services of the food bank; believing that lived experience is just as valuable as formal education. She encourages all the staff to work hard at supporting people who are just beginning their journey of self-improvement, whether it be participants, students, or co-workers. She reminds us regularly that everyone starts somewhere and needs others to believe in them. In short, Pat not only talks the talk but she walks the walk and it is impossible not to be a better person when you are around her.