By Cynthia Quigley, Director – Canadian Services & AFP Greater Toronto Chapter
Originally published as part of a special tribute edition of DM magazine
No, I am not writing my obituary. I am writing to say “thank you all” for believing in me and allowing me to serve and devote myself to you for almost 25 years. I am grateful to have played an important role in making the AFP Toronto Chapter the success it is today and being the number one Chapter in the world.
I have been reading the e-mails from many of the members who responded when the announcement went out. One person wrote: “Your legacy has been amazing: the largest chapter, birthing the foundation, AFP Canada, building AFP’s best conference and growing our profession. I hope you take some time to soak in your impact.”
I did not realize the impact that I had on others until a former staff person wrote: “If it wasn’t for the opportunity you gave me at AFP, I wouldn’t have been a fundraiser or have my CFRE. You taught me so much—event planning, volunteer management, how to provide excellent customer service—but most importantly, how to handle pressure with grace. I hope you know how much I valued the confidence and trust you gave me.”
After being introduced to AFP by my friend and fundraiser, Paul Moore, I was hired to coordinate the Chapter’s conferences as part of my work with my own event planning company, Kane & Able. Several Fundraising Days and Congresses later, I was offered the full-time position of Chapter Administrator. Since then I have served AFP with enthusiasm, pride and a devotion to the Association.
I am lucky to have built many positive relationships with members over my 24-year span. As the one who always wrote the script for the President’s Reception, you can imagine my shock when former Chapter president Susan Storey announced that the members raised an incredible $25,000 in my name to benefit those who otherwise would not be able to attend Congress. I am so happy to have this kind of support from our members and am honoured to leave this as part of my legacy at AFP.
After 24 happy, memorable and productive years with the Chapter, I am excited to be starting a new chapter of my life away from AFP (no, I do not mean running another AFP chapter). The success of this Chapter has been built on many of the rewarding relationships I have built with the volunteers and staff: relationships that have created memories that will last my lifetime. I have worked with incredible people who have committed themselves to wanting the best for the members of the Chapter. I am truly grateful for all the lifelong friendships I have made through AFP.
Through hard work and dedication, I am most proud of the fact that together we have grown the Chapter from a small, local community of members to the largest AFP Chapter in the world. The Chapter is now in an excellent position to implement new initiatives that will benefit the members in ways like never before. It’s been my honour and privilege to work closely with the membership, staff and vendors for the past 24 years. I hope I have created an outstanding foundation for AFP to continue to build upon.
When many of you said this about me: “You have been our anchor, the face and heart, guiding force and inspiration of the Chapter. Your hard work and dedication to AFP has certainly made a positive difference to the evolution of the organization in Canada and has not gone unnoticed. We are all grateful to you for your leadership”, the tears started to flow.
I am excited for what the future holds for me as I spend time with my husband Steve on the golf course, curling rink, tennis court, playing bridge and, of course, wine nights with the girls.
Our sector has given me so much over 24 years. More than a living, it has enriched my life with friends, laughter and learning.
– Cynthia Quigley