Jessica Madia, SHAD Fellow 2001, made a strong impact on SHAD in 2016. Her employer Maple Leaf Foods joined SHAD to support the national Food Insecurity theme in 2016 .Jessica immediately engaged – contributing to the planning, helping judge the Best Application of Theme category, and presenting the keynote address at the SHAD – John Dobson Entrepreneurship Cup awards ceremony. Always an enthusiastic SHAD promoter, Jessica and her HR colleagues are also seeking ways to match SHAD talent with Maple Leaf Foods’ innovation culture.
Jessica says, “I had a great experience at SHAD. I discovered the power of diversity – diversity of culture, diversity of background, diversity of thought, diversity of ambition. My SHAD experience shaped my life and my career. I’m happy to share my time to give the next generation of SHADs the same chance to open their minds and broaden their perspectives.”
Jessica encourages other SHAD alum to engage. “There are lots of ways to get involved - supporting interns, hiring alum, and sharing your impactful SHAD experience with prospective applicants and donors.”
Volunteers make impactful contributions to SHAD in many ways. SHAD is grateful for their willingness to share their time and talents.
One key volunteer role is Team Mentor. Mentors offer their time in August, to support SHAD – John Dobson Entrepreneurship Cup teams as they prepare their engineering and design projects for national judging.
Syngenta Canada’s Nancy Tout, Head of R&D, supported the GreenGarden team in August 2016. Her grateful team members shared the following praise for Nancy’s volunteer involvement.
“This whole project experience wouldn't have been the same without our mentor Nancy Tout. Nancy is such a warm, kind and knowledgeable person, and we are all extremely grateful that she guided us, taught us, and shared her time with us while working on our project.”
“Our mentor had a lot of experience and helped us steer us in the right direction, which helped us shape our project into something we are proud of.”
"Working on our SHAD Cup project was like growing a plant. It started with a seed of an idea, and then as we watered it with expertise and prototyping, we watched it blossom into the idea we presented. But every plant has its own struggles, and it was through the help of Nancy Tout that we were able to build the company we did. She was a supportive mentor throughout. When we needed a hand, she was there. We couldn’t have achieved what we did without her, and we are so grateful to have had her as a part of our team. Thank you, Nancy!”