This week we welcomed Natalie Hart as our guest speaker. Natalie has worked with us as our RibFest co-ordinator since early in 2015 and is an honorary member of both our Club and Mississauga West.

Natalie's background in community activities began at an early age hulling strawberries to which she is now allergic! Undeterred, in her early twenties she joined her first Board, as secretary, of the Erin Mills Baseball Association. This was the beginning of her her long history of community giving irrespective of where she resided.

Natalie's professional career carried on a family tradition in banking that led her away from the GTA to commercial banking and personal wealth management in the Ottawa Valley and then Leamington with the Royal Bank. Along the way Natalie kept her community activism alive by enjoying senior roles with various local Chambers of Commerce and other community events.

Eventually, she returned home to Mississauga, after a thirteen year absence, and reunited with the Mahoney (Steve, Katie and more recently Matt) family and their political campaigns. Helping out on political campaigns gradually became a dominant theme in her life. Natalie subsequently engaged in campaigns at all levels (municipal, provincial, and federal) of government with a variety of politicians. In this process she has savoured both the joys of victory and the bitterness of defeat.

Natalie explained that these campaigns require not only a specific area of expertise but a great deal of energy, versatility and resilience. As she aptly described her multiple roles have led her to become outstanding in the use of a sledgehammer (for signs), to make rapid rapid clothing changes as she moves from a Mosque to a Mass, and how to drink endless cups of coffee on the run in lieu of a decent meal.

Eventually these activities led her to join with us via her role in RibFest. This role allows her to use her many organizational skills, and utilize the huge number of important contacts she has throughout the GTA and in the city she loves to call home.

We thank Natalie for her delightful presentation and the excellent skill set she brings to our major fundraiser, and to our Club.

A quick update on a few other issues:

Feb 3: our Italian night is now only $50 thanks to Pat's hard bargaining. It is still not too late to join us.

Feb 26-March 6: our hands on project in Mexico is scheduled and ready for your help. There is still room if you want to join us.

See you all next Tuesday when we have Carolyn Ferguson from Rotary International to bring us up to date on the workings of the Foundation.