Q&A with Board Member Renée McGurry
We’re shining a well-deserved spotlight on the incredible individuals on LiveDifferent’s Board of Directors!
Each person plays a pivotal role in guiding LiveDifferent’s vision, strategy and impact—fueling our mission to create positive change in the world. Their unwavering dedication, expertise and boundless compassion have been instrumental in transforming countless lives and communities.
Meet Renée McGurry
Our spotlight shines bright today on a remarkable board member whose journey with LiveDifferent began in a unique and serendipitous manner.
It all started at a fundraising dinner in 2017, where fate sat Renée next to Malinda Roberts, the Executive Director of Winnserv Inc. and sister of Charles Roberts, CEO of LiveDifferent. This chance encounter revealed Renée’s background as a retired Indigenous educator, catching Malinda’s attention.
Acknowledging Renée’s expertise, Malinda connected her with the LiveDifferent team. There was an instant and deep connection between LiveDifferent’s commitment to service and positive impact and her own aspirations. This synergy culminated in her becoming a board member in September 2017.
Q: What is your favourite thing about being a board member?
A: I love everything! The board members are such a loving, compassionate and caring group of professionals who are a joy to work with. I’ve also had the pleasure of travelling with them. They’re such an amazing (and fun) group who have always made me welcome and have not only given me a seat at the table but have also given me a voice.
I look forward to the meetings, the discussions and of course, the incredible retreats. I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand, the inspiring work that LiveDifferent does in Mexico, DR, Haiti and Thailand. I participated in the Thailand trip on my own in 2019, which was, in itself, an unforgettable experience!
Q: How has your experience with LiveDifferent changed you as a person?
A: In my culture, we have four spiritual beliefs that tell us that everything in life happens for a reason. Some call it ‘synchronicity’. And so when you believe and accept this, it’s very easy to look at each day as a gift, and as a learning opportunity.
For many, like myself, it’s proof that we are never alone. The first of the four beliefs states that ′′The people you meet are meant to bring something into your life.” That is, no one comes into your life by accident. You are meant to meet that person for a reason. Either you have something to give them, or they have something to give you. You need to see each encounter as a blessing, a lesson, and a part of your journey.
So on my life journey, LiveDifferent was part of Creator’s plan. It has allowed me to share and receive the many gifts of this organization, its staff, its board members and the gifts of those whom we support.
Q: If you could pick one project or initiative that you are most proud of, what would it be and why?
A: It’s hard to pick just one so I’ll have to say that I am proud of both the school in Haiti and the Freedom Village. I wasn’t there when the school was built but I’ve had the pleasure of visiting it and seeing first-hand how many children and families have been impacted. I was fortunate to be in Haiti when we broke ground for the Freedom Village, so I have been a part of that journey from start to finish. Both projects have been life-changing for me personally.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering getting involved with us?
A: I would advise anyone who is looking to make a difference, to get involved in any way they can. As Mohammed Ali once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Getting involved in service to others will give so much meaning to your life. It will help you build empathy, and humility and allow you to give and live from the heart. In the end, you will find that you receive so much more than you give. No better feeling than having a heart filled with love!
Renée’s story is a powerful reminder of the impact one can make by aligning personal values with organizational missions.
We are immensely grateful to the extraordinary individuals like Renée who make up LiveDifferent’s Board of Directors. We are privileged to have such an exceptional group who wholeheartedly believe in our vision and generously share their time, skills and resources to ensure our success.
Learn more about our team and get inspired to create change alongside them.