Appointee Spotlight: Interview with Fatih Yegul

News & Events

Appointee Spotlight: Interview with Fatih Yegul
26
Jun

Appointee Spotlight: Interview with Fatih Yegul

Fatih Yegul

“Since the day I arrived in Canada, I have been an active volunteer for many community based organizations. Canadians are passionate champions in giving back to society through volunteer work. This gave me inspiration, and now I don’t think I can feel meaning in my life without getting involved in some kind of philanthropic effort. ”

Congratulations to Fatih Yegul, who was recently appointed to the boards of two organizations, Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services (SAFSS) and Harmony Movement. Fatih is an industrial engineer with a PhD from University of Waterloo. His work experience spans 20 years, in three different countries, and in various sectors from manufacturing to IT, education to non-profit. He has worked in community based non-profit organizations in an executive capacity and has also served on boards of similar organizations after arriving in Canada as a skilled immigrant early in 2007.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

You were recently appointed to two boards, Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services (SAFSS) and Harmony Harmony Movement. Congratulations! What are you most looking forward to in these new roles?

I actually joined DiverseCity onBoard many years ago, and have been following the good work it offers to our society. I haven’t sought out board opportunities in the initial years of my membership as I was quite busy with my PhD studies while also sitting on the boards of a couple of small community based organizations. Last year, having completed my PhD studies and returned to the industry as an engineer, I decided to make myself available for more mainstream board opportunities. So I reactivated my DiverseCity onBoard profile, and took the online governance courses available. I set myself a target of sitting on the boards of two organizations. And after about a year, here I am being appointed to boards of two wonderful organizations that proved to be leaders in their fields.

SAFSS, serving newcomers to Canada, offers language classes, settlement services as well as helping those suffering from domestic violence. I’ve already attended two of their board meetings and I feel proud to be a part of an organization that fills an important gap for new immigrants. Harmony Movement is an organization that has done a great job in promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in Canada by educating and empowering youth to become leaders for social change. I have attended a large student conference organized by Harmony Movement as well as my first board meeting, and I am very impressed with the work being done. It will be an honour for me to serve on the board of such an organization that adds tremendous value to the Canadian society by fostering awareness on the importance of diversity and inclusion. 


“Stay focused on your goals; invest in personal development by getting training or reading resources related to non-profit governance; and be patient – don’t give up just because you did not get an interview for your first few applications.”


What contributions will you bring to these boards?

First of all I must say that I feel very privileged to have been appointed to the boards of two well established organizations that for decades have contributed vastly to the society  in their respective fields of activity. It is a great opportunity for me to meet several new people with myriad of valuable experiences, and to learn from them. I believe I will be able to add value to both boards thanks to my background in engineering and my 20 years of diverse work experience. I hope to bring to these boards a perspective of analytical thinking as well as business oriented opinions.

What drives you to serve on not-for-profit boards?

Since the day I arrived in Canada, I have been an active volunteer for many community based organizations. Canadians are passionate champions in giving back to society through volunteer work. This gave me inspiration, and now I don’t think I can feel meaning in my life without getting involved in some kind of philanthropic effort. When you are younger, you enjoy serving as frontline volunteer staff in charitable activities more; but as you grow older and gain experience, you feel like you can now contribute the same endeavors at a strategic level. Bottom line is that my passion for volunteer work drove me to sitting on the non-profit boards.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about joining a board, what would it be?

Stay focused on your goals; invest in personal development by getting training or reading resources related to non-profit governance; and be patient – don’t give up just because you did not get an interview for your first few applications.