By MYRON LOVE Winnipeg has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years, as exemplified by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and many major projects underway downtown, Harvey Secter notes.
“A lot of people in the community have come together to make things happen here,” he says.
Among those people, those builders, is Secter himself.
Back on November 15, National Philanthropy Day worldwide, the lawyer, businessman and current Chancellor of the University of Manitoba was recognized with the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award for his own contributions to our city.
National Philanthropy Day, which was first proclaimed by American President Ronald Reagan in 1986, is both an official day and a grassroots movement. Canada officially recognized NPD as a yearly event in 2012. The day is a celebration of philanthropy – giving, volunteering and charitable engagement – that highlights the accomplishments, large and small, that philanthropy – and all those involved in the philanthropic process – make to our society and our world.
“A lot of significant people have been recognized on National Philanthropy Day (Secter was one of six individuals, families and organizations who were recognized this past November.) for their efforts,” Secter says. “It was an honour to be included amongst them.”
Harvey Secter was born into philanthropy. His parents, the late Joe and Gwen Secter, were leaders in philanthropy in the community. “I imbibed philanthropic giving with my mother’s milk,” he says.
He himself has had a distinguished career – actually several careers – in business (the Secter family owned Ricki’s Stores) and law. He served as the Dean of Law at the University of Manitoba from 1999 to 2008. Currently, he operates Harvey Secter Arbitration and Mediation. He was elected as the new chancellor of the University of Manitoba in December 2008, and is currently serving his third term.
It was the University of Manitoba that nominated Secter for the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award for his leadership role as honourary chair of the university’s $500 million Front and Centre fundraising campaign – which has been described as the largest philanthropic investment in the history of the province.
He has served as president of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba and is a current member of the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council, the Board of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation, the United Way advisory Committee, and the Assiniboine Park Conservancy. He has provided many years of service to a variety of other corporate, professional and philanthropic organizations as well.
Among Secter’s many honours, awards and appointments are an honorary doctorate from the University of Winnipeg, the Sol Kanee Distinguished Community Service Award from the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and, with his wife, Sandra, the Negev Award for Community Service.
“I think that the most important aspect of National Philanthropy Day,” Secter says, “is that it raises the profile of philanthropy. Anything that encourages people to be more philanthropic is all good.”
Winnipeg Volunteer Barry Chochinov Receives National Recognition
When it comes to giving back to the community, Barry and Shelley Chochinov make a dynamic team. Together, they have given many hours of their time to Blood Services Manitoba, the Red Cross and the Red River Exhibition and Scouting Manitoba. Barry also has had a long association with the Certified Technicians and Technologists Association of Manitoba CTTAM).
Six years ago, Shelley (the daughter of the late Abe and Bertha Arnold) was recognized for her service to the community with a Volunteer Manitoba Award for her efforts. On December 8, it was Barry’s turn.
At a ceremony in Ottawa replete with pomp and ceremony, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada presented Chochinov with the relatively new Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. (The new honour, which was introduced in 2015, replaces the former Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award that had been given out since 1995.)
Barry Chochinov learned the value of helping others from his farming family (the Chochinov dairy farm that used to be located in what is now the Garden City area north of Leila). “In the farming community, people were always helping each other out,” he recalls.
Trained at Red River College as an electrical and electronics engineer, Chochinov spent most of his working career with the City of Winnipeg in administration. After a short retirement, he joined CTTAM as the registrar. He retired from that position 18 months ago.
The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recipient has been serving the community as a volunteer virtually all his adult life. He has, for example, been working with the Red River Ex – including serving time as a board member – for 40 years. “Shelley and I do whatever needs to be done,” he says.
Over that same period of time, he has been helping with the Red Cross’s Disaster Management Team. No matter whether helping flooding victims in Manitoba or Saskatchewan or the evacuees from the Fort McMurray wild fires last summer, Chochinov has been on call.
“Shelley and I go wherever the Red Cross needs us,” he says. “We both serve with the Disaster Management team. I put in about 600 volunteer hours last year.”
“We enjoy helping others and we have a lot of fun,” says Shelley. “We meet a lot of interesting people.”