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Spotlight: Julianne Osberg

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Skills4Good matched Julianne with the board of the Crossroads International, a nonprofit with a vision of “One World where poverty is eliminated, equality prevails and the rights of women and girls are fulfilled”.

The Skills4Good Spotlight series shines a spotlight on some amazing corporate employees who generously share their time, talent and treasure with nonprofits as they help build resilient communities. We recognize and thank corporations and their employees for their meaningful social impact in strengthening nonprofits especially during these challenging times.

Shell Canada is a Skills4Good Client. It is a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell and one of Canada's largest integrated oil companies. It’s consistently recognized as one of Canada’s Best Employers and Best Diversity Employers.

Meet Julianne Osberg

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Q: Why did Shell Canada engage Skills4Good?

A: Shell engaged Skills4Good with the intention to achieve two things. First, to provide leadership experience for Canadian employees outside of the traditional work arena so they can broaden their skills; Second, to continue to inspire its employees to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians by #fuellingkindness, in this case by encouraging employees to devote some of their time and expertise to assist non-profits in Canada.

Q: Why did you participate in the Skills4Good program?

A: I had previously served on a non-profit Board but had chosen to step down as I was busy raising a family and volunteering with activities where I could spend more time with my daughters (like being a Girl Guides leader and volunteering in their schools). In the last few years, with my daughters growing up, I had started to get more involved in volunteering with outside agencies as well as at Shell chairing the Learning & Development committee of the Women’s Network. I was eager to participate in the Skills4Good program as I wanted to find an outside Board opportunity that matched my interests and where I felt I would have the most impact.

I really appreciated the Skills4Good program. While I had previously Board experience, it was a great refresher and I was surprised at how perfectly matched the Board opportunities were to where my interests lay.

Q: Why did you choose to serve on the Crossroads board?

A: Being a mother of two daughters, I am passionate about issues that affect women and girls. Crossroads International is a wonderful organization that connects Canadian volunteers with partner agencies in some of the poorest countries in Africa with the purpose of empowering women and girls in these countries thereby alleviating poverty in their families and communities. I am honoured to do my part to enable the great work being done at this organization.

Q: What is the positive impact of your board service on your personal and professional goals?

A: Through my work on the Board and committees, I have met some truly amazing individuals who, while they share similar beliefs and values, come from varied and fascinating backgrounds. I also continue to learn a lot about the challenges women and girls face overseas and the similarities in our hopes and desires for our families and communities. Finally, on a more personal level, my board service gives me a deeper sense of purpose in my life.

Q: What invaluable contributions do you bring to the Crossroads board?

A: I bring my many years of experience as a lawyer as well as previous board and committee experience to this Board. I am now chairing the governance committee and my legal background is an asset as well as my ability to organize and to delegate. Being part of a larger board, I do have a lot of help with the administrative tasks which is very much appreciated.

Q: Would you recommend other professionals to serve on a nonprofit board?

A: I absolutely would and have done so. I have been approached by other young professional women at Shell looking for advice on how to get more involved in serving on committees and boards in order to further their careers. I have directed them to Shell’s support of the Skill4Good program. I think it’s a wonderful way to expand one’s professional experience while also making an impact in the community.

Q: Could you share an inspirational story or insight from your board service?

A: No matter how busy I am with work and the rest of my life, volunteering on a board is such a worthwhile proposition that I have never regretted making the commitment. At the end of the day, it just feels good to know that my contribution may make the world a better place.

Nonprofit Recognizes Julianne’s Invaluable Contributions

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As a senior lawyer at Shell, Julianne has been providing her Governance and insights from a legal perspective during her tenure as a Crossroads' Board member. Her contributions have been invaluable as the organization grows in a complex global environment. Julianne submitted Crossroads as a recipient of a donation at Shell - that recognizes the efforts of their staff that are making a difference in the community. Julianne was well matched with Crossroads and we are very grateful for her amazing volunteer service!

- - - Heather Shapter, Executive Director, Crossroads International

Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.