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Bruce Gordon

Who said, “You can never have too many hugs or belly laughs”?

If you don’t know, then you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting SVP Waterloo Region partner Bruce Gordon.  

And a pleasure it is. I sat down with Bruce recently to chat about his community involvement (the list is long), how he spends his “spare” time and his passion for Social Venture Partners.

He is one of the busiest people I have ever met and he enjoys every minute of it. He is passionate and committed to make our community better and one of the ways he does that is through Social Venture Partners.

“Working with people and community involvement has always played a huge role in my life,” said Bruce Gordon.

His involvement with Social Venture Partners began about 4.5 years ago, when Tim Jackson and Jacqui Murphy – who attended a SVP event in Seattle – approached him to start a chapter in Waterloo Region. He loved the concept but his jam-packed schedule didn’t immediately allow him to jump on-board.

“It was about six to eight months after (Tim and Jacqui approached me) that I finally joined,” shared Gordon. “I loved the idea of pooling resources to better the community and help organizations progress and see success.” 

Bruce began his career as a Chartered Accountant after graduating from Carlton University with an Honors Economics degree. Over time his passion for volunteerism and giving back caused him to “leave the numbers behind and work with people.”

Since moving to Waterloo Region 16 years ago, Bruce has been involved in numerous volunteer and philanthropic initiatives, including sitting on 7 Board of Directors, numerous other committees, mentoring two students, volunteering and investing in local startups.

But let’s learn a bit more about why he is so committed to Social Venture Partners:

Q: When did you join SVP?
A: About 5 years ago, so 2011.

Q: Why did you get involved with SVP?
A: It is a phenomenal organization with unbelievable people. It brings the community together by pooling resources and helping investees grow and be successful.

Q: What is your current involvement with SVP?
A: I am currently a partner and a member of the Network Growth Committee.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of being a partner?
A: Helping investees/local organizations grow. You have the option to put in as much (or as little) time as you have and get involved with any organization. For example, a few years ago, Waterloo Region Family Network – an organization committed to connecting families with special needs children to all available community resources – applied to be an investee and although they were not selected to receive funding, myself and some other partners joined forces to assist them.

We put together an advisory board, helped them fundraise, populate their Board of Directors and create a business model that ensures success. Currently, WRFN helps 700 families locally and 90 of the parents have been trained as mentors to help others navigate and find the necessary resources. Giving back to the community is important to me and I have the time and means to do so, SVP is a great organization to do that with.

Q: Why should others join SVP?
A: Because they want to see their community be better and want to directly be involved in having a positive difference/impact on the community they live in.

In his spare time (he insists he has some), you can find him enjoying his year round house on Lake Couchiching, golfing, cross country skiing, working out, reading, and cheering on his favorite sports teams: the Toronto Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, and Raptors.

~ Jennifer Battler