For Greg Boddy, volunteering is the ideal way to give back to his community.
Choosing to join the Dovercourt Recreation Association, in Westboro, as a volunteer board member and treasurer was an easy decision for Greg to make. It allowed Greg the opportunity to give back to his community by using his skills as an accountant.
“As Chartered Professional Accountants, we have a very specific skill set,” he says. “All board members have many different skills but what’s often missing is the ability to understand the financial statements—to analyse them and make decisions based on that analysis. It’s a valuable skill for any board to have.”
But that wasn’t the only reason why Greg chose Dovercourt. Dovercourt’s mission of building a healthy and active community through recreation, resonated with Greg.
“I work and live in the community so it’s important for me to give back in ways that are true to myself,’ says Greg. “Much of my childhood was shaped by sports and recreation so I know the benefits they provide.”
Greg’s own sporting activities include competitive soccer, hockey, golf and snowboarding.
Dovercourt’s largest group of participants are pre-school and school age children from across the Ottawa-Gatineau region. They populate Dovercourt’s popular summer camps, swimming lessons, after-school activities and a host of other activities.
“I’m a big believer in the benefits of sports and the positive impact they can have on kids,” adds Greg. “Aside from the health benefits of staying active, it can help kids learn how to make friends, learn to be team players, interact with others and teaches them how to win and how to lose.”
Dovercourt also serves a substantial portion of Ottawa’s special needs community.
“Inclusion is at the heart of everything that Dovercourt does. Program inclusion can come in the form of affordable recreation as well as accessible recreation available to individuals with special needs” says Greg. “Dovercourt’s employees work with families of those with special needs to ensure that the right resources are in place to support the participants.”
That can include shared care, camp buddies, one-on-one support, and financial assistance to pay for a camp or program.
The Accounting bug
Greg was born in Toronto and raised in Ottawa’s Centrepointe community. It was at Sir Robert Borden High School that he got his first taste of accountancy.
“Like most kids, I didn’t love all my classes, but I once I took an accounting class it clicked with me. While I was at Carleton University I decided on a career in accounting.”
Greg’s dad David was also an accountant and a partner at Deloitte. Greg credits his dad for teaching him the value and importance of volunteering. He retired in 2014 to, as Greg puts it, ‘enjoy the golf course.’
“His work kept him very busy, but he always found time for his kids’ various activities, and to be active in the community— notably acting as the chair of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation as well as other volunteering.
“You could see how hard he worked yet he always found time to volunteer on boards when I’m sure he would have rather been at home.”
Greg and his wife Hilary married in 2019, the same year he joined the Dovercourt board as a volunteer board member.
He became treasurer in June 2020, while COVID lockdowns were threatening the existence of many businesses. Dovercourt was no exception and for the newly minted treasurer it was a period of high anxiety.
“We had many difficult, stressful conversations and difficult decisions to make,” recalls Greg. “There were times when we weren’t even sure we were going to make it through. We were doing all we could to keep the lights on by running as many programs as we could while simultaneously keeping a close eye on costs. But it’s hard to run fitness programs virtually.”
With the help of government grants and controlling costs, Dovercourt made it through and is now back rebuilding its capacity to pre-Covid levels.
“It’s a relief to be able concentrate on what we can do for the community rather than what can we do to stay alive,” says Greg. “Our summer camps sold out in 20 minutes this year.
“It’s so rewarding to see the return of that huge demand for our programs. It shows us the value Dovercourt brings to kids and the relief it brings to their parents, especially after the stress of living through COVID.”