Placement Spotlight: Treasurer

By Robyn Hanson

I am currently serving as the Assistant Treasurer for the Junior League of Edmonton (JLE) as I stepped down from the position of Treasurer, last year, to make room for another Leaguer on JLE’s Board of Directors.

Initially, I put my hand up for the position of Treasurer because I’ve always tried to live by the rule of doing one thing each day that scares me. Considering I have a communications background, the position of Treasurer is as far removed from my comfort zone as you can get. My interest in finance has always leaned more towards shows like Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s Till Debt Do Us Part and books like Alexis’ Von Tobel’s Financially Fearless than micro or macroeconomics, which may have actually benefited me in the role because I was able to ask a lot of questions to experts without feeling silly.

Sure, I’ve made mistakes. We all make mistakes. But the beauty of being in an organization like the Junior League is that I have a lot of amazing women, and men, in my corner cheering me on and laughing with me when I mess up. I’ve never claimed to be an expert in bookkeeping, nor has there been any expectation that I would be good in the role, but I’ve tried and I’ve learned and I’m proud of myself for giving it a go.

This past year, we created the position of Assistant Treasurer to ensure continuation in the role, with the expectation that the Assistant Treasurer would shadow the Treasurer for a Board term before assuming the role of Treasurer. It’s a pretty unique position in that you are on the Board the entire term and work really closely with the Treasurer and external parties. There is no finance team, so the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer have a chance to do pretty cool things with the position.

During my time in these two roles, I’ve had the chance to provide expert advice to members, meet with our accountant, and learn the ins and outs of financial planning for a non-profit organization. The best part, for me, is that most of the work can be done from the comfort of my home in my pyjamas and I’ve had the chance to connect with almost every member for some reason or other – from dues to fundraising to Homes for the Holidays. And, having the ability to identify accounting issues and solve problems makes me better equipped to manage finances at work and at home. Who isn’t impressed by someone who is able to balance the books for a large non-profit like ours?

If you’re looking for the chance to learn a unique skillset, I encourage you to try the Assistant Treasurer / Treasurer role. It’s like learning how to juggle…but with money.