Peace Country local Tracy Zuk is just a few days into her new role as Executive Director of United Way Alberta Northwest.
Zuk says that she’s grateful for the opportunity with the organization.
“It feels wonderful. It’s always good to continue to be able to give back to the community and do the best we can to make our community a stronger place to be.”
Zuk traces her work with the non-profit sector back to when she was growing up and both of her parents were involved in their communities outside of work.
“My mom would be involved in the activities and sports that I was involved in. My dad was also quite active in different farm organizations and also some municipal and provincial politics. It really gave me a good base to give back to the communities that we live in,” she explains.
“Being born and raised in this area it is my home. I have a commitment and a love of this area that is long grown. Most of my work has been in the private sector. After that, I wanted something that was more fulfilling and more gratifying. About seven years ago, I literally fell into the non-profit world.”
Zuk currently serves as vice-chair of the Troyanda Society of Ukrainian Culture and Heritage and sits on a number of committees such as the Grande Prairie Wellness Centre. She recently held the position of Resource Development Manager at the United Way, giving her an added level of familiarity.
“I’ve also held a very similar role with a non-profit organization in the past too so it’s kind of what I’ve been doing with my life for the past seven or so years,” she says.
Challenges remain for the organization as the entire country is still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The charities still absolutely are suffering from some long-term effects from this. The amount of donors has increased but unfortunately, the amount of money they’ve been donating has decreased. We really need to focus on providing funds to these charities that do the essential work for our communities,” she says.
Zuk replaces the outgoing Jamie Craig in the role. She says she has learned a lot from Craig’s work with the organization.
“Jamie led the organization during the COVID-19 pandemic and really she did it almost single-handedly at that point. When the pandemic first hit, the United Way was very quick to respond. Throughout that two-year period, she handled everything quite amazingly. The perseverance and overall commitment to the region is something I take away from her as well.”
The United Way announced the move on July 15th. To learn more about the organization and the work they do, visit the United Way Alberta Northwest website.