Updated: Jun 25
For those who knew and were lucky enough to have worked with him at Leadership Victoria, the sudden and unexpected death of our good friend, Jack Shore, came as a sad loss.
Jack was the Executive Director of Leadership Victoria from 2009 to 2014. He took on the role in a period of uncertain direction for the organization. Across Canada, community leadership agencies were struggling as the multi-year funding which had established them ran out. Leadership Victoria, which had started as a program of Volunteer Victoria, had been incorporated as an independent charity only a few years before. Its finances were shaky, and survival was in doubt. Some in the organization had even begun to question the worth of community leadership development.
On the face of it, Jack was an unlikely candidate for the ED role. Before an early retirement for family reasons, he had spent 31 years in banking, climbing the ranks to become a Senior Vice President for small business banking at CIBC. Jack had loved his career in banking. He often liked to joke that nobody was anybody in banking that he had not fired at least once, but that he was still friends with all of them. He insisted that even in his most senior roles he was only ever a simple salesman. He also liked to pretend that he was no good with numbers and had to work them out with a soft, fat grade school pencil while biting his lip!
What, one might have asked, and some did, what could this guy bring to a small, emergent community organization?
The fact was that Jack's self-effacement was not just the source of much of his personal charm, he used it to camouflage immense capability. During Jack's tenure as ED, most of the other community leadership organizations that were launched across Canada as part of the same initiative as Leadership Victoria either went under or were taken over by larger institutions. Thanks to Jack's energy, tenacity, leadership, and skill, Leadership Victoria was one of the very few that survived as an independent community asset.
Three aspects of Jack's character contributed greatly to his success. The first was his intensely genuine and absolutely shameless passion for the mission of Leadership Victoria. Jack embraced the ED role as a vocation, not a job.
The second was his big heart, and the quiet compassion he exercised daily. Jack helped people find their best selves and many of those connected to Leadership Victoria as participants, staff, or volunteers during his time benefited directly from his support, coaching, encouragement, and friendship. He was a maestro of the quiet nudge…and when Jack felt you needed nudging, it was always a good idea to pay attention!
But perhaps most important was his ability to create community connections. Jack had a vast network from his days in banking, from starving artists to corporate millionaires, deputy ministers to small shop owners. And he was happy to put that network to work for Leadership Victoria. He had a particular ability to open conversations across sectoral silos, helping those with divergent interests and views find common ground in support of community leadership development. In his work for Leadership Victoria, he left behind him a long train of relationships that brought people together to build stronger community leadership.
For community, connectedness is resilience. Jack was a catalytic connector who somehow tied people to each other and to shared purpose and left in his passing a bit of that gossamer web that ultimately forms the steely foundational fabric of community, and which continues to support Leadership Victoria to this day. In his own way, Jack quietly exemplified community leadership at its very, very best...heartening, enabling, and almost invisible in its workings.
To honour Jack and his legacy, his friends and family have created the Jack Shore Community Connector Bursary, to support a leader in Leadership Victoria’s Community Leadership Development Program. Its aim is to provide financial support each year for an emerging leader who has demonstrated both interest and ability in bridging sectors, silos, and divergent interest for the benefit of all.
The Jack Shore Community Connector bursary is valued at $3000 and is awarded to a leader participating in the Community Leadership Development Program who best demonstrates the following:
Bursary Award Criteria
An emerging leader with demonstrated skills as a community connector or whose role depends upon such skills
Ability to work across silos and issues within the community sector
Ability to work across sectors…especially community to business, community to government, and community to faith
Strong capacity for empathy
Ability to open difficult conversations among people and organizations with mixed or divergent interests
Ability to find common ground on divergent views
To support this fundraising initiative to fund an ongoing bursary in Jack's name, please visit the Canada Helps link here: