Meet Shari Mason, our Manager of Major Gifts & Grant Writing
By Barbara Harwood
It’s easy for me to write about Shari Mason. She and I have known each other for many years. Our lives crossed in a professional capacity and I was delighted to see her in the Foundation’s office when she began working there.
For the first 18 years of her childhood Shari was surrounded by animals on a farm in Pritchard, about 24 miles east of Kamloops. She was able to ride her horses exploring the magnificent mountain countryside located at her back door. When she was 18, she moved to Vancouver and worked in a fashion warehouse for some of the best known names in the industry. Toronto called, but fashion was still high on the agenda and with that came opportunities for modelling and TV acting. Shari realized that she needed a more traditional career and she became a bank teller, but was soon promoted to the Bay Street head office at one of the top Canadian banks.
By now, BC was calling her again and she moved to Victoria and for the next 14 years worked in the technology, fitness, provincial government and advanced education industries. During this time Shari completed both her undergraduate degree in Commerce and a Masters of Business Administration. She went to Alberta for a few years before realizing that Vancouver Island – specifically the Saanich Peninsula – was where she felt at home.
I asked Shari how she had found her way to the Hospital Foundation. She said she was working for the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and got to know Elaine Hughesman who – at that time – was the Chamber’s Board Treasurer. Elaine became a member of the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation Board in 2016. Due to unforeseen staff illnesses, the Foundation needed an extra pair of hands to help with accounting and other in-house projects like the Doctor of the Day Program. Karen asked Elaine if she knew anyone who might be able to help.
Shari was employed for an initial three month period. This was extended several times, each time reinforcing to Shari that the Hospital Foundation office is a very special place to be and that it is a privilege to work with the Foundation’s Team. Each day is exciting and interesting but at the same time it is rewarding. I quote: “In hindsight, I love what I am doing and working for the Hospital Foundation doesn’t really feel like work at all.” Shari has been an advocate for enhanced operational performance and has initiated several changes which are proving to be creative, innovative and successful.
Shari recently took on the role of Manager of Major Gifts and Grant Writing and she is looking forward to meeting supporters of the Foundation and learning ‘your story’. Thank you Shari.