Wearing different hats as part of the backbone to LOFT’s work.
Chinwe has been the Executive Assistant to LOFT’s CEO since 2018. Before that, Chinwe worked at an investment company. “I quickly realized that the work wasn’t fulfilling,” she says. “I grew up in a home where volunteering and giving back to the community were part of our values. The desire to serve people was always there and I’m glad that I am able to do that at LOFT.”
Chinwe’s role is to assist LOFT’s CEO Heather McDonald. She takes care of all administrative tasks to support Heather and the Board of Directors. She is also the face that greets guests at our downtown administrative office. “Part of my job is answering our main line which includes inquiries from our clients or their family members,” she explains. “I have to be knowledgeable enough to direct them to the right program or person. I also make sure that I can relate to clients and respond to them, even when I don’t fully understand what they are going through.”
Often wearing many hats, Chinwe plays a vital part in ensuring that everything is running smoothly. “In a way, I consider myself part of all the other teams,” she says. “I’m always working with the IT, Finance, Development & Communications and HR teams, even if it’s in a limited capacity. I also help the programs by connecting them with the right people or resources.”
Chinwe had to adapt quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic started. “The first six months were very difficult,” she remembers. “As Heather and the senior team focused on ensuring the safety of our clients and staff, I assisted her in keeping our teams informed about all the new policies and health guidelines that were constantly changing.”
Part of LOFT’s COVID-19 response, our “Caring for Carers” strategy keeps our staff up-to-date on public health guidelines, personal protective equipment protocols, and everything they need to know to keep both clients and staff safe. Chinwe worked very closely with Heather on communications to update the organization.
The pandemic held stressful and isolating times for Chinwe. However, she remained conscious of the effects of COVID on our clients. “My role does not typically require face-to-face interactions with clients, but I know how hard it was for them to have reduced social interactions,” she says. “I’m very passionate about meeting our clients and I believe everyone needs an opportunity to interact with them, to let them know that we’re here for them.”
Chinwe’s passion for serving others doesn’t stop at her job. A few years ago, she launched a non-profit with a friend to support education in Ghana, Africa. “The team works hard to ensure that the students in the community don’t have to face the difficult decision of not being able to afford school.”
When she’s not dedicating her time to those in need, Chinwe enjoys hiking. “The outdoors is where I find myself,” she says.