On April 20th, 2023, Ryan was awarded the Friend of CAGP Award by the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, alongside Calvin Fong of the Vancouver Community Foundation   We’ve posted Ryan’s words of gratitude here for those in our CAGP Family who weren’t at this year’s conference.  

All of you are the reason The Friend of CAGP Award is so precious to me.

I have tried many drafts of what I want to say right now and frankly it is not easy.     We do important work.  Sometimes its joyous, often it is challenging, and other times, as we all know it can be very emotional.   It never ceases to amaze me that even after our own emotional buckets are drained, we all leave this gathering refilled and raring to go. So what better description for friendship can there be?

As my financial planning, legal and other advisor friends in the room can attest, our industries often feel like it they have been built to reward those who seek to maximize their own pocketbook.  Yet, at CAGP, we seek to enrich the common good to lift everyone together and to have it last beyond our own lifetimes.

Like all true friends,  No one ever refuses the call for help. As you know CAGP membership comes with access to many resources with our memberships, but clearly the greatest resource of all is the PHONE on our desks.  You can pick up the  phone and get connected to any member in the country to get the answer you need. Its like having your own personal Bat Phone.

We ultimately are a community. Our friendship is   not just amongst members but also with the  CAGP’s remarkable staff, past and present. Those of us who have been blessed to volunteer behind the scenes can attest that the load they carry is intense.  The skill and grace that every single one of them bring to keeping us focused and on task is remarkable.  It might be easier to heard cats.

To our friends on the staff team – thank you so much for  being the engine that makes all the friendships in this room possible.   Having stayed friends with many former staff over the last twenty years,  I can let you know that they all speak with tremendous fondness of our wonderful community.

When I first joined CAGP twenty years ago another member told me that I would not truly understand this organization until I came to this conference.  And they were right.  In 2007 I came to my first conference and I not only got what she was saying but I have never missed one since. Our organization is bigger and more important than any one of us.  If we stand as individuals, we cannot make the change in Canada we have committed to as a community. Our friendship is at the heart of our openness, our willingness to engage and ability to listen to one another,

This conference, this group, this is the place I can come to when my bucket is empty — you refill me – especially today.

Thank you for this recognition but maybe more importantly thank you for the true friendship and kindness you have share with me for many years. You are my people,  my community and my friends.