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Wednesday, 08 January 2014 09:36

New development officer poised to help the region assist Medicine Hat College financially

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Tracy Stroud is three months into her new position as the Medicine Hat College Foundation’s development officer.

Her main job is to connect individuals, groups or company officials who wish to contribute financially to the college, but either don’t know how to best serve the educational institution or how to donate considering their own particular situations.
Stroud wants to ensure the college’s open door policy is in effect when it comes to collaboration between the city/region and the college. She loves Medicine Hat having moved here six years ago.
“The city was so welcoming to me and I’ve never forgotten that,” says Stroud from her college office. “The one saying I heard about Medicine Hat was we ‘punch above our own weight’. There’s this can-do attitude with this community. You saw it with the floods and how people helped each other. We don’t see an obstacle, we just make it happen.”
Stroud already has seen this attitude three months into her new job as the community is willing to help the college in any way it can and vice versa. It’s this collaborative partnerships built between the two which Stroud admires.
In a press release, Stroud describes the Medicine Hat College Foundation’s role as a match-making entity.
 “It is our job to meet with prospective donors, educate them on the projects that are happening around the college and see where we can collaborate and align with them on their charitable goals,” she says in the release.
Besides the obvious donations to student scholarships and the Rattlers and the athletics programs, the development program also involves a variety of other ways to match donators with target areas. Some of these targets include the Conservatory’s Set the Stage for Life campaign (student awards, funding for community performances/gala and program enhancements); The Entrpreneurship Centre program; Project 50/50, and the Legacy Brick campaign.
There are different ways to give besides direct donations including planned giving such as annuities, charitable remainder trust, life insurance and bequests. It’s Stroud’s job to get those requests completed.
With the Jan. 6 announcement of the hiring of Dr. Denise Henning as the College’s new president effective May 15, Stroud agrees there’s a positive feeling surrounding MHC.
“There’s a real buzz, a lot of change, a lot of excitement with everything and now with (Dr. Henning) coming, (you can) see the excitement,” explains Stroud.
She left Alberta Works in the fall of 2013 where she was a business and industry liaison as well as a career and employment consultant and working with employer services.
Stroud held different positions over nearly a four-year span with the Economic Development Alliance of Southeast Alberta including associate director, rural business enhancement officer and business development officer.
"It allowed me to be creative on an economic development scale," explains Stroud who moved to Medicine Hat six years after holding a job evaluating hotels for a Vancouver company called HVS.
“(With EDA) I had the opportunity to deal with a variety of different business and I got to see a wide scope of people.”
Stroud is from the southwest Saskatchewan community of Vanguard and understands and appreciates the agriculture and rural sector. She became familiar with Medicine Hat growing up as she had an uncle who was from the Hat. Her parents, who owned a convenience store in Swift Current made regular trips to the southeastern Alberta city.
She loves the city for a number of reasons.
Her working with EDA allowed her to see the importance of agriculture and the rural area.
“There are rural roots here in Medicine Hat,” says Stroud. “Working with the EDA, I was going out to rural areas and really there’s no line there. It’s more of a regional area. Agriculture is still big and there are a lot of people working in the rural area or there are people in the surrounding area working here.”

Read 5351 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 14:47
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor