This is how it all starts – When Hope (Finally) Starts to Grow



by Belinda Squance

I moved into the West End of Winnipeg over nine years ago. I first lived on Furby at Sargent. To say it was a rough part of the neighbourhood might be an understatement. However I always felt safe. Nothing bad ever happened to me.

When a supposed crack house appeared across the street things seemed to be a bit more active. In the two and a half years I lived there, there were a few shootings, a couple of stabbings, two sexual assaults, and a curb stomping…that I knew of. I came home or woke up to police tape on my street more than once.

Yet I still felt safe. For reasons I cannot explain I almost seem invisible in my neighbourhood. When people talk to me they are kind.

The same cannot be said for other women in my community. It was my first winter on Furby when I awoke one morning to the sound of a woman calling for help. I looked down from my third floor window to the walkway between my apartment building and the building next door to see a man on top of a woman. At least that is what it looked like. It was dark. I phoned 911. It seemed to take forever for help to arrive. Thankfully people came along and helped the woman. The police came and took the victim to hospital.

That incident left me shaken. And upset. It was just after 4 in the morning so there was a good chance she had been working at Furby and Sargent. It was a regular spot for women working in the sex trade.  I could not stop thinking about the woman all day. She was in my thoughts and prayers constantly.

It was then I started to ask around to find out what outreach there was to women in the sex trade in the West End. I met with Harry Lehotsky and Larry Gregan at New Life Ministries. It was a good conversation. Yet I soon realised there was nothing.

I wanted to change that. I am the type of person who sees a problem and likes to solve it. Is there a need? Great. Let us work together to find a way to meet it. Yet I was a ‘square’ suburban woman and what could I possibly know about reaching out and connecting with women in the sex trade?

Another one of my traits is knowing when to ask for help. I am also really good at finding out answers to questions. So I started asking around. It did not take long for me to get a group of women together with the same interest. We met in my Furby flat and started talking about what was out there and what was still needed. We dreamt big dreams. I put a map of the city on foam core board and put pins on it for every location we knew of that offered supports to women. (I still have it too.)

Then life changed. Things stalled. The dreams were put on hold. Life has a way of doing that at times. Yet I firmly believed it would revive again. The important changes take time. Big ideas need to be nurtured. I truly believe there is a time for everything.

I waited. Patiently. I knew that time would mean better things in the long run. Now, years later, many things are starting to come together. People are crossing my path who have ideas, wisdom, and help to offer. Opportunities are presenting themselves to me in new ways. The idea even has a name. “Hope Grows” I truly want hope to grow for women who have not had much hope in their lives.

I understand there are many who do not care about women in the sex trade. I know there are many who do not understand why I do.

Let me try to explain. I firmly believe every single person is worth exactly the same in life. We all deserve respect, dignity, love, safety, and hope. So when I see people in the world around me who (and I know this is debatable to many – not to me though and this is my blog) have never been treated with that respect, dignity, love, safety, and hope they deserve I want to do something about it.

There are some working in the sex trade who want to be there. I am not writing about them. I am writing about the (primarily) women in the sex trade who started when they were not even a teenager because an adult made them, a boyfriend made them, or whatever reason that was not their choice. I am writing about those who do not want to be there but are trapped. I am writing about those who are victims.

There are people in my city who are out on the streets right now waiting for a complete stranger to stop, pick them up, and offer them money for sex. For those who do not want to be there, I want to help. I want to be a part of the solution, their solution.

This week I had the opportunity to join a group of women who meet every other week. They are a mix of some in the sex trade and some no longer but still close. This week I went to help teach them to knit. If you ever want to get to know someone, sit and do a craft with them. It is possibly the most disarming thing you can do. I was blessed to spend time with an amazing group of women. There were three of them and the two leading the group. One of the women leading the group was someone I met many years ago when she was still in the midst of addiction and the sex trade. She remembers our first meeting. We were painting. I made her cry (long story). But she was glad I did. To this day she remembers that time with fondness.

As the women tried knitting I was so happy to see they accepted me. To some I am known simply as ‘the church lady’. If you know me, this thought will make you laugh as much as it does me. Yet they allow me in. As long as they do so I will try to do whatever I can to help restore their own dignity and respect so they can live the life they truly want to and were meant to.

It may have taken almost nine years but hope is finally starting to grow.


Take me to your leader … if you can find one


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Take me to your leader … if you can find one

When I was a kid, one of the popular notions was that aliens would land on Earth and say “Take me to your leader.” Today, if a UFO dropped out of the sky (it could happen) asking for directions to our leaders, we’d stare at each other and scratch our heads.

We have been experiencing a severe drought of good leadership for a very long time. Our civic leaders over the last 10 or so years have been benign at best, provincial leaders are demonstrating a slightly embarrassing “stage five clinger” approach to governance. And federally, who knows? This group seems to have mastered the art of speaking without saying anything.

And then there is the business sector. What has happened to corporate leadership? How can a company like Target get it so incredibly wrong? There are many similar examples, although none on such a grand scale.

Leadership is one of my favourite topics. It has interested me since the day I started working because it has such a significant impact on all of our lives.

In my career, I’ve had about a dozen bosses or leaders, and I’ve been well acquainted with dozens more. Of those, there are two or three who I thought were exceptional. They knew how to get the most from their people and thus, move the organization forward. They were highly respected and the people who worked for them would have done anything for them. They were very successful because of their leadership skills.

What about the other bosses or leaders I’ve known? Most were mediocre, and a few were absolute disasters. The mediocre were, typically, ineffective in the way the operated. They stayed mostly in their offices, had little conact with those in their charge and rarely provided real answers to questions. Essentially, they floated under the radar. The disasters simply had no idea how to manage or lead and ended up causing some damage before they were found out and shown the door.

The first step to leader is choosing the right emoticonsHow did we get to this place? I believe good leaders are developed over time. Some have a natural ability, but most have learned it through hard lessons and a good measure of solid mentoring. The good ones also possess a great sense of humility. What I mean by that is they put the organization’s interests (including staff) ahead of their own. I don’t see this very much anywhere I look these days. What I see is self-centred leaders who think they are just awesome. So often these days I see people with no people skills, placed in leadership roles. There is nothing worse than a bad manager who thinks they are a good manager.

The real problem, I think, is the trend over the last number of years has been selecting a leader based solely on their credentials, rather than their fit to the organization. Richard Branson has stated that personality is his first priority when hiring because you can teach skills, but you can’t teach personality. (But then again, what does Sir Richard know about leadership?)

Most organizations simply don’t spend enough time getting to know their prospects. They look at the degrees listed on their resumes, spend an hour or so interviewing them with rehearsed behavioural questions like “tell me about a time when,”  then maybe another hour or so interviewing  the ones on the short list, then they get hired. People invest way more time and effort buying a TV.

The thing is, any interviewee can search the web for the top 25 behavioural interview questions and develop very well-rehearsed answers that fit perfectly and impressively into the mould. Doesn’t seem like a very accurate way to measure a candidate.

Not surprisingly, employee satisfaction is at an all-time low. This has to have an impact on productivity and profitability.

Never having been a CEO of an organization, maybe I’m missing a piece of the puzzle. Maybe the “Empty Suits” (as a friend of mine refers to them) know something the rest of us don’t. But if that’s the case and we continue down this path, I think I’d rather hitch a ride with the real aliens.


CS3 Partners Launch New Consulting Service Based in Winnipeg

January 9, 2015

WINNIPEG, MB January 9, 2015CS3 Partners today announced the launch of a new fully-integrated consulting service specializing in philanthropic advancement.

CS3 Partners offers a wide range of consulting services to non-profit and charitable organizations, corporate and business clients looking to increase strategic direction and maximize reach and organizational capacity.

“Philanthropy is undergoing significant change in a number of areas” said Tom Scott, founding partner of CS3 Partners. “More than ever, corporate giving is tied to fiscal performance which can be subject to global economics. Companies also want programs that align with their corporate values and interests. They are looking for specific programs to support.”

“On the other side of the coin, competition has never been greater among charitable organizations appealing for donors. The groups that can cut themselves away from the pack will have the greatest opportunities.”

CS3 Partners was founded in Winnipeg by Lyle Bauer, Robert Young, and Tom Scott.

“The philosophy of making a difference because you can, is a growing one in the responsible corporate world.  It is important to have alignment with values and vision to ensure the best possible outcome for the donors and recipients” said Lyle Bauer.

CS3 Partners is a business with a strong social mission to help change the landscape of philanthropy to make our community a better place to live and do business.

About CS3 Partners

CS3 Partners is a Winnipeg based consulting service specializing in philanthropic advancement. Specific areas of services include: Corporate Giving, Organizational Assessment, Fund Development, Board Development, Executive Transition, and Communications Strategy.

About the partners:

Lyle Bauer is a former Winnipeg Blue Bomber. Following his playing career, Mr. Bauer served as President & CEO of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and as President & COO of the Calgary Stampeders. He co-founded Never Alone Foundation in 2005 and was recently recognized as one of the 2014 Our Manitoba Heroes. In addition to his involvement in CS3 Partners, Mr. Bauer owns Bauer and Associates, a management consulting firm providing strategic solutions to Manitoba companies and executives.

Robert Young has an extensive background in marketing, business development and communications. He has been active on several boards and committees in Winnipeg and the U.S. Previously, Mr. Young has been involved in international organizations BluefishTv, Right Now Media and I Am Second.

Tom Scott has held a number of senior management roles during his career in local media. His most recent management position was General Manager of Citytv, 92 Citi FM / 102.3 Clear FM. Mr. Scott is an active member of the community and has served on a number of not-for-profit boards and committees.

For further information:

Tom Scott, Partner

CS3 Partners


Vision Statements vs. Mission Statements: What’s the difference?

With the start of the New Year sometimes it’s best to start from the beginning when looking at an organization. And it all starts with your organizations vision and mission. After all, if an organization doesn’t have either, there is no reason for its existence.

Even though vision and mission statements go hand in hand, they are two very different pieces of content. Both are crucial to an organization and should be crafted before anything else. But, truth be told, the difference between the two can be a little confusing.

To start, think about what the world or your community would look like once your mission is achieved. This is the basic foundation for what your vision statement should be. Your mission statement is your rallying cry – it drives your entire organization from Board members and employees, all the way to your volunteers. Your vision statement is the end of the rainbow. It grounds your audience and gives them more information about why the work you’re doing is important.

Organizations create mission and vision statements to convey the direction in which they’re going. Both statements help communicate the intentions an organization has and its goals for the future. But each statement is created for a separate reason and each holds a different meaning.

Vision Statements

A vision statement outlines the organization’s key values and lays out where the organization intends to go over the long term. The statement is designed to provide inspiration and focus, as well as giving the public a clear sense of what the organization believes in. A vision statement can include things that are not true now but that the organization is striving to make true. For example, a vision statement may say that an organization has a goal eliminating world hunger, even if it is not so now.

Mission Statements

A mission statement describes an organization’s overall purpose, including defining its key measures of success. A mission statement’s target audience is primarily internal: the organization’s employees, leadership, Board members, even its volunteers. When organizations create mission statements, they take into account the services they offer, as well as the organization’s image, values and priorities. The focus is on how the organization should be operating, and it serves as a very general blueprint

Differences Between the Two

One key difference with mission and vision statements is the time element. A mission statement talks primarily about what the organization is currently doing. It focuses on the present state of the organization.

A vision statement, on the other hand, is a projection of where the organization or situation wants to be in the future. These statements are designed to work together. If an organization follows its mission statement, then the vision statement will be what the organization has to look forward to in the future. Vision statements are generally created before mission statements, because a vision statement will direct the company on how it must operate today to get to where it wants to be.

Effective mission statements should include the values and purpose of the organization, its primary stakeholders and its responsibilities to these stakeholders. They are often created by determining what the company does today, who it does it for and how it does it. Effective vision statements should paint a vivid picture, describe a bright future and offer realistic ambitions. When vision statements are created, companies look at what they want in the future, when they want it and how to accomplish it.

And here they are – 100 Difference Makers

For Immediate Release

Dec 30, 2014

CS3 Partners Announces the 100 Difference Makers

WINNIPEG; Manitobans have long been considered to be the most generous in Canada and CS3 Partners are celebrating a great year in community service by recognizing 100 Difference Makers in the province. From providing shelter to the homeless, feeding the hungry, comforting a cancer patient, or making sure children are safe, these 100 Difference Makers are helping to improve the quality of life for many Manitobans.

“This list of 100 includes individuals, non-profits and businesses throughout Manitoba that have contributed time, money, services, or ideas to help make Manitoba a better place to live and do business,” said Tom Scott, a Director from CS3 Partners. “They all deserve to be recognized and honoured. They are true role models.”

Lisa Tjaden from Radiance Gifts has participated in the annual CEO Sleepout and recently teamed up with the Never Alone Foundation in providing wellness tools for those receiving cancer treatments. “It’s not just part of our corporate footprint,” Tjaden stated.  “It’s a commitment and a desire to make this a better world for all,” she said.

“More and more individuals and organizations are realizing the importance of working together,” said Scott. “One person can’t change the world, but they can start a movement.” This list not only represents dollars raised, but millions of hours of volunteer time and engagement and sometimes that’s all it takes.”

This year’s list includes some well-known personalities such as Ace Burpee and Mayor Brian Bowman and also the names of some quiet heroes like Lisa Webinger, Callie’s Backpack and Lunches with Love.

“It’s an honour to recognize these 100 Difference Makers for 2014 and we’re excited to see what they do in 2015,” said Scott.

CS3 Partners develops great people who build great non-profits with great partners that, connected together, drive great impact in our community.

For inquires or comments, contact Tom Scott, CS3 Partners 204.293.4600


Top 100 Difference Makers (in no particular order)

  1. Kelly Hemmett
  2. Never Alone Foundation
  3. Lisa Webinger
  4. Lisa Dyck
  5. Cornell Crème
  6. Jodi Moskal
  7. Kevin Anseeuw
  8. Lyle Bauer
  9. Radiance Gifts
  10. Floyd Wiebe
  11. Shelley Cook
  12. Kevin Chief
  13. Sachit Mehra
  14. Brian Bowman
  15. Michael Champagne
  16. Sean Barnes – PCL Construction
  17. Albert El Tassi
  18. Althea Guiboche
  19. Brian Scharfstein
  20. Siloam Mission
  21. Callie Costello
  22. Sierra Noble
  23. Chief Devon Clunis
  24. Chris Loewen
  25. Floyd Perras
  26. Lynne Marie Roy
  27. Mohamed El Tassi
  28. Mohammad Almaleki
  29. Spencer Fernando
  30. Stefano Grande
  31. Ally Beauchesne
  32. Dave Cunnin
  33. Agape Table
  34. Doug Speirs
  35. Nancy Chippendale
  36. MacDonald Youth Services
  37. Joseph Ranseth
  38. Winnipeg Harvest
  39. Danny Boyko
  40. Salvation Army
  41. Boys & Girls Club
  42. Jocelyn House
  43. St.Amant Centre
  44. Ron Cantiveros
  45. Andrea Robin
  46. Kal Barteski
  47. Kirsten Godbout
  48. Christmas Cheer Board
  49. Lisa Tjaden
  50. The Broadway Neighbourhood Centre
  51. Spence Neighbourhood Association
  52. Belinda Squance
  53. Trudy Lavallee
  54. Susie Erjavec Parker
  55. Ace Burpee
  56. Villa Rosa
  57. Marymound
  58. Hoodies For Homeless
  59. Winnipeg Police Service
  60. Manitoba Marathon
  61. Rossbrook House
  62. Lunches With Love
  63. Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation
  64. RAY
  65. PCL Construction
  66. Volunteer Winnipeg
  67. Hal Anderson
  68. Missing Manitoba
  69. My Team Triumph
  70. Winnipeg Boldness Project
  71. DASCH
  72. Ben Kramer
  73. Dr. Goodbear
  74. Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata
  75. Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council
  76. KidSport Winnipeg
  77. Arlisa Greco
  78. North End Family Centre
  79. Transplant Manitoba
  80. Mike Duerksen
  81. Larry Macintosh
  82. Marie and Kirby Fontaine
  83. Shirlee Preteau
  84. Michael Schiefer
  85. Dave Black
  86. Ian McCausland
  87. Norway House Animal Rescue Network
  88. Décor Cabinets
  89. Varity Manitoba
  90. Drew (Putty)
  91. Shine Dental
  92. Stacey Shott
  93. Winnipeg Sun
  94. Paul Bennett
  95. Atticus McIlraith
  96. Jeff McWhinney
  97. Winnipeg Free Press
  98. Mark Chipman
  99. Gail Asper
  100. Joe Aiello

CS3 Partners works with the leadership teams of non-profit organizations and philanthropic institutions to improve their decisions about the future in setting strategic direction, maximizing reach and building organizational capacity.

We do this by generating insights from research, and skillfully facilitating leadership meetings to arrive at solutions that are practical, implementable, and unique to the needs of each client.

At the start of each project we work with our client to identify the central strategic issues to be resolved.  We then design our work to focus on these issues, making our engagement targeted and efficient.  This allows us to provide high-value strategy work on issues of primary importance to our clients.

Strategic solutions are designed collaboratively with our client, so that good ideas get adopted, and plans get implemented.  This approach results in outcomes that are valuable, relevant, and lasting.

As one of the leading management support organizations, CS3 Partners brings the most current tools for best practices in non-profit management, boards, staff and volunteers each year.

CS3 Partners develops great people who build great non-profits with great partners that, connected together, drive great impact in our community.

Our mission is to strengthen non-profits to enhance sustainability and maximize impact. Our vision is to be the most vital resource and valued partner for the non-profit community.

CS3 Partners consulting services provide innovative and results-oriented strategies to move your agency to the next level of performance, impact and success.

Non-profits, foundations, business and corporations rely on CS3 Partners expertise to help them identify opportunities for growth and change; build strategies for success and effectiveness; and produce high-level results.

CS3 Partners Services:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Organizational Assessment
  • Board Training, Board Optimization & Bylaws Review
  • Executive Transition: Recruiting & Succession Planning
  • Outcomes Evaluation
  • Fund Development Planning
  • Surveys, Market Research & Focus Groups
  • Peer Coaching/ Leaders Circles
  • Marketing & Crisis Communications
  • Financial Management