Highbanks Society Wins Big at Fast Pitch 2016
November 5, 2016 - Patricia Glenn, Executive Director of Highbanks Society, delivered a compelling three-minute pitch to win over both the audience and judges at the fourth annual Social Venture Partners Calgary (SVPC) Fast Pitch finals, held at Telus Spark on November 3.
Over the last eight weeks, SVPC put on the Fast Pitch program where 13 local, non-profit organizations and their leaders were selected to participate based on their innovative approaches to creating social change and their potential for significant and positive community impact. These non-profit leaders were paired with volunteer, business professionals and were coached on how to succinctly and powerfully “tell their story” in three minutes.
All eight non-profit finalists presented their pitches to the panel of celebrity judges and a sold-out crowd of over 350 people. After intense deliberation and voting, Patricia and Highbanks Society emerged as the winner of both the Audience and Judges Choice awards.
Highbanks Society is a refuge and a home to teenage moms who are isolated, unemployed and have nowhere to live. Patricia used her three minutes to weave a touching story of a young mom giving birth, afraid and alone, in her bathtub. After she delivered her son, she moved into Highbanks, successfully completed high school and then went on to earn her University degree. That mom (and her now seven-year-old son) is part of the alumni mentorship program that Highbanks Society is looking for funding to grow. The $12,000 cash prize and $10,000 of consulting, generously donated by Prospector Executive Search & Consulting, will go a long in supporting Highbanks as they continue to serve a valuable need in our community.
“The level of competition was intense tonight. All of the finalists delivered incredibly convincing pitches,” said judge Jeremy Bryant. “It was a very difficult decision. But Patricia’s pitch was near perfect.”
Felicia Jerry of Siksika White Buffalo, Preventative Social Services was the winner of the Coaches Choice Award, which comes with a $4,000 cheque to her organization. The 31 coaches who worked with the non-profit organizations selected Felicia based on the growth that she showed during the program and the strength of her pitch.
None of the finalists went home empty handed. For the fourth year in a row, Imperial was the Presenting Sponsor of the Fast Pitch program. In addition to their generous sponsorship, Tom Huffaker, Vice President, Public & Government Affairs closed out the evening by giving each finalist a cheque for $1,000.
This year’s panel of judges included Jeremy Bryant, co-founder of Mealshare and 2014 Fast Pitch winner; Evan Hazell, Director and Community Leader; and Susan Veres, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC).
Master of ceremonies and local celebrity, Ken Lima-Coelho kept the evening on pace and the audience laughing. Keynote speaker Kerrin Lee-Gartner, of Gold Mettle, reminded the audience and finalists about the important lesson of needing to fail to succeed.
Social Venture Partners Calgary recognizes that this program would not be possible without the non-profit participants who put their heart, time and energy into crafting and perfecting their three minute pitches. SVPC wishes to thank each of the participating organizations:
Accessible Housing; Tom Mannix (Finalist)
Calgary Bridge Foundation For Youth; Sarosh Rizvi (Finalist)
Calgary HIV Community Link; Leslie Hill (Finalist)
Ghost River Rediscovery; Adam Ross (Semi-Finalist)
Highbanks Society; Patricia Glenn (Finalist and Winner; Audience & Judges Choice)
I Can For Kids; Bobbi Turko (Semi-Finalist)
Keys to Recovery Society; Karen Crowthers (Finalist)
Literacy For Life; Sue Stegmeier (Semi-Finalist)
Made by Momma; Renu Chandarana (Finalist)
Oneball; Christopher Lloyd (Semi-Finalist)
Siksika White Buffalo; Felicia Jerry (Finalist and Winner; Coaches Choice Award)
Simon House Recovery Centre; Jim Matthews (Finalist)
Young Women in Energy; Katie Smith (Semi-Finalist)