Oikocredit Canada Support Association (OCSA) is led by a volunteer board of directors that has responsibility for carrying out Oikocredit's grassroots education and outreach initiatives. The directors come from diverse fields and bring immense experience to the board.
Though we know them professionally through their work, and today, we dig deep and ask them some informal questions to get to know them better and learn more about their likes, passions and other areas of interest. Know your Director will be an ongoing blog series.
Carla Pellegrini is director of OCSA and has over ten years of experience in community development, social finance, and operations management. She is currently the Executive Director at Food Stash Foundation's, a Vancouver-based charity working to improve food security while reducing the environmental impact of food waste.
How did you find out about Oikocredit?
I saw that Oikocredit Canada was looking for board directors on the Responsible Investment Association email listserv. My career started in international development in Nicaragua, Zambia and Kenya, but I had been working in impact investing in Canada for a few years at that time. After learning more about Oikocredit Canada, I thought it would be the perfect way to combine my professional experience in both international development and impact investing while also volunteering.
What is most challenging AND most rewarding about being an Oikocredit Director?
The most rewarding part about being an Oikocredit Canada director is working with other passionate professionals who have a wide range of experience that relates back to the OCSA mission and values. It’s a really neat cross section of folks and I enjoy learning from each of them. The most challenging part about being an OCSA director is navigating our path forward when it comes to product development. We have not had a way for our stakeholders to support Oikocredit Canada, and ultimately Oikocredit International, financially for a couple years. The Canadian impact investing and regulatory market is complex and it has been a journey to assess the options on the table to get our stakeholders involved again here in Canada.
How do you make your day productive - any habits, apps, or tricks?
I cannot survive without Asana and my Google calendar. I have been using Asana for both my personal and professional organization for over 7 years now and I find it a really effective way to keep track of tasks and projects, both individually and in teams. The key to using Asana well is to put dates on every task and then minimize the sections with tasks that are future-dated so you’re just focusing on the ones marked to do ‘today’. I also take notes from all my meetings in Asana which makes it really easy to search for keywords and find information at a later date. And, of course, my calendar helps me block out times to focus and just generally stay on top of my day.
What is your idea of the perfect vacation? Or What book have you read recently?
My perfect vacation is in a remote cabin on a lake with no internet for maximum unplugging and connecting to nature. When it comes to reading, I’ve been a part of a book club that only reads BIPOC authors for over 6 years now. The last book we read was Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkins.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia. I deeply respect the intentionality behind how he created his company, and the values the company has been able to uphold despite the context in which it operates. I highly recommend reading his book Let My People Go Surfing for some inspiration around how to create a positive workplace culture and hold true to your values.
Stay Tuned next month as we will get to know another director from the OCSA board.