Meetings Canada


Hall of Fame – Alice Parnis, Industry Volunteer

Event Fusion Inc.

Volunteering is embedded in Alice Parnis’s DNA. It’s part of who she is—as a meeting-planning professional and as a person.

Indeed, Alice, founder and president of Event Fusion, has always made volunteering a key part of what she does. Over the years, she has, for instance, devoted countless hours to MPI Toronto Chapter and CSAE committees and is a past president of MPI’s Toronto chapter (2006/2007). Currently, she sits on the chapter’s leadership and nomination committee.

On the community front, Alice has been involved in the High Park Alternative School, chairing its art committee and coordinating its Dream Auction. In 2012, as part of the Stretch Your Spirit program, she designed a community event targeting children ages six to 12, so they can learn and understand holistic activities such as yoga and meditation. Perhaps most notably, she orchestrated Children’s Day, in Toronto’s High Park (now an annual program), which garnered her mayoral recognition for her outstanding performance.

Her volunteering also extends to institutions of higher learning, where she has been a guest speaker at Ryerson University and George Brown College, for their hospitality and tourism programs.

But it’s when she discusses volunteering in her own words that her commitment shines through.

“I have always been an active volunteer in all facets of my life. I believe that giving your time and energy is all for the better good and creates a positive environment. I have been educated, enlightened and moved through every volunteer experience. Through volunteering, not only do you help others through your efforts, but you also experience the feeling of being enriched by watching something grow or develop into something better. I will always continue to pass on my spirit through volunteering and I encourage others to do the same. It all adds up to a more caring community and a better world.”

Q: Passion. Do you still have it?
A: Passion is defined as any potential or compelling emotion, as love, hate, joy and anger. When I think of passion, I think of the excitement that bubbles up when thinking about the circumstance or task at hand. Have you heard the term, “I have a burning passion?” I believe each one of us has it. Sometimes we may feel like we have lost passion in our lives. I certainly have at times!

There was a time when I felt I was always searching for something that I wanted to be really good at, when I finally realized that was the passion I had at that moment! It was the search for new things that was driving me onto the next find and learning along the way. It was finding something to believe in! I believe if you put yourself into situations, places you’ve never been, learn things you’ve never been exposed to, read things that you would not usually do—in other words, create experiences that will enlighten you—you will then discover more about yourself and finding your passions. It may be an ongoing task, however, an amazing reward waits for you each time!

Q: The Future. Are you ready for what’s next?
A: Being ready for what happens next is a mindset. You need to be ready to change with change. Or if you choose not to, then you could be left behind. An important mindset is to be creative, think ‘innovation.’

Time seems not to be on our side, as every day, technology and forward thinking takes us down different paths. The information we get each day seems to come at us faster than lightning! So how do we dissect and use what we need and discard the rest? Each day, I plan time to receive this information and then categorize for future thoughts or discard or use.

The Industry Volunteer Award recognizes an individual planner or supplier who gives freely of their time and expertise in the promotion of industry associations, groups, professional industry chapters or charity work.

Print this page

Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *