Getting good done

Whether you’ve just started working at Ogilvy or you’re part of the furniture, there is one person in the building that everyone needs to know. Not because she is an intimidating big shot (she is a big shot, but not a scary one!), but because of her warm smile and heart of gold.

Her name is Fiona Kantor, PA to Luca, Ben and Rob; the irreplaceable lady behind the scenes who helps keep their crazy schedules in order. But her role at the agency doesn’t end there; she also heads up the Entertainment Committee, and more importantly, the DoGood Foundation.

Fiona Kantor

Over the years, Fiona has made it her mission help the local charities supported by Ogilvy – Percy Bartley House, NOAH, DARG, and the Night Haven – and is also the driving force behind other initiatives, such as Green Pop, The Volunteer Wildlife Services, Hands of Hope, Casual Day, and the list goes on.

For today’s post, we get to know the woman behind it all…

Q: How did you come to work at Ogilvy and how long have you been here?

A: “After being lucky enough to work from home for over 10 years, and with my children growing up and needing me less at home, I decided to try and get back into the formal job market.  A little daunting at my age.  But, I was determined to get back into the creative industry again. I was interview and employed as Exec PA to Gavin Levinsohn, Rob Hill and Kim Feitelberg in June 2012 – just over 3.5 years ago”

Q: How did the DoGood committee come about?

A: “Each year Ogilvy SA conduct a corporate strategy for the coming year.  2 years ago Rob Hill asked a group of young stars to conduct their own survey with colleagues in the building to build a strategy based on what staff would like to see the company doing more of.  One of the strong issues that came out of the survey was staff’s desire for the company to be more involved in CSI projects.  So, Rob asked me to get a programme going.  We felt it important to make a difference within a 2km radius of our building, hence the choice of the charity groups we support.  We also wanted to cover a spectrum of charities that we felt people would like to support.  E.g. Animals, the elderly, homeless and youth and the environment  There were so many organisations to choose from, but because CSI work was so new to the building and especially to myself, we decided to try and focus on 5 areas/charities and support these well.”

Q: What is DoGood all about?

A: “As mentioned above … its about making a difference in our community within a 2km of our building and playing a part in corporate social responsibility and investment.”

Q: What are some of your more memorable moments while heading up DoGood?

A: “There are many … but the one that stands out is when we started the Birthday Cupcake deliveries to Percy Bartley House.  When I went to deliver the first batch of cupcakes to one of the boys, I was amazed to firstly discover that the poor boy was totally unaware it was his birthday … and secondly, to experience his total excitement and emotion of being remembered and thought about on his birthday.  The thank you letters I get from the boys are quite overwhelming. Lukhayo thank you

Q: You and a few members of the team recently took the boys from Percy Bartley House up Table Mountain. Tell us a bit about the trip.

A: “Another great day with the boys … I contacted Table Mountain to see if I could arrange complimentary tickets, which they very kindly donated.  The boys were thrilled … not one of them had ever been up the mountain – a mountain they look at every day.  So we headed off with Taliep as driver, Brett Webb, Claire Brayshay, Kara Levy and myself and 19 boys plus a social worker (both Kara and Brett also had never been up the mountain!).  It was a long wait in the heat to get onto the cable car, but once on our way the excitement level escalated.  It was strangely cold and windy at the top, but we walked around with the boys, showed them the Dassies which they were totally fascinated by and even more amazed when I told them they were the closest relative to the elephant.  After freezing ourselves a little, we bought the boys a cool drink and packet of chips and headed back down the mountain.  They all said it was an event they would remember for ever.”

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your role?

A: “Firstly, having seen it grow to where it is today (with no previous experience in CSI work) and all the projects we have managed to achieve over the last 2 years.  The relationships I have built with the elderly folk at Noah, the boys at PBH and DARG.  We still have to develop our relationship further with The Haven, but have done some great things for them.  But overall, experiencing the joy, happiness and gratefulness of being remembered, thought of and cared about warms my soul.”

Q: How can we get involved in DoGood?

A: “We are always looking for extra hands to help with the various projects we have throughout the year.  When staff join the company they are told about DoGood at induction and encouraged to take part in various projects.  They also receive a volunteer form in their intro pack where they are able to offer their time and/or make a monthly contribution to the DoGood Fund which is deducted from their salary each month.  And of course, the most important way to get involved is to support the various projects we conduct throughout the year.  It truly makes a massive difference to the organisations we support.”

Watch this video to see their journey up Table Mountain:

To get involved and assist Fiona with the work she is doing, pop her a mail at: fiona.kantor@ogilvy.co.za

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