My new job.

I am so immensely pleased to announce my new job (but don’t worry, it’s still at Vancity).

I am now the Director, Digital & Community Engagement, accountable for engaging members, employees and the people in their communities to understand their co-operative impact, strengthen loyalty and affinity, and develop relationships within our communities. My mandate includes overseeing community grants, sponsorships and events, social media, mobile and digital engagement, online banking, and the intranet.

Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked, and I NEVER say “stoked”!

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a special relationship with the organization I work for. Almost eight years ago, when my wife Amy and I moved back to Vancouver from Los Angeles, we knew that we wanted to deal with Vancity. I have no idea how we knew that, but we somehow just knew that it represented an investment into community that was different from other financial institutions.

I had never belonged to a credit union before – as a kid I dealt with TD and Royal Bank, and in the States I banked at Seafirst and then Washington Mutual. I’m not sure I even knew what a credit union was, but I knew that Vancity was a place where my money could do different things for my family and the community I was so excited to come back to.

Then, a couple of years later it occurred to me that I should work there. I started on a three month contract in 2005 – in what was then the Interactive Services team – and my career would never be the same. I connect with the place – I understand the brand, the co-operative roots, I get how money can be invested back into local community impact rather than private shareholders (in fact, 30% of net profits are reinvested back into members and their communities every year).

And in 2008 I was promoted to head up the new Web Engagement & Banking Team, overseeing online banking, the Intranet and social media. I work with a great team, and we do amazing things, and now we get to do a whole hell of a lot more.

My new team will continue doing all the things we have been doing, but several staff who currently run a whole slew of real-world (gasp) community activities will join us. We will be engaging community through digital tools – my bread and butter – but I will also be overseeing community grants, sponsorships and events.

So, why this combination of activities into one department? It’s a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. A lot of members, and even staff, know Vancity does amazing and brave things to support community, but they don’t know the specifics. Frankly, we haven’t done a good enough job of communicating all that we do to help communities thrive and prosper. Bringing together these tools and activities means that we can use our new intranet to engage staff, and our website, ChangeEverything.ca and other digital tools to engage members so they all understand what we do to support community – their own communities and their own neighbourhoods.

For me it’s a bit of a dream come true, because these activities get to the heart of why my wife and I joined Vancity as members, and why I threw my resume over the wall five years ago to try and get a job there in the first place. I’m now a little closer to the organization’s vision of Redefining Wealth, and get to draw more fully on the lessons I learned from touring the co-operative sector in Bologna.

So, 2011 is looking like a pretty exciting year, full of opportunities to learn new skills, get involved with new areas of the financial co-operative, and enable our staff, our members and the people in their communities to engage with the organization. We can help them better understand that people pooling their money together can create impact that can make our lives, and our neighbours’ lives, better.

23 thoughts on “My new job.

  1. Congratulations William!

    I know you will do a fantastic job. I’m really looking forward to having a social media component added to the overall Vancity member and employee experience. Let me know if you need any ideas or help with brainstorming.

    All the best!

    Angel

  2. That’s fantastic, William. Congratulations.

  3. Hi Angel. Your support always means a lot to me. Thanks for the comment.

    Hey Dan, thanks a lot!

  4. Congrats Wm! Great move by Vancity….

  5. Thanks Jeremy, I’ll tell them you said so.

  6. Congrats on this new opportunity, William! Vancity and the BC system as a whole benefits greatly from your dedication and passion. It is contagious. I look forward to seeing what is next 🙂

  7. That’s great, Vancity is lucky to have you. Looking forward to more inspiring work. –Jim

  8. Tweets that mention william azaroff » My new job. -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by William Azaroff, Jeremy Osborn. Jeremy Osborn said: Congrats William! RT @wazaroff: I'm very excited to announce my new job. http://bit.ly/hHaqC3 #li […]

  9. Great news William! This sounds very progressive and right up your alley. Does your department feed into marketing and communications or information technology or both? I know many U.S. credit unions have created a similar hybrid called e-commerce, but this sounds more aligned with community social responsibility than commerce. Just curious.

  10. Congrats William. I look forward to catching up next month when I’m in Vancouver.

  11. Thanks Alanna, that’s so nice to hear!

    Jim, you are 100% awesome!

    Good question, Tim. My reporting relationship doesn’t change with this new job. I have reported for the last three years to our SVP, Member Engagement, who has had the VP of Marketing, Director of Communications and me as her direct reports and portfolio. Now some of the engagement functions in Marketing come over to me as an engagement team that isn’t quite marketing nor communications. Definitely not IT, which I think is the wrong spot to put a business function like online banking or the intranet. We work closely with IT, and we have some great people in there, but what we do is different. If anything we could have been in Member Services. But I like it where I am.

  12. Thanks George, me too! Will be good to finally meet in person.

  13. Congratulations William, I am looking forward to the difference you will make in your new role.

    Cheers
    Adrian

  14. Congratulations on the new gig, William – sounds like an amazing and exciting opportunity. Looking forward to hearing more about it here 🙂

  15. Wow, the outpouring of support here, and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is so extremely nice and makes me feel truly appreciated. Words can’t express it…

  16. Congratulations, William. It was great to see you in a professional context the other day after so many years, and I could feel your passion for the organization. I know you’ll do a great job, and as a Vancity member (since 1992) I look forward to hearing more specifics about what the credit union does in the community—this is the main reason I’m a member.

  17. Congrats William, I know you will continue to do great things and they are so lucky to have you with all of your great passion and connection to the brand not to mention your brain!
    Will be watching what you come up with next.

  18. Hi Chris. I was thinking that during the meeting – it was nice to be in a professional meeting together again. I got a nice email from Jill saying how much she got out of our session and your follow up note. Thanks so much for that!

    Hi Erinne, thanks. I look forward to further melding of brand and brain.

  19. Congrats William, that’s very exciting. You’ve an inspiration to me for finding a job/organization you really love. Also, if you have more thoughts about using Vancity data (outside of just maps) to engage members feel free to ping me. I think there could be some really compelling ways to visualize “Redefining Wealth.”

  20. Three words for you, WA:

    Fan
    -freaking-
    tastic!

    :)jojo

  21. Congrats William, you continue to inspire the way I look at work and the potential that can be done in the workplace!

  22. Congrats! You continue to impress me!

  23. Just an obviously perfect fit! Such great news William!

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