Category: volunteer work

Went to the Parliament yesterday in Victoria BC to talk about a new proposed legislation

Went to the Parliament yesterday in Victoria BC to talk about a new proposed legislation


I always say the same: We live in a community, we all have to do our part. I volunteer a lot of time with different Committees and Boards, especially for our Government. Normally they are for the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Children and Families, and other organizations working with children, families and youth. Sometimes, for the Ministry of Small Business. They are creating a new legislation to protect franchisees in our province, and I was a part of the group who helped evaluate it, work on it, and make sure it was good for everyone involved. To be honest, as a franchisor, it will mean that we will have to do more work and divulge more information to our franchisees, but what’s easiest is not always best, and in this case, the bigger issue is not that it will delay things on my end as a franchisor, but rather that it will ensure that franchisees are protected, and that they know what they are getting into when they invest on a franchise. This is a good thing.
Yesterday, the proposed legislation was introduced for first reading, and I was asked to go as a franchisor, to share my thoughts on it. It was so great to see the people who worked so hard on it finally see the fruit of their labour! But the best part, the very very best part, was hearing one of our franchisees (who was asked to speak on behalf of franchisees), talk about how fortunate he and his wife were to have opened one of our schools, and now a second and third. He talked about CEFA providing all of the information that will now be required, without being required to do so, and about having the peace of mind of knowing thy had made the right choice. It made my heart burst with pride 🙂
I am not sure that I can share their photo, but here’s the one of me, and the link to the report:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2015SBRT0014-001652

Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch, welcomes an initiative that will open the door for franchises, and further support small business and investment in B.C.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch, welcomes an initiative that will open the door for franchises, and further support small business and investment in B.C.

Anyway, happy to have done my part, and to continue to be the type of franchisor I can be proud of. Go CEFA!!

can you imagine being homeless? sleeping outside in the dead of winter – as a child?

can you imagine being homeless? sleeping outside in the dead of winter – as a child?


Sleeping on the streets, in the cold and the rain, is something I can’t even imagine having to go through. Yet, so many teenagers and youth do it every night, because they have no other option.
If you know me, you know that I’ve dedicated my whole life to helping children. That’s why I WILL BE SLEEPING ON THE STREET to raise funds to help children get out of the streets and rebuild their future.
My goal is $5,000. Please help me reach this amount by donating here:

SLEEP OUT EXECUTIVE EDITION 2015 – Support Natacha Beim
http://www.kintera.org/i.asp?id=1141575-425236185

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#speaking at #CreativeMornings #Vancouver

#speaking at #CreativeMornings #Vancouver


http://creativemornings.com/talks/natacha-beim/1

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And THIS is why Volunteering is important

And THIS is why Volunteering is important


I just received the following e-mail from the best teacher in the world, Elizabeth Newton:

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 2.04.39 PMOne of her students (she teacher business at UBC) just launched a successful business, and was featured in the following article:

http://www.sauder.ubc.ca/News/2015/Launching_with_a_splash_BCom_student_entrepreneur_pioneers_a_floating_food_truck

Elizabeth Newton was my psychology teacher years ago, and we have kept in touch. She is one of the very best teachers I have ever had. She cares so much about each one of her students’ success, and dedicates personal resources and time to ensure the excel.

She is now at UBC Sauder School of Business, and every year, she asks me to volunteer my time to go speak to her students about what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur, and to run a business. I love going. I love seeing how excited the students are, and answer all the questions they have!

She just sent me the article to show me that those talks have a real impact on the students. I know the e-mail is about my contribution, but really, it’s about Elizabeth’s contribution to these students. I have no doubt that she changes their lives, just by having them in her class. She works so hard to bring those experiences to her class, and make the learning relevant, and real.

As for me, I will always volunteer to share my experience, and hopefully, like this time, it will make a difference to someone. 🙂

Met with The Honourable Naomi Yamamoto MLA today about #Franchising in #BC

Met with The Honourable Naomi Yamamoto MLA today about #Franchising in #BC


I was asked a few days go to meet with the Minister of State for Small Business of British Columbia, Naomi Yamamoto. Today was the meeting, in her office.
I have to say, I am very impressed with her and with the ministry staff (also present today). They have, time and again, demonstrated that they are in touch with the needs of business owners, as well as those of the population at large, and the financial health of our province. She is not the only Minister I have had the opportunity to meet with and contribute with, and all have been the same: open, interested, quick to act, and interested in making things better for the benefit of all. It makes me feel very proud of our government.
This meeting is about franchising:
BC is considering putting in place stronger regulations for the protection of Franchisees, which frankly is a pain for franchisors, but a pain worth going through if it helps eliminate poor franchisors from the market, and ensure that all franchisees feel safe, and are taken care of. There are a few unethical franchisors around, or even just inexperienced, and they put the franchisees’ livelihood in danger. Glad that we are taking care of that.
I find that often people are quick to judge our government, no matter what political party is is. The government is slow, inefficient, abusive, etc… We all have something to say about our taxes, about the things we are not getting, the things that could get better, the things that don’t work for us.
For many years, I was livid about the way things were handled within the ministry of Health, which made it very difficult for us to open new schools. Some things made no sense at all. Once there was a regulation which practically made it impossible for schools like ours to open in the city of Vancouver. I thought about the problem, offered a solution, was laughed at, and decided to go to the Mayor of the City. That evening, there was something in the news about the shortage of options for parents of children under five years of age, which made it impossible for parents to return to work after maternity/paternity leave. This is a huge problem. The Mayor appeared on TV saying it was a problem he was determined to solve. That evening, I wrote the Mayor a letter, offering to share my insights. The very next day, he invited me to his office to discuss the issue and get my point of view. Wow. It was Mayor Sam Sullivan.
He listened to my suggestions, and then asked me:
If this is a problem, why didn’t other stakeholders approach me about it?
I thought about the question for a moment, and thought about why I had not approached him for 10 years. Then I said “It is something we are not always sure we can contest. For example, the traffic lights have always been red, yellow and green. No one thinks of contesting that. It is what it is, and we assume there is a reason behind it. It not often that people feel that their solution might be better than the Government’s.”
My issue was brought up at a council meeting, where my suggestion was approved unanimously. This taught me one thing: We have a choice. If we disagree with something, we can be part of the solution. In fact, we have to be.
Since then, I have volunteered my time to help design new legislation, improve on existing regulations, find solutions to issues that affect us all. I mainly volunteer in the education sector, which is where I excel, and where I have the most practical experience.
In any case, today was great, I am happy I got a chance to make a difference.
Especially because I stayed home today, I was not feeling well. I made a special effort to get dressed and get to the meeting, then cam straight home.
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Highlight of today: Getting to know the amazing people at Variety

Highlight of today: Getting to know the amazing people at Variety


My friend Jeff Duncan invited me to this year’s Variety Show of Hearts, which happened a few months ago. It was a televised fundraising event and I was happy to volunteer my time, as they work for a cause that I strongly believe in: They provide support for children with disabilities (http://www.variety.bc.ca/).
I was already impressed with their work, and many of my friends and CEFA families have benefited directly from their help, for their own children. Today, however, I reached a higher level of admiration for these folks.
Jeff insisted we all meet for lunch as he saw a potential synergy between CEFA and Variety. He was so amazing, he even organized it and paid for the whole lunch (that man has to get a medal soon), can you believe it?
So we met, and first of all, they were such interesting people with interesting lives, I was very tempted to set our agenda aside, order a few drinks and just chat about life instead! This will have to be done another day. They are really passionate about what they do, they have clear goals for the next three years, they had done their research on our schools and on potential projects we could work on together, and they had this incredible enthusiasm for their organization! It is not often that I meet people like that outside of my CEFA, EO, YPO and personal friends circles, so I was really blown away.
We talked about where the gaps were between what families with children with disabilities need, and what the government can provide, and they also talked about a sector that is very near and dear to my heart: children who have no home and have nowhere to go and no resources. They are expanding their programs to collaborate with organizations that work with these children, such as, I just found out, St-Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. They worked with a new Autism Centre in Richmond, they worked with great organizations.
This coming year is their 50th anniversary (and CEFA’s 20th – yay!), and we are hard at work trying to figure out how we can help each-other. For instance, they can help us bring awareness to these issues in our schools, and we can help them fundraise, or even help in other ways (more on this later).
At CEFA, one of our Core Values is Contribution, and it is intertwined in all of the aspects of our curriculum. Children feel needed, feel important, and know that they are learning BECAUSE they are counted on to make a difference. They expect that much from themselves, and it an incredible gift to give them. Our children, as young as 1 and 2, and our teachers, have worked on projects like building schools in developing countries, contributing to libraries worldwide, sent one of our teachers to her native city in Japan, when the tsunami hit, with supplies, gifts, clothes, gifts, and kept in touch with her through e-mails and video… The list goes on. These children feel that what they do matters, makes a difference.
I think that if we developed a curriculum piece around awareness, acceptance, empathy, Variety would be the perfect fit. I have a lot of ideas already, and we will start working together as soon as next week!
I love CEFA so much! I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to inspire children to contribute, to live their lives with purpose, to live it to the fullest!
I can’t wait to see how incredible this collaboration will turn out for them, for our teachers, and for Variety! Definitely the highlight of today!
FullSizeRenderThis is at their show earlier this year. Oh, and if you have any suggestions or ideas on how we could collaborate, please leave a comment or e-mail me at natacha@cefa.ca!