Who am I to you?

I’ve spent a big part of my life devoted to a not-for-profit organization that has allowed me to live, learn and get paid for doing what I love. I have a strong sense of feeling fortunate to be able to work with university students with an interest in engaging with projects that set out to improve society.

duff_manThe constantly changing environment with new ideas coming from below means I am privy to issues as they try to take root and grow into larger movements: way back it would be recycling and waste reduction (which seems to always need improving) to more recently the place of marginalized communities in a capitalist society and how to address issues of racism, poverty and women.

But now I ask generations of you, student volunteers and former student volunteers, friends (& former friends?) to give me some feedback about any impact I’ve had on you, hopefully positive, but if negative, I’m eager to learn from mistakes.

This may be like a wake where the person is still alive, but I’d love to hear what you have to say about me. I might actually need it.

By Randy Kay

Experienced not-for-profit communications and citizen engagement professional

3 replies on “Who am I to you?”

Hello Randy,

You were the one who introduced me to OPIRG and made me feel extremely welcomed as a new volunteer. You also encouraged me to apply for the Board of Directors and my two years on the Board were extremely valuable to me for my personal and professional growth. You have always been there to talk to us about our ideas and to brainstorm ways we can make them a reality, and have supported us the whole way. I believe I will be speaking on behalf of numerous OPIRG volunteers when I say that you have played a huge role in making our OPIRG experiences so precious.

You have also often talked about innovative ways in which OPIRG McMaster can progress and make a bigger impact and your vision for OPIRG’s future is truly amazing. You have put in so much time and effort into this non-profit and OPIRG McMaster is really lucky to have you! I also believe that you are very passionate about your interests, hobbies, and beliefs and it is nice to watch you take action when it is required.

I feel lucky to have met you and learnt from you. 🙂



Hey Randy,

You make volunteer coordination seem orders of magnitude easier than it probably is. Over the years I’ve known you, I can’t say that I’ve seen you in a bad mood even once. You were always polite and helpful, regardless of the circumstances. I have never felt uncomfortable approaching you with questions, even off of your scheduled work hours. Every volunteer I have sent your way felt the same. Talking to you is also never boring. You’re loaded with great stories and a great sense of humor.

You always seemed to be working on some new project, or taking new classes on topics that would help with your work. That competence and diligence showed us all that you were dedicated to your job, and dedicated to helping us achieve our own goals. You’re very easy to share ideas with as well, and that made everyone around you feel like an important part of the OPIRG team.


Randy, I remember when I first met you (don’t remember when – turn of the century?) being struck by how you seemed to be devoted to all the right causes (environmental, political, community-oriented), well-informed and well-connected, but without the angry, militant hard edges of some activists I knew, or the unfocused flakiness of others. As long as I’ve known you, you have seemed to be a balanced and well-rounded human while remaining a committed activist. That’s pretty special, in my opinion. I know you’d be an asset to any group you were part of.


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