Volunteer Vignette 2: Dan Sigler


Dan Sigler, AJA 50+ Membership Chair

For many of us, Dan Sigler was very likely the first person with whom we communicated when joining AJA 50+.  As chair of AJA’s Membership Committee, Dan reaches out to new members and welcomes them into the fold.  Such efforts definitely require a “personal touch”, and, fortunately for AJA, if you look up that term in the dictionary you will find Dan’s smiling face accompanying the definition!

We often think of Ottawa as a second home for folks from “somewhere else”, but Dan is a born-and-bred Ottawan.  He left briefly for studies at York and Queen’s Universities and later returned with both his Teacher’s Degree and his fellow graduate and future wife Cathy. Together they have a son and a daughter and have just recently welcomed their first grandchild.

After a successful career as an educator, Dan retired and joined AJA shortly after in 2005.  He joined the Board of Directors two years later and has served almost continuously for the past fifteen years.  Dan’s initial contribution focused on computers, specifically developing a course with Cathy to familiarize seniors with the devices, especially the important skill of emailing their grandchildren!  In 2011, Dan was tabbed to chair AJA’s website committee to establish an on-line presence for the organization and to rationalize a number of administrative procedures relating to membership, tax receipts, and payments.  As Dan observed, “This is an ongoing work in progress” and a thorough review of the website is underway with a view to enhancements and possible redesign.

Dan had become Chair of AJA’s Membership Committee in 2008, essentially setting up the committee and getting it off the ground. Dan’s warm personality and dry humour continue to be assets for AJA as he fills this role to date.  “I really enjoy the contact with members”, he said, even as he recognizes the diminished opportunities for such personal connections in the remote and ZOOM world of the pandemic.  Still, as noted above, Dan welcomes new members, while keeping close tabs on our numbers and canvassing outgoing members to determine why they chose not to renew.

Dan’s experience volunteering for AJA 50+ has given him an important perspective on giving back:  “Volunteering in the community is an important value that goes beyond the personal and even one’s family. An organization is only as good as its volunteers and AJA’s are the heartbeat of our programming.  It feels good to contribute and help out, even with small things, and I encourage everyone to step up and play a part in this great organization”.