March of Dimes Canada President & CEO Andria Spindel receives honorary Doctor of Laws
Guelph-Humber University bestowed the honour at its convocation ceremony on June 17, 2013
With over thirty years at the helm of March of Dimes, working tirelessly to help create a more inclusive and accessible society for Canadians living with disabilities, March of Dimes Canada President & CEO Andria Spindel was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
To watch the video of Ms. Spindel's speech click here
Ms. Spindel joined Ontario March of Dimes in 1981, as Executive Director. During her tenure, Ms. Spindel has overseen significant growth in revenues, budget and service capacity, including the national expansion to become March of Dimes Canada. Under her leadership the charity’s annual budget has grown from $5 million to $97 million, providing support services to help children and adults with disabilities to remain in their homes, secure gainful employment, enjoy recreational activities, and be more independent and active in their communities.
In addition, Ms. Spindel has helped create subsidiary organizations, including the Ontario March of Dimes Non-Profit Housing Corporation which creates and manages accessible, affordable supportive housing for people with disabilities, and the Rehabilitation Foundation for Disabled Persons, U.S. She has also co-created the Festival of International Conferences on Caregiving, Disability, Aging and Technology, which has led to an international movement to bridge the fields of aging and disability. She has embraced an entrepreneurial spirit and has consistently demonstrated a capacity to work with government , the private sector and other non-profit organizations to address the needs of March of Dimes’ consumers and those with physical disabilities across society.
“I really experienced a ‘Wow’ moment upon learning I would be receiving this honour,” says Ms. Spindel.
“My daughter is currently a student at Guelph University and to become an alumnus of the same great institution makes it even more special,” she continues.
In her convocation address, Ms. Spindel spoke about the lessons she learned from her three children, including listening, being authentic, forgiving and patient, and how these concepts can be applied both at home and at work; and most importantly, in creating a society that supports people with disabilities. Ms. Spindel has used this knowledge while seeing the world through a ‘disability lens’, which began when her mother became disabled when Andria was a child.
“For the example she sets for future managers of non-profit organizations, for her service in improving the lives of people with disabilities, and for the important part she has played in creating a more inclusive society, Ms. Spindel is richly deserving of this honour,“ says Guelph-Humber University President Chris Whitaker.
In addition to this honour, this past year Andria Spindel was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for her work with March of Dimes Canada and other voluntary organizations.
March of Dimes Canada is a nationally registered charitable organization providing support services to people with disabilities, their families and caregivers across Canada. Our goal is to enhance the independence and community participation of people with physical disabilities every day through a wide range of programs and services across Canada.