Congrats to BVBTC Volunteer of the Year!

Irena Marinko mans Bruce Trail booth at Kimberley 150 event
Photo credit: Marg Yaraskavitch, 2018.

Irena Marinko is a vital member of the Communications and Publicity group of the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club. She shares information with our members and with the public. While some roles are carried out in public, Irena contributes so much expertise and time to the functioning of the BVBTC out of the public eye, at her computer.

Since 2016, Irena has been our webmaster. With an educational background in Computer Science and a passion for hiking and other outdoor activities, she was well positioned to take on this role. Her enthusiasm and collegial spirit was evident from the start. She worked at designing a website that flowed well for users, making sure that key information was easy to locate. As a relative newcomer to the Bruce Trail Conservancy, she learned about roles and responsibilities and activities within the Club.

Over the years, there have been changes in the kind of information that our Club shares on our website and how it is shared. For example, our schedule of Club hikes moved from being a pdf document to a detailed schedule on our website to a link to the schedule shown on the BTC website. Throughout this process, Irena had constructive ideas and was responsive to new directions from the Board.

Irena continues to be very audience-focused when new content is added to our website. She is able to put herself in the shoes of people who visit our website. Typically, she uses the information provided to her by news generators such as specific Board members, and then writes it up and formats it so that it addresses what website visitors came to find out, checking with all of the stakeholders to ensure that the content is an accurate reflection of the new information.

Before Irena became the webmaster, she took on the role of being the editor of Beaver Bytes, a new e-newsletter. Each month members are sent a newsletter with three to four short bites, or should we say “Bytes”. She has a good sense of what is interesting to our members and she is careful to work collegially to ensure that content and tone are right. Not always an easy job. There are months when it’s a “slow news month” and other months when news is changing hard and fast. And yet, each month, our members receive a professional-quality electronic newsletter. Beyond our Club, Irena has built a good relationship with BTC staff as our Club newsletters are sent out by the Conservancy.

In conversation and in e-mails, Irena is a friendly and reliable and vital part of the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club. Thank you, Irena Marinko, Volunteer of the Year!