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Gerry O' Connor

Gerry O’Connor

What is your role or relationship with CESO?
 Volunteer Advisor

How long have you been working or volunteering with CESO?
Since 2004

What motivates you to work or volunteer with CESO?
CESO assignments provide me with practical opportunities to effectively utilize my cumulative corporate and SME knowledge, experience and skills developed during my business career in Canada. This is achieved through the development and application of creative customized solutions designed to address business, social and economic needs in developing countries. At the same time, I am proud to be associated with the Government of Canada’s international development program. In 1971, I arrived in Canada as a new emigrant from Dublin, Ireland with $100 in my pocket and no job or friends. Canada has been very good to me. CESO provides me with an excellent opportunity to give back.

What is your most remarkable experience or memory of CESO?
As a CESO VA, I have completed more than 30 international assignments in the Philippines, Russia (including Siberia), Republic of Georgia and Serbia. I have many excellent memories of working with people who are anxious to acquire new knowledge and skills to improve their economic conditions. It is refreshing to experience how communities work together in a team effort for the benefit of their families and communities.

Economic development is important because…
It provides people with business education and practical skills to improve their standard of living to achieve community, family and individual benefits. Women, in particular, have gained significantly through the acquisition of entrepreneur and organization effectiveness skills. Often, these women gain promotion opportunities that would not otherwise be open to them, in addition to tangible family economic benefits.

What advice would you give other Volunteer Advisors?
Build a database of your knowledge and skills. Be ready to provide simple alternative solutions to clients who may not know what they need. Accurate problem definition in its simplest terms is critical. Business solutions must be simple, easy to understand, and adaptable to the client’s culture, resources and capabilities. Solutions that might seem reasonable in Canada may be too complicated in developing countries. Technology and computer resources may be limited for SME start-ups.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

CESO is a professionally managed organization. CESO recruitment, support staff and international country-resident representatives provide VA’s with high-quality professional support and services.

info@ceso-saco.com 1-800-268-9052
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