As a CESO Volunteer Advisor, Marlène Otis has greatly impacted business practices and individual capacities of clients and partners. With more than 15 years of experience as Vice President of the Laurentian Bank of Canada, Marlène offers strong financial management expertise that support the long-term growth objectives of business, associations and chambers of commerce.
As a financial expert, Marlène assisted management in conducting financial situation analyses with a commercial and production business in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, to provide a feasibility study of its operations and services. As a result, management was able to create a strategic financial direction in response to its activities. The business also noted improved business practices, allowing them to improve services to their members and clients. In another assignment, Marlène worked with SIDO (Small Industries Development Organization), a local para-state organization in Tanzania, promoting the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Marlène worked with SIDO to develop schemes of SME financing, ultimately supporting the overall objectives of the organization. In order to do so, she worked closely with key staff and management to change organizational behaviour and to empower staff in decision making. Her approach to mentorship influenced staff and management to improve financial service processes, from client identification and assessment to the management of portfolios.
“The VA made SIDO think in new ways, to focus on business principles instead of social relation development. Her openness to different views were greatly appreciated. The VA’s report… will influence SIDO’s whole finance provision from the rights of clients to assessments and portfolio management.”