On May 2, Interior Savings will welcome our eighth guest and mentee as part of the Co-operative Development Foundation (CDF) of Canada Women’s Mentorship program, and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

Joining us from Ecuador, Gabriela Rivadeneira is a mom to two girls, works as a Strengthening Analyst of Financial Co-operatives at Superintendence of Popular and Solidarity Economy, and if that isn’t enough, Gabriela is also pursuing her master’s degree in Development of Economics.

“Ever since I went to high school, I had a desire to find ways and resources to help people who live in poverty”, shares Gabriela. “As time went by I realized that collecting donations or participating in food banks [was] rather a small temporary solution to a much larger issue. There had to be other ways to be able to change their lifestyle and change the social class. There had to be other ways to shorten the gap between social classes.”

Gabriela’s role in the Superintendence allows her to work with managers of cooperatives and help ensure the overall strength of the sector, and its role in the economy. The Superintendence can be likened to a regulatory body that sets public policy but also has administrative and financial autonomy as they work to improve the quality of life experienced by those living in Ecuador.

The chance to come to Canada and be a part of the Women’s Mentorship program is a unique professional development opportunity and Gabriela is excited about the learnings she will take away and be able to apply in her day-to-day work. In addition, she will be presenting her experience at a national conference in Ecuador that brings managers from both financial and non-financial cooperatives together to share knowledge and build connections.

Gabriela will spend time in both Kelowna and Kamloops Interior Savings’ branches, and the administrative office. We’re excited to roll out the red carpet and make Gabriela’s experience here a memorable one.

Welcome, Gabriela!