‘I want to make a difference and add value’
TRURO – There’s a new face at the Marigold Cultural Centre these days as Al Rosen takes over as executive director.
Al Rosen had his first day as executive director at the Marigold Cultural Centre on Monday, taking over from Ross Thompson. Rosen, who lives in Malagash, said he is both excited and nervous to take over. Raissa Tetanish – Truro Daily News
Rosen, 66, started his new post Monday after Ross Thompson fulfilled the role as interim executive director for two years.
“I’ve spent some time with not-for-profit groups and I felt there was always a bit of a stigma in that it was a challenge to generate enough revenue for the not-for-profit to carry out their vision,” said Rosen, who spent 38 years working with Royal Bank of Canada before retiring in 2003. “I think it’s a challenge to create that kind of commercial enterprise and that social enterprise, and I find that challenge inviting.”
Originally from Montreal, Rosen and his wife, Gaby, purchased a parcel of land at Malagash Point 12 years ago. They built a home on the land eight years ago, and officially started calling it home in 2011.
It was shortly after that Rosen volunteered his time to do an analysis of the Marigold’s operations from every aspect, from finances, to operations, situations and products.
He completed and presented the analysis last year.
When he heard the executive director’s position was available, he quickly applied.
“I want to make a difference and add value,” he said, adding he doesn’t have an arts background. “But I do have the fundamentals of business and I have the experience, as well as the drive and energy.”
During his career with Royal Bank, Rosen spent many years travelling for the company, including three years in Hong Kong and three years in Australia where he bought a share of ownership in a national bank.
He’s also had stints in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
After retiring in 2003, “I quickly got bored and disappointed in my initial retirement,” he said.
He spent three years working with the University of Calgary before retiring yet again, but then signed a contract with the Canadian Automobile Association.
“When I retired from the association, I thought, ‘now I’m ready.’ We travelled for a year and sold our home in Calgary and moved to the home in Malagash Point.”
Spending his first week learning the ropes with Thompson, Rosen said he will be doing a lot of listening.
“I’ll spend as much time as I can with staff and collaborate with the board and staff on the latest strategic plan,” he said, adding listening also entails listening to the voices of staff, patrons and stakeholders.
“We need to find out what two or three things to focus on over the next six to nine months…not to say that it hasn’t been well done. Over the Marigold’s brief history, they have had some exciting and interesting events. I want to find out what we can continue with, what we can improve upon and how we can make things sustainable.
“That includes finding out what the community values, what the community wants to see more of, and maybe what they’d like to see but haven’t seen here yet.”
NAME: Al Rosen
RESIDES IN: Malagash Point
ORIGINALLY FROM: Montreal
MARRIED: to Gaby for 43 years
CHILDREN: 39-year-old son in Montreal, 38-year-old daughter in Toronto
GRANDCHILDREN: two boys in Edmonton, a boy and a girl in Toronto
HOBBIES: Collecting stamps since the age of eight
SPORTS: Spent most of his life playing hockey and squash – his favourite hockey team involves whichever team is prominent where he resides, such as the Truro Bearcats
ALSO OWN: mobile home in Florida