At Teranet, we recognize and appreciate the efforts of our employees who continually strive to strengthen their connections to their respective communities. Therefore, we are excited to announce the launch of our new “Employee Community Involvement Spotlight” series.
In this series, our staff will share their personal stories about the causes they are passionate about, what motivated them to get involved, and how others can support or volunteer for these causes. Today, we are featuring John Garofano, Senior Director, Treasurer, Treasury, as he talks about his journey of supporting The Oakville & Milton Humane Society (OMHS).
Can you provide us with more information about the organization/cause you support?
The Oakville & Milton Humane Society (“OMHS”), which provides animal care, protection, education and information services in Oakville and Milton, created an event four years ago just like the “Dancing with the Stars” television show, and they call it “Prancing with the Stars”. Just like on television, community leaders of Oakville get paired with professional dancers, take lessons over a number of months, and participate in a ballroom dance competition in one evening to raise funds for the OMHS. It’s a very slick, professional event (hockey guru Ron Maclean is one of the judges) that raises tons of money for the shelter. (Just like on television, they even award a trophy at the end of the evening to the best dancer!) On November 9, I will be participating in this year’s event as a community dancer, and I’ve never had any dance training in my life (fortunately I have a very patient and talented professional).
Why is this cause important to you and what inspired you to get involved?
I’ve always been an animal lover – my wife and I have owned dachshunds (many people know them as the ‘wiener dogs’) for many years, and I have a special place in my heart for any pets who give so much and ask so little in return. We have supported the OMHS for years, and I am also on the Board of Directors, so when the OMHS started planning its very first Prancing with the Stars in 2019 I prepared to put on my ‘dancing shoes’ to participate. After I was diagnosed with cancer, I had to watch from the sidelines as they held the event in 2019 and 2022, as I underwent treatments for radiation, chemotherapy and three surgeries during that time. Four years later, I have ‘no evidence of disease’ and my health and physical condition has been fully restored. And what better way to demonstrate than to undertake the very activity I considered before this all began. So why I am dancing? For the animals, who want nothing more than a safe and loving family environment. For the shelter staff, who tirelessly rescue and care for them, nursing them back to health and high-quality life. And hopefully as an example for everyone, to show that no obstacle is too great to support the causes that matter most.
How can others get involved or contribute to the cause?
If you stop me in the hallway in the office between now and November 9, I would be happy to demonstrate some of the ‘moves’ I have just learned. Some of my Teranet colleagues have purchased tickets to attend the event itself and watch me perform as well, and tickets to the show might still be available from the OMHS’ website if you feel so inclined. But honestly, even your positive thoughts and wishes on the night of November 9 would be welcome – just make sure to aim them in the direction of Oakville where the event is taking place!
Kindly share a brief note about yourself and your current role at Teranet.
I am the Treasurer, a role newly created two years ago, reporting into Kerri Brass. I enjoy the fact that the role was newly created (it was previously done within Trevor’s Appleton’s group) as it has given me an opportunity to help shape and grow the function. As a Treasurer, you can think of me as the “money guy”, helping the company to raise cash, deploy it prudently, and make sure it is available to pay obligations when they become due. I like to think of cash availability somewhat like turning on the lights – you may not need to know how all the electrical wiring is assembled behind the scenes, but you sure want the lights to come on when you flick that switch. In the same way, if we are doing our job properly, we spend our time thinking about cash so the rest of the company basically doesn’t have to. I thoroughly enjoy the role and working with others at Teranet.