When Gail Small retired as CEO of Ometz in 2020 after over 20 years at the helm of the organization, she wanted to stay involved in the community. She turned to the Cummings Centre and has never looked back.

Small, a dedicated volunteer, has been involved with the Centre’s social services, as well as governance committees. Most recently, a key contributor to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force’s efforts to make the Cummings Centre a more inclusive environment for all who pass through its doors. Small has also helped fund, along with her family, programs and initiatives that promote diversity, particularly projects that focus on the older LGBTQ+ communities and older neurodiverse adults.

“I really think that Cummings does a great job in terms of its programming and what it offers,” said Small, who is in her first term on the Centre’s Board of Directors. “I think that the quality of the programming, the leadership and senior managers with whom I work are quite exceptional.”

“The more I got involved, the more I was impressed with the work that Cummings does,” she said. “When Cummings takes on an initiative, I’m impressed with the fact that it is not just lip service. They take action and are serious about it. The LGBTQ+ initiative is just one example of a number of examples where Cummings has taken a challenge seriously and seen it through.”

In addition to Ometz, Small has held many prominent leadership positions at various non-profit organizations over the years such as with the Montreal YWCA, Auberge Transition and the Farha Foundation. On the Cummings Centre Board of Directors, Small is one of 16 members, 14 of whom are women.

“Women not only bring intelligence and expertise, they also bring some emotional intelligence to boards that is very much needed,” she said. “They bring different communication skills and that helps a board move forward and work together. Any board would definitely benefit from having either an equal number of women or, even, more women on the board. I think it changes the dynamic and changes the conversations.”

Small recognizes there is still work to be done to achieve full equality for women, but is nevertheless proud of the progress already made.

“People are starting to understand the value that women bring to leadership positions,” she said.

The Cummings Centre’s mission is to empower and enhance the quality of life of adults age 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services, and volunteer opportunities in a vibrant, respectful, inclusive and compassionate environment. Building on its Jewish heritage, Cummings embraces people from all ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

As the hub of Montreal’s 50+ community, the Centre touches the lives of 10,000 people on an annual basis. In addition to its main campus at 5700 Westbury Avenue in Montreal, programs are offered at several off-site locations including the West Island, Cote Saint-Luc and online.

For more information, please contact us by phone at 514-343-3510, online at www.cummingscentre.org or in person at 5700 Westbury Avenue.