The United Way of Fort McMurray congratulates Russell Thomas, Director, Communications & Community Impact, on being a recipient of the Oilsands Rotary Club’s 2015 Integrity Award and being named a Paul Harris Fellow. He received the recognition on May 6, 2015 at the Quality Hotel & Conference Centre.
A well-known community leader who has been a Fort McMurray resident since 1996, Thomas is best known as an arts and culture advocate, a visual artist, and a champion of the social profit sector.
Joelle Wolverton, a Rotarian, and Realtor with Coldwell Banker nominated Thomas. She explained both “Rotary Clubs in Fort McMurray annually present Integrity Awards to promote high ethical standards and raise awareness of Rotary ideals. The purpose of these awards is to honour adult, non-Rotarian members of the community for their integrity as citizens.”
“When discussing options for our recipient this year, Russell’s name came up very quickly. Many of our clubs’ members have worked or volunteered with Russell in various capacities and all agreed that he is extremely deserving of this award. We were proud to acknowledge him, and showcase his dedication to the community that many Wood Buffalo residents benefit from,” Wolverton noted.
“I’m really excited and proud Russell is being acknowledged,” said Diane Shannon, Executive Director, The United Way of Fort McMurray. “This is not only about being a great community citizen, but also about being a ‘man of integrity.’ He is solutions-oriented, and embodies United Way’s values of leadership, partnerships, community wisdom, citizen involvement, trust, and transparency, to name a few. He communicates our message, and shares our stories while being a guiding light for everyone to be better, and pay it forward,” Shannon enthused.
A visibly touched Thomas said, “It is a humbling honour to be recognized by a service organization like the Rotary Club for a value that I hold dear.”
“I have had an equal measure of successes and failures in my life, professional and personal choices that influenced my journey. I’ve always tried to make decisions with an integrity mindset, choices that align with my values and best serve my family, work colleagues and community. In my mind, integrity is about always trying to do the right thing, being mindful that how one acts, speaks and thinks impacts others. The key word is ‘trying,’ because we often miss the mark and need to make personal adjustments,” he explained.
“I am grateful to be honoured along with John and Gail Foy who have done life-changing, life-saving work with Kids Forever.”