Lisa Symons: A ‘critical’ team member of the RCC News celebrates 15 years at CNH

Jan 30, 2024 | Staff Highlights

Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH) proudly recognizes its long-serving staff members. At each year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), CNH staff and contractors who have reached the milestones of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years of service to the neighbourhood house were thanked by the Board of Directors.

This year, we recognize and celebrate Lisa Symons for 15 years of service. Here’s what Jennifer Gray-Grant, Executive Director of CNH, had to say about Lisa:

Lisa’s journey with CNH has followed a familiar path: first, her children got involved in programs. Then, she saw a volunteer opportunity and grabbed it. Soon, she was working as a contractor for CNH. In the blink of an eye, more than 20 years have passed, 15 of those as a CNH contractor.

When Lisa was bringing her children to CNH, she wound up chatting with staff. At one point, somebody recommended that she would be a great volunteer for the inaugural Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) committee. The NSG offers grants of anywhere from $50 to $500 to ad hoc groups of neighbours to create a project that improves their neighbourhood socially, culturally or physically.

Lisa tackled the role with enthusiasm, helping to create the promotional materials, figure out marketing, evaluate the applications and work with project organizers to support their success.

She has also held a few other small contracts with CNH, helping to organize community meetings and initiatives.

Lisa is such a natural relating to people that CNH recruited her to the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News, where she remains today, selling advertising for the newspaper. She’s a critical member of the newspaper’s team which works collaboratively to ensure that the paper represents the neighbourhood and recruit people to write for it. She’s well-known to local business owners and managers who hear from her regularly as she reaches out to organize their advertisements to run in the paper.

Lisa continues to volunteer her time with CNH, most recently doing volunteer grocery shopping for homebound seniors during the pandemic. She has also had a role in contacting seniors to let them know about CNH’s services and classes and helping to register them for programs.

Thinking about her 15 years with the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News, Lisa points out that while so many newspapers have closed, the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News has continued to publish. She attributes that success to the community members and businesses that continue to contribute to the newspaper. 

As to why she has stayed so long at CNH, Lisa said: “The CNH environment’s inclusiveness and diversity makes it so rewarding; you feel it’s a special organization to work for. Many services and programs operate out of CNH, with countless employees, but as a part-time contractor I’ve always thought my contribution was encouraged and valued.”

To learn about current career opportunities at CNH, visit

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