In Memoriam: A Tribute to Former Board Member Pippa Shaddick
We are very sad to announce the sudden death of Pippa Shaddick on February 5, 2018, at age 51.
By Kimberley Noble, Member, Linden Board of Trustees
Pippa served on the Linden School Board for a three-year term that was interrupted by a leave of absence to care for her much-beloved husband Victor and steer a new career path that led her to the AGO. Her work was bookended by enormous contributions to the mission of the school, as well as to the fun of the board meetings.
Pippa was recommended to the Linden Board by Farida Sheralam in May 2011 as “a potential Board member who has an extensive background in development and fundraising in the not-for-profit sector.” Farida saw that Pippa was a natural fit for the Linden School. A staunch feminist who was so proud of her daughter, she shared all of the values embodied by Linden: a deep love for social justice, equity, diversity, and intersectional thinking.
"I first met Pippa while working at the Arthritis Society,” Farida recalled this week. "She stood out as the one person you could always count upon when you needed help or advice with just about anything. Generous to the core, she was a gifted teacher, inspiring others with her work ethic, knowledge, and sense of care. She was also someone you could count on for a good laugh —our delightful banter ranks high in my memory of her.”
Usually, it can take months of conversations and meetings for a potential board member to get a sense of what she or he is getting into, but Pippa was the exception. The Board of Trustees met her in May and by June she was on the Board, looking for things to do.
The Board quickly discovered that Pippa brought a wealth of knowledge and ideas about fundraising—and, more than fundraising, about people. She was energetic and cheerful and full of life and enthusiasm for any task, no matter how small or daunting.
True to her nature, she immediately stepped up and offered to do as much work as the Board would provide. Pippa and Ottie Lockey put their heads together that summer and early fall. Together, they spearheaded an elegant fund- and profile-raising event at Nightwood Theatre: a special performance of Margaret Atwood’s play The Penelopiad, directed by Kelly Thornton and starring Megan Follows in the reimagined mythical tale of a witty and complex Penelope — followed by a high tea at the theatre and a Q&A with Ms. Follows.
Pippa was also a pillar of strength and patience during some of the school’s more challenging times a few years later, again stepping up and taking on tasks that required a large amount of diplomacy as well as her ever-present sense of compassion and humour. She was instrumental in working with the Linden Board during the period in which we restructured the fundraising mandate and found our wonderful new principal, and we were very sorry to see Pippa go when her family and her fortunate co-workers at the AGO needed her time and effort.
“We all know that women are under-represented in boardrooms across this country, but women of colour are even fewer in numbers. Our boards need more women like Pippa who can bring a breath of fresh air and much-needed energy to positions of power. Who can roll up their sleeves and get actual work done,” Farida said about Pippa's legacy and one of the many ways in which she improved and inspired the work of the Linden Board.
Indeed, The Linden School is enormously indebted to Pippa Shaddick for her contributions. Her vibrant presence will always be felt and remembered, and her contribution to the mission will be carried on through an annual in-memoriam scholarship we would like to establish in her honour at our school.