Jack Saweczko is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering. Jack is a Professional Engineer and has been an active member of the Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) for 22 years. His work experience ranges from consulting engineering to asset management to project management. For the past 15 years, Jack has been employed by Ontario Power Generation, currently at the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station as a Section Manager Programming/Projects. Jack is an avid volunteer and has been volunteering for 15 years with minor hockey and soccer associations. Jack resides in St Catharines with his wife Sonja and is the father of two boys who are currently pursuing their post-secondary educations at University.
In your view, what is the most important attribute of a leader?
There are many attributes that leaders possess including honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, and understanding how to inspire and motivate. An effective leader must be able to delegate tasks, put out fires, solve problems, and make wise decisions based on experience and genuine listening and be accountable for their actions. To me, a leader’s most important attribute is to be a role model, to lead by example. A leader is someone who not only has the attributes of a leader but demonstrates the behaviours of a leader all the time.
How do you define civic leadership?
Civic leadership is to be engaged in your community as a Leader. This can be done through volunteering time, skills or knowledge to promote the quality of life in your community. Some of the issues affecting our communities include education, religious freedom, equality, labour laws, the environment, and other pressing matters. As a civic leader, you want to both guide and inspire people within the community to be socially responsible and help to implement change that helps disadvantaged people or those otherwise in need. Ultimately, to be a civic leader it means getting involved in securing the health, wealth and well being of the community, and helping solve the economic, social and political issues to foster the development of a vibrant community.
Why are you personally motivated to explore civic leadership?
My family has benefited from the programs and opportunities we’ve had in the various communities we’ve lived in. I believe it is socially responsible to give back to the communities in the same way so that other families can also benefit from these and other programs. When families grow in this way, the cycle can continue and the whole community benefits.
What, in your view, is the most significant issue/opportunity facing our community? Why?
To me, the biggest issue is the use of technology which drives the younger generations to spend excessive time on electronic devices and not being engaged in social activities, whether physical such as sports or more academic such as clubs or music. Providing these opportunities and getting kids and young adults to participate will make them stronger more productive members of society and demonstrate to them the benefits of getting involved. We have an opportunity to influence more youths at a younger age and make them more socially aware, which will instil in them a greater sense of civic engagement in their futures.