“Almost 20 years ago, the Optimist Club of Ajax with the support of the local school board, Durham Regional Police Service and the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood, had an idea – the Kids Safety Village of Durham Region,” says current Optimist President, Chris Dufour. “Today, our program teaches more than 15,000 children about safety,” says Chris. “The Kids Safety Village, is a kid-sized version of a real town set on 1.2 acres, the village features small buildings, detailed roadways, traffic lights, road signs, and an operational railway crossing, and battery operated cars, bicycles and a classroom. The Village is designed to teach children how to be safe from traffic, strangers, and bullies.”
“The 20th anniversary of the village is approaching and we are in the process of acquiring new sponsorships, refurbishing the existing buildings, constructing a new classroom and expanding the programming. This will require about a 1 million dollar investment. Our club continues to support this charity financially and have members on the board today,” remarks Chris.
It doesn’t stop there however. About 10 years ago Chris, an ASP.NET specialist, decided that it was time to get out of the shadows at work, and get more involved in networking with his peers to share his knowledge. Chris is passionate about the developer community and has contributed to projects like the ‘Code Camp Event Module’ to the open source community on CodePlex. He is the president of the East of Toronto .NET User Group and co-founder and organizer of the Toronto Code Camp. He is also the Web Development tech chair for DevTeach, one of Canada’s largest independent developer conferences. Chris has been recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for his involvement in the developer community.
The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award is Microsoft’s way of saying thank you to exceptional, independent community leaders who share their passion, technical expertise, and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with others. It is part of Microsoft’s commitment to supporting and enriching technical communities. Even before the rises of the Internet and social media, people have come together to willingly offer their ideas and best practices in technical communities.
“I am the president, web master and organizer for the monthly .NET User Group Meetings. The East of Toronto .NET User Group is dedicated to the advanced Visual Studio.NET developer. We endeavor to bring well known ‘celebrities’ from the Microsoft development community to come and talk about their areas of specialty. Another important mandate of the group was to increase networking amongst developers and to encourage support amongst its members,” says Chris.
Chris’ dedication to giving back to his community is supported by his wife Sandra, a member of the local school board with responsibilities to develop reading and math programs, raising money for trips, projectors for the classrooms, as well as school supplies. Together they have spread their enthusiasm for taking part in the larger community to their two children. Kyle (14) and Charlotte (12), who are often seen helping out at various public events throughout the year. Kyle became so excited about the most recent federal election that he joined the party he felt inspired by, got involved in canvassing and insisted that dad join him at every local political rally.
As a member of the Compuware Changepoint community, we are very pleased that Chris made the decision to share his vast knowledge and energy with all of us.
This is a series of stories about the people we work with and the people we are.
We have all worked with technology for long enough to understand that it takes more than a great product to make a company successful. It’s about a community of people working towards making our customers successful. That same drive/passion isn’t isolated to the office but is reflected in the activities/actions of the Changepoint team in their personal lives.
In our Employee Spotlight Series, we will introduce you to members of the Changepoint team. Since we are a global organization, we will share stories from employees and the interesting ways in which they are applying their talents around the world. We hope that you’ll enjoy these stories and that they give you some insight into the people behind the product.