Meet Raymond Simard, or as we like to call him, Ray! Although he’s an independent contractor who owns and operates Boulevard Consultants Inc., Ray is so involved with Réseau Compassion Network that he’s become part of our family. One of the services he provides is finding space for the 16 members of our network. This includes space for daycare, training purposes, office work, refugee housing, and more. Have you heard of Centre Flavie-Laurent’s new building on Archibald? Ray found it (he also found the building they’re currently in on Provencher). What about the facility with 149 units built in Montreal for the Grey Nuns? Ray was involved with that as well. He has 40 years of construction, property development and project management experience and a whole lot of passion for the non-profit sector. “It’s double the reward,” says Ray. “I’m not just finding a building, I’m finding a building that’s going to help people.”
On the weekends, Ray is at the cottage with his wife. “We bought it 14 years ago. It’s been a life changer,” says Ray. “We were always in the city, always working—even on Saturdays, and one day we decided that enough was enough.” At the cottage, Ray and his wife spend summers on their pontoon boat and winters on their snowmobiles. “Being out in nature brings a lot of peace to your mind and I think that’s extended my professional life by four to five years,” says Ray.
Reading is another way Ray calms his mind. His house overflows with books. “Sometimes my neighbour comes over and picks up 20 books,” says Ray. “When she’s done reading them she passes them on to her sister, and her sister reads them and passes them on to someone else, and my books end up circulating for quite some time before coming back to me.” Ray can devour a 500-page novel in seven days. He always has a book on the go. When he’s a few pages away from the end, he identifies his next book so that he’s never left “bookless.” He’s been a bookworm for over 40 years and enjoys reading about history and historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Caesar, and the Dalai Lama, whom by the way, he has met.