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  • Mariah Wilson

Our Interview with Deveeda Kumar

Leading up to our “Pie in the FESA” Fundraiser, we’ll be publishing a series of interviews that we’ve done with our participating Board Members. You’ll have a chance to get to know them a bit more and learn about their favourite pies, what they’re most looking forward to about the pie event and much more!

Our first interview is with Deveeda Kumar, who is Director on the FESA Board, and a participant in this year’s fundraiser.

FESA: What is your favourite pie?

DEVEEDA: Meat pie, but I’m sure hoping no one chooses to throw one of those at me!

F: Have you been pied before and how do you feel about potentially being pied?

D: That’s the kind of thing a person would remember. I feel that my love of FESA’s work to support literacy and learning is a testament to my willingness to be pied in the face — not a bucket list item for me.

F: Are you excited about the fundraiser? If yes, why?

D: Ex-ci-ted? I expect a ton of laughs and stickiness, so yes.

F: Can you share any pie related stories?

D: Growing up, my Guyanese family ate meat pies which we referred to as “patties.” I had no idea people put fruit or chocolate in pies until I worked at Safeway.

F: Who are you hoping for to throw the pie at you?

D: Hoping feels like a strong word, but if I had to pick, I’d say my niece and nephews who are 7, 4, and 1.5 because their muscles are less developed. Their giggles would be something I would remember for life (“Ah, the day they threw a pie at their Auntie Beeda!”).

F: If you were a pie, how would you describe yourself?

D: Big anticipatory breath… If I were a pie, I would be humble about my deliciousness in an attempt to extend my social attempts to hang out with the famous M&M’S who have their own product lines and commercials. They seem to be living life on their terms, particularly the *gasp* Ms. Green M&M. She has her own catchphrase — “I melt for no one” — so I’d be seeking career advice from her on how to put myself on the map!

F: Lightning pie round (first thing to pop into your head): Hot or cold?

D: Hot.

F: Cheese, ice cream, or plain?

D: Plain (still have M&M’S on the brain).

F: Fork or spoon?

D: Spoon. Always.

F: Cream or fruit?

D: Cream; like a delicious facial!

F: Crust cover or no crust cover?

D: Crust; less messy, good and flaky.

F: What is your favourite FESA program?

D: Going the Distance is the program that brought the wonderful humans who make FESA great into my life. FESA identified the lack of Indigenous representation working in the hospitality industry. In my 5th year as Human Resources Manager at the Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino, we were approached by FESA. We were not confident we were the right choice in the beginning, as we had a strong representation of staff from many nations further to our own and weren’t sure what this partnership could bring. The first event left our team members feeling valued and empowered as FESA used a strength-based approach to leverage their knowledge and insight to learn why our staff enjoyed the industry, if and how our staff viewed their potential for professional growth, and enlisted the support of a local Elder to ensure all important traditions and ways of communication were honoured. FESA also provided tremendous support and recognition of our Leaders, which generated meaningful ROIs both in regard to the project and beyond. The program continues there to this day, and I am proud to have joined the Board upon my departure to experience a different vantage point of what makes Going the Distance innovative; both at this pilot site and with other partners who continue to benefit from its added value.

F: Do you hope someone will save you from being pied?

D: You bet I do, with the exception of one great team pie in the face for exceeding our goal of $10,000 raised to support this exceptionally underrated resource to our community members. Many folks have come to rely on these services and there are even more who have not yet had the pleasure. Let's raise some money and increase the awareness and visibility of FESA!

If you’d like to donate to our fundraiser, you can click here to be taken to the donation portal. The three Board Members with the highest percentage of donations will be pied in the face at our event in September, but if we reach our goal of $10,000, all Board Members will be pied. Each Board Member has the option to be saved if you donate $1,000.

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