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University College Alumni of the Year provides leadership in financial sector
2016-04-18
 
It’s the old story.
 
After graduating from high school in 1975 Bob Fast wasn’t clear on what to do next. So, he explains, he enrolled at Providence (then Winnipeg Bible College) for an anticipated one year of studies.
 
“I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities three years later,” he says. He also met his wife, Dale, at the Otterburne campus.
 
Fast, who is presently Director, Mortgage Specialist Network with Investors Group in Winnipeg, says Providence served as a “springboard” to a life in leadership and administration, and he thanks the institution’s faculty, staff, and fellow alumni for equipping him to be a difference-maker.
 
“At Providence I learned how to study the bible more effectively, I gained theological understanding, and I learned how to study, research, and write academically,” he says, adding that he was also presented opportunities, through student council and as a Resident Assistant, to grow his leadership abilities.
 
“This training and experience provided a strong foundation for me in lay ministry and my work career by giving me tools to better learn from the scriptures and, in turn, teach others in Sunday School classes and small groups,” he says. “Through the leadership opportunities I was being prepared to develop and lead ministry areas, to be an elder and board member of local churches and other organizations.”
 
Fast’s involvement in local ministry came quickly after his graduation from Providence.
 
In 1979 he and Dale began work with the youth of a west Winnipeg church plant. The two have also been an active part of Whyte Ridge Baptist Church since the 1990s, where Fast has led small groups, taught adult classes, and served as a board member and Moderator.
 
Notably, Fast has also served on the boards of Camp Nutimik and the North American Baptist Conference, which he also led as Moderator. He spearheaded the practice of “Policy Governance” with the Conference and struck a task force to make recommendations for functional and governance changes.
 
Fast says he has gained a greater understanding of God through these experiences and continues to place more and more trust in Him.
 
“I lean on Him in my work and ministry, and this leads me to greater confidence in the gifts God has given me in leadership and administration,” he says.
 
Professionally, Fast began his career with BMO Bank of Montreal in 1980. A self-described “life-long learner,” he advanced himself in the world of finance and has been entrusted with numerous leadership roles in both the retail and commercial banking sectors.
 
He graduated with a Master in Business Administration from the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business in 2009.
 
“God is so gracious, patient, forgiving, accepting, and affirming,” he says. “I have and continue to experience these things from Him, and my time at Providence was a significant influence on me in understanding these gifts.
 
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