Over nineteen years ago I was invited by the Community Foundation of Greater Grande Prairie board of directors to lead the Foundation as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. My heart is blessed for this journey and the many opportunities presented.
When I first started, the Foundation had a small office, a two-drawer filing cabinet and dial up internet. I was tasked with growing the impact and the awareness of the Foundation in support of citizens throughout Northwestern Alberta. Boy have things changed since then.
I am proud of the opportunity to work closely with many leaders who dedicated their time and skill as board directors and committee members. We stayed focused on inspiring action with a vision of a strong and connected region. Many partnerships were developed that included various stakeholders who came together for a common cause and we expanded our reach to all corners of Northwestern Alberta. Today, we see the impact of the Foundation’s commitment to our community with the annual impact grants that are invested into all areas of the charitable sector, the number of post-secondary student awards supported with the annual student grants, and the many tables we sit at with the direction of moving the needle of change.
Bringing Vital Signs to Northern Alberta in 2011 shifted the direction of the organization to community leadership and capacity building which created a stronger understanding of our community strengths and weaknesses. This led to diving deep into our Foundation’s “why” with a commitment to staying true to our purpose, and convening with community partners to address important areas that affect each of us.
The Foundation is strong in all areas, the Board is dedicated and committed to building a smart and caring region for current and future citizens, strong governance is in place and recognized with the Imagine Canada Standards Program Accreditation, well organized systems and a devoted staff team who are empowered and engaged to see our community thrive and achieve its fullest potential.
My heart is full of gratitude for the many special relationships developed with fund holders, donors and various partners. Best of all is that I hold these relationships in my heart with gratefulness for the care and trust we share.
The past 19 years has been a tremendous journey of personal and professional growth, making new friends and working hard to strengthen our region. I am humbled for this opportunity. The Foundation will always hold a special spot in my heart.
On March 31, 2020 I will retire from the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta. This decision was not easy and my heart was very torn as I love this organization and love my role. I know this is the right time and in the best interest for all as the Foundation is in a wonderful place and in good hands. I will be close to the Community Foundation in my new role with a national organization in the charitable sector. Thank you for 19 wonderful years and amazing experiences.