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New CFOW chairman hopes to increase group's visibility

Investment portfolio manager Robin Douglas appointed to new role



The new chairman of the board at the Community Foundation of Whistler (CFOW) has a pretty simple goal for his tenure: raising the visibility of an organization that provides tens of thousands of dollars in funding to local groups each year.

"My hope in the next few years while I'm (chair) is to link the community to the Community Foundation," said Robin Douglas, who was appointed chair at the group's annual general meeting earlier this month.

An investment portfolio manager by trade, Douglas has served on the board since 2011, working as treasurer and chair of the CFOW's finance and investment committee. He also helped the group update its investment policy in 2010.

Carol Coffey, the CFOW's executive director, explained why she believes Douglas is such a great fit.

"With his experience as an investment advisor, we're very fortunate to have him overseeing our investments," she said. "He's very well connected, so we're hoping Robin can help us raise awareness of the Community Foundation in the community because we're still relatively unknown."

Now Douglas is hoping to parlay those connections into raising the profile of a foundation that, despite handing out over $190,000 in community grants in 2015, still manages to fly under the radar.

"I saw a saying that I think is very important: It takes a community to build a community foundation," Douglas said.

Douglas replaces Kevin Creery after the latter spent seven years on the board, three of those as chairman. Lyn Stroshin also retired at the June 16 meeting after joining the board in 2009. She was also chair of the CFOW's Jill Ackhurst Social Action Committee. Both will remain involved with the foundation through committee work.

"They're both great people to work with and really involved in the community," Coffey said. "I will miss having them on the board but am thrilled to have them both stay involved."

Taking over as treasurer is John Walker, who joined the board in the fall and brings 42 years of business and financial experience to the table. He is an active volunteer and has considerable experience working with charitable organizations as the director of the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program Society.

Sue Lawther, former president of the local seniors support organization Mature Action Community (MAC), was the other addition to the board on June 16. A retired development consultant, Lawther remains a member of the MAC Focus Group and also volunteers as a Whistler Village Host.

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