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The Sunshine Coast Community Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce its appointment of Wendy Francis as its new Executive Director, effective January 16.  In making this announcement Board Chair Shelley McDade commented “the Board completed a comprehensive recruitment process and is very pleased that Wendy Francis has accepted this position.  We are very fortunate to have Wendy joining us with her strong record of success, her ability to work collaboratively and strategically, and over 30 years of experience leading non-profit organizations through leadership transitions and growth to achieve their missions.”   

Francis, a Gibsons resident who holds a law degree from the University of Calgary, has most recently been the Interim President of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, and has a wide range of leadership experience as the Principal of Wendy Francis Consulting.  She has earned accolades for her work, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Wilburforce Foundation Conservation Leadership Award.

Francis commented “I believe strongly in the role of community foundations, as they are in a unique position to connect financial and leadership resources with solutions that address important local issues.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute in my home community.” 

Francis is succeeding the Foundation’s first Executive Director, Sandra Cunningham.  Cunningham has served the Foundation for five years, and last fall announced her decision to retire.  As its first staff member, Cunningham has been instrumental in its growth and development, supporting the organization in endowment building, grant making and community leadership.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, and our community, we want to express our deep appreciation for Sandra’s dedication, passion, and achievements that have brought our mission to life and ensured we are well placed for the future” commented McDade.

Cunningham remarked “It has been a privilege to be part of establishing the Foundation as a major contributor to the quality of life on the Sunshine Coast.  I have had the honour of meeting many generous donors, and connecting with a wide range of community organizations that have benefitted from our grants.”

The Sunshine Coast Community Foundation was established in 2003 with the mission to contribute to the quality of life on the Sunshine Coast by building endowments, making meaningful grants, and inspiring community leadership.  It has grown to hold nearly $4 million in endowments, and in 2016 granted $156,000 to support community-driven projects. Since 2005, the Foundation has invested  $586,000 in local projects.