Where are they now?
The past has a role in shaping the future. During our 25th Anniversary year, we are delighted to present a glimpse into the past and update you on the whereabouts of some of the key players in the growth of your Community Foundation.
Monica Stewart was the Executive Director of the Community Foundation from 2000 to 2002. Formerly an ED for a community non-profit agency, Monica was versed in grant applications; she noted “I was pleased to be offered the chance to contribute to an organization that dealt with the giving end as well”.
I had not been looking for a change of position from my work as Executive Director of the Community Information Centre. Exciting activity was happening with the creation of 211, Canada’s nation-wide new community information service.
Walking back to the office one day, I met Katherine Manley who was on her way to the Community Foundation office, housed then on the top floor of the Empire Life building on King Street. Katherine said, “The Community Foundation is looking for a new Executive Director – you should apply.” That evening I reviewed my résumé and the ad for the position, decided there was a pretty good match, wrote a cover letter, and sent off my application. The interview, conducted by Gini Rosen and Eveline Flint, was a whirlwind. Their excitement at what the Foundation had already achieved, and what they thought they could accomplish with some reasonably competent staff, was palpable. The conversation bubbled, and I barely got a word in edgewise, but I passed muster and was hired.
The Foundation was short on staff but brimming with volunteer energy. My work included coordinating and contributing to countless committee meetings, sometimes several in one day. Members of our community gave freely of their remarkable expertise in finance, investment administration, donor relations and policy development. Expectations were high, and the energy of the board and committee members was invigorating. An annual golf tournament (sponsored by the Whig Standard), a visit from the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario with all its pomp and protocol, establishment of the Stark Family Fund benefiting Prince Edward County, a move to new (donated) quarters in the Landmark Building were only some of the events carried out with the strong support of volunteers. Attendance at Community Foundations of Canada conferences and collaborating on their initiatives was a highlight, and learning from other foundations served to strengthen our local foundation.
Where am I now?
Over the time I was with the Community Foundation, the Foundation was ‘finding its groove’, settling into a place where it had moved to a position of strength with a competent (if minimal) staff and ever-increasing funds for substantial grant making. A Grants Committee volunteer mentioned a new position at Queen’s University. The position offered an opportunity to set up a program to co-ordinate and manage the University’s Faculty Recruitment and Support Program. I felt this new challenge would be a perfect fit with my background, attracting prospective faculty members by profiling the benefits of life in Kingston, assisting new faculty members to get settled in their new community, and working with administrators in my old alma mater to add value to the academic recruitment process.
As I interact with prospective or new faculty members from around the world today, I frequently use the example of the work of the Community Foundation to show how our community connects to care. When I chat with prospective faculty members about life in Kingston, I can attest to the fact that Kingston is a wonderful and caring community to live and work in, and a great place for raising a family!
It’s been gratifying to watch CFKA emerge from the early busyness to a position of listening to the community, a focus on inclusivity, and successful community partnerships. All the best for the next 25 years!