Growing a Thriving Community

Board Members

Rdouglas2015Robin Douglas

President, Finance and Investment Committee, Executive and Governance Committee, Nominating Committee

Prior to embarking on his career in the financial sector, Robin spent seven years with his head literally in the clouds as a commercial pilot in the high Arctic as well as across Canada and the world.

Robin's finance career began in 1971. In 1979, he was awarded with one of the most prestigious designations in the finance sector- the Fellowship of the Canadian Securities Institute. In 1987, Robin earned the portfolio managers designation and joined a professional money management firm. Robin earned his certificate in Business Family Advising from the Sauder School of Business of the University of British Columbia in the inaugural class of 2009. This unique program delivered theory, strategy, and real life learning that professional family advisors need to help grow a family's business and support the family behind the business.

Robin believes in a strong connection with the community and is a committed Shawnigan Lake School Alumni and advisor to several foundations. He is focused on active work-life balance and in his spare time enjoys improving his personal fitness, fishing and spending time with his wife, three children and Harry, their 70 pound standard poodle.

 Nshannon2015Nicole Shannon

Vice-President, Chair- Community Grants Committee, Marketing Committee, Executive and Governance Committee, Emergency Fund Advisory Committee

Nicole is a co-owner of an independent retail store in Whistler. She brings over 15 years experience in sales, retail management, marketing, and social media. Nicole has been involved with community organizations prior to joining the Community Foundation of Whistler in 2012 and is committed to the longevity, prospersity and goals of the foundation. She is very proud to be involved with a group of amazing people working together to improve the quality of life in Whistler and beyond.

Jwalker2015John Walker

Treasurer, Chair- Finance and Investment Committee

John Walker is a Chartered Accountant with 42 years of business experience progressing from public accounting and consulting to Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Development roles. He has experience working in Canada, the UK, Australia and the United States for both large and small enterprises. He is a dual citizen of Canada and America. John is currently consulting to several companies primarily in the areas of mergers, acquisitions, partnership formation, and financing.

John moved to Vancouver with his wife and family in 1980 after experiencing a great ski vacation at Whistler. They have been part time or full time Whistler residents since arrival and have owned a home on Alta Lake for 27 years. John has served the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program Society for 9 years as director and treasurer and has been active in sailing, the ski clubs, and weasel working. Volunteerism runs in the family with John's wife Sheila being active in the Rotary village hosting. John is excited by the good work the Community Foundation of Whistler does and hopes to help the society define it role and deliver its objectives.

Kwilliamson2015Karen Smith Williamson

Chair-Whistler Youth Foundation, Scholarships Committee, Fund Development Committee

Since moving to Whistler in 1984 and founding the Whistler Eye Clinic, Karen has been actively involved in the community. Her extensive experience with youth, in both a professional and volunteer capacity, is utilized in her current role as Chair of the Whistler Youth Foundation. Karen is a former Girl Guide Leader. Her collaborative approach served her well in her past positions on the Parent Advisory Councils of Myrtle Philip, Spring Creek and Whistler Secondary Schools. As a past board member of the Whistler Forum, a member of the Advisory Parks and Recreation Commission and Whistler Learning Task Force, Karen believes in the importance of community participation. Provincially, she has served on the Ministry of Health's Vision Advisory Committee and on the Council of the BC Association of Optometrists. In her longstanding role of a health care provider in the community, Karen is engaged with a diverse cross-section of the community. Through raising a family in Whistler and enjoying mountain sports with her husband, Karen has forged connections. She believes the Community Foundation of Whistler embodies the spirit of giving back to the Whistler's community.  

Dsmythe2015Deborah Smythe
Fund Development Committee, Jill Ackhurst Social Action Committee, Chair-Citizen of the Year Selection Committee

Debbie moved "west" to Whistler from Calgary in 1978.   The adventure of moving to Whistler and being part of the transformation of Whistler to a beautiful destination resort enjoyed by both locals and guests has been a wonderful and impactful experience. Deborah worked in the hospitality industry in a variety of roles, including general manager of the Whistler Conference Centre, hotel manager, director of sales and marketing, Whistler Spirit facilitator, and an employee and volunteer with the Whistler Olympics. Debbie is a strong believer in the importance of volunteering in the community. Debbie was honoured to receive "A Whistler Classic" award in 1997 and the Whistler Citizen of the Year Award in 1998.

As a board member with the Community Foundation of Whistler, she is pleased to see the organization's profile growing in the community and to see the lasting benefit for residents being created by our endowment funds. Debbie is excited by initiatives that will increase the community benefits from the Foundation.

Mwale2015Maureen Wale

Chair- Environmental Legacy Grants Committee, Pemberton Community Fund

Originally from "mid" Vancouver Island, Maureen has lived, worked, played and continued her education in Vancouver, Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa. With mountains of energy and a taste for adventure, Maureen is a skier and equestrian who settled in the beautiful Pemberton Valley. "Life is too short, so try new things!" sums up her life long mantra. "My parents showed me that one can offer their time and commitment to be engaged within their community. Ultimately this enriches one's life experiences as well as the community.'

Canadian Wilderness Adventures Craig BeattieCraig Beattie

Chair-Marketing Committee, Emergency Fund Advisory Committee

Craig has worked with the local business community for over 20 years. With a young family, he felt that it was important to give back to the community. After learning about the Community Foundation of Whistler and its work in the Sea to Sky Corridor, he wanted to be part of the team and help grow the foundation and it's financial impacts on the community. Craig was an active member of Pemberton Search and Rescue for 8 years. He has also worked for BC Ambulance as a primary paramedic. His focus in the community has been health and adventure tourism.

For Craig, Whistler is an amazing place to call home. There is a great sense of community and we live and play where others dream about visiting.

Cstretch2015Carole Stretch

Marketing Commitee, Community Leadership Initiatives

Born and raised in the UK, and after a career in international and strategic markeing, Carole spent a number of years living and working in Thailand, France, Norway and the Philippines before settling in Whistler ten years ago. Having re-trained during her travels, Carole is an experienced ESL teacher and trainer. For the past 6 years, Carole has worked for Capilano University's Community Development and Outreach Department in the communities of Whistler and Pemberton. Community partnerships have been key to the projects she has managed, in particular the social support program Welcome Sea to Sky from which the Whistler and Pemberton Multicultural Networks have emerged. She has also helped to establish and Whistler Welcome Centre and helped in bringing Citizenship and Immigration Canada settlement services and support to immigrants in Whistler.

In Whistler, Carole is lucky enough to have found a community she is passionate about and in the Foundation, the capacity to have a direct impact and effect for the better while building greater connections to her adopted community and the people within it. "I love meeting people I know everywhere I go. I love the fact that grocery shopping takes me hours because I meet so many people along the way. I love that I am able to use my own experiences to help others settle and participate. Best of all I love seeing people grow and change, blossom with confidence and fufill their potential."

NM2015Norm McPhail

Community Grants Committee, Jill Ackhurst Social Action Committee

Norm served with the RCMP for more than 30 years. He has a diverse policing background which includes operations, administration, training, First Nations policing, international relations, policing capacity research, and international event planning and management. In 2003 he received the Lieutenant Governor's Meritonious Service Medal in recognition of his role during the Okanagan and Lootenay area firestorm events. His is also recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the RCMP Distinguished Service Medal. As a police officer, Norm spent over 12 years policing in Whistler, beginning in 1988 and up to his departure as the Regional Policy Services Commander for Sea to Sky in 2009, where he was assigned to government liaison duties in the BC Criminal Justice Reform Secretariat. 

Norm is currently employed as general manager of corporate and community services for the Resort Municipality of Whistler. There he is accountable for the overall direction and management of the Corporate and Community Services Division. As a member of the senior management team, the general manager assists in creating and implementing strategic direction for the organization.

Over the years that Norm has lived and worked in Whistler he has come to appreciate the great work the Community Foundation of Whistler does towards improving the quality of life our our residents and visitors within the Sea to Sky Corridor. Volunteering with the Foundation offers Norm a way to further serve the community and work with a great group of people dedicated to philanthropy.

Sue LawtherWhistlerfoundationboardmembers2015 WEB 123

Chair- Jill Ackhurst Social Action Committee

The Community Foundation of Whistler welcomes our newest director. Sue is a retired development consultant and certified Six Sigma Black Belt. Together with husband Les, she is the past owner/operation of Whistler Exclusive Properties, Haven Property Managment and Dunhill Real Estate Research. Currently Sue is a Whistler Village Host and member of the Mature Action Community Focus Group.


CC2015Carol Coffey

Executive Director

Carol joined the Community Foundation of Whistler in October 2011. She believes strongly in the vision of the foundation to ensure the vitality of our community and the power of endowment funds to create long term legacies for the community. Carol has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Guelph and a legal assistant certificate from Capilano University. As the former executive director of Whistler Animals Galore Society (WAG), Carol brought her non-profit management experience and strong interest in supporting the charitable sector to the foundation. Carol now fulfills her passion for animal welfare by volunteering for the BC SPCA.