Following the 2020 AGM, the Squamish Community Foundation ushered in a new Board Chair, Suzie Soman. We caught up with Suzie to learn more about her work in the community and what she’s most looking forward to in her new role with SCF.
Welcome, Suzie! Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do in Squamish?
Suzie: I am currently working for the Women’s Centre in the drop-in for front-line support and a specialized resource worker for sexual assault survivors. I have a passion for working with people, and the programs at the Women’s Centre offer support to those in our community when they need it most.
Why did you decide to get involved with the Squamish Community Foundation?
S: I have been involved with the SCF since its inception and have applied for many grants over the years to support programs in the work I do. During the summer I participated in the SCF’s Emergency Community Support Funds committee where we helped disperse federal and local relief funds during the pandemic to support non-profit organizations who are responding to community needs. Nothing feels better than community helping community!
What skills and experience do you bring to the SCF?
S: I have over 25 years’ experience in community services, and I started my career as a program manager for a Young Parent program with Smithers Community Services. I was on the Provincial board for Options for Sexual Health and from 2003-2006 I was the president. I was on the OPT board till 2015 and sat on the national board for Planned Parenthood Federation as a regional representative for BC. During the time I was on the national board, I supported changing the name from Planned Parenthood Federation to the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health to better encompass the work and people who access the services that the federation provides. Currently I am the treasurer for the Community Action Program for Children Society and support over 40 drop-in programs for children throughout BC. I love the people and relationships that can be built while being on a board, and I am looking forward to building those relationships through my role with the Squamish Community Foundation.
Why do you feel community foundations are important?
S: Community Foundations are vital organizations to provide support to people in our community where they need it most – this is what makes a healthy community and a great neighborhood to live in. The more we can reach all the members of our community the more connected we are, and I firmly believe connection is key when it comes to our health.
What are you most excited to dive into during your term as SCF Chair?
S: All aspects of the SCF are so important, but I am most excited to connect with the community and share more about what the Foundation does and how people in Squamish can help to support the work we do. As a Board, we will be working to better communicate the immense value of donating and establishing funds with the SCF, as well as the important long-term impacts that donations bring to the people of Squamish. We will be building capacity for the SCF to support our community, and doing so alongside a great Board of Directors who live and work in our community. I can’t wait to get started!
To connect with Suzie about her work with the Squamish Community Foundation, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.