President – Kathie LaForge
Kathie and her husband have lived in Vanderhoof for 40 years. “It has been a great place to raise our two sons and I’ve had career and volunteer opportunities that I would never have had in a bigger centre.” Kathie’s work history is strong in leadership, organizational management and community building. Her most recent roles have been Community Liaison Officer for New Gold Inc., Blackwater Project and Economic Development Officer for the District of Vanderhoof. Kathie has also worked for Service Canada for over 30 years as a Program Officer, Employment Officer and Office Manager.
Kathie’s volunteer accomplishments are many. Her current roles include Chair of the Vanderhoof Community Foundation; Director of the Nechako Kitimaat Development Fund Society and Director of the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre Society. Previously significant roles have been with organizations such as 16-97 Economic Alliance; Community Futures – Stuart Nechako; Northern Wood Forum; Nechako Valley Credit Union; Vanderhoof Air Show Society and Chamber of Commerce.
“I have seen the opportunities that Community Foundations have brought to other communities and believe that we can do the same here. We are a very giving community and we all like to see our donated funds coming back to help fill the needs right here at home. I encourage you to consider donating to this organization and together we can make Vanderhoof better today, tomorrow and forever!”
Vice- President – Roy Spooner
Roy was born in Vernon, BC and raised in the farming and fishing community of Ladner, BC. He came to the north in the late 60’s and decided to retire to Vanderhoof 15 years ago. Succeeding in public relations, sales and marketing led him into management and eventually business ownership.
Along the way, Roy had the opportunity to be CEO of the United Way in Victoria and later Mississauga-Brampton, and other large social service/not for profit organizations. His career has been about equally divided between making profits and helping people. Roy has been very actively involved in community service all of his life and over the years progressed through promotions from Scout all the way up to District Commissioner of Boy Scouts of Canada. Roy has served as Chair of Church Councils in three different communities, and he continues to enjoy singing with his wife in choral groups. Roy has been a Chamber of Commerce member for over 30 years, having served as President on the Sidney-Saanich Peninsula Chamber, the Downtown Victoria Business Association and the Prince George Chamber. Other previous leadership roles include President of the Yellowhead Rotary Club; Trustee/Vice Chair of the Barkerville Heritage Trust; Board Chair of 676 Air Cadet Squadron; and Co-Chair of the 1994 Commonwealth Games Volunteer Program. In Prince Goerge, Roy served on the Boards of the Public Library, the Community Arts Council, the Symphony, Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, the Mayor’s Downtown Partnership and other Civic Advisory Committees. In 2014-2015, Roy was honoured to receive the Prince George Citizen of the Year award in recognition of his community service.
He is currently Past President of the Cluculz Lake Community Association; Chair of the Board of the Aboriginal Business Development Corporation and has a lifetime appointment as a Governor of the Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to his role on the Vanderhoof Community Foundation Board, he was recently elected President of the Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce. He is Supervisor of the Community Ministries for the Salvation Army in Vanderhoof and is serving on the Vanderhoof Salvation Army Community Council.
Treasurer – Ken Simon
Ken’s family was raised in Vanderhoof. His children and grandchildren now work and reside in Prince George. “It is very rewarding to me to be in close proximity to my family and to be able to continue enjoying quality time with them. I currently enjoy the activities of running, no-contact hockey, playing pickleball, biking, fishing and hiking and whatever other outdoor activities that may interest me at the time.”
Ken earned his Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Alberta and articled as a student of Chartered Accountancy in Prince George. He moved to Vanderhoof in 1984 to start a new accounting business, as Owner and President of Kenneth B. Simon Corp. The business grew over the years and with his staff offered a wide base of service in the areas of accounting, audit and business consulting to individuals, corporations and not for profit societies including personal income tax, corporate income tax, estates and trust taxation, sales taxes and registered charity tax returns. Although his accounting office was in Vanderhoof, the business served clients in Prince George, Fort St James and throughout British Columbia including Fort St. John, Smithers, Burns Lake, Vancouver and Victoria. Ken officially retired in 2016 after having sold his business to MNP.
Ken’s many volunteer activities have included director, treasurer or president positions in Vanderhoof’s Rotary Club; Airshow Society; Chamber of Commerce; Duck’s Unlimited as well as Kinsmen and Curling Clubs. Ken’s strong desire to give back to his community is demonstrated as he continues serving with his skills as a Chartered Professional Accountant in the role of Treasurer for the Vanderhoof Community Foundation.