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Board of Directors

dedicated

to our community

The Cowichan Foundation is concerned about the community and its needs.

We have established scholarship/bursaries at Vancouver Island University as part of our annual contribution to help post-secondary students from the Cowichan Valley.

We are made up of local community members from all walks of life who can act as a local need arises and be responsive to special local problems.

meet

our board of directors
Daniel Varga - President

Daniel Varga

President

Investment adviser Daniel Varga is President of the Foundation. Deeply committed to the community, Daniel has served as President of the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation and as a Director of the E.J.Hughes Legacy Project.

Lance Steward - Vice President

Lance Steward

Vice President

Lance Steward, a leading Cowichan businessman, started the popular Just Jake’s restaurant in Duncan 20 years ago, and now also owns and operates Craig Street Brew Pub. Involved in the community, Lance is a past president of Duncan Business Improvement Area and is a director of Cowichan Wheels Committee.

Michael G. Coleman - Secretary-Treasurer

Michael G. Coleman

Secretary-Treasurer

The Cowichan Foundation was the brainchild of Duncan lawyer Mike Coleman, a leading Cowichan citizen for the past 40 years. As well as serving on Duncan City Council (including 22 years as Mayor), Mike was instrumental in the creation of such agencies as Hiiye’yu Lelum (House of Friendship), Cowichan United Way, Family Life, Big Brothers, Community Futures, Legal Aid, Cowichan Valley Bar Association, and the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation.

Cam Drew

Cam Drew

Board Director

Cam Drew, a local businessman, is well-known as the popular master of ceremonies whose wit and humour enhances such annual events as the Heart & Stroke kick-off breakfast and the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation gala fundraiser.

Dave Ferguson

Dave Ferguson

Board Director

Dave Ferguson, a past president of the Cowichan Foundation, was a long-time employee of Island Savings, served with the Cowichan Bay Volunteer Fire Rescue for 27 years and was Deputy Fire Commissioner for the Province of British Columbia. In 2017 Dave was honoured as the recipient of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Dave is currently on the national board of directors of a major health charity.

Gerry Giles

Gerry Giles

Board Director

Gerry Giles is a former Cobble Hill Regional Director and Chair of the CVRD Board. During her fifteen-year tenure on the Board, she served in a variety of different roles but considers her appointment to the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games Society as her favorite. Gerry has been actively involved in Cobble Hill and the South Cowichan community since moving there with her husband John in 1972. Her contributions to the community have been recognized through several awards including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.

Cathy Hennebury

Cathy Hennebury

Board Director

has lived in the Cowichan Valley since 2012. Born in Prince George, BC, she moved around quite a lot throughout her childhood. As an adult, she married and eventually settled down to raise her 4 children in a small community in Alberta. In an effort to get to know her neighbours, she volunteered on many boards including the local community hall, ladies club, library, and Community Adult Learning where she would eventually work as an Executive Director for the not-for-profit. Cathy’s love of volunteering and adult education led her to us, the Cowichan Foundation, where she feels her values of continuous learning and altruism are truly represented.

Marnie Watkins

Marnie Watkins

Board Director

Marnie is a lifetime resident of the Cowichan Valley and co-founder of the Purica Foundation. Since the inception of the foundation in 2016, her team has raised funds for Cowichan Hospice House and Cowichan Valley Youth Services HUB project. Marnie and her family have also thoroughly enjoyed working with the Duncan Wildcats where they have volunteered since 2012. The highlight for Marnie is witnessing the joys and accomplishments of the athletes at operation track shoes where special needs athletes from all over BC compete every year.

why donate?

YOUR DONATION WORKS FOR OUR COMMUNITY

Willing or donating money “In Memoriam” can be a living legacy in recognition of loved ones. Your charitable Donation gives back to your community providing further education for citizens ensuring a brighter future in the Cowichan Valley.