CTV's Bruce Williams new chair of VIU Foundation Board

November 22, 2011 - 1:59am

When popular media personality Bruce Williams takes centre stage at this year’s Festival of Trees, he’ll be wearing two hats – event MC and newly elected chair of the Vancouver Island University Foundation.

“I’m thrilled to represent the VIU Foundation Board in both roles,” said Williams, Manager of Community & Client Relations for CTV Vancouver Island.

“I’ve been in Nanaimo for 10 years and one of the first connections I made was with VIU. I’m a big believer in education. Knowledge helps our economy grow. VIU plays a crucial role within our community and I’m delighted to be part of an organization that helps students reach their full potential.”

Williams, a strong supporter of VIU students and a key leader of many of VIU’s annual fundraising initiatives, has served as MC of the popular Festival of Trees for nine years. The Festival is underway now until Nov. 26 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Williams joined the Foundation Board as a director in 2007, and became Foundation Board chair in September. He looks forward to the year ahead and taking the Foundation in an exciting new direction.

“I’ve admired and respected the work of many great Foundation chairs before me,” said Williams. “Many of them had a business or financial background, while I’m all about communications. I’ll be spending a lot of time going into the community to let people know who we are and what we do.”

Williams said a newly formed Foundation Board committee will, “redefine events like the popular VIU Business Breakfasts and other activities.”

“Our goal is to expand our focus to better enable students to learn,” Williams said. “In the past, we’ve concentrated on raising funds for student scholarships, bursaries and awards. That’s still an important part of what we do, but now we’ll broaden our ability to invest the money we raise so that we can better support students both financially and by funding new equipment and facilities.”

In addition to his dedication to the VIU Foundation, Williams has a wealth of experience working with other community organizations including the Jeneece Edroff Society, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, the United Way and the BC SPCA.

His commitment to community has been recognized with a number of awards including the United Way of Canada’s “Award of Distinction” and the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce’s “Citizen of the Year Sterling Award”. In 2011, the Nanaimo Daily News recognized him as one of the region’s “20 Most Powerful People”.

Williams assumes the Foundation chair from Wahid Ali, an investment advisor at TD Waterhouse, who served in the position for the last two years.

The VIU Foundation, founded in 1994, is the charitable arm of VIU and today manages an endowment worth $15 million. In 2011, the 24-member board raised just under $2 million to support student scholarships, awards and bursaries, provide state-of-the-art technologies in VIU’s classrooms and labs, and fund capital projects and equipment needs.

Tags: In the Community

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