The Campbell River Community Foundation has announced the hiring of its new executive director, who will work to grow its reach and impact.
Michaele Arruda is now at the helm of the organization.
Arruda, a Campbell River resident since 2013, has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood development and has worked in social services during her time here, including supporting a child development program with Campbell River and District Association for Community Living (CRADACL).
‘It’s been really great working in that role,” said Arruda. “I’ve had the opportunity to network with a lot of different paraprofessionals in the community — a lot of putting team meetings together to help advocate for children, and making sure they have the services they need.”
Arruda has also been active with Young Professionals of Campbell River, as a board member and the chair of its events committee, a position that led her to her new role.
“As I was volunteering with the YPCR, I felt myself being pulled more and more towards community development and fundraising,” she said.
Arruda bills herself as a natural networker.
“Ever since I was a young child, I’ve always been bringing people together, and have just always been an outgoing person and put myself out there,” she said.
Networking will be a key part of the executive director role, including liaising with other non-profits.
“The Community Foundation is a charity built to help other charities,” she said. “So I have to participate in what other charities are doing, and be that person representing the community. Also, we have grants that are up for grabs every year that we want all the charities to know about, so they can apply.”
One initiative Arruda is setting her sight on is building a directory of local charities, so they all can stay in touch and collaborate.
“Any way we can bring people together to pool resources, time and effort to be better, is part of our goal,” she said.
From her experience in child development, Arruda has learned the importance of “neurodiversity.”
“I believe that everyone is important, and every way of thinking is valid and necessary for our community, and ultimately, our planet,” she said. “When we can recognize individuals for their perspectives, celebrate them and empower them to speak, then it just enhances all of us living together.”
Arruda gave thanks to those who made the position possible.
“I really want to thank the Mailman Family Foundation for making the donation to the Community Foundation to make this position a possibility,” she said. “And in return, I hope to change the future of our community and enhance the common good.”