Board of Directors
Matt Beckett – President
Matt started his career with Coastal Community in 2004 and joined the wealth management team shortly after. He is now a Private Wealth Advisor where his expertise lies in financial planning with personal and business clients.
Matt has many achievements which include being nominated for the Top 40 Under 40 by the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2012, and awarded Vancouver Island’s Top 20 under 40 in 2016 for business accomplishment and community leadership. In 2016, he was recognized as one of 30 advisors in Canada by Credential Financial. Matt is often quoted in local and national news regarding his mastery in financial planning.
Matt grew up on the island enjoys to golf and fish. He explores everything the island has to offer such as hiking, snow sports, and camping with his wife, and their two daughters.
Harry Panjer – Vice President
Harry Panjer, PhD, FSA, FCIA, CERA, HonFIA is a resident of Comox. He holds the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Waterloo. He has taught actuarial science in universities in the US and Canada for 40 years, 29 of which have been at the University of Waterloo. He has published many books and articles on the subjects of insurance and risk management.
Dr Panjer has served as President of two major professional actuarial associations, the Society of Actuaries (US) and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and on the Executive Committee of the International Actuarial Association.
He is a member of the Rotary Club of Comox and previously served as the founding Chair of the Centre Wellington Community Foundation in Ontario. He was also instrumental in the establishment of two other foundations: The Actuarial Foundation (US) and the Actuarial Foundation of Canada.
Summer Matthews – Treasurer
Summer is a Chartered Professional Accountant who received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. She then articled with Grant Thornton Chartered Accountants in Vancouver earning her CA designation in 2008.
In 2010, Summer and her husband Cam left Vancouver to drive from Alaska to Argentina. On this trip they fell in love with the smaller communities along the way and settled in the Comox Valley on their return to British Columbia.
Summer and Cam live in Cumberland with their two young daughters. Summer enjoys racing down Mt. Washington on her snowboard, hiking the trails in Cumberland, biking around town with her family and spending time with family and friends.
Brenda moved to the Comox Valley in 1994 leaving behind the crowds, malls and traffic of the big city of Calgary to enjoy not only the beautiful location but the resounding community spirit in the valley. Brenda is a Chartered Accountant and partner at Presley & Partners. She has been accountant, auditor, tax and business advisor, committee and board member for business and non-profit organizations in the valley since moving here. She is currently also a board member for the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys exploring the many beach, mountain and park trails with her husband and two spoiled giant dogs.
Valerie Porteous moved to the Comox Valley in 2002. She retired from corporate life in 2009 and acquired a local business in 2013. Widowed in 2006, Valerie decided it was time to give back to the community she had grown to love. Now, volunteerism plays a key role in her life; most recently for for the Comox Valley Shellfish Festival as well as Nautical Days where she is serving a 3 year term as Parade marshal. As well as the CVCF Board, Valerie is on the board of the Comox Business in Action Society where she served as President in 2013. An active member of St John the Divine, she also volunteers for many church events. An avid reader, Valerie enjoys gardening, hiking and travel. One of her favourite sun spots is Dominican Republic where she has sponsored a foster child for more than 10 years.
Norm Carruthers strongly believes in local community development. Before moving to the Comox Valley, he was heavily involved with the Osprey Community Foundation in Nelson. BC as well as serving on the Boards of the Nelson Museum, Art Gallery and Archives Society, and the Centre for Innovative and Entrepreneurial Leadership (a non-profit society researching and supporting the volunteer sector). Locally, he is also on the Board of NIC’s Elder College.
Now retired, finished his career as the City Manager for the City of Nelson and prior to that held a number of senior administrative positions within the City of Calgary. He has also been a management consultant for several years on both a full and part-time basis, specializing in strengthening local government and the non-profit sector. And, he has been an academic, teaching at UBC, Queen’s University (Kingston, Ont.) and the University of Calgary. (He has a Ph.D. from the Business School at the University of California, Berkeley – in Urban Mathematical Economics – he argues that in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity such as this, you might as well study what you can’t learn elsewhere!) Obviously Norman brings a wealth of experience to the Comox Valley Community Foundation.
Gen McNamee is a long time resident of the Comox Valley raising a busy family with her even busier husband Steve. Giving back to your community is a strong family value in the McNamee household. Gen and Steve believe in leading by example for their children. Gen’s chosen career is in the Insurance Industry and after 25+ years, as an insurance agent/agency manager, Gen is now the Commercial Lines Sales Manager for Vancouver Island InsuranceCentres.
When Gen is not working, she can be found supporting her children in their numerous activities, which almost always includes some form of volunteering. It can be as little as helping out during hockey games or tournaments, fundraising to support an Improv team getting to the National Championships in Ottawa or as big as hosting the BC Provincial Baseball championships (twice in the last 4 years). Seeing firsthand the difference that the CV Community Foundation makes in our community is what drives Gen to be on the board.
Chrissie Bowker was recently appointed as Black Press, Director of Product Development for Vancouver Island North. Chrissie came to the Comox Valley two years ago to serve as the publisher of the Comox Valley Record. Prior to Chrissie’s appointment as publisher in the Comox Valley she worked with Kwantlen Polytechnic University as director of development. Chrissie managed KPU’s major giving programs, including overseeing program goals and implementing university-wide priorities.
Former publisher of the South Delta Leader for six years, Chrissie was deeply involved in the fabric of the Delta community. Under her leadership, the paper enjoyed considerable success and built strong ties with the community. She has served on Delta’s Business Improvement Association board, Peninsula Community Foundation board, Delta Tourism committee, and Chaired an annual fundraiser in support of International Women’s Day. She currently serves on the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Comox Valley Community Foundation board of director.
Chrissie will take a leadership role in the development of the North Island digital platform, specialty publications, and community events for Black Press in the North Island region. Chrissie’s skill set is uniquely aligned with the development of community events. With the collaboration of sales and editorial across the region, she will continue to grow the Local Hero Awards, International Women’s Day events, Readers’ Choice Awards, and Valley Vonka campaign, as well as seek new initiatives and partnerships across the region.
Bio coming soon…
Kris Trudeau is a local business owner who moved to the Comox Valley in 2011. Upon her arrival, she started Halftone Pixel Website Design and works with businesses locally as well as across Canada, helping them improve through comprehensive website development and functional graphic design.
Kris has served on several Comox Valley boards, including the Young Professionals, Women’s Business Network, Toastmasters and Business Network International. She has donated services to groups like Comox Nautical Days, YPCV and Double Waters, and supports local charities like YANA, CV Transition Society, St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, Dawn to Dawn and Rotary. Kris has been recognized through several awards and nominations including: CV Record’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Web Designer, twice finalist in VI’s 20 Under 40, recipient of Top 40 Under 40 and finalist for Best New Business in the CV Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards.
Kris has been a member of the CV Community Foundation since 2016 and is thrilled be a part of such a wonderful team. Kris’s preferred charitable efforts involve helping the few people who can impact the many, which Kris feels sums up the efforts of the CVCF to a tee.
Aniel obtained a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Victoria and an LL.B from the University of Ottawa. He completed his articles with the Toronto office of a national law firm before returning to his home town to join the firm of Swift Datoo. He was called to the bars of both Ontario and British Columbia in 2006.
Aniel represents clients on a wide variety of legal matters ranging from small civil disputes to large commercial acquisitions and has appeared before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Provincial Court of British Columbia, the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the BC Employment Standards Tribunal. He is a past President and Director of the Comox Valley Community Justice Centre, an executive member of the Comox Valley Branch of Kidsport BC, a proud junior soccer coach and a member of the Canadian Bar Association.
Frank Denton is a long-time resident of the Comox Valley, moving to the community in 1975 to start a consulting engineering and surveying practice on behalf of, Vancouver based, McElhanney. He had a 33-year career with McElhanney, focused on transportation and municipal engineering, culminating as a senior vice-president with responsibility for 100 staff throughout BC and a principal role in the overall management of the company. He retired in 2008, but remains active with the company, on a part-time basis, as chair of its holding company board.
He has a broad range of skills outside his chosen field, including knowledge in the fields of accounting, commercial and contract law, project management and real-estate development.
His previous volunteer contributions include executive roles with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (President 2010/11), the Comox Bay Sailing Club (Treasurer 1996 to 2015, Commodore 1987, 1990 and 2016) and the Courtenay Rotary Club (President 1996/97).
Colin Sauer is a new addition to the CVCF board, who was born in the Comox Valley and grew up in Kelowna, BC. He is an accomplished executive with significant expertise in strategic planning, sales, business development, marketing, communications and people development. During his 30+ years in the global energy market, he gained valuable insight and experience as he held a number of leadership positions in different companies. For five years, until his departure in 2014, Colin was Vice President and Business Unit Leader for the Canadian operation of a market-leading energy services company.
Colin and his wife Darcy moved to the Comox Valley in 2014, where they own and operate a successful vacation rental business next door to their home on Ship’s Point in Fanny Bay. Colin is also focused on growing an independent business management consultancy that serves small and medium-sized companies in the region.
Colin clearly understands the value of community and he has contributed in a variety of ways to the communities in which he’s lived. He is a past secretary and board member of the Fanny Bay Community Association, past President of Business Network International, and contributes to select activities in the Ship’s Point Improvement District.
Dr. Debbie Wright is a chiropractor and partner at The Grove Health and Wellness, a collaborative care multi-disciplinary health clinic in Courtenay. She obtained her Bachelors of Science (Kinesiology) at Simon Fraser University, where she was a member of the Varsity Swimming team. She then attended and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto in 2002. She was previously the owner of Bayview Chiropractic and has been practicing in the Comox Valley for almost 10 years.
Debbie is the current Vice-Chair of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, and has 14 years experience serving on provincial and national boards. She lives in Comox with her husband, 5-year old daughter and 3-year old son, and when she’s not practicing she can be found on the slopes of Mount Washington, the mountain bike trails of Cumberland or the warm waters of the Salish Sea.
Russell believes strongly in the Comox Valley. He and his wife moved here in 2004, seeking a smaller town to raise their two children. Russell enjoys all that the Valley has to offer including alpine skiing, mountain biking, hockey and boating. Community development – social, environmental and economic – has always been an integral part of Russell’s real estate development business activities, and Russell sees his role with the CVCF as an opportunity to help the Comox Valley its bright future.
A proven leader in the successful development of planned communities and resorts, Russell’s 25+ years of experience includes senior positions with Intrawest Corporation and Bentall Kennedy LP, where he managed a range of complex development projects, transactions and public consultation/approval processes. Russell currently works as the Courtenay branch manager for Proline (strata/property) Management in Courtenay and is also president of Island Places Property Corporation.
Bio coming soon ….