Karen Laing is the new executive director of the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association. (Submitted photo)

Karen Laing is the new executive director of the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association. (Submitted photo)

Karen Laing brings decades of experience to new role as executive director of LRCA

Laing previously worked for the Mission Community Services Society

Karen Laing has been selected as the new executive director of the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association.

RELATED: Marsh Stevens resigns as executive director of LRCA

Laing brings over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector to her new role with the LRCA.

Before she moved to Ladysmith with her husband John a few years ago, Laing worked for 10 years as the Director of Governance and Resource Development at the Mission Community Services Society in Mission, B.C. She also served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the MCSS.

Laing also has a wealth of experience serving on boards for community agencies in Mission, the school board, city council and on the board for Prospera Credit Union for more than two decades.

“Working in the not-for-profit sector has been an integral part of my life’s work,” Laing said.

Laing has been working with the LRCA for three weeks. As executive director, she will work to deliver on strategic goals set out by the LRCA’s board of directors. The LRCA has a wide range of community service programs, but with the Buller Street affordable housing site due to break ground soon, Laing has had a particular focus on the issue of affordable housing.

RELATED: LRCA receives first ever Cowichan Housing Association grant

“I know that housing was a very important pillar that the LRCA wants to grow and develop. Making the [Buller] project come alive and make it a reality for the community is very important,” Laing said.

“We serve our community all the way from birth to the golden years. That’s what makes resource centres and community services a really valuable hub.”

Existing LRCA staff and volunteers have been helping Laing learn about the organization. Laing said LRCA staff and volunteers have been ‘amazing’ in what they do.

“I find that in this whole community,” Laing said. “The volunteer spirit here is fabulous.”

As for how she feels about the town itself, Laing says that she and her husband love Ladysmith. They’re avid sailors and say they love Ladysmith’s access to the water.

“We’ve been sailors for many many years. We’ve sailed across the Georgia Strait more times than I can count. That was certainly a big draw for us — having our sailboat only five minutes from our home and being able to go out to enjoy the Gulf Islands,” she said.

“This is a whole town. We can do all our shopping here, we can enjoy nice restaurants. Within 10 minutes we’re on fabulous walking trails with our Standard Poodle. It’s all here. We love it. The opportunity to work here just adds that bonus.”

Laing said looks forward to helping support the community through her role with the LRCA years into the future.

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