Marsh Stevens, (left), will take over as the LRCA’s executive director for Christy Wood (right). (Submitted photo)

Christy Wood leaves executive director role at LRCA for new job with City of Nanaimo

Marsh Stevens will take over as executive director of the LRCA

Christy Wood is leaving her position as executive director of the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association, (LRCA), after two years in the role.

Wood has been hired as the coordinator of community policing and community safety for the City of Nanaimo – a role that has traditionally gone to retired police officers. Wood will bring her perspective and skill set from working with Ladysmith’s most vulnerable population to her new job.

“Community safety is about positive relationships with neighbours, and getting in front of homelessness,” Wood said. “Our modern times require a different approach. Building strong neighbourhoods increases community safety in a much better way than adding extra police officers.”

Before Wood took on the role of executive director, she was a regular volunteer at the LRCA. Wood said that her and her family will remain in Ladysmith, and she looks forward to continuing her involvement with the LRCA in a volunteer capacity.

“I’m definitely not leaving. I’ll continue to serve Ladysmith,” she said.

Ladysmith Town Councillor and former LRCA board president, Marsh Stevens will take over as executive director. Stevens has been with the LRCA since 2014, and has served as chair of the building committee for the Buller Street affordable housing project.

RELATED: LRCA receives first ever Cowichan Housing Association grant

READ ALSO: LRCA low-income housing project ‘months away’ from on-site work

The LRCA operates in a Town owned building, and does pay rent to the Town for the space. That rent is paid for through a trust fund that is allocated every month. The LRCA and the Town also have service agreements with the Town that total about 3 – 4 percent of the LRCA’s operating budget. Stevens said that his work the LRCA will not impact his work on Town Council.

“I’ve recused myself on everything to do with the Buller Street project to manage that conflict of interest,” he said. “Some people may think that working in poverty reduction somehow affects my ability to talk about a coach house variance, repaving 4th Avenue, or the Waterfront Plan. It has no bearing.”

The LRCA has a slate of projects on hand at the moment, including the Buller Street affordable housing project, the COVID-19 self-isolation site for Ladysmith’s homeless, the Cold Weather Shelter, and 13 social programs. Stevens said that the LRCA board will be working on a new strategic plan in the coming months that will outline new priorities for Stevens to focus on as executive director.

“I know as I come into this that I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. The work that Shannon did before Christy, and the work that Christy has done has made this organization radically different since 2014 in terms of its financial position, staffing, the direction it’s going, and the partnerships that have been built up throughout the whole region.”

Stevens’ first day as executive director will be June 15, 2020.

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