Community Foundations of Canada Names New CEO

OTTAWA, Jan. 13 /CNW/ - Community Foundations of Canada today announced that Ian Bird, a former Olympian and community sector leader who's dedicated more than a decade to building vital communities through sport, will become the organization's next President and CEO on May 24, 2011.

Bird is a well-known champion of the contribution of sport to engaging citizens in the development of resilient and inclusive communities. As the senior leader of the Sport Matters Group, a collective he was involved in founding and led for the past five years, Bird connected the priorities of large and small sport, community, and philanthropic organizations so they could achieve more together. He has also been at the helm of Coaches of Canada, the association for Canada's coaches, and Motivate Canada, a provincial success story that Bird helped bring to the national stage.

"Ian has an impressive track record of engaging people in the discussions that matter, bringing them to consensus, and then rallying them around a cause to create lasting change," said Faye Wightman, the Chair of CFC's Board of Directors. "He's a responsive, innovative and driven leader - a great fit for Canada's community foundation movement."

A two-time Olympian in field hockey, Bird was instrumental in the development of large-scale public initiatives over the past ten years, including unprecedented public-private community infrastructure investments and tax reforms, new investments to support Canadian athletes, a pan-Canadian municipal sport and physical activity policy framework, as well as a series of partnerships and campaigns to ensure provincial and federal commitments during recent elections.  In 2003, Bird was selected (over Wayne Gretzky and others) as the recipient of the Bruce Kidd Award as Canada's Athlete Leader of the Year. He is currently completing a Fellowship on Innovation at the True Sport Foundation.

"During these times of change and uncertainty, Community Foundations provide a trusted place for citizens to work together and to support one another in developing the communities they want," said Bird.  "In turn, this is the challenge for us at CFC - continuing to create a trusted place for leaders across the country to collaborate and shape our future, together. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to make a contribution to the Community Foundation movement and to CFC itself."

Bird also sits on the Board of Own the Podium, Imagine Canada, the Public Policy Forum and Motivate Canada. 

Community Foundations of Canada leads and supports the efforts of more than 175 community foundations from coast to coast. Together, Canada's community foundation movement is one of the biggest supporters of local charities, contributing more than $140 million in 2009.

Bird will succeed current CEO Monica Patten, who joined the organization when it was first founded in 1992. Patten's contribution to philanthropy will be recognized at the CFC 2011 Conference from May 12-14 in Vancouver.

Note to media: A full biography of Ian Bird is available at

SOURCE Community Foundations of Canada

For further information:

Anne-Marie McElrone   
Director of Communications and Marketing
902.223.0674 (c)
    Skana Gee
Communications Coordinator
902.223.5234 (c)

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