Valley First

Not-for-Profit Governance Training

Valley First brings not-for-profit governance training to the Okanagan
April 22, 2013

Kelowna, B.C.—Do you volunteer as a board member? Is someone you know on the board of a local theatre company, a youth soccer team or a farmer’s market? If so, you know how essential good governance is to building sustainable community organizations. Recognizing this, Valley First has partnered with Vantage Point, Central Okanagan Foundation and Kelowna Community Resources to bring the innovative Governance Lab program to the Okanagan.

Not-for-profit board members volunteer because they are highly passionate and connected to an organization’s cause. Thanks to Valley First, not-for-profit organizations (and the volunteers who lead them) in the Okanagan now have access to in-depth training focused on governing an organization with skill and vision.

Governance Lab is a five-month training program in which a not-for-profit organization’s board chair, executive director and vice (incoming) chair learn as a trio to improve knowledge of good practice in not-for-profit governance. The program has been available to not for-profits in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley for more than 6 years.

Now board members and executive directors in the Okanagan have the same opportunity to learn from each other, share ideas and challenges, and shape their community collaboratively thanks to an investment of $10,000 from Valley First. “The opportunity to come together with peers in our community to learn the concepts of governance, and to share ideas, has been invaluable.” said past participant, Jacqueline Wilson of WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre in Vancouver.

“Valley First recognizes that investing in the Okanagan community goes beyond providing not-for-profits with program funding, to also include the development of leaders who develop and deliver these vital resources. This is very forward-thinking for a funder and is exactly what the not-for-profit community is seeking more of,” says Annastasia Palubiski, Director of Learning, Vantage Point.

“At Valley First, we know many of our members contribute to community organizations as employees, board members, and volunteers. As not-for-profits play a vital role in our communities, this partnership is a natural fit. We want to make a meaningful difference in our local communities and we see investing in not-for-profit leadership as a key component,” says Susan Byrom, Manager of Corporate Citizenship, Valley First. “We are proud to work with Vantage Point, Central Okanagan Foundation and Kelowna Community Resources in bringing this opportunity to community leaders in the Okanagan.”

Governance Lab will take place from May to October 2013 at Kelowna Community Resources. If you know someone who might be interested, please direct them to our website for detailed information.

About Valley First

Valley First is a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union, which has 40 branches and 29 insurance offices throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Kitimat and Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. Led by Launi Skinner, First West has $7.1 billion in assets under administration, more than 171,000 members and close to 1,300 employees.

About Vantage Point

Vantage Point has been operating as a not-for-profit organization in Vancouver for more than 70 years. Today, we offer leading-edge learning opportunities for not-for-profit executives and boards of directors throughout North America. Our programs and services equip not-for-profit leaders to build strong organizations with excellent governance, leadership, planning and people practices.

For more information about Vantage Point, visit

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