Our Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Areni Kelleppan has been selected as the new Executive Director of the Abbotsford Community Foundation (ACF), effective January 2, 2023. Board Chair, Marcus Janzen made the announcement on November 23rd that Areni will replace retiring Executive Director, Wendy Neufeld. Areni has already started her employment with us and will be working with staff and Wendy over the next few weeks to facilitate the leadership transition.
Wendy is looking forward to retirement and the freedom of unstructured time. On November 22, an event was held to celebrate the many accomplishments Wendy has achieved throughout her time with us. Founding donor, Vivian Trethewey was part of the diverse group of Wendy’s family, friends, ACF volunteers, donors, and community leaders in attendance. Former Mayor, Henry Braun, along with Carson Noftle, Michael Adkins, Terry Voth, and past Board Chair Andrea Senft affirmed the contributions that Wendy has made to the community in their respective comments to the attendees.
“It was a privilege to have had this opportunity to serve the Abbotsford community,” Wendy said. “These past six years, I have seen the hard work of our amazing volunteers and staff contribute to the growth and impact of the ACF. Assisting our donors to connect with the causes they care about through their gifts to the Foundation has been one of the highlights for me”.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Areni has worked in both for profit and non-profit organizations throughout the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan, the Edmonton area, and Calgary. For over 2 decades, she has been a leader in a range of sectors including lumber and building materials, the environment, agriculture, food security, and most recently, gender-based violence and mental health. For her, the work we do encompasses her passion for strengthening the resiliency of community and engaging with a diversity of stakeholders to make that happen. Having recently re-located, she is excited to immerse herself in all things Abbotsford and share in the vibrancy of the local community.
“I believe that Areni has the energy and competence to not only steward the substantial resources that donors have already entrusted to the ACF, but also that she will be able to inspire others to invest in causes that will have a positive impact within Abbotsford going forward” remarked Janzen on this transition.
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