Dozens of candidates were considered, but the Whistler Community Services Society’s (WCSS) board of directors didn’t have to look far to find its newest executive director, Cheryl Skribe.
Skribe has served as the manager of the WCSS-run Re-Use-It Centre for nearly two years, and beat out over 30 candidates for the position after Lorna Van Straaten resigned in September. Claire Mozes will continue to serve as interim director until Skribe assumes her new role on Feb. 17.
“I’m very excited and very much looking forward to looking and seeing a different aspect of Whistler Community Services, being involved in a different way and using my skills in a different way,” Skribe said.
In her time at the helm of Whistler’s largest thrift shop, which helps fund 26 different WCSS social programs, like the food bank and outreach services, Skribe said she helped develop a successful staff and evolve the Re-Use-It Centre into a more pleasurable retail experience.
“The staff I’m most proud of, and the other thing I’m most proud of is that we really have a great product here now,” she said. “The store’s clean, it’s presentable and it’s organized. It’s really a nice shopping experience.”
Skribe’s time at the Re-Use-It Centre was the major deciding factor for the selection committee, made up of four WCSS board members, said chairman Doug Treleaven.
“She’s proven herself and has really turned it around at the Re-Use-it (Centre),” he said. “The Re-Use-It (Centre) is really doing well and has been well-supported by the Whistler community.”
In 2013, there was nearly $416,000 in revenue from the Re-Use-It and Re-Build-It Centres, as well as the WCSS’s recycling program. This went towards funding social programs, up from almost $298,000 the year prior.
Skribe said she’s hopeful her leadership, communication, education and fundraising skills honed at the Re-Use-It Centre will serve her well in her new position, but it’s her commitment to the Whistler Community Services Society’s philanthropic philosophy that she sees as her best trait going forward.
“I feel that my enthusiasm and passion are probably my best qualities, not only for everything I do in general, but the fact that I’ve bought into what Whistler Community Services has to offer, the ways that we serve people and how important it is in the community,” she said.
The major priorities in her new position, according to Skribe, are educating the public on all the services WCSS offers and how they’re funded, as well as exploring sustainability-based partnership opportunities with the municipality.
“(We want to) make the connection between what we’re doing for the community on the social services side and how we support that and fund that through the Re-Use-It and Re-Build-It Centres, and the areas where we might need help from the community and areas where we feel like we’re providing some great support to the community,” she said. “Another very big mandate of ours is sustainability and that’s a big thing going forward, so we want to be able to partner with the muni to ensure that that mandate is met.”
In 2012, the Re-Use-It Centre’s Function Junction location kept 419 metric tonnes of waste out of the landfill through the WCSS’s re-use and recycle programs.