Food bank cashes out director
Oct 3, 2013 / 1:49 pm
The resignation of Vonnie Lavers as Executive Director of the Kelowna Community Food Bank signals a change in direction for the organization she helped to build.
Food bank director and acting Executive Director, Fraser Campbell, says discussions with Lavers, who was making about $100,000 a year, began about a year ago.
While he wouldn't say who initiated those discussions, he did say they came to a head in August when the 'mutual' decision was made that Lavers would leave her position.
"My chairman, and business partner, Cliff Sharples mentioned a shelf life. At the end of a 10-year term, it's time," says Campbell.
"She has done a lot of great things but, it's time to make that transition and we both agreed it is a good time to do it."
Campbell says the food bank will take some time to decide which direction it will move.
The organization is not advertising for a new Executive Director.
One of the new directions could include some form of formal working relationship with other food banks within the Central Okanagan.
"There is a lot of duplication of effort," says Campbell.
"Some of the food banks have some great resources in the protein end of things. They get a lot of meat - they get a lot of sponsors. We have a great amount of bread and most of our local grocery stores support us brilliantly."
He says it would make a lot of sense.
"I think we are at the stage where we need to enter those discussions.
Ironically, those discussions have been going on for about a year.
"Some of those things we are talking about doing. It's not that Vonnie was against those, but it has been in the discussions of how do we do this," says Campbell.
"We have to walk before we run, but it is a very good idea and there are some really good cost savings that can be had and shared."
Lavers did receive a severance package from the Kelowna Community Food Bank and, while Campbell would not get into specifics, with a salary in the $100K a year range and the fact she held the position for more than 11 years, one would presume it was a handsome settlement.
"As this process unwinds, it you look at it from the altruistic idea that every dollar goes to feed a child then, yes, we could drop her on the street Sept 1 and say thank you for coming out," says Campbell.
"But, that's not fair and that's not the way we do things. She did some phenomenal things for us. When you sit down as a prudent board there wasn't a main reason so you have to be fair."
Campbell says Lavers needs to transition.
"That's the way business is done."
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