Family Services is very pleased to introduce Lesley Anderson as our new Director of Gift and Fund Development. She will be leading the development initiatives for the Agency and Foundation and creating our 5-year plan for community development.
Lesley has committed her career to social justice, community development, and environmental sustainability initiatives of local and national impact for over 30 years. She has led program and resource development at MOSAIC, YWCA, Vancity Community Foundation, Tides Canada and most recently, The Bloom Group. She currently volunteers as the B.C. representative to Canadian Women’s Foundation Violence Prevention Grants Committee and with the Inner Activist Leadership Development Project.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Lesley to get to know her better.
What made you decide to join Family Services?
Our society is changing quickly and Family Services wants to be able to plan and develop solutions that will enable everyone in the community to thrive rather than experience crisis and difficulties that could be prevented. I was very impressed with the idea of activating the Foundation to build resources for the organization into the future. I am honoured to make a contribution to an organization that has and continues to make such a significant impact in the lives of so many people.
Which living person do you most admire?
That’s a tough question but I am always taken with people who undertake a solitary physical journey like Cheryl Strayed, the author of ‘Wild.’ Our lives are essentially solitary journeys but there is something so intense and heroic about making the commitment to self discovery and set out into the unknown on your own.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Well Geez Louise I was hoping you wouldn’t ask that!
Which talent would you most like to have?
I want to be a guitar god and play slide like Ellen McIlwaine and Bonnie Raitt.
If you weren’t doing the work you’re doing now, what would you be doing?
I would work on finding ways that people can live in harmony with nature – an eco urban planner or an environmental industrial planner. I think the big question of how we sustain ourselves without destroying the planet needs more hands on the wheel.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I have been very fortunate to have been able to raise two daughters on my own while making a career in support of positive social and environmental change.
What’s the last book you’ve read?
I have just finished “Stranger” by David Bergen. A truly riveting story of a young Central American woman who risks her life to take back her stolen child while laying bare the inequities of north and south, rich and poor, men and women. Beautifully written – highly recommended.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I grew up on a farm in the Ottawa Valley and have always felt great admiration for the night-time adventure of Laura Secord and her cow.
What’s your first impression of Family Services?
I am so impressed with the dedication of staff to the work of the organization and their true compassion for the people they serve. And I love the genuine friendliness, helpfulness, and sense of humour that has been extended to, and shared with me.
Lesley can be reached at
Family Services of Greater Vancouver Foundation: 201 – 1638 E Broadway Vancouver BC V5N 1W1 | 604-731-4951 x4175(office) 604-218-2085 (c) | landerson [at] fsgvfoundation.ca