Ali is humble and prefers to stay out of the spotlight. She provided inspirational support to the CBAL team as she quietly went about her work. When it came time to hire a new executive director, we panicked a bit. How would we manage without her? Ali had been our guide and had cheered us on for so long.
While at CBAL’s helm, Ali provided visionary leadership. She guided the organization through challenging times. Ali knew where to focus, and she could see the possibilities for CBAL. She grew this organization into a model non-profit that is respected throughout the province and across Canada.
Ali was accountable to many people and for many things. She was responsible to the thousands of CBAL learners and to the 77 CBAL communities. She was answerable to the hundreds of volunteers and staff and to dozens of partners and funders. Ali had to motivate the CBAL team to grow while looking after the risks of growth.
Ali did all of this so that the staff and volunteers could focus on what’s important - changing and improving people’s lives. Because of Ali’s work, we could devote ourselves to our work. We knew that there would be money for juice, stickers and books. We knew that there would be an office out of which to work. We knew that our funders and partners would stay happy and continue to fund CBAL’s work.
When I asked, “What is it that makes Ali such a special executive director?” the response I got was, “She’s everywhere!” Because of this, her legacy is everywhere. The seeds of literacy and lifelong learning are taking root everywhere.
We wish for Ali to continue “being everywhere” in her retirement – travelling, experiencing new things, enjoying family and friends while knowing that she has strengthened the CBAL foundation. She has left her mark in the best way possible. For that, we thank you, Ali, and we wish you all the best.
Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy