For 45 years, Mrs. Carol Matthews has been a model of excellence in leadership, nurturing others as a community leader, educator, writer, researcher and advocate for the arts and non-profit sectors.
Mrs. Matthews is an iconic figure in the landscape of Nanaimo-area non-profit agencies. She has been a voice for social justice and those most vulnerable.
After starting her career as a social worker, Mrs. Matthews became Executive Director of the Nanaimo Family Life Association and then a college instructor and dean and is currently an honorary research associate at Vancouver Island University. As a consultant and a volunteer, she has assisted community organizations, government departments and educational institutions with strategic planning, facilitating vision and mission creation, leadership development, change management, team building and problem solving.
Mrs. Matthews’ greatest achievement is leading with compassion and teaching others how to provide leadership in their organizations.
A colleague once joked that she was so busy on projects she believed in at Malaspina University-College (now Vancouver Island University), the Nanaimo Port Authority, her writers’ group, KIDS International and other community activities, that she should start a club called “starters anonymous,” focused on helping people like her who cannot resist acting on good ideas.
In 1979, she was awarded the BC Year of the Child and Family Award, in 1999, the ACCC National Award for Excellence in Leadership and in 2009, she received an Honorary Doctorate from Vancouver Island University.