After over ten years of serving as CEO of the BC First Nations Forestry Council (FNFC), Keith Atkinson has announced his departure from the position to start the next chapter of his career. During his exceptional service in the leadership role, Atkinson has managed to create and cultivate relationships based on mutual respect, collaboration, and perseverance within the community of First Nations forestry. This leadership has supported our communities and helped in removing many barriers while developing relationships with provincial and federal governments, industry and stakeholders.

His steadfast dedication to our First Nations communities has led toward numerous fruitful and transformational achievements. Atkinson has tirelessly advocated for increased participation and benefits to BC First Nations in governance and the business of forestry. He consistently moved forward with governance policy work that supported and strengthened the need for First Nations’ governance recognition and he saw the opportunity and need to build a number of programs to support workforce transformation for the increased participation of First Nations in the forest sector, which has resulted in the newly formalized BC First Nations Forestry Workforce Strategy.

“I am very optimistic with the role and the current position of the BC First Nations Forestry Council,” explains Keith Atkinson. “It is this favourable condition that helped me make this difficult choice as I feel that the organization is entering an exciting period: the staff is led by a committed Board of Directors, an excellent senior management team, while the programming, administration, and financial management are all in excellent standing. I believe that now is the moment to secure the future and make room for new leadership with a fresh vision and boundless energy.”

Keith Atkinson is officially departing from his role on Dec. 15, 2018, and will remain in an advisory capacity to support the new leadership. Dr. Charlene Higgins, who is currently the FNFC’s Senior Policy Advisor, has been appointed by the Board to take on the role of interim Chief Executive Officer. Charlene has worked with the FNFC since 2008 to advance the shared vision and goals of the Forestry Council.

“Keith has developed and led a committed team, each of whom plays an integral role in the everyday running of our successful not-for-profit organization,” said Bill Williams, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We will miss Keith but he leaves the FNFC in a very strong position for future growth, and we sincerely thank him for over ten years of executing this remarkable vision, leadership and his extraordinary contributions.”

For further information, please contact:
Bill Williams, President of FNFC |
Charlene Higgins, A/CEO of FNFC |

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