During our Spring Mingle, on a beautiful evening at the historic Hycroft Manor, SVP took the opportunity to recognize three Partners for their extraordinary service and contributions to SVP over many years. Nick Bedford, Judy Gale and Ken Spencer were each honoured with the title of Distinguished Partner.
The criteria for this honour includes active service as a Partner over a continuous period of at least 10 years, service that involves varied contributions and multiple roles, and service that is exceptional in nature, contributing in an identifiable way to significantly advance the long term goals of the Foundation. This honour was established by the Board of Directors in June 2014 and Norm Francis was named SVP’s first Distinguished Partner in September 2014.
Nick Bedford has been a Partner with SVP Vancouver since 2002. He is a serial Lead Partner and has been instrumental in identifying prospective Investees, nurturing Investee relationships, and securing the human and financial resources to support and grow Investees. Investee success stories during Nick’s tenure include Night Hoops, Learning Disabilities Association of Vancouver, Odd Squad Productions, Yo Bro Youth Initiative, and Growing Chefs.
Nick held office as a director and has inspired many Partners to join SVP and get involved with our Investees. He leads with energy, passion and personal commitment. Taken together, Nick’s many contributions have made a tremendous difference to SVP Vancouver’s investees.
“Being a part of SVP has given me so many interesting and compelling ways to give back; it has been a very rewarding experience and lots of fun too” says Nick. “I am actively involved with a number of for-profit start-ups so working with our Investees from the ground-up to maximize social impact is truly gratifying. With SVP’s model, it’s easy for me to rally friends, colleagues and associates to donate services and other resources to help our Investees deliver more good into our community. I’m very proud to receive this honour and recognition.”
Judy has been a SVP Vancouver Partner since 2003 and has served as a Lead Partner on a number of occasions. Notably, she assumed leadership during our initial engagement with Kidsafe in 2004, attracting human and financial resources, serving on their board and as co-chair for many years, helping grow the organization both in size and scope, to invest in new programs and maximize its overall impact. Most recently Judy has made valued contributions to Power to Be, Mom2Mom Child Poverty Initiative, and The Writers’ Exchange.
Judy leads quietly, with humour, tenacity and personal example, bringing to the table her background as an MBA, corporate creative services manager, business owner and foundation founder (Blue Planet Links). She, along with her husband, Ken Spencer, is one of our SVP’s co-funding pioneers, making a series of leveraged investments alongside SVP. Always willing to help, Judy’s extensive contributions are an inspirational model for SVP Vancouver’s Partners and Investees.
“I’m always confused when people who win awards say they are humbled by them – I’m pumped! and ready to keep on contributing to this wonderful organization.” says Judy. “It’s so gratifying to work together in Partner-Investee teams of bright minds and really warm hearts, and to see first-hand the life-changing effects we can have on vulnerable children and their families. Every SVP Partner I know has made a big difference, and deserves an award. Thank you for mine.”
Ken Spencer has been an SVP Vancouver Partner since 2003 and served as a director on SVP’s Board for many years. Ken has made important contributions to SVP Vancouver in diverse areas including strategy development, renewal of the SVP International relationship, thought leadership on impact measurement, and initiated and showed personal leadership on Co-Funding. Ken applies critical thinking, engages personally, and inspires people to stretch. Taken together, Ken’s many contributions have played a key role in SVP Vancouver’s direction and success.
In addition to his philanthropic involvement with SVP and with the support of his family, Ken established the SpencerCreo Foundation to help people of varying ages and backgrounds overcome barriers in their lives to achieve independence and opportunities for growth and personal success. SpencerCreo is a major Co-Funder of SVP Investees and we are indebted to Ken for his incredible generosity and dedication to helping create a more inclusive community for those who are most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
“Building community is equal to building a business. Now that my business days are behind me, my focus is on building community.” says Ken. “I am particularly drawn to helping people overcome barriers. Sometimes it is just a matter of giving a person the confidence and then the opportunity to make all the difference they need to succeed in life. I am extremely supportive of the SVP model and honoured to be recognized as a Distinguished Partner.”