The History of the Stewardship Foundation

In the Spring of 2010, Stewardship Foundation became a legal entity, representing a key milestone in the vision of many friends of City in Focus and Tom Cooper. Recognizing that many great works in the community are accomplished by Christian causes, the Stewardship Foundation vision was to build a community foundation that would bring donors together for community and giving in order that community transformation could occur through funding both secular and faith-based charities.

From the time of its establishment until the present, Stewardship Foundation has engaged stakeholders and board members in defining how that broader vision can be accomplished. Through this time, the Foundation has supported tens of millions in giving and has specifically facilitated about $500k through the donor advised fund.

Since January of 2016, based on the wisdom of our donor friends, the Stewardship Foundation has become laser focused in unambiguously supporting donors with their giving. The need for nimble and personal advice on the nuts and bolts of strategic giving - understanding societal issues, creating a philanthropic strategy, assessing charities, giving together, and learning from one another - has become the primary work of the Foundation.

We are delighted to be able to serve donors and to be a part of what you are doing to transform individuals and communities.

The Team Members

Lauri Thompson

President

Lauri Thompson is the President of the Stewardship Foundation of Canada. She is a...

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Lauri Thompson

President

Lauri Thompson is the President of the Stewardship Foundation of Canada. She is a resident of Vancouver, BC and has over 13 years experience in directing development programs both domestically and internationally. She has worked in 35 countries and has managed individual programs of more than 70 staff and tens of millions of dollars of donor funds. She has lived in Kosovo, Mozambique, the UK, and the USA.

Lauri has run a successful philanthropic advising practice since 2011. With an extensive network of both donor families and charities in North America and internationally, Lauri is uniquely able to match philanthropic values with high profile as well as lesser-known organizations for effective and monitored results.
Lauri holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and a Masters in International Development from the University of Manchester, UK.

Tom Cooper

Board Chair

A businessman for over 20 years. Tom was in three partnerships and started two companies before entering the ministry. ...

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Tom Cooper

Board Chair

A businessman for over 20 years. Tom was in three partnerships and started two companies before entering the ministry. He holds a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church of Canada.

Tom was research assistant for two years to John Stott, one of the Chaplains to the Queen, London, England. He was Assistant, Associate and Senior Pastor for ten years in both California and Washington states.  In 1988-89 Tom was honorary Chaplain in residence at Regent College, University of British Columbia campus.

Vancouver Magazine named Tom Cooper as number 39 in its Vancouver Power 50 for 2009.

For the past twenty-five years, Tom has served as President of City in Focus, a chaplaincy that cares for the soul of the city though the dynamic business and political community of Vancouver.

Tom has seen the need for local philanthropists to have practical support with their giving and started the Stewardship Foundation with some close friends in 2009 to address this need.
Tom and his wife, Karen, have three children and two wonderful grandchildren.

Nathaniel Bentley

Board Member

Nathaniel is the coordinator of the young professional arm of City in Focus called Engage.  City in Focus is a not for...

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Nathaniel Bentley

Board Member

Nathaniel is the coordinator of the young professional arm of City in Focus called Engage.  City in Focus is a not for profit organization which exists to serve the spiritual needs of Vancouver through compassion, conversation and connection.  Nathaniel has been with CIF since December 2014 and has worked to introduce the next generation with CIF’s programs and events. 

Nathaniel was born and brought up in Vancouver moving to London, England to pursue studies in Art History at The Courtauld Institute of Art.  On completion of his BA he relocated to New York to work at Sotheby’s auction house.  At Sotheby’s he worked primarily in Operations and in the Modern and Contemporary Prints Department.  He ultimately returned to Vancouver to attend the Sauder School of Business where he completed a Master’s in Management.  Upon graduation in 2014 he began work at City in Focus and continues in his role there to today. 

Tyler Douglas

Board Member

Tyler heads up Vision Critical’s global sales and marketing teams. One of Canada's largest SaaS companies, Vision Cri...

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Tyler Douglas

Board Member

Tyler heads up Vision Critical’s global sales and marketing teams. One of Canada’s largest SaaS companies, Vision Critical provides a cloud-based Customer Intelligence Platform that helps companies make better business decisions based on their customer relationships.  A seasoned leader and entrepreneur, Tyler has a proven track record of building high-performance teams and strategic client relationships.  Tyler previously co-founded IronPoint Technology, a market leader in web content and collaboration software. Within a few years, the company was acquired by Active Network. Staying on at Active Network, Tyler helped drive the company from a $30-million to $300-million organization. It launched a successful IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in May 2011. Tyler also serves as an advisor for several technology start-ups across North America.

Lawrence J. Ho

Board Member

Lawrence is a qualified Corporate/Commercial lawyer in BC and Ontario. He primarily serves as a Consultant to familie...

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Lawrence J. Ho

Board Member

Lawrence is a qualified Corporate/Commercial lawyer in BC and Ontario. He primarily serves as a Consultant to families in their strategic philanthropy. As such he has visited and worked in most countries in SE Asia. Lawrence and his wife Dr. Angela Lee own one of the largest medical clinics in Western Canada (crossroadsclinics.com). Lawrence serves as Senior Fellow at the Murdock Trust, Vancouver WA, and as a Board Member of Canadian National Christian Foundation (CNCF), Ottawa, ON.   Lawrence and Angela worship at Grace Vancouver Church (PCA).

Gerry Nemeth

Board Member

Gerry provides individual, corporate, estate and trust taxation, succession and tax planning, as well as general business advisory services primarily ...

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Gerry Nemeth

Board Member

Gerry provides individual, corporate, estate and trust taxation, succession and tax planning, as well as general business advisory services primarily to owner-managed private companies. He has worked with clients in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, agriculture, the legal and medical professions, auto dealerships, and real estate property ownership and management.

Gerry has been with Manning Elliott since August 2014. Prior to joining Manning Elliott, he spent over three decades serving as a partner of NTA Chartered Accountants, which he co-founded in 1978 before the firms merger with Manning Elliott. Throughout his career, Gerry has built many long-term relationships by being receptive to his client’s needs, and being accessible and committed to helping his clients achieve their goals.

Gerry graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1968 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He was admitted as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia in 1974. In addition to being a member of the BC Institute of Chartered Accountants, Gerry has also served as a board member and/or treasurer for City in Focus (NPO), Pacific Theatre, and the Vancouver Planetarium. He presently serves on the board of a private foundation.

In his spare time, Gerry enjoys reading, mountain biking, sailing, and photography.

The Advisory Committee

Andy Harrington

Andy Harrington is the Chief Executive Officer at the Wellspring Foundation, a development organization whose mission is to be cata...

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Andy Harrington

Andy Harrington is the Chief Executive Officer at the Wellspring Foundation, a development organization whose mission is to be catalyst for transforming education for hundreds of thousands of African children and to foster vibrant communities that address poverty in all its forms. He has over thirty years of experience working in the charitable sector and is passionate about seeing philanthropy become a mutually transformative experience. As well as leading Wellspring, Andy travels, writes and speaks extensively on a number of issues including development, social justice and the need to release a new generation of culture makers. He believes that life is an adventure to be savoured and that all of us have a unique potential that can be unleashed as we learn to journey together.

Joey Horvath

Joey is an international business advisor, impact investor and mentor who invests in people’s lives in a way that encourages...

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Joey Horvath

Joey is an international business advisor, impact investor and mentor who invests in people’s lives in a way that encourages personal and social change.  He is a Founding Partner of Itinera Ventures, a private investor group that invests both relationally and financially into leaders of viable social impact businesses in Southeast Asia and beyond.  Joey is an avid world traveller who is passionate about people and our collective potential.

Doris Olafsen

Doris has served on the leadership team of Opportunity International Canada since 2005. A focused philanthropy professional with over 25 years of expe...

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Doris Olafsen

Doris has served on the leadership team of Opportunity International Canada since 2005. A focused philanthropy professional with over 25 years of experience, Doris’s “WHY” is to empower and connect people and businesses that are committed to seeing vision realized. A donor activist, philanthropic and nonprofit entrepreneur, Doris has the reputation of being a charity broker. Helping people and organizations become the best version of who they were created to be drives her and is her raison d’etre. Doris delights in coming alongside individuals; families, foundations and businesses to help empower and create a bright future of unlocked potential for those that are enslaved in poverty.

 

Doris serves as a mentor and board member for a number of non-profit organizations. Prior to joining Opportunity International Canada she served in various capacities, including VP of Advancement at her alma mater, Trinity Western University.

 

A passionate Christ follower, Doris and her best friend and husband Ray Olafsen have delighted in a number of God-led adventures over the past forty plus years. Their biggest triumph was raising their son and daughter. Forever curious they are enjoying discovering new territories with their five grandchildren.

Bernie Willock

Bernie currently serves FH as the President, FH Canada and works out of the head office in Abbotsford. He graduated from B.C.I.T. with a degree in For...

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Bernie Willock

Bernie currently serves FH as the President, FH Canada and works out of the head office in Abbotsford. He graduated from B.C.I.T. with a degree in Forest Resource Management. Before he joined FH, he was self-employed for 25 years as a serial entrepreneur, mainly focusing in furniture retail and land development. Prior to that, he spent 13 years as an owner-operator of two La-Z-Boy Furniture stores, which had long-term community relationships with international development agencies. He’s currently working on his master’s in Christian Studies at Regent College.

As his forestry background would indicate, he loves the majestic forests of B.C. As a passionate cyclist, he tries to ride his road or mountain bike as often as time allows. He shares a home in Victoria, B.C. with his wife and one true love of 33 years, Marlene. They have two adult children, Ben and Jennifer. They’re also very proud new grandparents to one baby girl. His wife has a cat named Chuck. They tolerate one another.

Bernie has been a friend, generous supporter, and advisor to Stewardship Foundation since it’s founding.

Jonathan Wright

Jonathan practices law at Wright Legal, a tax, trusts and business law firm he established in 2015. He works with individuals, families, charities and...

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Jonathan Wright

Jonathan practices law at Wright Legal, a tax, trusts and business law firm he established in 2015. He works with individuals, families, charities and businesses on matters ranging from tax issues to devising estate and trust plans to coming up with effective and tax-efficient structures. Jonathan lives with his wife between the sea and the mountains on the beautiful North Shore.