The FIRST UNITED Church Community Ministry Society Board of Directors is thrilled to announce that Amanda Burrows has been appointed as Interim Executive Director as of August 7, 2022.

Amanda has been Acting Executive Director since March 2022, for the duration of Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne’s sabbatical. The Board is pleased that Amanda will continue in this key leadership capacity during Rev. Lansdowne’s three-year term as Moderator of the United Church of Canada. Amanda joined FIRST UNITED in the summer of 2020 as Director of Development and in early 2022, prior to becoming Acting Executive Director, was promoted to Associate Executive Director.

“Amanda’s recent experience as Acting Executive Director has been exemplary, demonstrating that she is the ideal candidate to be the Interim Executive Director. With unqualified support of the Board of Directors and staff, we are confident that Amanda’s leadership will make a significant contribution to FIRST’s operations, programs, and redevelopment project. As Chair, I look forward to working with Amanda in making this happen.” – Heather F.  Clarke, Board Chair

Amanda brings with her over 15 years of non-profit experience, building capacity and engaging teams to build stronger and more equitable communities. She currently sits on the board of Pivot Legal Society, is an advisor for the Ken Lyotier Fund, and sits on the Chinatown Foundation Fundraising Committee for the Chinatown Storytelling Project.

“I’m humbled to be able to continue leading FIRST UNITED as Interim Executive Director. As an advocate of the Downtown Eastside, I want to impress: the Downtown Eastside and our neighbours here deserve our attention. This is a community of great struggle, and great strength.

I take my responsibility as Interim Executive Director very seriously—FIRST UNITED has been providing support and remaining responsive to community needs for nearly 140 years. Amid an unabating overdose crisis, a worsening housing crisis, and growing violence against those who experience poverty, we must act now. I’m resolved to continue building off of Carmen’s incredible leadership, and move FIRST UNITED into its next phase of achieving our vision of a neighbourhood where every person’s worth is celebrated, and all people thrive.”  – Amanda Burrows, Interim Executive Director

Outgoing Executive Director The Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdown was appointed Moderator of the United Church of Canada, and is on a three-year leave from FIRST UNITED as of August 5, 2022. In her capacity as Interim Executive Director, Amanda will continue to oversee the redevelopment of our site at 320 East Hastings and accompanying capital campaign; work with the Board of Directors on strategic engagement, impact, and stability; and will guide the organization’s administration and life-affirming work in the community. Amanda will also serve as Executive Director of FIRST UNITED’s sister society, First United Church Social Housing Society, which provides affordable housing to residents in the Downtown Eastside and Mount Pleasant.

Join us in congratulating Amanda on this tremendous achievement.

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