Puppy Paw's Pantry's founder Cheryl-Ann Haywood will provide discreet no questions asked dog food delivery to those in need. /Submitted by Cheryl-Ann Haywood

New HHHSF executive director chosen

By Darren Lum

Published April 11 2017

The Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation chairman Peter Oyler said the newest addition to the team is more than capable of taking over the job of executive director when Dale Walker leaves in June.

Oyler and Eric Recalla the foundation’s personnel committee chairperson announced the hiring of Lisa Tompkins who will officially start May 1 and spend the month learning from Walker.

“Certainly big shoes to fill but I’m confident that she’s going to be able to fill those shoes. I think the transition period during the month of May is going to assist both Dale and Lisa” Oyler said. “It will assist Dale easing out and feeling confident there is someone there that can take over for her.”

Walker worked 18 years as the executive director and helped to raise more than $13 million.

Tompkins a Highlands cottager for the past 35 years and the director of sales marketing and communications for CN Tower is excited about becoming a full-time resident and starting the next chapter in her career she wrote in an email.

“It’s been a privilege to be associated with health care in the county as a volunteer and board member for the HHHSF over 13 years with the excellent and important work that Dale does and the wonderfully generous support of the community. I’ve seen and experienced first-hand the valuable contribution excellent health care makes to our quality of life here. With the announcement of Dale’s retirement I felt the time was right to consider the opportunity to personally contribute in a new role” she wrote.

Her position with the Toronto landmark made her an ideal candidate backed by 24 years of management experience there Oyler said.

He also pointed out another attribute for Tompkins was her 13 plus years she has served on the HHHSF board which includes the duties as the vice chairperson for Cash for Care Lottery and the chairperson for the Making Moments Matter Campaign.

“Over her years on the board she has demonstrated an ability to think outside the box and to bring ideas to the table relative to different fundraising initiatives that we’ve been undertaking over the years” he said.

Oyler said he’ll miss Tompkins as a board member but will welcome her as the new executive director.

Among Tompkins’ attributes is her knowledge of budgets and finance. It was a requirement Recalla said since every penny used by the foundation matters.

Oyler said Walker’s great work cannot be forgotten. With the help of the board and the community he calls her a “driving force” for the foundation.

The foundation is particularly important because its projects serve so many people.

“Everybody has to hit a hospital at some point in their life for something or another. If I come back for one more emergency they’re going to name a room after me” he said laughing.

Walker is leaving her position with the foundation but will be available as a resource to Tompkins and the board said Oyler.

She anticipates gardening and travelling more. However she will be spending much of her time helping her husband Jerry with Home Hardware.

She doesn’t have any advice for Tompkins saying she is more than capable for the job.

The accomplishments achieved during her time she said were a team effort.

Although she enjoyed her time as executive director she welcomes the change.

“It’s been great. It’s been crazy and great. The whole thing. The fact we have had the whole community behind us has been [incredible] and that as a fundraiser you can’t ask for anything more” she said.

With tears welling in her eyes Walker said her fulfillment comes from knowing essential health care infrastructure so many people depend on will be around long after she is gone.