Foundation executive director relishing her new role
By Jenn Watt
Published Aug. 8, 2017
Two months into her new position at the helm of Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation, Lisa Tompkins says she’s “living the dream,” having moved to the Highlands full time and working on a cause that she’s passionate about.
Tompkins has been a part-time resident of the Highlands for 35 years and a board member on the foundation since 2004.
“My husband [Larry Tompkins] and his family cottaged here all their lives, all his life, over at Twelve Mile Lake,” she said. “His grandmother bought that property back in the 1920s. They’ve been here a long time. His parents retired here in the late ’70s and Larry and I were married in the early ’80s and that was my introduction to beautiful Haliburton County.”
Up until May of this year, she worked as director of sales for CN Tower, a job she held for more than two decades.
“When Dale [Walker] announced in January that she was retiring, it seemed like an opportunity to pursue,” says Tompkins, seated at her desk in the HHHSF office in the Haliburton hospital site. “It gave me the opportunity to move here sooner than we had hoped.”
Although she has just moved into the office, it is already filled with posters for upcoming fundraisers and memorabilia from past successful campaigns. Tompkins was able to transition into the position over the course of a month as longtime executive director Dale Walker showed her the ropes.
Tompkins has a good sense of what the job entails, having been a key player on the board as vice-president and campaign co-chair for the palliative centre build – the foundation’s most recent project.
Soon after taking the job, she had to navigate one of HHHSF’s biggest fundraisers, the Matt Duchene Golf Classic. In a week, she’ll be busy with the two-day radiothon on Moose FM raising money for a portable ultrasound machine.
On Thursday, Aug. 17 and Friday, Aug. 18 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Moose FM will be hosting the 11th annual fundraiser with Minden Subaru as the presenting sponsor. Businesses can sponsor hours and individuals can call in to make donations. There will be a tent set up on Highland Street at the corner of Cedar Avenue where people can pop by and food and beverages will be available for sampling inside the Moose station itself.
The foundation has also started an In Memory wall marking donations to the palliative centre of $1,000 or more to provide the ongoing funds needed for furnishings, equipment and other capital improvements.
Tompkins said she sees many opportunities for engaging with the community in the years to come, enhancing health services to ensure the Highlands continues to be a desirable place to live and visit.