Powell River has added a new social planner for the city, qathet Regional District and Tla’amin Nation.

Meriko Kubota will fill the newly created position.

She was formerly the Director of Sponsorship Marketing and Community Investment at Mountain Equipment Coop, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Investment at TELUS, and Manager of Grants and Special Projects for the Vancouver Foundation.

Kubota says despite being new to Powell River, she is familiar with the area.

“As a child and teenager, I came up to Powell Lake to a friend’s cabin,” Subsequent visits convinced me and my husband to move here when we had our son,” said Kubota.

Kubota adds that she will focus on important things including creating connections with local businesses and organizations.

“The four strategic priorities for social planning currently are housing for all, early childhood
development, social cohesion and poverty alleviation,” said Kubota. “I work with and support
community-based organizations, faith groups and businesses, and create collaborations between them and the local, provincial and federal governments.”

Powell River councillor Maggie Hathaway says both city and region need a person on the front line of social issues.

“I am thrilled to welcome Meriko as Social Planner for the Powell River area,” said Hathaway.

“Her background and experience will go a long way in addressing the social issues our citizens
are currently facing.”

Overall Kubota says she is excited to live and work in the community.

“The day we arrived at our home in Powell River our neighbours came to greet us and welcome us. They are now some of our closest friends,” said Kubota.

“Our neighbours are an integral part of our community and provide everything from food, electrical and mechanical service to advice on our garden, fruit trees and chickens. It’s a world of difference from living in a loft in Gastown, Vancouver where we barely knew the neighbours we shared a wall with and rarely saw them.”