Character of Abbotsford board members include (from left) secretary Jory Smallenberg, member at large Cam Friesen, treasurer Bev Olfert and chair Vijay Manuel. Missing are vice-chair Shelly Avram and member at large Sir James Barlow. (Submitted photo)

Character of Abbotsford board members include (from left) secretary Jory Smallenberg, member at large Cam Friesen, treasurer Bev Olfert and chair Vijay Manuel. Missing are vice-chair Shelly Avram and member at large Sir James Barlow. (Submitted photo)

Character Abbotsford elects board for 2018/19

Vijay Manuel, head of MEI Schools, named to the chair position

Abbotsford’s Character Council has elected a new board for the coming year.

Stepping into the chair position is Vijay Manuel, who is also the head of MEI Schools, the largest independent school in B.C.

Manuel chaired the fledgling organization from its inception in 2011 until 2015, 2016, and now again in 2018.

“I’m proud to serve with a group of leaders who are passionate about practising and promoting good character in their spheres of influence,” Manuel said.

“Perhaps now more than ever, our community needs to rally around values like respect, responsibility, and integrity as we seek to prepare the next generation to lead and make a positive difference.”

The board includes Shelly Avram of RDM Lawyers, who will serve as vice chair; Bev Olfert of the Abbotsford Youth Commission (treasurer); and TEDx speaker and community activist Jory Smallenberg, who will serve as secretary.

Members at large are Cam Friesen, a principal in the Abbotsford School District, and Sir James Barlow, a long-serving council member from the business sector.

The council’s goals include putting on a Hero Awards event, a youth forum, and its third national conference in the fall of 2019.

Visit CharacterAbbotsford.com for more information.