Claire Ruddy Saying Goodbye To AWARE After 15 Years

Claire Ruddy joined AWARE as a Board Director 15 years ago as a volunteer before becoming the organizations first Executive Director in 2013. Looking back over the past decade, seemingly small steps have added up to major impact. Under Claire’s leadership AWARE has had the opportunities and support to:

  • Transition AWARE to a staffed model, increasing our budget from $3,000/yr to $300,000/yr in 5 years.
  • Secure over $2 million in funding to bring over 40+ ongoing and one-time projects to life, as well as 100’s of events – all in support of Whistler’s conservation and climate goals.
  • Design a huge diversity of program types – from nature camps, to zero waste heroes, to business training, climate action mentorship for youth, community garden expansions, pollinator projects, to community forums, educational talks, engagement workshops, social enterprise and more. 
  • Partner with governments, funders, businesses and fellow non-profits to deliver against local and regional goals relating to waste management, active transportation, climate action, biodiversity protection and more.
  • Create new jobs in the environmental sector that have provided permanent, seasonal and internship opportunities for close to 100 people, many of whom continue to work on environmental projects around the world.  

In Claire’s words:

As I look back, I am grateful for all those who have been a part of my journey with AWARE. From those who encouraged me to join the Board 15 years ago, to those at the Whistler Community Foundation that took a chance seed funding an Executive Director position, to those who have been on the board and team, project funders, partners, donors, volunteers – there are simply too many people and organizations to list. 

The variety and vibrancy I have found in leading AWARE’s work has been life changing – and that is thanks to EVERYONE who has shared their knowledge, resources, time and energy with both myself and AWARE. 

THANK YOU does not seem enough.  

Claire will be wrapping up for the end of October and a strategic committee of the AWARE Board will be working to support the team and programming until a new leader is in place.


  1. Rhonda Millikin says:

    “Claire of AWARE”
    It’s testament to your legacy Claire, that you branded AWARE across the Sea 2 Sky.
    Thank you for carving the way for AWARE, and for challenging council to do better for the environment.
    Rhonda (AWARE Board)

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