Don Hubbard is one of those people who makes a community. He's involved in a number of things, quietly, behind the scenes, making a difference and making things happen.
He has been the chairman of Vancouver Island Health Authority, now Island Health, for the past three years. He does contract work for LaFarge Canada, after working for that company and Hub City Paving since 1965, and as general manager from 1993-2009.
"It was great to work for a company that believes in community and caring for people as a core value," he says.
He is working on a mine at Copper Canyon near Chemainus in a joint venture with Chemainus First Nation, and is a past board chairman of Vancouver Island University, now serving on VIU's Foundation and University High School boards. He is also a national board member of Ducks
Unlimited Canada. Behind the scenes, always, for worthwhile causes.
Who are the people that have influenced him the most? His wife, Lynne, and his mother, topped the list.
"My mother was a sergeant in the British Army, and she was probably the best businessperson I've ever known. She ran everything from grocery stores to laundromats to motels.
"She told me 'don't go to bed without knowing whether you made money or not'," he recalls. "She was Scottish, so pennies meant a lot."
Cliff Wylie was Hubbard's boss for 25 years at Hub City Paving.
"He taught me how to think and strategize in business. I'd be working away in the office, and he'd be just sitting there, thinking. His ability to see the forward was amazing. When the 1981 crash came, he was ready for it. He could see it coming."
Stan Hagen, the well-respected long-time MLA and provincial cabinet minister from the Comox Valley was a close friend.
"He was a different type of politician. .. he had relationships across the floor that don't exist today. He introduced me to a lot of people, and he and I had similar beliefs in regards to helping people. He did a lot of things that you'd never know about. He went through a bunch of health issues, but you'd never know it."
It was Hubbard, then VIU chairman, and Hagen who were instrumental in recruiting Ralph Nilson to become school president.
"I had hired enough people, that I knew when the right person came through the door, I'd know, and I did. I knew very quickly that Ralph was the right person for the job."
Willis Ganderton was a customer who became a friend, and encouraged Don to get involved with Rotary.
"He'd come by the office every two weeks, and he became known as the 'donut man,'" he says.
"You've got to join Rotary. I said I didn't have time, and he said 'you can't afford to not have time for Rotary. Trust me on this.' I spent quite a few years in Rotary, and participated in a Christmas drive to deliver presents to needy families. That hits home. Can you imagine what the community would be like without groups like that?" Or people like Don.
Contact managing editor Mark A. MacDonald at 250-729-4224 or email: MaMacDonald @nanaimodailynews.com
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