The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) elected Doug Leighton to serve as the 17th chair of the Board of Governors. He has served on the board since 2015 as a public member appointment, representing Alberta businesses. He will serve a two-year term.
“Our province, the real estate industry and Alberta’s communities were already facing significant economic challenges, which have resulted in reduced community investment by corporations, other foundations and philanthropists,” he says. “In contrast, the foundation has stepped up our investments and collaboration with others to leverage economic, environmental and social benefits for Albertans.”
Leighton says, “The situation has since escalated into a critical public health and economic emergency with the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic that affects all Albertans. In response, the foundation is adding greater flexibility for our grantees and exploring opportunities to respond nimbly and collaboratively to the needs of our stakeholders.”
Leighton says his priority as chair is to continue delivering on the purpose and mandate of the foundation. “The foundation was established almost 30 years ago through far-sighted provincial legislation. Since that time, the foundation has received the interest from the many small trust accounts of individual real estate brokers. These public funds are then aggregated and re-invested into research, education, innovation and projects for the benefit of both the real estate industry and all Albertans.
“We have a great board and team, all focused on improving and building on our successful track record of the past 30 years,” he says.
Leighton is currently principal of EDG (Environmental Design Group) specializing in planning, urban design and sustainable development. He claims three careers so far: as a corporate executive in Alberta and B.C.; a consulting firm principal in New Zealand; and in senior planning positions in Whistler and Banff. He is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, the Canadian Institute of Planning and Royal Architecture Institute of Canada. He has served as a director of the Alberta, New Zealand and B.C. Planning Institutes, as well as ULI Alberta and QUEST Canada.