The GDA INC. Story

Margaret Preston

Gay Douglas grew up as Gay Preston, in a family where the volunteerism and the non-profit sector was a way of life. Both of her parents were active community volunteers. Her mother was the Executive Director of the Canadian Red Cross Niagara Chapter for 30 years. Gay remembers as a small child, watching her mother at the kitchen table tallying numbers on an adding machine to prepare the annual Red Cross budget.

The Preston family values were clear: you are lucky to grow up in a strong family and a healthy community and you have a commitment to give back to that community.

Gay’s commitment to the non-profit community has spanned all areas of service. As a teenager, she volunteered with the Red Cross and as a candy striper at the St. Catharines General Hospital and as a young mother with 2 small children, Gay helped to create the Niagara chapter of the Block Parent Program along with a committed group of police and like-minded parent activists. Since 1989 she has worked in not-for-profit management and fundraising for a variety of causes – The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Big Sisters Association Ontario, and the Recycling Council of Ontario.

Always the entrepreneur, in 1992 she created Canada’s first car donation program, and 3 years later developed Canada’s first on-line auction. Gay DouglasFor 10 years, Gay taught three courses in the post-graduate event management program at Niagara College, including human resources management, innovation and leadership. She served as convocation speaker for Niagara College in both 1997 and 2010. For the past 17 years, she has served as the Executive Director of Literacy Link Niagara, coordinating, planning and facilitating a complex service system of government-funded adult literacy programs.

The culmination of Gay’s devotion to the non-profit world is the creation of Gay Douglas & Associates Inc. – an on-line portal for all non-profits to access a unique collaboration of trusted professionals that can be called upon to solve problems and provide the tools and expertise in a consultant’s capacity for the many charities of the Niagara Region. The legacy continues…