New director of philanthropy at Friends of the San Juans

Submitted by Friends of the San Juans.

Michel Vekved will join Friends of the San Juans as director of philanthropy. Vekved will be responsible for increasing the frequency and reach to the community, cultivating and strengthening the long-term relationships, strategic planning for legacy and developing major gifts.

“I am deeply honored to join the Friends and work with an exceptional staff, stakeholders and members who support and further the mission of protecting and restoring the Salish Sea for people and nature,” said Vekved. “It will be a privilege to share my passion for our island environment.”

Prior to joining Friends, Vekved built her nonprofit management and fundraising skill set with several local nonprofits including the Friends of Moran, San Juan Conservation District and the Community Foundation. Vekved brings a strong intuition toward donor relations and a focus for stewarding authentic relationships as soundly as protecting the environment.

“Michel is an Island treasure and understands our community and the critical issues impacting our islands. We are fortunate to have her join Friends with over a decade of experience and love of the islands,” said Friends’ Executive Director Stephanie Buffum.

Vekved holds a masters degree in organizational development and concentration in philanthropy from the University of Denver and a bachelor of arts degree in political science.

Vekved can be reached at or during her office hours on Wednesdays in Friday Harbor at 360-378-2319.

Friends of the San Juans is a public interest non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the land, water, sea and livability of the San Juans and the Salish Sea for people and nature. Learn more at