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Craig Bell Estabrooks named 2016 YMCA Leader to Watch

Author: Young Alumni

Posted on Apr 8, 2016

Category: Young Alumni , UNB Fredericton , Inspiring Stories

Craig Bell Estabrooks (BA '08) (Photo: James Walsh for the YMCA)

With a strong sense of pride for his hometown and province, UNB young alumnus Craig Bell Estabrooks (BA '08) was announced the YMCA of Greater Saint John's 2016 Leader to Watch for his commitment and volunteer efforts within the community. He will be honoured alongside John K.F. Irving, the recipient of this year's Red Triangle Award, at an awards gala on May 3 at the city’s new YMCA.

As part of the YMCA's Red Triangle Awards program,  the Leader to Watch recognizes young individuals who demonstrate leadership and enthusiasm in their work, in educational settings and as a volunteer in the Saint John community – and Estabrooks certainly does just that.

“It’s a tremendous honour to receive this award mainly because of the organization it’s coming from and because I'll be receiving it next to John Irving, who is a true inspiration,” says Estabrooks. “The YMCA is such a cornerstone for our community and the new building has given so much hope, which I think will totally revitalize the north end of our city."

An avid volunteer with a passion for helping create the best quality of life for the people of Saint John, Estabrooks lends much of his time and talent to various groups in the city, including Saint John High School, the YMCA's marketing communications committee and the Crescent Valley Resource Centre, where he developed a strategic plan that guides their programming throughout the year. Having participated in community initiatives throughout much of his life, Estabrooks believes it simply takes stepping outside of your bubble and working together to bring great change.

“It’s really a two way street,” Estabrooks explains, when asked why volunteering is so important. “You can bring your skill set and work with those who have different skill sets to help make positive change within organizations that are so good to our community. On the same token, you’re taking more out of that organization from a personal development standpoint than you can ever give back.”

In such a short time since graduating, Estabrooks has been an inspiration in both his personal and professional life. As Manager of Corporate Planning with Port Saint John, he helps guide the organization’s strategic plan and stakeholder engagement, and contributes to the planning of a major infrastructure project. Throughout his career, he has also worked closely with various levels of government, and both the public and private sectors.

Estabrooks graduated from UNB  Fredericton with a Bachelor of Arts in 2008 and credits much of his success to a valuable high school and post-secondary education. He feels a true sense of pride to belong to an institution with so many remarkable graduates, many of whom have been past recipients of the Leader to Watch Award. Since 2002, when the Saint John YMCA's Leader to Watch Award began, 11 of those recipients have been our very own UNB alumni.  Keep an eye on Craig Estabrooks and our other inspiring Leaders to Watch -they're doing great things.  

  • 2002 Chris Long, BBA ’90, Owner, ServiceMaster, Saint John
  • 2005 Janet Scott, BEd '99, Director, Business and Community Development, Entreprise Saint John
  • 2007 Jeff Sparks, BBA ’96, National Director, Volunteer Engagement & Organizational Development, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, Saint John
  • 2008 Sheikh Bahauddin, BBA '05
  • 2009 Eric Savoie, BBA '07, MBA '14, Manager, Ernst & Young, Australia
  • 2010 Leah Richardson, BSc '10: Naturopathic Medical Intern, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto
  • 2011 Taryn O’Neill, BSc ’10: Medical Resident, Dalhousie
  • 2012 Stephany Peterson, BA '08: PhD student, UNB, Saint John
  • 2014 Danny Jardine, MSc ’04: Project Manager Aging and Eldercare Project, Horizon Health Network, Saint John
  • 2015 Sara Mudge, BSE ’04: NB Power
  • 2016 Craig Estabrooks, BA ’08: Manager Corporate Planning, Port of Saint John