January is a time to refresh, reflect and set goals for the year ahead. The Richmond News asked a few prominent Richmond community members to share their professional visions and resolutions for 2019 to make the city a better place, plus a personal goal they’re working towards.
Chair of the Richmond School Board
1. Not rest until all our schools are seismically upgraded and have the appropriate emergency supplies to survive the “big one.” We now appear to be on the same page as the ministry, as witnessed by their recent approval to fund repairs to Cook, Tait, Ferris and Boyd schools. Four school repairs were also funded, but there are many more to go. At least the wheels are turning now—we need to keep it that way.
2. Do more to highlight the amazing students and staff in our district. Two weeks ago I visited Mrs. Tabata’s class at Homma elementary. The class raised over $500 for the BC Children’s Hospital. Their act of kindness inspired another class in their school to do the same.
3. Streamline board meetings so they are more efficient and effective. No one likes to sit through long meetings.
Personally, I would like to:
1. Spend more time with family and friends. As I have gotten older, I see too many people passing away before their time. It makes you realize that you need to enjoy life now and value the relationships you have.
2. Make minor hockey more fun for the players, and more affordable and enjoyable for the parents. It’s become too expensive, too political and too complicated. We need to reverse these trends.
Co-chair of the Richmond Christmas Fund
My goals and personal resolutions are to make sure Richmond is a better place to live, work and play. I’m seeing a lot of non-profit organizations work together to bring harmony and peace, and I’d like to help.
When it comes to local charities, I’d like to see our community come together to support the Richmond Food Bank all year round. Christmas season brings out kindness in people. But people need to eat every day.
I’m also a founding member of the Richmond Chinese Community Society. We’d like to get that back on track. We’re trying to find a permanent location where we can continue our work—bringing harmony between the mainstream and the Chinese community.
As a Rotarian, every year we raise money for polio. It’s a great project for us. I’d like to see strong fundraising in the new year.
For my personal resolution, I’d maybe like to join a fitness program. Start something new.
Chair of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce
While I only have a few months left as Chamber chair, I will keep working on the projects I started this past year. In particular, I plan to continue chairing the Women’s Leadership Circle that we launched in October. It has been my passion to support women in leadership roles throughout my career and I intend to expand our Advisory Committee for the WLC and plan new events for 2019. We will be including topics such as Unconscious Bias and the Imposter Syndrome and we encourage all business leaders to join this group which is free for Richmond Chamber members.
My other goal is to ensure a smooth transition for our incoming chair, Fan Chun (CFO of Dr. Power). Fan is a good friend as well as a recognized leader in our community and I know that he will bring strong direction to the Chamber in his role as chair.
On a personal note, I have resolved to increase my down time. To that end, my husband and I have planned a month-long trip to Europe to celebrate our 40th anniversary. We will be visiting six cities, including Krakow, where my father was born. The last time I was in Poland, I was a teenager and it was still behind the Iron Curtain, so I am looking forward to seeing how much things have changed. The trip should be a real adventure and the highlight of 2019!
CEO of the Regional Animal Protection Society
This year was an exciting one, thanks to the opening of the RAPS Animal Hospital.
My professional goals for 2019 are to continue making RAPS known throughout B.C. as an organization that saves animals’ lives.
We have our new hospital, the Cat Sanctuary, the City of Richmond Animal Shelter, our Animal Food Bank, our fostering network and our emergency assistance programs. Making the RAPS Animal Hospital recognized as the most responsive and effective not-for-profit veterinary facility in British Columbia, while sustaining RAPS financially through development and social enterprise programs are also among my New Year resolutions.
On a personal level, I am fortunate that my animal-loving family (wife Mandy and three daughters) are all involved in RAPS, so my home life and my work life meld nicely. However, I do hope that, in 2019, I can spend more time on vacations or weekend excursions that create more happy memories before my kids grow up, as they seem to be doing so quickly.
Most importantly, at the end of this year I am filled with gratitude for all the people and animals in my life. These relationships are, ultimately, all that really matter. It is so fulfilling to be surrounded by folks who are dedicated to making our lives, families, neighbourhoods and community safer, happier and healthier.