My children are my greatest driver and my choice to live in Maple Ridge right now is diametrically opposed to my vision for their future. My children are growing up in an incomplete community. They can’t walk to school, bike to their friends’ houses, or kick a ball at a neighbourhood field. My family commutes out of town for activities and services and some areas of our City are just unsafe. I fear the stagnation in our housing prices and our local government’s insatiable appetite for property taxes. I want us to achieve a strong, thriving economy that can support the infrastructure and services we need to make our communities whole.
I have been a resident of Maple Ridge since just before the birth of my first son Benjamin 8 years ago. Our first home was in Hammond, a community steeped in history. In 2010, when we learned we were expecting our second son, William, we moved to a larger home in Silver Valley. We share our home with my senior mother, Darlene, and three dogs – Cooper, a 9 year old Chocolate Labrador Retriever, Molly, a 7 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback, and a much loved blind, diabetic mini Schnauzer named Kiwi.
I was born in Vancouver but moved to Burnaby at the age of 3 where I lived until old enough to “leave the nest”. My younger brother and I were raised by a single-mother and we grew up well-loved but quite poor. I am proud that I am able to provide for my now aging mother who made so much with so little all the years that I was growing up. I loved sports and dance. I danced six days a week and played soccer until I graduated from secondary school. I still dance and play indoor soccer when time permits.
I completed a Bachelor of Arts in History at Simon Fraser University in 1999 and a Master of Arts in History also at Simon Fraser University in 2003. Between 2000 and 2003 I worked as a Historical Research Consultant for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. In 2003, I founded my company, THG The History Group Inc. Since its inception, I have created jobs for over 100 people in five cities across Canada and have grown to be a foremost provider of project management and historical consulting services in Canada. Our year to date revenue for 2013/14 is $2.5 million.
Over the years, I have completed several key volunteer projects. This includes work for Carnegie Centre at Main and Hastings and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. I served for a year on the Maple Ridge Community Heritage Commission and am currently serving a second term on the Yennadon Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee.
Highlights of my professional experience as it relates to my role as Mayor:
Completion of 100+ detailed reports to inform federal department positions and policies;
Member of a high-level federal Steering Committee;
Project Manager for large scale research and digital archiving projects >$10 million;
Successful proposal writing has secured >$20 million in project funding;
Expert in federal Access to Information and Privacy Legislation;
Expert in BC provincial Freedom of Information and Privacy Legislation;
Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools;
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada;
Law Firms in Vancouver, British Columbia;
Aboriginal Bands and First Nations (including Katzie First Nation and other local bands in Lower Mainland such as Tsawwassen and Semiahmoo);
Land Survey Companies in British Columbia;
British Columbia Hydro
Foreshore leases and riparian rights;
Watershed protection and flooding caused by dams;
Major transportation infrastructure (examples include Lougheed Highway and Highway 17 Tsawwassen Ferry approach);
Land title history (private, federal crown, provincial crown);
Dikes and diking districts.
Stakeholder engagement includes:
British Columbia Land Title and Survey Authority;
Integrated Land Management Bureau;
British Columbia Ministry of Forests;
British Columbia Ministry of Highways;
Fisheries and Oceans Canada;
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP);
Anglican Church of Canada;
Roman Catholic Ecclesiastical Corporations;
United Church in Canada;
Leadership experience includes:
Multi-faceted, cross-functional teams of 50-100 resources;
Liaising with expert consultants;
Procedural documentation (technical specifications, protocols);
Goal and target setting and tracking;
Performance evaluation and metrics;
Training senior managers and consultants;
Team building exercises.
Project Management experience includes:
Writing detailed project plans;
Designing reporting and communication plans;
Establishing milestones and timeframes;
Setting and managing critical paths;
Planning resource roles and allocation;
Identifying potential challenges and making recommendations;
Performing gap analyses;
Budget tracking and reporting.
I hold federal security clearance at the Secret level