President, York Region Rapid Transit
Sector: Public Sector
Discipline: Planning/Urban Design
Magic Moment: I had a boss who once said “…no matter what you do in life, make sure you’re invaluable to something. Be the ‘go to,’ person, become the expert and be recognized in something”. No one can predict one’s trajectory, but this advice helped me to be open to opportunities and better understand the core values of my work.
Key Influence: On the business side, I had a boss in the development industry who always gave me unlimited opportunities to take my ideas (as creative and unique as they may have been) and see them through – I never felt held back.
On a personal side, my mother was a huge influence. She raised me with the understanding that there are no restrictions for women in anything in life, and education was strongly encouraged. She taught me a very important principle that is foundational both in my personal and work life, and that is respect. For me, respect is a core value and a principle that I bring to everything I do.
Next Big Challenge As An Industry: As new cohorts create demands for new amenities and services, the emerging “sharing economy” is providing new opportunities for innovation. We need to do our best to understand the fundamental shifts happening today. With the rapid pace of technological change and disruption happening with respect to technology-enabled services (autonomous vehicles, ride-sharing apps and more), we need to organize ourselves for success and remain relevant in this conversation.
Secret Talent: I practice the art of qi gong. This ancient art helps you to work with your energy field, stay centred and aware of your environment.
On Championing Others… I think that it is important to provide people with opportunities for successful growth – to engender environments where people feel truly challenged, satisfied and fulfilled with their work.
One word that captures you: passionate. Passion is critical to drive any vision forward.