President & Founder, Savira Cultural + Capital Projects
Sector: Private Sector
Magic Moment: Three major milestone projects that I had the privilege to lead include the new Globe and Mail Centre, Royal Conservatory of Music / Koerner Hall and the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. These legacy projects share a common theme – creating vibrant and sustainable initiatives that serve a diverse range of civic, cultural and corporate stakeholders.
Key Influence: Judy Elder There have been many generous mentors over the years but Judy Elder, General Manager Microsoft, stands out. Judy was a dynamic visionary and business leader. She urged women to be proud of their ambition, to reject barriers, and to “make stuff happen”. Through her intelligence, tenacity and ambition, Judy reached the top ranks at IBM, Ogilvy One, CMA and Microsoft. Judy died at the age of 47 but her legacy continues through the “The Judy Project” a leading forum at the Rotman School of Management which prepares women for executive leadership roles. This game-changing program had a significant impact on my career, as it encourages women to embrace their ambition and become exceptional leaders. Many thanks to Colleen Moorehead and to the oustanding team at Rotman led by Tiziana Casciaro.
Next Big Challenge As An Industry: The major challenges for the GTA include waterfront, housing, environment and transit. Toronto is one of the fastest-growing cities in North America and we need to transition toward a human centric ‘people first’ approach to planning and design. There are some exceptional global precedents for planning communities of the future – let’s learn from them. We can reimagine and revitalize our waterfront, develop environmentally sustainable neighbourhoods, build affordable housing, and make our city safe for pedestrians and cyclists. Our shared goal is to build healthy inclusive communities of the future through vastly improved public spaces, housing and transit.
Secret Talent: Perseverance
On Championing Others…I champion individuals in our industry through my commitment and passion for building smart, connected and inclusive communities. The culture of collaboration is foundational to all of my work. Mentoring, coaching, sharing and learning with project teams, clients and communities is a daily activity. It’s important to convey an optimistic vision of the future and clearly demonstrate how we can all make a difference in our work. Why it matters, how to strive for it against all odds, and how rewarding it is to set a high benchmark and deliver great spaces for future generations.
One word that captures you: Futurist