My most unforgettable volunteer experience was last year during and after the Fort McMurray fire while serving as President of the Alberta Residential Landlord Association. We gathered our members and collaborated with numerous social and business groups to provide housing to thousands of displaced families. Edmontonians showed incredible compassion and resilience.
Over the past 30 years, I have had the privilege to volunteer with 17 professional and non-profit organizations. I have served as Director on eight Boards, including those of three major charitable foundations: United Way, Realtors Charitable Foundation and Alberta Diabetes Foundation.
I learned at an early age what true grit can achieve. In 1976, my immigrant family came to Edmonton from Hong Kong with nothing but a pocket full of dreams. I grew up in a house near downtown, surrounded by poverty, where we relied on ourselves to make life happen. Edmonton gave me the environment and the opportunity to become an entrepreneur, to raise my little family as a single parent, and to be a positive contributor to my city.
I believe the future of Edmonton will be shaped by the mindset and policies of our City Council, but their mandate has to come from us - the citizens. We are the fabric of this economy and community. Together we will build a smarter city, ready to meet new challenges and opportunities.