I have built my professional career on the foundation of professionalism, integrity, respect and loyalty and believe they are essential ingredients for success no matter the career you choose. Sport taught me that. The highs and lows of sport, the tenacity and conviction to see it through, and for me, those values have provided the essential ingredients for success within the collegiate athletics and recreation profession.
I think leadership is about people. The foundation and the true substance of any successful organization is its people. Build a great team. Surround yourself with good people, who are knowledgeable and passionate. Treat them well. Show them respect. Inspire them. Cultivate a strong working relationship, encouraging professional development at all levels, and empower them to take pride in their jobs. This will build morale and collegiality, leading to higher productivity, employee satisfaction and retention of good people, and ultimately will lead to program success.
Have you experienced failure or a barrier that you have learned from? From that experience, what advice would you share with young athletes?
Yes, absolutely yes. Life isn’t always easy. And there will be curveballs thrown in along the way. But if you have a strong foundation, a strong values and support system and the conviction to believe in yourself and never give up, that will help you tackle any obstacles that get in your path.
I am blessed to have an amazing husband who has built a remarkable men’s basketball program at UBC, and a beautiful, talented daughter who inspires me every day. They are my anchors, my unconditional support.
One of my most proudest moments in my career was being named Sr. Director of Athletics and Recreation at Simon Fraser University. I was the first female to be named Athletic Director in the history of SFU, and proved to myself that the 20 years of experience – both the good and the not-always-easy – came with a reward, at a time when I wasn’t so sure. And that reward is the amazing opportunity to steward an athletics and recreation program that is rich with tradition and history, unique as Canada’s only NCAA team, and full of amazing people.
My philosophy on athletics is simple – if we – together – can make a positive difference in the lives of our student-athletes we have done our job well.
Participation in sport provides opportunities for personal growth in terms of attitudes and experiences that lead to successful careers and citizenship. Get involved. Stay involved. Strive to be better today than you were yesterday. Stay grounded. Believe in yourself. Be prepared. And never give up!