Immediate Past President
From a young age Shirley has devoted herself to the health and futures of many communities, starting with Vancouver’s historic inner city. As a student activist in the late 1960s she successfully challenged a freeway development that would have leveled much of Strathcona and Chinatown. This stands as a major turning point in the development of the city’s world-renowned urban geography, enabling Vancouver to become the vibrant, low footprint, livable city we enjoy today.
Shirley was Vancouver’s first female Chief of Staff under Mayor Mike Harcourt, and went on to become Manager of Non-Market Housing for the City. She later served as Health Canada’s Regional Director for BC & Yukon and is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Building Opportunities with Business (BOB) Inner-city Society. In this capacity, she supports social and economic revitalization of the area, including tourism and hospitality industry initiatives that increase traffic to Chinatown and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden.
With an ongoing and active commitment to her community, Shirley has served on and chaired numerous boards for organizations including the University of British Columbia, BC Hydro and Powerex, Vancity Credit Union, Citizen’s Bank, the Chinese Cultural Centre and le Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver. In 2010, she received a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for her work in the non-profit and public sector. She has also received a Public Service Commission Award for her commitment to mentoring upcoming professionals, an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from UBC, and an Outstanding Alumni Award from SFU for community service.
Shirley sees the Garden as a unique living cultural facility and takes pride in her role as a Trustee. Her focus as a board member is to ensure the Garden operates accountably to both funders and the community, and is more fully embraced by the Chinese community and Chinatown.