Then & Now: Young Public Leaders
Young people in public leadership is not a new concept. But it is not an easy journey. A multi-partisan group of serving political leaders share their stories of being elected young, learning the ropes, and encountering and overcoming age-related obstacles in public service. Bringing to light tips for young aspiring public leaders, and showcasing how young candidates can become leaders of our cities, province and nation.
Michael Wiebe, Commissioner, Vancouver Park Board
Commissioner Michael Wiebe of the Green Party is a current member of the Vancouver Parks Board. Commissioner Weibe is a local business owner and community leader who wants to enhance Vancouver’s parks and facilities. With a degree in business administration, he worked for the provincial government before opening his own restaurant, Eight 1/2, based on sustainable principles, including zero waste. Commissioner Wiebe is a director of the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area and a leader in zero waste, and has spoken internationally.
Bowinn Ma, BC MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale
Elected as the MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale in May 2017. Prior to being elected MLA, she managed terminal expansion and redevelopment projects at the Vancouver International Airport. Bowinn also serves as the Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink and on several cabinet and parliamentary committees. In 2018 she initiated the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project, an intergovernmental approach to transportation planning on the North Shore, and currently serves as its chair.
Brad West, City Councillor, Port Coquitlam
A life-long resident of Port Coquitlam, Brad West was elected at age 23 as the City’s youngest-ever City Councillor. Re-elected in 2011 and 2014, Brad is passionate about ensuring Port Coquitlam continues to be a great place to live and raise a family. He is particularly focused on bringing jobs to our community, maintaining affordability, improving transportation and providing opportunities for young people in sports and recreation.
Michelle Stilwell, BC MLA for Parksville-Qualicum
Michelle Stilwell is a six-time Paralympic gold medalist in both basketball and track, nine-time World Champion, and the world record holder in the 100m, 200m and 800m events in the T52 class. Currently, she is also serving her second term as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Parksville-Qualicum. She served as Minister of Social Development and Innovation and is currently the Opposition Critic for Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Moderator: Iain Black, President & CEO, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade
Iain Black is the CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. He has both extensive private sector leadership experience (as CEO of technology companies), and as an elected official. He was twice elected MLA and served as Minister of Labour, Minister of Economic Development, and Minister of Labour & Citizen Services. When first elected in 2005 he was a dad of preschoolers, and the youngest cabinet minister & MLA in government.