Thursday, March 8, 2007

A little bit about me, and Why I am seeking the nomintaion

My Background

My family moved from Vancouver to Langley when I was 12. I attended Aldergrove Elementary School in the French Immersion program. I attended Langley Secondary School, where I continued in French Immersion, the Advanced Placement program, played rugby, performed in school plays, played french horn in the band (what a dorky instrument, second only to the oboe), took shop, skied and snowboarded every chance I got and generally had a great time. I also began working part-time jobs when I was 14. During High School I worked as a bus-boy, gas attendant, sports store salesman, shoveling sand during the construction of a golf course and a milk truck driver.

Following High School, I attended U.B.C. in science. I took as many different courses as I could, from the modern British novel to coordination chemistry. In third year, the university forced me to declare a major, and the degree that required the fewest course at that point was Animal Biology. The second half of my third year, and my fourth year were thus mostly biology courses, of which the bulk were evolution or genetics based.

During my time at U.B.C. I was actively involved in the community on many fronts. I wrote for the 432, the science newspaper, I held positions on both the science council and the Alma Mater Society council, I was an active member of a fraternity, I was a member of several clubs, and I attempted to get elected to the AMS executive 3 times. During the summers I had the fortune to have a well paying job. I worked in Logging camps doing forestry engineering. This had the double bonus of paying well, and also keeping me somewhere I couldn't spend the money I was earning. This allowed me to pay my own way through school, something that many of my friends were unable to do. And now, almost ten years later, they are just finishing paying off their student loans.

Following University I worked for several months at a planer mill to save money to go traveling. I set out on my first large backpacking trip. I spent 4 months in Europe, followed by 4 months in India and Nepal. This was a pivotal experience for me. Not only did it show me that Canada is pretty awesome, it also showed me that we do not exist in a vacuum. Our actions in Canada can and do affect things around the world, and events elsewhere affect us as well. I have since traveled to Kenya and Tanzania in 2002, and Peru in 2004. I have a strong desire to visit China and will likely go in the next 2 years.

Upon returning (it was difficult to come home after eight months of not staying anywhere longer than three days) I began working at the Flavelle Sawmill in Port Moody. I started fixing a few broken computers. I performed this reasonably well, so was allowed to start helping repair some automation equipment. I performed this reasonably well, so I was allowed to start rewriting automation code. I performed this reasonably well, so my supervisor left my alone and went to India for three weeks. When he returned, the mill was still running and I had managed to fix a few things in his absence. I was promoted and my supervisor moved back to Merritt. I became a shift supervisor, as well as a project manager for the installation of new equipment.

In 2004 I decided it was time to return to school. I originally contemplated law, however after further investigation, I decided that I would likely enjoy the practice of law, but dislike the business of law. At the same time I was developing a keen interest in entrepreneurship. I had several ideas of businesses I thought would be interesting to start, and also provide a good value to society. However I had no idea how to get started. So I decided to pursue an M.B.A. I looked at several schools and decided Queen's had a program that most suited my needs. I entered in May 2005 and completed the program in May 2006.

During that time I had the opportunity to meet Frank Dottori from a company called Tembec. We were looking for a prominent person to interview about leadership. Frank was the head of Tembec which was started from one bankrupt pulp mill, and has grown to a 4 billion dollar member of the pulp and paper industry. Frank helped us for our project, but really thought that Bob Rae was the guy we should interview.

Upon graduation, Bob had just declared his candidacy for the Leadership of the Liberal Party. Bob came to BC where we met and had a very good conversation. I put off my work search and joined in helping out his race in BC. I had no idea I would meet such a fabulous group of people from all across the country. Convention turned me from a "liberal minded person" to a "liberal action person". I am no longer content to allow things to unfold. I want to help make sure that liberal values continue to build the Canada that I am proud of.

I had intended to help out in several ridings, but came to the conclusion that Langley needs a voice. Langley needs someone to step up to the plate and win. And so here I am ready to work to make Langley a Liberal Riding.

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