I was born April 23, 1965 and grew up just outside of Edmonton in a small town called Leduc. I attended the University of Alberta (U of A), worked for the U of A Hospital and the Canadian Red Cross. After three years of university, I packed my bags and headed to Vancouver where I have lived for the past 24 years.
For the past 15 years, I’ve been a proud foster dad and helped shape the lives of over 40 children. Currently I have three teenage boys and one dog all looking to me for support, guidance and love.
I have always had a strong work ethic. At the age of 12 I got my first job cleaning a bakery. This soon led to working in the restaurant industry where I did many tasks including managing the kitchen and wait staff.
My experience in healthcare started at the U of A Hospital where I worked as a cardiac perfusion assistant, anesthetic assistant, operating room assistant, and finally a research assistant. This last position gave rise to my own research company where I spent a few years studying different biological and mechanical heart valves.
When I moved to Vancouver, like most HEU members, I started applying for casual positions. I went to Vancouver General, BC Children’s, and the Canadian Red Cross. As luck would have it, all three hired me. And like all members, I worked hard to obtain a regular position.
I gained a range of experiences while working for hospitals and clinics. I have worked as a porter, lab assistant, distribution attendant, OR assistant, endoscopy aide (where I cleaned scopes and sterilized equipment), and perfusion assistant (where I ran the blood cell saver, assisted with set up and monitoring of the heart lung and life support machines). While in this last position, I also performed payroll, time keeping, and inventory functions.
It is clear from my varied work experience that I have a broad scope of knowledge and a clear understanding of members’ working lives.
Being a leader of the union, I feel I need to be politically involved as well. It’s one sure way for politicians, community and general public to learn about HEU issues, especially when the media give Labour little coverage either on TV or in print. I will continue to fight for Labour issues and defend public healthcare and public services such as education in the political arena.
Therefore, I have included the political sphere in my union and community activities. I’ve held the position of Riding President both at the Federal and Provincial levels. I’ve been a Financial Agent for the Federal NDP in Richmond, a Campaign Manager for all three Provincial Richmond NDP ridings, and I’ve even run as the Federal NDP candidate for the riding of Vancouver-Quadra where I continue to be involved.
In these ways, I seek to build the public support for HEU, Labour and the NDP.