Breaking the Boundaries - Lisa Wolverton '85
Lisa’s admirable career achievements originated when she was a young woman in a tartan skirt, encouraged to find her sense of purpose by Crofton House School. She fondly recalls the comradery amongst friends and the nurturing support of the staff. “I couldn’t have done it without the foundation I got at CHS,” she says. “At school we were encouraged to believe that we could be anything, a prime minister, a surgeon or an artist. The school had high expectations of us, and we were always encouraged to do our best.”
Shortly after graduating from CHS, Lisa went to UBC for one year before moving to New York to complete her Bachelor of Business Administration at the New School for Social Research. Leaving the safety of Vancouver for a new city and country required courage and confidence. Lisa credits her family’s sense of adventure for giving her the courage to leave home, and Crofton House for her confidence. Barely 20 when she moved to New York she recalls, “no-one cared who you were, or where you had come from. The confidence that was instilled in me at school to venture afar, to consider all my choices, and to pursue opportunities is what gave me the courage to keep going.”
Her first steps into the business world included a stint at Ralph Lauren before crossing over into the music industry where she spent ten years building a career while working for different record companies, and finally Sony Music Canada. In this creative and exciting environment, Lisa was given the opportunity to learn about the many facets that comprise business. However, her passion for giving back to communities is where her heart truly lay.
A keen interest in international development and the fragile states of vulnerable populations led Lisa to UNICEF Canada where she served on the board from 2009 – May 2015. This experience crystalized her interest in issues concerning children and inspired her to establish the charity GenerationChild. Initially, the organization was deeply involved in efforts to reach displaced and sometimes detained and forgotten children in Iraq. Over time, the organization has re-strategized its focus to the west coast of BC, the place Lisa calls home. GenerationChild’s current objective is to support community organizations in BC, the Yukon and the North West Territories engaged in child-focused health, education and protection.
Lisa’ other passion is promoting the vital role that she believes women should and will hold in the corporate world. In June 2015 she served as chair of Next Billion: Women and the Economy of the Future. She invited corporate leaders from Canada, the U.S., Latin America and Asia to discuss how women are critical to businesses moving forward, whether they be consumers, labour force, employees or entrepreneurs. Corporations were encouraged to look at diversity as an investment in the bottom line. “While we’ve witnessed significant strides on women’s issues, from diversity programs to micro-financing, corporations from all sectors have failed to truly recognize and capitalize on women’s potential positive economic impact. As we look to the future of our global economy, those who continue to ignore this opportunity do so at their own peril”. The unique feature of the conference: men in the room, actively engaged as part of the conversation. “It is time we have the men in the room, not just women speaking to other women about women’s issues,” she says.
Lisa’s hope is that her generation will be able to leave a prosperous and stable world for future CHS graduates. She is truly embodying the CHS motto ‘Servabo Fidem” – keeping the faith for future generations.
Monday November, 9, 2015 at 12:25PM
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