December 14, 2015 NPA

NPA Park Board Commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung elected Chair of Vancouver Park Board

December 14, 2015, Vancouver, B.C. – NPA Park Board Commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung was elected as the new Chair of the Vancouver Park Board at tonight’s Park Board meeting. Vancouver’s Park Board commissioners elect a new Chair – to serve for the upcoming year – at their final meeting in December each year.

The Park Board commissioners also elected NPA Park Board Commissioner Erin Shum to serve as Park Board Vice-Chair, NPA Commissioner Casey Crawford to serve as Chair of the Park Board Committee, and NPA Commissioner John Coupar to serve as Vice-Chair of the Committee.

Kirby-Yung says she is honoured to serve as Chair and is looking forward to building on the work of the past year.

“This Board has set a renewed, positive tone and focused on improving maintenance in our parks,” said Kirby-Yung. “Moving forward, our priorities include strengthening relationships with community centres and increased community engagement. We’re also passionate about bringing fun to Vancouver’s parks and recreation services, prioritizing service delivery and resource management, and being strong advocates for green space for all Vancouverites.”

Biographical information for all four NPA Park Board Commissioners is appended at the end of this media release. Media headshot photos for all NPA Caucus members are available here.


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Background information:

Commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung:

Commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung was elected to the Park Board in November 2014 and has served as the Board’s Vice-Chair for the past year. She is an award-winning marketer and communications and tourism industry veteran. She is currently Executive Director, Marketing and Communications for a Vancouver-based international hotel group. She was previously Director of Marketing and Sponsorship for Tourism Vancouver, as well as Vice-President, Marketing and Communications for the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, where she profiled its conservation, research, and education programs.

As a long-time advocate for vibrant and connected communities, Kirby-Yung has served as marketing chair for Vancouver’s annual Celebration of Light, and on the Tourism and Hospitality Management Advisory board for Royal Roads University, where she also taught MBA and Commerce students. She was a member of the City of Vancouver’s Creative City Task Force, where she assisted in the development and adoption of a Creative City Strategy. Subsequently, she co-chaired the development of a Cultural Tourism Plan that was adopted by Vancouver City Council. She was also involved in the international branding of Vancouver in advance of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and developed Dine Out Vancouver, which is now Canada’s largest restaurant festival.

Kirby-Yung holds a degree from UBC, a marketing management diploma from BCIT, and an MBA from Royal Roads University.

Commissioner Erin Shum:

Commissioner Erin Shum was elected to the Park Board in November 2014 and has served as the Board’s Committee Vice-Chair for the past year. She was raised in East Vancouver’s Renfrew Heights neighbourhood where she has been actively involved in the community since childhood. She is the co-owner and director of She to Shic Boutique Beauty Lounge, an eco-friendly and organic spa in Kerrisdale and also works as a special education assistant, specializing in working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Shum received the Duke of Edinburgh Award before the age of 21, and served two terms on the board of the Learning Disabilities Association of Vancouver. She has been a board member of the Kerrisdale Business Association for the past four years. She is also an active community volunteer, and has worked with the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, Girl Guides of Canada, and St John Ambulance Brigade. Currently, she works with the Lotus Light Charity Society, helping raise funds and daily necessities for residents of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.

Shum also works as a mentor at her alma mater, UBC, where she obtained her degree in Forest Genetics. Currently, she works with the university’s sororities and Young Women in Business community.

Commissioner Casey Crawford:

Commissioner Casey Crawford was elected to the Park Board in November 2014 and has served as the Board’s Committee Chair for the past year. He is a lifelong resident of Greater Vancouver and a dedicated community volunteer. Crawford has worked in retail, telecommunications, and media and publishing.

Crawford has been involved in numerous local organizations and youth sport associations, including Kerrisdale Soccer (now the Vancouver United Football Club), Little Mountain Baseball, the Canadian Diabetes Association, Quilchena Elementary School Parent Advisory Council (where he served as its chair), and the University of British Columbia’s Crane Library. He also served six years on the Board of the Stroke Recovery Association of BC, most recently serving as Chair.

Crawford is a graduate of Simon Fraser University and spends his free time with his wife and two sons who are all keen athletes who use Vancouver’s park and recreation facilities to play soccer, baseball and field hockey, and cycle on the city’s bike routes.

Commissioner John Coupar:

Commissioner John Coupar is a second-term Park Board Commissioner and was first elected to the Board in 2011. For the past year he has served as Park Board Chair. He is an advocate of horticultural excellence in parks and green spaces and well-known for his successful effort to save and restore the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Coupar brings a strong business background to the Park Board having spent many years in senior management positions in a number of Canadian corporations. Seven years ago he founded a successful brand marketing company. He is also the Past President of Friends of the Bloedel Association and a Past Governor of VanDusen Botanical Gardens and former member of the VBGA executive committee.

In 2013, Coupar received the City of Vancouver Heritage Award of Honour for the successful campaign to save the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park; he obtained significant private funding as well as capital funding from civic and federal government to restore and refurbish the Conservatory. He is also a Public Board Member on the College of Dietitians of British Columbia and serves on the College’s registration committee.

Coupar’s key achievements as a Park Board Commissioner include working to obtain capital funding for the Bloedel Conservatory roof replacement, helping to stop the paving of Hadden and Kitsilano Beach Parks, and introducing a successful motion to ensure that a Dragon Boat facility in False Creek would be built. This past year, Coupar has taken a number of steps as Chair to focus on improved service delivery and initiated major events and activities to highlight the role of Park Board in delivering Vancouver’s healthy active lifestyle.

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