Written by Jess Borys, Communications Manager
For Liz Choi, intuition is more than a gut-feeling, it’s a powerful tool that not only can help guide your career decisions, but can lead the way for transformative ideas and shifts in business plans.
Liz is the Chief Transformation and Growth Officer at Education Canada Group, President of Robertson Online and soon-to-be Board Chair of The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
As incoming chair, Liz hopes to use her platform and experiences to help businesses thrive rather than just survive, and also to consider how the pandemic has taught us that anything is possible; which can be a powerful motivator to explore future-think and challenge the norm.
“I think this year we have an opportunity to begin to move back into some state of normalcy so we can begin to shift our focus from pivoting and trying to stay afloat, back to thriving,” said Liz.
“I hope I can inspire leaders to challenge their businesses’ status quo. It can be an opening for growth if you are willing to explore it. You have to ask yourself what the trajectory is if we stay the same, and where can we go if we look outside of our own perceptions. To do that, businesses also need to be more inclusive. I think that’s the first step in thriving.”
Diversity, equity and inclusion have been at the forefront of all of The Chamber’s programming and moving forward Liz hopes that she can help show the importance and benefits of doing just that.
“To me, equal opportunity and fairness is not only really important but necessary,” said Liz. “I hope to help lead the charge in that through transformation for businesses to understand the why behind investing in this work as they will have a great ROI.”
Liz knows the struggles and fears businesses had just trying to survive throughout the pandemic, but also believes in finding opportunity within that fear.
“The first ten plus years of my time in Winnipeg were built on sheer survival, trying to learn a new language and culture. So I became super resilient and don’t scare easily.”
Now leading her team using thought-provoking concepts and revolutionary business strategies, Liz has never shied away from letting that undeniable intuition push her trajectory; which hasn’t been without high risks.
As an International student in Winnipeg, she had only 90 days post-graduation to find a job to be eligible to stay in Canada. She found a job on day 82.
“My parents were here in Winnipeg as well and they thought they could be going back with me if I didn’t find this job so it was a very emotional summer. I filled a mat-leave position as a teacher working with young moms and Indigenous youth at Elmwood High School. It was an amazing and life-changing experience.”
But for Liz, she began to realize this wasn’t her calling, or at least it wasn’t for now.
“I was asked to go to another school in a more permanent role. I don’t know what came over me at that point but I just said, no, I’m not. I felt like if I signed on the dotted line then I was going to be a teacher forever,” said Liz. “I have a kind of a track record of doing that when I am comfortable, but it’s always paid off for me.”
As Liz looks back on Shreeraj Patel’s year as Chair, she wants to continue to build on the work he has already started.
“One thing Raj and I both bring to the table is our people-first approach,” smiled Liz. “Raj did a fantastic job at building so many connections and relationships within the business community, now it’s my job to come in and strengthen those relationships and amplify their voices.”
Looking ahead to the upcoming year has some unpredictability attached to it, but for Liz she knows one thing for sure.
“As Chair, I really want to play a role in bringing home the work The Chamber has already done in transforming itself to be more equitable,” said Liz. “We are already in a good place as a leading Chamber, but I want to strengthen that position, even further.”
We will send off our current board chair, Shreeraj Patel, and welcome Liz as our new chair at our Annual General Meeting on Thursday, October 7, 2021.