Submitted. Seasoned business leader Sandy Blue has announced her candidacy for Abbotsford City Council as part of team AbbotsfordFIRST. With over thirty years’ experience in business and leadership roles Sandy brings a wealth of expertise to the AbbotsfordFIRST team of candidates vying for council seats in the 2014 municipal election.
“I’m so proud to be joining AbbotsfordFIRST as a council candidate,” says Sandy. “AbbotsfordFIRST has assembled an exceptionally strong team that I believe can change the way business is done in Abbotsford. We need to support existing business as well as attract investment to create more high value local jobs. With assets like the airport, hospital, university and border crossings, as well as thriving agricultural and aerospace economies, Abbotsford should be a preferred destination for businesses and families alike. As a member of Council I will put my education, experience and business connections to work to help Abbotsford create a thriving local economy that will benefit our citizens today as well as provide a solid base for future generations.”
Blue has served in senior leadership roles at the national and international levels, including six years as Assistant Vice-President Marketing, Sponsorship and Brand at HSBC Bank Canada and 25 years at TELUS/ BC TEL. She has nine years’ experience in economic development, including two years as Business Development Lead at Abbotsford International Airport, where she was successful in her quest to secure a transhipment designation from Transport Canada for Abbotsford International Airport. Sandy has earned the prestigious international CEcD accreditation from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in Washington, DC and Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in San Francisco. As well, she holds a Canadian Economic Development certification from the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) and the University of Waterloo.
Since moving to Abbotsford in 2000, Blue has a long history of community service, which includes service as Vice-President of the Abbotsford Police Foundation and Community Leader for the Minerva Foundation’s BC Women ‘Learning to Lead’ program. She was also appointed by the Provincial Government to a six-year term as Police Commissioner on the Abbotsford Police Board. In addition to winning numerous awards for her leadership in economic development, such as the Marketing Project of the Year award from the BC Association of Economic Developers, Blue was previously nominated for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award. She serves on the Urban Developers Institute UDI Fraser Valley Committee, and is a frequent presenter to audiences including the recent Fraser Valley Economic Summit, Alberta Union of Rural Municipalities 2014 Annual Conference, Real Estate Investment Network, BC Environmental Industry Association, Urban Developers Institute Fraser Valley Open for Business and the Planning Institute of BC (PIBC).
“My unique blend of business development and strategic management experience will assist AbbotsfordFIRST in its efforts to position Abbotsford as the business-friendly hub of the region. Enhanced economic growth strategies and better management of our many assets will lead to numerous benefits for our community and help solve the city’s long-term debt challenges,” says Blue.
With the addition of Blue to the team, AbbotsfordFIRST now has five council candidates. Four candidates, Ross Siemens, Kelly Chahal, Vince Dimanno and Brenda Falk were previously announced. Each are accomplished community and business leaders in their own right, who believe that by working together as a team they can achieve much more than any individual can. The team approach, as well as the gender balance of this team, is of historical significance in Abbotsford municipal politics.
“There are significant challenges facing Abbotsford and it will take collaborative leadership and innovative problem solving to get things done. No single council member can possibly implement the type of change needed, which is why AbbotsfordFIRST candidates have made the commitment to work together no matter the issue,” adds council candidate Vince Dimanno.
“Council simply cannot continue to work in silos and expect to bring the meaningful change our community deserves,” says candidate Ross Siemens, owner of Hub Motor Service and former two-term District of Abbotsford Councillor.
AbbotsfordFIRST adheres to the values of leadership, accountability and respect and is seeking to establish Abbotsford as a desired location for business and families alike. They aim to create a welcoming, business-friendly environment; where government sets the stage for a vibrant local economy.
To learn more about AbbotsfordFIRST click here.