Pam is an effective, creative person.

As the former Mayor of West Vancouver she stuck with multiple changes needed to transform West Van from safe to a sense of enterprise and engagement. She’s an innovator when it comes to community participation (new working groups instead of advisory committees) and corporate governance (creating a non-profit to manage the award winning community centre/arm’s length management and fundraising for the 2010 Olympics, Venue City).

She protested the destruction of Eagle Ridge Bluffs in 2005 (nude calendar girl), banned the use of cosmetic pesticides in WV a decade ago, supported significant restorative work on the foreshore/intertidal zone (UN Global Green City Award). She took on tough jobs as Vice Chair of Translink, pitching the 2 cents/litre increase in gas taxes, as Vice Chair of Metro’s Waste Committee, promoting less solid waste, and as West Van Police Board Chair through a massive multi-year corporate culture change.

Pam homeschooled her 3 children for 6 years, has a Masters degree in local government, and is now doing her MBA at SFU, majoring in Aboriginal Business and Leadership. She has her own consulting company helping business work with public policy. Douglas Coupland says “She’s incredibly down to earth and wildly generous with her time and spirit…” (Vancouver Magazine, June 2011)

CMV: How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?

PGJ: I say things out loud. There’s something powerful about putting ideas into words. It helps me to focus my thinking before acting, and to reach out for help.

CMV: Where do you find your best creative inspiration?

PGJ: I love reading, other people’s logic and body language, and I share.

CMV: What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

PGJ: Don’t think of it as worrying, think of it as hatching a new idea.

CMV: Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?

PGJ: Young aboriginal leaders in the arts, media, business, politics.

CMV: Biggest Aha! moments?

PGJ: Realizing I can only succeed if others are too. Smiling, jokes at your own expense, delegating really good jobs, sharing contacts, reaching out to opponents – these all work. Don’t sell anyone out – this does not work.

Keep space open.

CMV: Best surprise in life?

PGJ: a) Taking the kids out of school for 6 weeks, that turned into 6 years.

b) Sitting down beside a complete stranger at a fundraiser who, after talking for an hour or so, said “You’ll be the next Mayor of West Van, and I’ll help you get there.”

He did, twice. He taught me the importance of listening and being open.

Life is full of surprises.

- Pamela will be joining us for CreativeMornings Vancouver on Friday May 3, 2013.