Virginia was first elected to the Vancity board in 2007 and served as board chair from 2011 to 2014 and vice-chair of the Citizens Bank board from 2008 to 2011. Through board leadership, she has helped Vancity---on behalf of members---deepen its commitment to democracy, financial inclusion and the environment while building even stronger financial services capability.
Virginia grew up in Toronto, Boston and Vancouver. She first worked in resource industries, including commercial fishing, road construction, industrial first aid, and a Yukon placer gold mine where she was the first woman hired as a heavy-equipment operator. While running a front-end loader, rock truck or bulldozer, she spent time thinking about economic growth and environmental sustainability. Her subsequent career in development finance was rooted in those early experiences. Virginia's connection to Vancity began in 1995 when she sold Vancity a microloan fund that focused on youth, new immigrant and women entrepreneurs. Virginia also helped design Vancity Capital to offer flexible financing to small and medium-sized businesses.
At Ecotrust Canada, she created a loan fund to finance small businesses in coastal BC communities where local economies are dependent on natural resources. In 2000, Virginia relocated to Africa for several years to help structure innovative financing programs to scale up the fight against HIV/AIDS. Back in Canada, she's continued to work as a consultant to local small businesses as well as large international aid projects. Her clients include the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Canadian International Development Agency; World Bank; various NGOs and privately-held companies. She volunteers at the local school and advocates for affordable, accessible childcare. She served for six years on the board of Smart Growth BC, an organization dedicated to building sustainable, livable communities. Virginia completed her BA in history at Boston College, an MBA at University of Victoria, and the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors in 2008.
In 2014, Virginia received the Community Legacy PEAK award from the Association of Women in Finance. Virginia, her husband and two young children are Vancity members and they visit the branch at Commercial Drive and First Avenue in East Vancouver where they live.