The first time I talked with David Anderson was at the Maple Leaf Gala in February 2013. I was one of the volunteers for the event, and he shyly answered a couple of questions I asked rather than telling us volunteers what to do.
I still remember that he was carrying a brown leather briefcase as if he were transporting stacks of banknotes in it or something. I later learned that the bag was his gift to himself to celebrate his new life journey in Tokyo.
The second time I met David was in a classroom of the McGill MBA Japan program. He was in the second year of a two-year program when I started working at McGill MBA Japan in April 2013. He looked confident and fearless, apparently the result of what he had learned at the business school. He soon became the managing director of the Alberta Japan office, moving up to the next level of his career in the Canada-Japan business community.
You can read what brought David to Japan and about his career and aspirations elsewhere in this issue, but this message is mostly personal. He was me four executive directors ago, so he’s been in my position and knows exactly what I face and need to deal with. More than that, he has been my respected leader, advisor, and most importantly the greatest friend you can imagine, someone I can talk about anything from Canada-Japan business relations to favourite hometown sports teams with.
Although I never imagined I would settle in my current position, I often think everything happens for a reason. I’ve had a number of opportunities to hear from David at Chamber events about what he’s doing, what he was working on, and what he wanted to achieve, not only at his workplace but at the CCCJ as well. As I wrote in the previous issue of this magazine, I was one of those girls who dream about being involved in the Canada-Japan community in some way, and I’m grateful that I had an ideal role model for that.
I’ve exchanged tons of business cards during our own events, at invited events, member company visits and introductions by the members and their colleagues. When I look through them, I see they are from many disparate industries. I’m confident that there are many Canadian companies coming to Japan or considering doing business here. That translates into vast opportunities for the CCCJ to boost the number of members and to showcase our presence in the greater business community in Japan.
Over the past two years—inspired by the team chair and executive director, together with the Board of Governors, committee chairs and members—the CCCJ has become a place where members avidly pursue the Chamber’s mandate: To promote the development of commerce between Canada and Japan. The general election is coming up, and CCCJ members will vote for and welcome the new Board of Governors soon. I too am looking forward to working with David’s replacement and the new leadership team and to continue helping our members and Canada shine.