Asian Heritage Month has come and gone, but we want to take one more opportunity to celebrate two women who have not only become pillars in the Asian community, but leaders in the broader Ottawa community through their dedication and hard work.
Here are two community leaders shaping business and community in Ottawa.
After working in full-time roles for her entire career, Paulina Yee was looking for something different. That’s what brought her to Invest Ottawa.
For the past three years, Paulina has been a finance and accounting advisor for entrepreneurs participating in Invest Ottawa’s Scale Up program, leveraging her 30 years of experience to become a “virtual CFO” to local companies.
During that time, Paulina has been a trusted senior advisor providing strategic financial advice and guidance and helping her clients to de-construct complex problems and issues and find creative and innovative solutions.
But Paulina’s involvement with Invest Ottawa doesn’t just stop at being an advisor; the University of Waterloo mathematics grad, CPA and Ottawa Hospital Foundation Finance and Audit Committee member is also a client, participating in the Starter Company Plus program.
“It was very rewarding to provide guidance and support to an entrepreneur getting her bookkeeping business off the ground”, she noted. “This kind of support and mentorship to entrepreneurs is invaluable to helping them grow and prosper. It also allows them to learn from seasoned mentors who have ‘been there and done that’.
Sharon Deng // Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
Sharon Deng is the Executive Director of the Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre, a non-profit, non-partisan charitable organization committed to advancing the full social and economic integration and participation of newcomers, immigrants and refugees in the capital.
The now 45-year old organization was founded on the basic principle of helping newcomers settle in Canada, providing a range of services, from Settlement Services to Language Training and Employment Support.
“We’re an organization with a majority of staff who are newcomers themselves”, Sharon explains. “We have Ottawa’s largest Chinese speaking settlement staff who helps educate and support newcomers at every stage of their settlement journey in Canada.”
As a proud Chinese Canadian, Carleton University Linguistics grad (B.A. Hons), and former adult education instructor who has served in a number of different roles with TESL Ontario, Algonquin College, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and many other organizations, Sharon is perfectly positioned to ensure newcomers have access to the support and training they need.
“As a second generation Chinese Canadian, it is important to give back to the community and I do through the work with OCCSC who continues to work tirelessly.”
This article is the fourth in a special Asian History Month series by Invest Ottawa.
About the Author
Kevin Bourne, also known as “KB The Boss” or simply “KB”, is an Ottawa-based media/entertainment entrepreneur, freelance journalist, and media personality.
The former political staffer is quickly becoming a staple in Ottawa and Canada’s cultural landscape as both a commentator and freelancer, appearing nationally on CBC News Network and locally on CTV, CBC Radio, CityNews, and 580 CFRA and having been published in ByBlacks, the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Business Journal. Doubling as CEO of the PR and content marketing firm SHIFTER Agency Inc. and editor-in-chief at SHIFTER magazine, Kevin has covered some of Canada’s top red carpet events, from the Juno Awards to the Canadian Screen Awards and has interviewed everyone from Kevin Hart to “Fast and the Furious” star Tyrese Gibson. He is currently co-host of The Morning Shift, Ottawa’s daily hip-hop morning radio show on CHUO 89.1FM.
He is also a board member at the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition and the Ottawa Film Office and was recently named to the TEDx Kanata Leadership Committee and Ottawa Life Magazine’s Best of Ottawa: Activists & Changemakers list for 2020.
DMS helps small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to survive the pandemic and thrive in the new economy. Discover how the Future Proof program has helped small businesses thrive at Investottawa.ca.
A special thank you to the Government of Canada and specifically FedDev Ontario for making this program possible and enabling the team at Invest Ottawa to provide critical support to main street businesses when it is needed most.