To be a leader in the 21st century, you need to be agile, collaborative, and tenacious. BCIT alumni are all these things, leading teams, organizations, and industries as they tackle some of the world’s biggest problems.
“In leadership, pressures can force you to learn, grow, and evolve” said Kevin Lawrence, a strategic advisor, coach to CEOs and BCIT alumnus, who was the guest speaker at BCIT Alumni Association’s 2019 Annual General Meeting. “But…the more responsibility you take, the bigger the challenge is.”
Citing high-profile celebrities (Elvis, Michael Jackson, and Kate Spade) who burned out while seemingly at the top of their game, he encouraged AGM attendees to guard themselves against the same fate, sharing his 17 habits of high-achieving leaders, as outlined in his book Your Oxygen Mask First.
Have you subscribed? Sign-up to receive the latest news on BCIT.
“You need to be consciously selfish to be sustainably generous,” emphasized Kevin, who explained that leaders must take care of themselves first so that they can take better care of work, life, and family.
In closing, Kevin left the audience with a quote from Hunter S. Thompson: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a ride!’”
The keynote address inspired the more than 170 BCIT alumni, faculty, and staff who attended the AGM at BCIT’s Downtown Campus on May 28.
This year’s AGM was particularly special because 2019 is also BCIT Alumni Association’s 40th anniversary. The celebration kicked off with an anniversary cake. Guests were invited to take a walk down Memory Lane, as they perused a display of historic photos, yearbooks, alumni pins, publications, and awards from the past four decades. At the end of the night, attendees were given goody bags containing a commemorative 40th anniversary alumni pin, a limited-edition mug—to ‘sip, snap, and share their mugshot’ using #BCITAlumni40, as well as gifts from the association’s generous affinity partners.
BCIT Alumni Association President Emil Bosnjak, who was emcee, highlighted the accomplishments of the past year, including celebrating success at the 2018 Distinguished Awards gala, the launch of BCIT Alumni Association’s first international chapter in Hong Kong, and the impact the association has made on students.
“The Alumni Association continues to support students through its endowment fund, providing scholarships and bursaries,” he said. “The endowment currently stands at over $1.2 million. Since the fund was established, nearly 1,000 students have been helped through the efforts of you, our alumni, the Alumni Association, and our partners. Thank you to our alumni who donate to support our students, to the BCIT Student Association who work with the Alumni Association to lead student and alumni events, and our Board of Directors and volunteers who give so generously of their time.”
In closing, BCIT Advancement Vice President Paul McCullough emphasized, “We have a responsibility to bring people together through their common connection through BCIT. To help students who can’t afford to come to BCIT or can’t afford to stay. Ultimately, we’re in the business of educating people and of creating a family of our alumni here and around the world. I am proud to do this work with you.”
Special thanks to our generous event sponsor, Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC), and our Affinity Partners TD Insurance, iA Financial Group, and BMO.
Top photo, pictured, l – r: BCIT Alumni Association President Emil Bosnjak; Past President ’80 – ’81 Anne Marie Webb-Hughes; Past President ’16 – ’18 Elena Romero; and Past President ’90 – ’91 Gerry Townsend