Doug Ng, Silvera Diamond

27 May 2023

Doug Ng describes his time on Silvera’s board as “a great journey.”

Like so many people who come to  work or volunteer with Silvera, his reasons for becoming involved were personal. “After my dad died, I saw how important it was for my mom to have a group of friends that is outside our immediate family. We’ve always been a close family but having her own community of people was crucial.”

This experience made him consider what people do when they don’t have those kinds of supports. When he saw that Silvera was recruiting for a board member with a background in finance and accounting, it felt like kismet. Doug is a Chartered Professional Accountant whose 30-year career has been in public accounting with a focus in taxation. He served as chair of Silvera’s finance committee for six years before moving into the role of Board Chair last year.

A highlight for Doug during his tenure on Silvera’s board was seeing Gilchrist Commons come to fruition.

“One of the first major decisions when I joined the board was to approve a commitment of capital investment in Gilchrist. We had no guarantees from our other stakeholders whether we would be reimbursed for the investment, but we decided to commit to it – at a certain point you need to go all in, or nothing will get done.

“I remember talking through the issues involved with getting the building underway. Then, to be able to see the results – watching people move into their new homes last summer – was so impactful. It was a really gratifying experience.”

For Doug, moments like this underscore the gravity of the role of Silvera’s Board of Directors. “The work the board and management does carries a heavy weight. We are not working in a vacuum – our decisions impact residents and their family and friends. It is such fulfilling work.”

Looking forward, Doug sees an important role for Silvera as an advocate for employees in the sector.

“One of the most pressing issues for us is ensuring employees are making a livable wage and viewing Silvera as a place they want to invest their time to build a career. We’ve come a long way, but we still have some distance to go.”

In another 18 months, Doug will be wrapping up his third and final three-year term with Silvera’s board. He reflects on the changes he has seen over that time and the importance of injecting new energy from different board members.

“The history of long-term board members is valuable, but new board members bring different perspectives. Getting new people involved is a good way to rejuvenate fresh thinking. We are in a great position right now with a mix of skills, views and opinions.”

The most important traits he believes a board member must possess are a passion to give back to the community and curiosity.

“You must have a desire to ask difficult questions, and to sometimes question the answers with the ultimate goal of finding a solution,” he says. “You also need to be open to hearing different points of view.”

Doug’s message to anyone considering serving on a volunteer board is simple.

“We all accumulate certain skillsets in our careers and it’s great if you’re able to contribute to your community using those skills. When I first joined Silvera’s board, I never thought I would be involved for this long.

“It has been a wonderful surprise to be able to contribute to my community in this capacity.”