Brandon is passionate about innovation and problem-solving in complex situations.
His first exposure to the power of a true, analytical approach to bring clarity to complex situations was through courses in economics and psychology during his BBA in Entrepreneurial Leadership. His passion developed further through courses in strategic marketing and leadership; and as a founding member of his university's business case competition team, where the team's inaugural performance took the team international.
After graduating top of his BBA class, Brandon continued his education, earning a Juris Doctor (JD) from UBC Law. As a lawyer and mediator, he now helps his clients navigate complex situations, attaining justice and creating (or avoiding the need for) change.
Brandon volunteers as a director of the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSofBC), where he acts as a member of the executive, and chairs the organization's new fund-raising committee. He is a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Bar Assocation's BarTalk Magazine, and an occasional contributor to various publications.
Brandon's hobbies include taking courses online, coding, watching comedy, and playing hockey. He has a black belt in martial arts, and is a PADI-certified rescue (SCUBA) diver.
How do you define success?
Fun. I think success is getting out of bed every day, excited for what you have ahead of you. For me, this means that I want to be maximizing four things: adventure, integrity, equanimity, and passion. I love going to work, learning about my clients, and crafting solutions to their problems.
What cause/charity is dearest to your heart?
Two, actually: Rotary, and Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC).
ISSofBC for reasons that will become clear if you read the rest of this profile. It's an amazing organization that making Vancouver a leader in refugee settlement activities. I'm blessed to be able to contribute to it as a director.
Rotary because I have never met a nicer, more good-hearted, more diverse set of people in my life. Rotary is like a family that is tied together through their philanthropic nature, and they do amazing things in the world. I was also lucky enough to be part of the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, which was a transformative experience (shout out to the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunrise). Plus, Rotary was a big part of (almost) eradicating polio. Polio! They almost wiped an awful disease off the face of the earth (and are still trying) - that's a huge deal, and just absolutely incredible.
What has been your favorite experience with The Vancouver Board of Trade?
Leadership Cafes, hands-down. It's so fun to get together and brainstorm with a bunch of Vancouver's best and brightest. That, and our input actually makes a difference to the organizations that get the CYP's feedback, which hopefully helps them adapt to the market or do cool and innovative things, and generally make Vancouver a better place to be.
What advice do you have for other young professionals?
You have rights. We live in a country, fortunately, that gives you many, many mechanisms to enforce those rights. Don't be afraid to use the courts, the human rights tribunal, the WCAT, the residential tenancy branch, or the many other options available, to stand up for yourself. It's not as scary, hard or daunting as you might think. It's also not somehow nefarious or personally offensive. "Sue" is not a bad word – with very few exceptions, lawsuits are a method of someone standing up for themselves, and trying to reverse a wrong that they think has been done to them.
We are blessed in this province with good judges and arbitrators, who tend to be compassionate and helpful, even (especially) if you don't have a lawyer. You don't have to let people push you around –a strong argument can be made that the degree to which people are allowed to push you around is the degree to which our rights don't matter; and on a large enough scale, this has the collateral effect of harming the economic efficiency, and therefore quality of life, that our laws are supposed to create.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I'm really proud of the "portfolio" of my unique volunteer activities, and the impact they have made:
- I got to be a founding member of a business case competition team for two years, travelling internationally and helping my university establish its brand worldwide;
- I was able to kick-off an idea for an endowed fund with a group of high-achieving students, just as I was graduating undergrad, and that group now has a legacy of indefinitely creating scholarships for students;
- I worked with researchers in Jordan as part of a UBC archeology field school, and actually got to teach some of the folks there about technical drawing; and
- I built houses in Ecuador, helping families escape poverty.
I'm excited to be part of ISSofBC because I feel like I again get a chance to be part of something that's going to make a real difference. We are building a world-leading, $20M refugee welcome centre right here in Vancouver. That's something that is going to be good for BC, and I think shows truly Canada's character.
I'm proud, but also really grateful, for all of these opportunities to have been part of something that is durable, and helps create a tangible improvement in the lives of those who come after me.