BY GARY THANDI
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is Canada’s largest port and is about the same size as the next five largest Canadian ports combined. It includes more than 16,000 hectares of water, more than 1,500 hectares of land, hundreds of kilometers of shoreline, and is home to 29 major terminals. Trade through the port connects Canadian businesses and consumers with the variety of products that we use every day from markets worldwide and facilitates the trade of approximately $240 billion in goods across Canada. Its activities sustain 115,300 jobs nationally and $7 billion in wages. The Port Authority is responsible for overseeing port development as Canada’s trade grows, accomplished through building infrastructure and by reviewing and permitting development projects in the port, such as terminal expansions.
Joslyn Young, Manager, External Relations – Gateway Strategy at Vancouver Fraser Port Authority sat down with Drishti to share her own background and discuss her position with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Joslyn is the eldest of five children who had “wonderful parents who raised my siblings and I to believe in ourselves and always strive to excel.” She goes on to explain that, “Doing things halfway was not a part of our household culture and perseverance was a trait I developed at a young age. You have to be willing to persevere through the inevitable challenges that life throws at you.”
Joslyn’s experiences in sports and the arts further solidified these values. In her early years, she studied dance – in particular, ballet within the Royal Academy of Dance rigorous curriculum. “In ballet, you train to make it look easy, but it takes incredible strength and focus.” She also learned to be flexible. When her knees could no longer handle the demands of ballet, she switched gears and tried martial arts. “I have a black belt and am a world champion in Taekwondo. I accomplished that because I work hard and always strive to be the best at what I do.”
These experiences have influenced her approach to both life and business. “Something I have realized over time is the importance and value of setting an intention,” Joslyn advises, “setting a goal and making the decision to achieve it – the importance of that is something I have carried with me throughout my life.”
Joslyn is a proud graduate of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Journalism and Public Relations program. Her first job out of university was at the Vancouver Sun, where she learned the ropes from seasoned professionals. She later moved on to a television station, but decided it was ultimately not her calling. “That was another turning point in my life,” she advises, “where I realized I needed to make a change and then set about doing that. Thankfully, my skills were transferrable, and now I am doing something that I absolutely love at an amazing organization.”
Joslyn found her way to the Union of BC Municipalities, where she spent 13 years in various roles working closely with elected officials across British Columbia. She enjoyed her work at UBCM but eventually decided once again that a change was needed. “I wanted to work for a huge company – to have that experience,” says Joslyn, which led to her next role as Manager of Public Affairs in BC with CN Rail. “It was in this role that I had a chance to work more closely with the Port Authority, and when a position opened up last year, I jumped at the opportunity.”
Throughout her career, Joslyn has had the chance to connect, network with, and be impacted by several solid female leaders. “I have always been surrounded by strong women – in my family, friendships, and professional life. They have all had key influences on me and I find them incredibly inspiring.” She notes the importance of sharing knowledge within these networks and says, “We help one another grow and build each other up – it’s what I call the ‘mutual admiration society’ ”.
Whether by guiding her own daughter through adolescence, succeeding in the male-dominated fields of politics and supply chains, or by simply empowering her colleagues to celebrate their unique strengths, Joslyn strives to make a difference. In her role as Manager, External Relations – Gateway Strategy at Vancouver Fraser Port, she is able to do just that. She explains, “Not only is the port creating jobs and supporting the economy, they do so with a commitment to the environment, sustainability and communities. It’s a great feeling to know that the work my colleagues and I are doing is benefiting communities and businesses across the country.”
For more information on the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority visit portvancouver.com