From founding member of the ELN, to the new CEO of CivicAction! We’re so excited to be welcoming Leslie Woo, a respected leader with over 25 years of experience building sustainable communities and shaping urban growth, to the team. Learn more about Leslie and her city-building journey.
My name is… Leslie Woo
I speak (other than English) … Spanish
I was born in … Port of Spain, Trinidad
But I currently live in … St Lawrence Market neighbourhood, Toronto
I spend most of my free time… with my blended family, doing outdoor activities and having meals together.
I joined CivicAction because… I believe that we are at a time of seismic transformation and that CivicAction can play a critical leadership role in guiding the city and the nation to a better future.
One surprising thing about me/little known fact is… that I love rom-coms and I spent a year running a small business in the early 90’s, on the side, making and selling dyed fabric scarves and clothing at craft fairs.
The issues in our region that keep me up at night are… the great strength the city region has built attracting and integrating so many cultures and peoples, is at risk as the economic divide is widening and becoming more and more geographically concentrated.
My proudest city-building accomplishment to date is … building the 2008 regional transportation plan through broad support with all sectors and levels of government and watching that plan seed multi-billion dollar investments in access to expanded public transit, to become a reality.
The best piece of advice I have for rising leaders looking to grow their careers is… know yourself, understand your strengths and your values, and make deliberate choices that align with those strengths and values.
One thing I do to ensure I continue to grow and develop as a leader is… to have continuous curiosity to understand what I don’t know, and never assuming that what got me here, will get me there.
One characteristic every leader should possess is … understanding that leadership is about wanting everyone to succeed. It should not be a selfish act to gain prosperity or power.
Diverse leadership is important because…. The challenges we face in government, business or community development are complex and mostly systemic. Diversity of perspective and diversity of thought bring more innovative solutions and a better assessment of what effective solutions are.
If I could have a meal with any leader (dead or alive) it would be ….. Anthony Bourdain because he would choose a great meal and bring a global perspective to our conversation.