Sue Adams, Vice-Chair
For many British Columbians, owning one small business would fulfill a life-long dream. Sue Adams has fulfilled that dream six times over.
Residents and visitors to the Lower Mainland may be familiar with at least one of the businesses Sue has owned or co-owned and operated since the early 1970s: from the Pyrogy House in New Westminster, to the Amorous Oyster and Contented Sole restaurants, and Culinary Capers Catering in Vancouver.
The most recent chapter in the life of Sue and her husband/business partner Bob began when they moved to Whistler in 1988 where they purchased The Grocery Store and later opened Delish Café & Catering. In 2001 Sue and Bob were awarded the Whistler Chamber of Commerce Businesspersons of the Year Award. In 1998 they opened The Pemberton Valley Supermarket. The couple has earned a number of Diamond and Platinum Awards for Business Excellence from the Canadian Federation of Independent Groceries and were inducted into the Grocery Hall of Fame.
Sue has devoted significant time throughout her career to mentoring and inspiring others in the development of their own small businesses. “When I see young women struggle early in their careers, it often seems to relate to a lack of confidence,” she says. “A turning point for me was when I realized the power of networking and what can be accomplished when you become actively involved in an organization.”
In 1999, she started Women of Whistler (WOW) which has an active group of approximately 150 women who attend events throughout the year. She feels she has benefited greatly from her many board appointments and affiliations, particularly the twelve years she spent as a Director and Chair of the North Shore Credit Union, and six years as Chair of the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. Currently Sue is a member of the Ministry Small Business Round Table, Whistler Chamber of Commerce Board and Whistler Arts Council Board.
In 2007 Sue was awarded a Business in Vancouver Woman of Influence Award in recognition of her strong leadership skills and passion for whatever she is doing. In July 2014, Sue was acknowledged by the Whistler Foundation as their ‘2014 Whistler Citizen of the Year.’ This award is Whistler’s longest-standing celebration and honours an outstanding community member who contributes significant volunteer time to enhancing the quality of life in Whistler. This individual demonstrates extraordinary leadership and community service outside of employement.
“Whether I am operating a restaurant or a business organization, I want it to be the best, most wholesome entity it can be,” she says. “True satisfaction for me comes from lifelong learning – helping others learn and growing myself at the same time.”