For most people, entering the family business usually means assuming a place in some well-oiled company. For Genesa Greening, president and CEO of BC Women’s Hospital Foundation, following in her parents’ footsteps meant embarking on a life steeped in philanthropy.
"My parents were both in social service; they were both ordained ministers in the Salvation Army," Greening said. "I always knew l wanted to change the world even though I probably couldn't articulate how big that world was when I was small."
A desire for change carried her away from traditional schooling and helped her tenaciously achieve her goals without the benefit of post-secondary education.
Greening's fundraising success spans over two decades. She has cultivated growth and innovation at a wide array of hospital foundations, nonprofits and social justice organizations worldwide.
Her expertise garnered her a role as an instructor at the British Columbia Institute of Technology for fundraising and not-for-profit management programs.
Today, Greening leads a team of 22 at BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre Foundation. In just a year at the foundation, she has achieved 100% growth and a 250% rise in revenue projections. “I’ve always been able to find somewhere where there is a gap and I've been able to utilize either my natural skill set or my ability to bring amazing people together," she said.
Now, she is using those skills to improve the health of all women across the province. "I hold the idea that we can really change the tide on women’s health and that we have an opportunity to really work and see all women possess the best possible health care no matter what their socio-economic position or background.”
Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver city council named Greening to the Mayor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Addictions as well as the Women’s Advisory Committee, where she served as the chair of the social inclusion and security subcommittee.
Cheryl Davies, Chief Operating Officer at BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre; and Genesa Greening, President + CEO of BC Women's Hospital Foundation
Birthplace: St. John’s, Newfoundland
Where you live now: New Westminster
Highest level of education: High school diploma
Currently reading: Rereading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Currently listening to: All things Nigerian music with my son
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: International justice lawyer
Profession you would most like to try: UN ambassador
Toughest business or personal decision: Becoming a single mother
Advice you would give your younger self: What you value in yourself will become what others value so don’t hold back or compare. And never apologize for being capable
What’s left to do: Fight for equality for all