Susan Dolinski

Forty Under 40 Winner 2017: Vice-president of social responsibility and communications, British Columbia Lottery Corp., Age 39

Susan Dolinski has the challenging job of managing communications at British Columbia Lottery Corp. (BCLC), where she is a vice-president who oversees about 80 people with five direct reports.

One of her recent successes has been to spearhead the GameSense partnership with Metro Goldwyn Mayer to co-fund a $5 million project in collaboration with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the University of British Columbia to research how best to communicate responsible gambling practices and help provide support to problem gamblers.

Originally from Saskatchewan, Dolinski grew up in Prince George and worked at Canfor Corp. while she earned her BA in political science from the University of Northern British Columbia.

After graduation, she spent three years as Canfor’s community relations coordinator before seizing the opportunity to become communications manager at the B.C. government-run company Forestry Innovation Investment.

She came into her own at the BC Ambulance Service, where she started as the organization’s lone communications specialist, then built a team of five people before she left for BCLC.

“My specialization over the course of my career has been two things: first, brand building, and second, issues and crisis management,” she said. “During the time I was at BC Ambulance Service, I was responsible for management’s response to the really sad and unfortunate death of two paramedics in the line of duty.”

Dolinski decided to leave the ambulance service once she felt that she had built the brand and helped paramedics establish relationships with the media, she said. Also, BCLC was a much larger organization and one that had very different challenges. 

She started as director of government relations in 2007. Her role expanded to take on communications; then in 2012 she was promoted to her current role as a vice-president.

Outside work, Dolinski is active in the community and has been a board member for two years at the Vancouver Resource Society and at the Honour House Society for three years.

Birthplace: The Pas, Manitoba

Where you live now: East Vancouver

Highest level of education: BA, political science, University of Northern British Columbia

Currently reading:What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Currently listening to: The War on Drugs, Bruce Springsteen on continuous loop

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: A TV reporter

Profession you would most like to try: Become a pilot or brewmaster

Toughest business or professional decision: Deciding to take a break from my career in 2003 to seize the opportunity to spend a year in Costa Rica with my sister and her husband

Advice you would give the younger you: As a young woman working in traditionally male-dominated industries, I often worried about standing out too much. The moment you realize most people are more concerned with their own insecurities and not yours, it empowers you to let go and realize your potential

What’s left to do: Establish GameSense as a global standard in responsible gambling because (a) it successfully increases healthy gambling practices among players and (b) through leading research, provides useful insight to industry to influence product and distribution decisions to reduce potential harm to players

Join us to celebrate the 2017 Forty under 40 Awards on January 23, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit http://www.biv.com/events/40under40 

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