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Forty Under 40 Award winner Q&A: David Wang

This year’s cohort of recipients will be celebrated at an event Feb. 7, 2024

BIV is recognizing David Wang, senior manager of corporate strategy at TELUS, and 39 other exceptional business leaders as part of the 2023 Forty Under 40 Awards cohort.

Longer Q&As with each recipient are included in BIV's annual Forty Under 40 Magazine (out in print Dec. 11). Award winners will be celebrated at an awards gala Feb. 7, 2024.

This profile may have been edited for length and clarity.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

I take immense pride in the growth and development of our exceptional team at Social Diversity for Children Foundation (SDC) over the past few years. We've not only expanded in numbers but have also fostered a supportive and nurturing work environment. The sense of camaraderie and the genuine care for each team member's success is truly remarkable. Knowing that we've created a second family and a home away from home is a source of great satisfaction and accomplishment for me.

What was your toughest business or professional decision?

One of the toughest professional decisions was leaving a comfortable role to pursue something that I genuinely believed could make a significant impact to my community as well as a company. I stepped out of my comfort zone and faced uncertainty. Despite skepticism and doubts, I couldn't dismiss the deep sense of purpose propelling me forward. This leap of faith was met with challenges and triumphs, yet it remains the most rewarding decision I’ve made. It has allowed me to align my career with my convictions and work toward a brighter future, inspiring me daily to make a meaningful difference.

How do you lead?

I lead by fostering an environment of empowerment, where individuals thrive through autonomy and collaboration. Mentorship is a cornerstone of my leadership philosophy, nurturing talent and exchanging experiential insights. In my perspective, effective leadership entails establishing an environment where each voice is esteemed, contributing to our shared success.

What is the biggest lesson you've learned in business?

An important lesson I've gained is the significant impact of having genuine friends. It goes beyond strategy and knowledge; it revolves around the people you are connected with and can rely on. In the business realm, your friends can serve as a vital support system during challenging moments and act as gateways to fresh opportunities. They provide a sense of camaraderie and shared objectives that contribute to your overall success.

Best piece of advice ever received?

The best advice I've ever received is to embrace the road less travelled and persevere, even when it appears daunting or futile. This advice has instilled in me the courage to innovate and the resilience to overcome setbacks. It's been instrumental in shaping my career, allowing me to explore the unfamiliar and not yielding in the face of adversity.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

If I could give advice to my 20-year-old self, it would be this: Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Concerns about others' opinions may arise, but the reality is, even if you falter or make a misstep, people will soon forget. The most valuable life experiences and lessons often emerge from taking risks, exploring new ventures and embracing the unfamiliar. Venture beyond your comfort zone – you'll be astonished by the opportunities and personal development that lie ahead.

What's left to accomplish?

Everything – there is always more to accomplish! I aspire to continue making a positive impact on my community and leave a lasting legacy of positive change!

Is there anyone you would like to thank or acknowledge?

I'd like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the remarkable team at SDC. Their steadfast faith in me, their resilience through our trials, and their commitment to forging enduring memories together have proven to be priceless. I'm truly fortunate to have such a steadfast and supportive team standing by my side.

Read Q&As with all 40 award recipients here. Tickets to the 2023 Forty Under 40 Awards gala on Feb. 7 are now available.