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Forty under 40 Award winner profile: Marian Ngo

Executive director, Salish Sea Indigenous Guardians Association; Senior consultant, Sedgwick Strategies

BIV is proud to recognize Marian Ngo, executive director of the Salish Sea Indigenous Guardians Association and senior consultant at Sedgwick Strategies, and 39 exceptional business leaders with 2022 Forty under 40 Awards.

Each recipient is featured in BIV's annual Forty under 40 Magazine, and will be celebrated at an awards gala Feb. 22. Profiles of each award recipient – originally published in the magazine – will be available at in the days ahead.

Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?

The foundation of my work ethic is based on the examples set by my parents, who always persevered when faced with challenges and taught me that working hard also involves taking into account the things and people in life that are important. It is not a “self-centric” approach.

What drives you?

Setting a good example for my daughter in terms of work ethic and kindness, while preparing her to develop the ability and confidence to trust her gut when facing dilemmas.

A favourite book you would recommend?

West with the Night by Beryl Markham.

Now that you are (or are close to) entering your 40s, what goals have you set for yourself?

One: Growing projects I am involved with while setting aside time to enjoy each achievement as they occur. Two: Finding the time to fit in more travel.

What was your childhood career dream?

Christiane Amanpour was my idol. I wanted to be a journalist who travelled the world and was present during key moments throughout history as they unfolded.

What was your toughest business or professional decision?

The hardest and best decision has been choosing to be a mom and figuring out how to balance that and a career. It has reshaped my approach in life for the better by expanding my perspective and making me more well-rounded and patient.

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

Stay open-minded so you don’t miss out on all the unexpected opportunities that will come your way.

Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.

I only recently learned the official term, but I have trypophobia. Honeycombs still make me very uncomfortable...

Best piece of advice ever received?

You do not need to have an opinion on everything.

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

The relationships you forge are probably the most important and should never be approached as transactional engagements. Be genuine.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

From supporting the work on the Squamish Nation environmental certificate, to the LNG electric drive rate and the creation of the Salish Sea Indigenous Guardians Association, there has been one continual and ongoing objective in my career: Problem solving. I am proud to be part of efforts geared towards doing things better.

What’s left to accomplish?

I don’t view it so much as what is left, but being open to all the opportunities that will come for as long as I can. I plan on enjoying the journey and where my career will take me.

Read the profiles of all 40 award recipients in BIV's annual Forty under 40 Magazine. Register to recognize this year's winner at the Forty under 40 Awards gala on Feb. 22.