What is your main role as volunteer CEO of FACE BC? Why did you start this organization?
I wear a lot of hats as volunteer CEO at FACE BC. Event planning, communications, social media, marketing - you name it. I have the support of a fantastic Board of Directors who also jump in and offer their invaluable skills in managing the day-to-day at FACE BC, so it is definitely a collaborative effort.
Why did I establish FACE BC? Working in continuing education and curating women's conferences in particular, I noticed that so many perspectives were missing - from planning to implementation. I was troubled by the lack of diversity in who was being acknowledged as an “expert” in their field, who was given the opportunity to speak, and who was able to access and participate in the event. These events weren't inclusive - non mothers, queer folks, people with disabilities, and people of colour weren't at the table.
How does your personal life inform what you do at FACE BC?
As a person with an intermittent disability and a millenial negotiating financial hardship, I felt particularly obligated to bring some diversity to continuing education events. I’ll be honest, FACE BC was born out of the frustration of feeling my friends, non profit colleagues and myself were excluded from BC’s women conferences and events. Starting the organization required researching what career conferences already existed. The two major events our founding year featured was a TV financial guru discussing wealth management, and a politician who repeatedly supported policy that limited healthcare access, threatened public school teacher’s job security and disregarded Indigenous consultation. The tickets cost $500+. They avoided discussing the tough issues: rape culture, inequity, harassment, etc. Who were these events for? Definitely not someone like me!
What do you do when you aren’t in full-on entrepreneur-mode?
I spend a lot of time with my amazing mother, Leigh. We’ve connected on a deeper level through my work with FACE BC. After attending FACE events, she’s shared the incredible obstacles and harassment she experienced in her career, which started at a major record label in the 1960s - she’s definitely got some stories!
To unwind, I enjoy snuggling with my adorable kitties, Olive and Baby. I am also a bit of a gamer - escaping into video game land is a great way to disconnect from work!
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading a Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. It’s a story of two characters, a Japanese teenager living in Tokyo and a Japanese Canadian woman living on Vancouver Island. The woman finds the girl’s diary washed up on the shore of Vancouver Island a few months after the 2011 Tsunami. FACE BC President, Sarah Husain, recommended it to me years ago and I finally picked it up - a great read!
Share what’s next for you. What are you excited about?
The organization has a number of events coming up this year, including our FACE Your Career conference on September 20th and our first ever leadership retreat at Manning Park November 1st-3rd!
Personally, I am considering going back to school to get either an MA in Social Work or Clinical Counselling. I have a dream to work with families with gender diverse and transitioning family members from a quaint little home office one day!
Amanda Huettner has spent her 15+ year career working in the not for profit sector and curating continuing education events. Through her work with Vancouver Family Services Society, Atira Women’s Resource Society, 411 Seniors Centre, Donovan and Company Aboriginal Law and the Trial Lawyers Association of BC, Amanda developed a passion for supporting front-line workers and creating professional development events that fostered a sense of community among participants. Her approach focuses on merging unique perspectives with cutting-edge learning models to create innovative and inspirational programming. Amanda is the proud recipient of the NATLE 2017 Best Continuing Legal Education Program in North America, the ACLEA 2017 President's Award for Best Continuing Legal Education in North America, the NATLE 2016 Publication of the Year - Columnist, the Verdict magazine, and the AMSSA 2010 Cultural Diversity Award. Amanda also serves on the Board of Directors of Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods.