Getting to Know Your Foundation Board of Directors: Kyle Shaen


By Heather Vita - August 25, 2018

When talking to Kyle Shaen, President of Shaen Wealth Management, one thing becomes very evident – his community is a big part of who he is and is something he cares deeply about. “Growing up and living in Thunder Bay, I’ve seen that we’re pretty separate from the rest of the province. And I think that, because of our relative isolation, we pull together to ensure we don’t get left behind.”

This passion for making Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario a great place to live and to raise his family is one of the driving reasons Shaen became part of the Board of Directors for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation back in 2010. Having been part of the Organizing Committee for the Freedom 55 Financial Thunder Bay Hockey Celebrity Golf Classic, Shaen knew the value of working hard to raise funds for cancer care in the Northwest. “Everyone knows someone who’s gone through cancer,” Shaen says, “and being able to see that the funds raised from the tournament were able to improve the care we had locally for cancer was really inspiring.”

From his experience as part of the Board of Directors, Shaen has been able to see the impact donors have had across the entire Hospital. “Our community has rallied behind healthcare – be it cancer, or cardiac or whatever the critical need is,” he says. “I think people know how important it is that we stand behind our Hospital and ensure we have the equipment we need to stay at the forefront of acute-care. Donors have given so generously and I’m shocked every year when I see just how much our community has given; our Hospital truly wouldn’t be able to function as it is now without our donors.”

Over the past two years, Shaen has stepped up in several leadership roles on the Board of Directors, both as Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors. He’s been preparing for his newest role – Chair of the Board - which he will assume at the Annual General Meeting in September. “I’m really looking forward to it,” he says, smiling. “The opportunity to have even a greater role in advancing healthcare in our community is one that excites me.”

Shaen is surrounded by fellow Board Directors who have a wealth of talents, along with different experiences and views. “I really enjoy our Board meetings,” says Shaen, “because we all have such different thought processes, which tends to allow very thoughtful discussions at our Board table. We each approach our roles with passion and with our donors in mind. They’ve trusted us to be the stewards of their gifts and it’s a responsibility we take very seriously. My personal background is in finance and estate planning,” he adds, “and this helps me have a critical eye when it comes to our budgets and grant funding.”

One of the Shaen’s most memorable moments as a Director, was the conclusion of the Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign (where he volunteered as a member of the Campaign Cabinet). He says,
“I can recall watching our community come together to raise $7.2M for the Cancer Centre, which was simply incredible because I saw the process from start to finish. To witness everyone join forces and make that funding happen was something I’ll never forget.”

Along with his busy career and volunteer commitments, Shaen recently took on one other important role – as a father. His son, who just turned a year old, has given Shaen a new perspective and made him re-evaluate some of his priorities. “It is so cliché but becoming a parent is the best and toughest job in the world, all rolled into one,” he laughs. “It is definitely my most rewarding role to date.”

As he prepares to take on the role of Chair this Fall, Shaen will approach it no differently than any other time in his life. “I’ll set clear goals with what I’d like to accomplish, knowing that it will be as part of a dynamic team with my fellow Directors,” he says. “Most of all, I’m looking ahead to our future and the exciting developments we have for our Hospital, including the introduction of a full cardiovascular surgery program; something we’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. To know that it will be a reality shortly is very motivating for me and I’m honoured to work with our community to make this life and limb saving surgery possible here at home.”

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