Interview with Ish Sehmbey
“I think it is very important we have diverse representation on boards, from different walks of life. I really hope more youth get involved and see how beneficial it is to be on a board.”
Certified Pedorthist & Kinesiologist, Manager, Burnaby Orthopaedic & Mastectomy
DiverseCity onBoard Metro Vancouver appointee Ish Sehmbey is a passionate social entrepreneur with extensive experience in small business management, sports leadership, and healthcare. A Certified Pedorthist & Kinesiologist, Ish holds a Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University and post-grad studies in Pedorthics. Ish was recently appointed to the board of the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC and spoke to DiverseCity onBoard about her experience.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
How were you introduced to DiverseCity onBoard, and why did you choose to get involved?
I came across DiverseCity onBoard through an email sent to SFU alumni, and I signed up right away. I have always had an interest to be involved with boards, and my employer who currently sits on a few boards has always encouraged me to pursue this route. As I had no previous experience or training on boards, DiverseCity onBoard seemed to be a perfect fit as it provided me with the governance competencies required to serve on a board.
You were recently appointed to the Board of the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC. What is your interest in their board and the organization?
My career involves working with clients who have Cerebral Palsy, and I wanted to be on a board where I had experience in the field and was able to give back. Members on the board of the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC have been serving for many years, and that shows me the dedication and stability CPABC has.
What value do you feel that you bring to a board? What impact do you have?
I am a founder and director of my own not-for-profit, therefore, I have extensive knowledge and experience on what it takes to be involved with a charity. I am able to bring my professional knowledge, skills in fundraising and networking, and enthusiasm to make a difference.
How has participating in DiverseCity onBoard contributed to your effectiveness as a board member?
Through the DiverseCity onBoard governance training I gained a wealth of insight that prepared me to be a board member. From board meeting structure to policy I have a better understanding on how boards operate and what they do. The courses offered by DiverseCity onBoard were a great platform to learn my roles as a board member.
Were there any challenges you faced in joining a board? What advice would you give to others who are looking to get involved in leadership and join a board?
Finding a board that best fit me was a challenge. I wanted to be part of an organization in which I have a great interest, but also where I could make a difference. Also, I had feared that with no prior experience I will have a difficult time being appointed. However, I had a positive experience from my initial meeting with the board up to my appointment in this fall. My advice is to find an organization you think is a good fit for you.