Tell us about yourself & your company?
Christabelle: I’m a Commercial Account Manager at RBC. As a commercial account manager, most of my clients are companies in real estate and construction products and services. I’m learning about my clients’ businesses every day and brainstorming ideas to help. For example, difficulty in hiring tradespeople is a common theme for most of my clients. We can set up employee benefit programs to improve the overall compensation packages structured to help employee retention. We also do complimentary lunch and learn events at our clients’ offices to help young people who just entered the workforce to improve their financial literacy. Clients usually tell us that participation in these programs by their employees is way beyond their expectations, and the events are great opportunities to learn about their employees on a more personal level.
Christabelle: I started my commercial banking career at Canadian Western Bank which focuses mainly on real estate financing. It wasn’t necessarily my choice to focus on construction at the time but I thought it was “cool” to be a partner to developers who are building our communities.
Christabelle: I am probably hanging out with my 5 year daughter at a park or playground.
What are your hobbies?
Christabelle: I love watching documentaries and creating “fusion” receipts for my family. During Covid, dancing to “Just Dance” videos on YouTube really helped me survive.
Christabelle: When I decided to quit my job so my family can move to China and travel for a year, also for my daughter to learn Chinese. I never had a whole year with no school/work so it was nerve-racking but I finally did it.
What have you done in your community in the last year?
Christabelle: Other than becoming chair of industry tours at HAVAN Women’s Council, I also became a board member and treasurer at Richmond Caring Place, a purpose-built facility, that provides managed office space for charitable organizations.
Favourite HAVAN event and why?
Christabelle: I would definitely say our last Women’s Council industry tour. We had an amazing host and so many attendees that we had to do the tour in two groups. I hope we can resume our in-person events soon.
Best work perk at your job?
Christabelle: Working from home used to be one. During Covid with my daughter home, it’s not a perk anymore…
Last HAVAN member you spoke to?
Christabelle: Everyone on the Women’s Council.
While navigating covid-19, what new opportunities have you discovered?
Christabelle: Covid has created some challenges for logistics. One thing that I am exploring with some of my clients is financing inventory outside Canada. RBC has an exclusive program with Export Development Canada that enables us to get operating lines to finance international inventory with very little additional cost or paperwork.
What inspires you?
Christabelle: People. Talking to people energizes me.
What are you excited for / looking forward to right now?
Christabelle: Meeting up with clients after months of virtual meetings.
Share an interesting fact about your life?
Christabelle: I walked under water at an aquarium and fed stingray in the Philippines.
Last piece of advice you have received?
Christabelle: I probably receive unsolicited advice from my husband every day but I think the most profound advice for me came from the book “Lean In” written by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. As working parents, we have to set up the right expectation that we cannot give 100% to everything that we care about at all times. Our priorities change from time to time. Balancing family, career, and other passion in life really means constantly reviewing our priorities and accepting less than 100% sometimes.
Christabelle: Macha latte
Song on repeat right now?
Christabelle: Disney Frozen 2 soundtrack…
Where were you born?
Christabelle: Beijing, China.
Christabelle: One 6 year old cocker spaniel.
Favourite holiday / destination?
Christabelle: Tibet and Venice. Can’t pick one.
Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Christabelle: Yes! Mangos too!
Christabelle: I think it is Disney Beauty and the Beast Musical.
Last show watched?
Christabelle: I finally found 3 hours to watch Interstellar and I loved it.
Fun fact about you?
Christabelle: I ran 10k everyday for 3 years in high school.
What do you collect?
Christabelle: Magnets from places that I’ve traveled to.
Netflix guilty pleasure?
Christabelle: I watch way too many kids show nowdays. Last thing I watched on Netflix was Extraction.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Christabelle: I’m looking forward to connecting with more HAVAN members.