Julie Cheng celebrates 25-year journey of art, literacy and community news at CNH

Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH) proudly recognizes its long-serving staff members. At this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), CNH staff and contractors who have reached the milestones of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years of service to the neighbourhood house were thanked by the Board of Directors.

This year, we recognize and celebrate Julie Cheng for 25 years of service. Here’s what Jennifer Gray-Grant, Executive Director of CNH, had to say about Julie:

Around the time I met Julie, I invited her for lunch. She arrived at the restaurant on her bike, ordered a healthy meal and then talked about work but also about her children and partner. At the end of the meal she pulled a container from her backpack to tuck away her leftovers, so she wouldn’t waste food.

That’s pretty much what you need to know about Julie: she’s a healthy, thoughtful, prepared, principled person who is engaged in her work and is a loving partner and mom.

During her 25 years as a contractor at CNH, Julie has worked on a variety of projects. But first, she was a volunteer and sat on CNH’s Board of Directors; this was in the early 1990s when CNH’s main site was being developed.

As a contractor in the 1990s she worked on an arts-and-culture project that created, among other things, the Multicultural Archway in front of the CNH Joyce location. Julie recalls that the Building Community Through Cultural Expression project also spawned the annual Moon Festival and the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

She then worked on Multiculturalism Week where, as she distinctly remembers, the week’s activities ended on February 21; Her daughter Kate was born on February 22. Julie said Kate “still has wonderful timing to this day”.

Julie also served as Renfrew-Collingwood’s Literacy Plan Coordinator, a project that brought together 200 people to develop a literacy plan for the neighbourhood.

In 2007 Julie became editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News a role she embraced with enthusiasm, working hard to reflect the neighbourhood in the pages of the newspaper. She also used a guiding principle she learned on the CNH Board: everyone has a gift to share. She turned that into a tagline for the newspaper: Every voice matters. Julie recently left that position but still retains the role of online editor.

Julie said her long relationship with CNH has been an amazing journey where she and her partner have raised their children. “CNH has been an important part of it.” As she looks to the future she said she’s looking forward to playing tennis, spending time in her garden and raising mason bees.

Thank you, Julie, and congratulations on this milestone!

To learn about current career opportunities at CNH, visit www.cnh.bc.ca/about/careers.