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Partner Q + A: Getting to know Kathy Butler

Posted by SVP Vancouver

Kathy Butler, Head of Wholesale Banking British Columbia at CIBC, is a long-standing SVP Partner and business leader. She is known for her great client service and commitment to mentorship for aspiring bankers and budding business people. A nominee for the 2015 YWCA Women of Distinction Award and winner of the Association of Women in Finance Peak Award, Kathy balances business, family and philanthropy with aplomb – and we think she’s pretty amazing.

For the Butler-Ferguson household, philanthropy is a family affair that is woven throughout two busy and successful careers, parenting, and athletics. As a family, they support SVP Vancouver, United Way, BC Cancer Foundation, Canuck Place Hospice, and two former SVP Investees, Atira Women’s Resources Society and Chrysalis.

Kathy and David have three talented, high energy children – Jackson (13), Caden (11), and Alexa (7). The boys are competitive skiers and it looks like Alexa will go that route in a few years. All three kids play hockey as well.

Keep reading to find out if Kathy really did dream of being a banker when she was a child…

Q + A: 

How were you introduced to SVP? What path brought you here?

I first heard about SVP at the BCTIA gala in 2001. David Sutcliffe, one of SVP’s founding Partners, announced the formation of an innovative, new foundation based in Vancouver. SVP’s link to the technology sector, their different model (time + money), and the opportunity to work very closely with non-profit organizations were all highly appealing. This model made sense to me, so David and I became Partners in 2003.

What inspires you to make a difference?

We feel very lucky to have a wonderful family, great friendships and thriving careers. I know that there are others who are less fortunate – so we hope that our ideas, connections and money can all make a difference in helping others in the community.

What is the best thing about being involved in SVP? 

From when I first heard about SVP back in 2001, the idea of that direct connection to an up-and-coming non-profit spoke to me. Since 2003, we’ve helped such innovative, exciting organizations, whose entrepreneurial approaches match those of SVP Partners. It’s a recipe for success!

What is the most memorable experience you’ve had with SVP so far? 

About 10 years ago, I met a truly inspirational woman through SVP’s former granting process – Janice Abbot, CEO of Atira Women’s Resource Society. Janice is a true change maker. She’s taught me so much about what can truly be accomplished in big community issues.

Atira Women’s Resource Society is a community-based organization that supports women and their children who are experiencing the impact of violence committed against them. I was matched with Atira in the SVP granting process as a coach, and when the process was over, I joined the board for a nine year term and continued to work on the development board.

What social issue are you most passionate about? 

I’m very passionate about safe and affordable housing. I feel that everyone deserves to have a home. With that home, they can have a chance for employment, education for their children and happiness.

What do you look forward to on the weekends? 

When Friday rolls around I’m thinking about skiing, biking, and hiking with David and the kids. Our big family dinners in Whistler have become a tradition that I cherish and we all look forward to whenever we’re up on the mountain. If I’m not skiing with my family, you will find me volunteering at the side of a race course or mogul run. You could say skiing is a passion! But if I’m not at Whistler, you might find me at my favourite spot in Vancouver, Jericho Beach.

What did you dream of being when you were a kid? 

I always wanted to be a banker! Crazy, but true.