Jan O'Brien

Jan O'Brien

Jan O’ Brien believes Vancity leads the way by delivering on everyday financial services while maintaining its strong record of giving back to our members and building healthy communities.

A member of Vancity since 1977, Jan brings leadership and experience in financial management, governance, labour relations and advocacy in the community and not-for-profit sectors. She is currently serving her third term as a Vancity director, of which Jan served as board chair from 2014 to 2016.

After a career in journalism, that included covering city hall and labour for The Province newspaper, Jan obtained her MBA in 2001 and began a career in labour relations. She was previously a vice-president of the BC Federation of Labour; president of a local of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union representing newspaper workers; provincial director of the BC New Democratic Party; and most recently a staff representative at the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union.

A credit union follower from a young age, Jan ended up opening an account at a bank while at university as there were no credit unions on campus. When the bank CEO declared that his organization had no place for women on its board, Jan rejoined the credit union network where she’s been ever since.

Guided by the co-operative philosophy that great things happen when ordinary people work together, Jan has tried to help working people build the organizational and financial resources they need to be successful. Her passion for women’s rights, the trade union movement and environmental issues inspired Jan to seek election to the Vancity board. She recently donated her Vancity Visa Rewards Plus points to the Vancity Humanitarian Fund.

Jan’s community activism includes time as the treasurer for Everywoman’s Health Centre; treasurer for DOXA, Vancouver’s documentary film festival; and board member for the West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund. She is currently the volunteer coordinator for the Mitlenatch Island Stewardship Team, which protects an Important Bird Area in the Georgia Straight. Jan and her husband are active members of the Barnet Sailing Co-op.

Tenure

  • Elected in 2009
  • Currently serving a third term (2015-2018)

Committees

  • Chair, Risk Committee
  • Member, Governance Committee
  • Member, Human Resource Committee