Anchored Here: Heidi Maddrell
Heidi Maddrell is a bubbly Aussie who found herself in this special nook of the world five years ago after moving here for her Canadian husband. She became instantly attached to this community, volunteering with the Port Moody Community Foundation and connecting with like-minded individuals. It’s no surprise that we crossed paths with this social butterfly with our shared mission to connect people and support the quality of life in Port Moody.
After a career in corporate finance in the biotech sector and private wealth management in the big cities of Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, Heidi gravitated to philanthropy. Heidi enjoys building a strong connected community in our city, pushing initiatives ranging from social betterment for seniors, children and youth, to the sustainability of our environment and beyond.
Heidi is an ambassador of Say Hello Port Moody, encouraging you to say hello to neighbours and passers-by - something Heidi has no problem doing as you will likely see her striking up a conversation while out and about in the neighbourhood. Her good energy and magnetic personality makes her a perfect representative of the Port Moody Community Foundation, and a neighbour we should all strive to be.
We sat down with Heidi to learn why she’s decided to cast anchor in Port Moody.
1. How do you contribute to the social development of Port Moody?
“The Port Moody Community Foundation knows our city in and out. We speak to residents, but more importantly, we listen to their needs. We heard the need to improve connections for our neighbourhoods and businesses, and the need to provide ways to connect those with similar interests! Taking the 'Smart City' concept into our community, we undertook the 'Smart Connections' pilot in 2017. We created 10 new online neighbourhood groups for residents to meet their neighbours, and 5 business networks for each micro hub to share successes, challenges and support our business owners and leaders in each district. We also set up 8 general interest groups, including Facebook groups for ‘PoMo Doggies' to arrange playdates and say "woof,” 'PoMo Actives' to promote a healthy active lifestyle in our hood, and 'PoMo Culture' striving to connect our cultural, faith and lifestyle groups working on an inclusive culture in our city.”
2. What values should we stand for as a community?
“I think PoMo does pretty well already, but we can build on our caring, inclusive and supportive culture, where no one is left behind. We check in on our neighbours, recognize our community in the streets so everyone feels they belong and lend a helping hand in any way we can. I believe everyone has a way to 'give back' no matter how small or great. If we all use our talent, expertise or means to help look after our community in one way each year, no one will be without and we can all thrive together!”
3. Describe the most authentic moment you’ve witnessed during your time here.
“I was so welcomed when I arrived with "hellos" on our trails, in our streets and making friends at our PoMo rec centre, and at our great coffee shops and small businesses. I have made genuine friendships with people I merely met by saying "Hello!" It helps us feel like we belong and are welcomed in this beautiful waterfront community. I want to ensure those who are less extroverted or less likely to spark up conversation feel that it is the norm to connect here, share a word or two at the grocery checkout and feel a part of 'the people' who make this awesome 'hood our home.”
4. What kind of legacy do you intend on leaving behind?
“We set up the Say Hello Port Moody annual spring campaign to make sure we keep this dynamic going forever more - no matter how big we get in population. This has real social and preventative health benefits. The more people feel connected and like they belong, the more likely they are able to ask for help when they need it and know what services are available to them in times of need. We ALL have a role to play and should be rallying around our community members and neighbours as much as we can.”
5. What ultimately anchors you here?
“Our community and the people in it.”
About the Port Moody Foundation
The Port Moody Foundation was established in 1989 by a group of caring citizens and generous donors who envisioned a Foundation whose goal was to invest in projects and initiatives that enhance the quality of life in Port Moody.
Today, the Foundation has an endowment of over $500,000. These funds are held in perpetuity and the interest earned is invested back into initiatives that support the quality of life of Port Moody.
To donate, please visit portmoodyfoundation.ca.