30Network Snapshots - Yat Li - CityHive Vancouver
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30Network Snapshots – Yat Li

Meet Yat: The Inspired & Hopeful Connector

As a people person who is drawn to building relationships through thoughtful conversations, Yat is passionate about empowering communities and enhancing sense of belonging for newcomers in the city.

Born in Hong Kong, Yat immigrated to Canada in ‘94 when he was five years old. After leaving behind a strong community at home, Canadian culture was a new and unfamiliar area of understanding to Yat and his family, who found and continue to feel a sense of belonging through their church. As permanent places of engagement in our urban landscape, “faith buildings are often the first point of contact for many newcomers to become more engaged”, and they hold lots of community-building potential and ideas for the 30Network.

Yat joined the 30Network as he craves being around people who have intersecting and similar passions. Inspired and energized by people who are civically active and want to help make their city a better place, he finds hope that we can reach out to many diverse individuals and create a better future together.

Yat describes civic engagement as advocacy in the everyday: “standing up for one another, neighbours, family and friends without having to tell everyone about it”. “You don’t have to be an expert to change the world”, and you don’t have to be an academic or expert to have influence in shaping your city.

Yat believes a shake-up to the status quo of engagement is needed. Our current system tends to be slow and often mundane, even though there has been a massive digital revolution which has created new mediums of opportunity to engage. As a resident of Port Coquitlam, Yat was excited by their Mayor’s approach to engagement during his trip to Europe. Mayor Greg Moore created short videos of his analysis of things like European transit systems and comparisons to public transportation in Metro Vancouver. Yat felt a sense of transparency in his government through this medium of communication, which can be so impactful to everyday citizens like himself.

One of Yat’s favourite spots in Vancouver is Coal Harbour. Walking around this area on his lunch breaks at work allows him to reflect on nationality and patriotism. An area where he continues to feel a community of culture, as well as a strong sense of belonging is at his church in Mount Pleasant.  

Currently, Yat works at Coast Hotels Corporate, where he is the the CRM Specialist. “I love engaging with our guests through different touchpoints. Whether it’s receiving that illusive confirmation email after a booking or the pre-arrival message before a stay, I have a hand on each step. I’m also involved in guest retention where I deploy targeted emails to past guests about upcoming packages, excursions and deals. I take a lot of pride managing a robust database and it’s exciting to know that this communication makes a difference!”

He is also a guest blogger for the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. As an individual that is a part of that world, he is grateful to give back to a community that has been so supportive towards him: “I’m so blessed to grow up in a community and area which supported students and youth like myself. I had access to resource teachers which were important to my development. In addition to learning how to speak and hear, I had the opportunity to visit city landmarks and go on field trips with other hard of hearing students. It was very memorable and that was my first gateway to the city of Vancouver.”

Yat also started an exciting initiative called Wolyv, which is an online platform that connects tenants and landlord, and rates and reviews buildings to “create transparency and authenticity through user-generated content”. Stay tuned for more info on this awesome project!

If Yat were mayor for a day, the first thing he would do is “plan a party for all neighbourhoods on the same day, that is inclusive for everyone, creates community and sense of belonging. I would tour around the different neighbourhood parties and welcome newcomers to their neighbourhoods, to emphasize that they are welcome in our city.”

We are pumped to have this thoughtful individual as one of our 30 this year!


Written by Claire Crowther and Azlan Nur Saidy of CityHive

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