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WYC2 Issue 2006/07/27



Youth Forum 2

Message from the Editor

Happenings 2001 - 2004

Building the Yee Family World Wide Web

Message from the Editor

Welcome to the WYC2 issue of the Yee Fung Toy Youth Forum, covering events from 2001 to 2004 of interest to youth in the World Yee community. We plan to bring together discussions on youth programs and report youth activities from associations of the Yee Fung Toy around the world.

Jim Yee

Vancouver Youth Career Workshops in 2002

Career Workshop Program July 21, 2002

Good afternoon, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen! My name is Jim Yee, or uncle Jim to most of you. Welcome to the first YFT Youth Career Workshop. Today we have 4 professionals who will share their career and work experience with you. The purpose of this workshop is for you :
  • to get information on specific careers from professionals working in those fields;
  • to start thinking about how to decide on a career, if you have not already done so.

I like to thank Mr. Wayne Yu for making this spacious boardroom available for our workshop today. Please give Wayne and Pacific Place Financial Services a big round of applause! Wayne will be making a presentation later as one of our featured speakers.

Before I introduce our speakers, I like to ask Mr. James Yu, or Uncle James to most of you, the Chairman of the YFT Youth Committee, the sponsor of this career workshop, to say a few words.

[James speaks] Thank you, James.

Whatever career you decide on, you will find that you need to do well in school in order to get accepted for specialized training and education. That is why your parents, and we at the Yee Family Association, are very concerned that you are getting a good education in preparation for your career. If you want us to help you, I suggest you bring us your school report. We can then see where you might need help, if any, in improving your grades.

My plan is very simple. Within the YFT Youth Committee, we will form a mentoring group where the High School students will help the Elementary School students, the University students will help the High School students, and young professionals will help University students. Our career workshop today is the first step in implementing that plan. We also want to make it fun. So, those of you who brought in your school report today are getting movie passes to see Men In Black II after this workshop. Stella will now go and buy movie tickets now for those of you who brought in your school report. The rest of you are welcome to join them, but you will have to buy your own tickets.

I will introduce each speaker, who will each do a 15 minute presentation. We then take a couple of questions related to the presentation. At the end of the 4 speakers, we will have a general Q & A session relating to careers and career preparation in general.

If there is interest, we will organize another workshop later with speakers from other careers. You can show your interest by asking lots of questions. A lot of what you will hear will be new to you, so it is OK to feel you do not know much about certain careers and the world of work. I have warned the speakers to expect a lot of "dumb" questions. So if you do not understand something that you are curious about, ask your question any way. You may find the question is not so dumb after all. You can also let us know later what other careers you would like to feature at future workshops.

Introduce Wayne Yu

Our first speaker is Mr. Wayne Yu, a Corporate Consultant of Pacific Place Financial Services Inc. I got to know Wayne initially as the eldest son of the Chairman of the Yee Fung Toy Society of Canada, Mr. Kan Yu.

[Wayne speaks] Thank you Wayne

Does anyone have any questions for Wayne?

Introduce Ken Lam

Our next speaker is from the high tech area. I have known Ken for eleven years, and we have worked for the same companies since. This may be a good time to introduce guests that Ken and I had invited. Peter Kam was a colleague of ours since the late 1980’s. Please welcome Grace and Jessica, Peter’s wife and daughter. Perhaps Jessica can introduce her friends. Ken’s other guest is Jacky. Please give them all a warm welcome.

The world of high tech has offered exciting career opportunities ever since I graduated from UBC in Computer Science 30 years ago, and Ken will be able to give you a sense of what a high tech job involves in his presentation. Ken has worked for City Bank in Hong Kong after graduating in Computer Science from the University of Manchester. After immigrating to Canada, he worked for MDI and Motorola. He is currently Director of Product Support at MDSI. Please welcome Mr. Ken Lam.

[Ken speaks] Thank you Ken

Any questions for Ken?

Introduce Cindy Kam

Our next speaker is Cindy Kam. I first knew Cindy as Cindy Yu, the daughter of our Chairman of the YFT of Canada, Mr. Kan Yu and Wayne’s sister. I remember her as a YFT scholarship winner when she was a student at UBC.Since graduating with a B.Sc. in Occupational Therapy with Honours, she has worked 4 years in the area of Vocational Rehabilitation – to put in simple, she helps workers get back to work after they have suffered injuries or disabilities. Please welcome Cindy and a presentation on Occupational Therapy.

[Cindy speaks] Thank you Cindy

I should tell you when I thought of holding a career workshop for the Scholarship students and other Youth members, my first thoughts were to feature previous Scholarship winners who have graduated and are now working. Surely they would provide the best role models for our current students. I am very glad it was Cindy that I asked first, because she was so supportive of the concept and enthusiastic about being a speaker. Thank you Cindy for helping to get this workshop started!

Introduce Edmund Yee

Our next speaker works in the IT department of Canada Safeway. I know his Uncle and Mom from the YFT. But just to show how small the world is, especially the IT world is, I know many of Edmund’s colleagues at Safeway. This is because my wife Betty worked for 5 years in Safeway as a programmer in the 1980’s. I got to know the people in the IT department, and many of them are still there today, now working with Edmund. I got to meet Edmund and his fiancee in China when we all attended the first World Yee Family Association Convention 2 years ago.

I would like to introduce Edmund’s beautiful bride, Jennifer!

Edmund will now give us a presentation of the IT world, more from the point of providing information management systems for a large company.

[Edmond speaks] Thank you, Edmund.

Any questions for Edmund?

Q & A

That is the end of our formal presentations. Our panel of speakers will now take questions.

Concluding Remarks

I want to thank our panel of speakers for each giving us insights into their professions, and the opportunity to find out more about their careers. I know it means a lot to the students to be able to use this information to help them in making decisions about their future careers. I know they will want to know more about other careers. If our panel of speakers can help recommend other speakers, it would be a great start for our next career workshop.

Please join us in the Mall Food Court for some refreshments. Thank you all for coming.

Career Workshop Program November 3, 2002

The second Carer Workshop was held on November 3, 2002 at the YFT Hall in Vancouver Chinatown. Two speakers from the first workshop became the presenters at the second one. Cindy introduced her brother Wing Yu who spoke for the accounting profession. As a little sister, Cindy mentioned how much she benefited from Wing's help and mentoring when she was growing up. Edmund introduced Judge Bill Yee, who is well known to the Vancouver Chinese Community, but Edmund never had an opportunity to get to know Bill until he had to prepare for this workshop. The following summarizes all six career presentations.

Vancouver Career Workshop Speakers

Financial Services (Insurance Broker, Personal Financial Planner, and related careers)

Wayne Yu is the owner of Pacific Place Financial Services Inc. (PPG) at whose boardroom we held the workshop. Wayne launched PPG in 1997 after a successful career as a life insurance salesman, sales manager, district sales manager, and VP for companies such as Metropolitan Life and Prudential Life. PPG is a diversified brokerage firm that provides service and products in Real Estate, Life Insurance, Property and Casualty Insurance, Business Insurance, Disability Insurance, Financial Services, Investment Funds and Investment Vehicles. Careers involve selling products in one of these fields and will appeal to those who are entrepreneurial without having to set up a business on their own. Commissions are open ended. One of Wayne's insurance brokers has made $300,000 per year or more on a regular basis. A college education is not absolutely required, but Wayne advises that it would come in very handy when the broker has to deal with college educated clients. Wayne is interested in finding what makes people tick, and how world events, like 9/11, have changed the insurance industry and the world. Wayne found his degree in Psychology from SFU and training in Social Work very helpful. For further information on certification courses contact Wayne or visit the PPG site at

High Tech (Software Developer, Software Development Manager)

Ken Lam is Director of Product Support for MDSI, a provider of Mobile Workforce Management Systems. The recent dot com bubble has definitely skewed the market for Computer Science and high tech graduates (up, then down). However, high tech is definitely here to stay and will continue to make an impact on society for the foreseeable future, so there will always be demands for high tech graduates. Ken emphasized the importance of networking and using contacts to get on the inside track in finding a job. It is important to see beyond the technical aspects in a high tech career. After tackling technical challenges for a few years, technical staff should consider taking on management roles to advance their careers. This involves people and communication skills, and a broader mindset than purely technical roles.

Occupational Therapy (Occupational Therapist, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist)

Cindy Kam presented her decision and educational path to becoming an Occupational Therapist. She loves to be with people, and she has found a profession that allows her to help people with injuries and disabilities to returning to a more normal life style, whether at work or other routines of life. Graduates are in high demand. She and many classmates were hired months before graduation in June 1996, and the rest of the class found jobs by September. Jobs can be found in the private or public sector, or in a hospital setting which provides excellent benefits. UBC is the only school in B.C. that offers training in Occupational Therapy ("macro level” therapy) and Physical Therapy ("micro level” therapy). For program details see

Information Technology (Application Programmer and Analyst, Computer Operations and Support Specialist, Database Administrator, etc)

Edmund Yee presented his experience as a Langara College co-op grad and programmer/analyst at Safeway. He emphasized the usefulness of a co-op education in getting a variety of work experiences to try on before settling on a specific employer or type of work after graduation. Non-technical skills such as writing and speaking, leadership and people skills, and positive work attitudes, are just as important as the technical skills for career advancements in the IT environment. Edmund loves his work at Safeway, which requires some travel within North America, a variety of tasks, and on-going training to keep him abreast of his field. Visit their site at; follow the link to Information Technology.

Accounting (careers requiring CA, CGA, or CMA)

Wing Yu is the brother of Wayne and Cindy, both of whom presented careers at our workshop in July. Wing graduated with a B. Comm. He went on to obtain his CGA designation and currently works for Calkins & Burke Limited, a food brokerage company which imports and exports various food products all over the world..

Wing presents a definition of Accounting as a STANDARDIZED, SYSTEMATIC, CLASSIFICATION OF VALUES and OPERATIONS. His personal interest in an accounting career derives from many factors. He likes money, he can see all aspects of a business, there is ample opportunity for growth, and proper accounting does make a difference to the world, viz. Enron and Martha Stewart, where major repercussions arise when accounting rules are bent and broken.

Of the three accounting designations, the CMA becomes part of the management team, whereas the CA and the CGA are granted “signing off” authority on financial reports prepared by client companies. Candidates for CA need a university degree before starting the program, whereas CGA students can start the program at any time, as long as the university degree is also completed when they apply for the designation. There are many employment opportunities in public practice, industry, government, and education. Wing provided a handout listing the salary ranges of various accounting positions.

Wing advises students to take career selection seriously. A career is for life, so you should not pick just careers that look easy. The accounting profession should appeal to those who are disciplined in their work habits. Typically, an accountant starts the day with a pile of work on their desk in the morning, but by the end of the day, the desk should be relatively cleared. In conclusion:

  • Accounting is a life long career which touches on many aspects of the world in which we live.
  • Provides opportunity to grow in unexpected ways.
  • Do not allow fear of failure to prevent you from succeeding!

Judiciary (Provincial Court Judge, and related careers in law)

Bill Yee is a judge at the BC Provincial Court. He states there is no direct path to becoming a judge. The basic requirements are a law practice and an application to the BC Judicial Council. After meeting their qualifications, it is up to the Solicitor General of the province to make the final decision.

Bill’s appointment to provincial court judge two years ago is the culmination of a series of careers related to community, law, and politics. He started as a youth leader of Chinatown groups like Hai Fung and student leader at UBC in the 60’s, obtained his law degree and began his practice in Chinatown in the 70’s, entered civic politics on Mike Harcourt’s team in the 80’s as a Vancouver alderman for two terms. He has been active in the Chinese Canadian community throughout his life in Canada, most recently as Chairman of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver, and Chairman of the Yee Fung Toy Society of Canada. Like all judges, Bill had to give up all business and community ties, including his law practice and direct community involvement.

Bill’s advice on selecting a career is to focus on your strengths. To paraphrase an old Chinese saying, “in every profession or walk of life, there is a superstar”, not just in glamorous and high prestige careers like sports, entertainment, or medicine. You should pick a profession where you have a chance of blossoming. If you are not sure where your true talents lie, Bill advises you take time to travel or enroll in a broad range of university courses.

Bill’s advice on personal development is not to be afraid of hard work and commitment. You might surprise yourself by overcoming challenges that seemed insurmountable. Lastly, Bill advises the YFT youth to learn Chinese, preferably Mandarin.

Jim Yee

YeeFungToyYouthForum Yahoo! Group started in 2003

I've added you to my YeeFungToyYouthForum group at Yahoo! Groups, a free, easy-to-use email group service. As a member of this group, you may send messages to the entire group using just one email address: Yahoo! Groups also makes it easy to store photos and files, coordinate events, and more.

Here's a description of the group

This group provides a forum for discussion on matters of interests to the younger generation Yees from around the world. The purpose is to stimulate more participation from younger Yees in the activities of Yee Fung Toy Associations in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and China in particular.

Here's my introductory message for you

You are being invited to join the Yahoo group Yee Fung Toy Youth Forum because you have shown interest in furthering the effort to increase youth participation in Yee Fung Toy Association activities. Welcome.
from Fred Yee, Seattle, WA

Charter group members share personal profiles

Fred Yee

shares information about himself as of February 2003:

1. Where were you born?
I was born in Hong Kong and came to Seattle in 1969 as a teenager.

2. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hong Kong and then in Seattle.

3. College/university? What did you study?
I studied at Seattle U, Western Washington U and U of Washington. My BS in Geology but discovered that was not what I wanted to do in real life. Got another degree in social and urban geography and a MS in Planning specializing in social and community issues. I also picked up a MBA from UW along the way.

4. Married? Children?
I was married for 20 years but lost my wife, Amy, to cancer (in less than 2 months) in October 2000. I have two children, a daughter of 18 who is studying at Western Washington U and a son of 15 who is a sophomore in high school. I like to say that I started a new relationship with a wonderful lady about 4 months ago. I know, Amy, my wife, is guiding me in heaven every step of the way.

5. Company/organization? Main responsibilities?
I have spent over 25 years in health and human service program administration as a career. I am currently the Associate Regional Health 10 (Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Oregon).

Best or worst job you've ever had:
Best job: "Operation Welcome" team member at the Sea-tac Air Port (student part-time)
Worst job: Selling used furniture at a thrift shop.

Ideal weekend:
Table Tennis in the morning. Eat. A round of Par 3 golf in the afternoon. eat (Chinese or Japanese) and gathering with friends in the evening.

Biggest pet peeve(s):
People who are constantly late with no reason.

Hobbies, interests outside of work:
Community volunteering. I have served on a number of community boards and committees over the years, Examples include Chair of the Board of Kin On Community Health Care (1996-98) and co-chair of the Health Care Task Force of the Seattle-King County Aging & Disability Services Advisory Council (2002). I chaired and co-chaired the Seattle yee Fung Toy Association for several years.
I like to travel, play table tennis, a bit of golf, photography, light singing.

Favorite music/movie/book/food:
Music: Hong Kong Pops: Sam Hui, Lam and Albert Au, Anita Mui and Sally Yipas reflecting my age. Also, Simon and Garfungal, Carpenters, Bread, Commodores, John Denver and Carly Simon to a lesser degree. All antiques by today's standards.
Movies: It is a Mad world, 2001 A. Space Odessy, recent sinful pleasure: Message in a Bottle.
Most recent: Fast Food Nation
Serious; Yellow, Race beyond Black and White by Frank Wu
Sinful Pleasure: Nicholas Sparks A. Bend in the Road.
Food: Japanese (especially raw fish), then Chinese (Cantonese), then a rare American prime steak.

Harvey Yee

shares information about himself as of February 2003:

1. Where were you born?
I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta.

2. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Calgary, Alberta.

3. College/university? What did you study?
Completed a Bachelor of Commerce at University of Calgary, and a Bachelor of Administration at Athabasca University.

4. Married? Children?

5. Company/organization? Main responsibilities?
Worked at my parents store for many years, and have run my own businesses for a number of years, but now looking for new ventures and opportunities.

Hobbies, interests outside of work:
Hobbies and sports include: golf (not well though), fish, run, love to learn, photography, cooking and gardening.
I previously volunteered with the Calgary chapter of YFT and now with the Vancouver chapter. I was also actively involved with the Shunde Association in Calgary and the Bowness Lions Club.

James Yu

shares information about himself as of February 2003:

I was also born in Hong Kong and came to Canada as a teenager in the early seventies. For the last thirty years, I have never gone back to visit my hometown where I was brought up and spent my childhood.

I graduated from B.C.I.T. in Civil & Structural Engineering and work as a Technologist in this field for the last ten years. I also have management experience in a community drug store and selling real estate as a realtor. After all that, I found that I am not a good salesman so I go back to my engineering career.

I have a lovely wife, who is a community pharmacist, and three boys. Justin is in second-year engineering, Stewart in his twelve grade and Maurice in his fourth grade. The whole family is heavily involved in church activities. I constantly encourage my children to get involved in YFT activities but they find nothing that they are interested in. Lately, for the last couple years, Jim and I introduced the Youth Group monthly meeting and my boys participated in a couple events: Bowling night and career workshops.

Besides church functions, I got involved in the local Radio station where I learnt and practiced on stage and public speaking techniques, The Chinese Consumer Association where I was a founding member and I served as a vice-chairman for a few terms, the YFT Association of Vancouver and of Canada as former chairman and vice chairman. Together with Jim, we established the YFT Youth Group to accommodate our young members and created the learning environment for them to take part, both in the Martial arts and Chinese classes.

Although I am a father of three boys, I am a big boy myself and love to ride motorcycle on the weekends. My tires have left their tracks on many highways in the province of beautiful British Columbia.

The Holy Bible is the book which give me many inspirations and guidance, and some Chinese philosophies do help me to shape the way I am.

In my opinion, there is no good or bad job. All jobs allow us to gain and establish invaluable experiences. However, I do admit that I prefer some jobs to others, e.g., sales is definitely not my cup of tea.

Jim Yee

shares the answers to a Personal Profile questionnaire in 2002 for the MDSI Village Voice, a company employee on-line newsletter.

1. Where were you born?
Pearl River delta area in Guangdong Province, China (my village is located about 4 hours’ drive from Hong Kong).

2. Where did you grow up?

  • China (7 years between the Communist Revolution and the Cultural Revolution),
  • Hong Kong (before it became a Special Administrative Region of China),
  • Fiji (when it was still a British colony),
  • Vancouver, B.C. (between the W.A.C. Bennett and Bill Bennett - father and son premiers - eras).

3. College/university? What did you study?
UBC Computer Science (when Comp Sci was still a novelty).

4. Married? Children?
Married to Betty (we met at UBC 30 years ago); two daughters at UBC.

5. Company/organization? Main responsibilities?
MDSI Customer Support

Best or worst job you've ever had:
Strawberry picking on hands and knees in Richmond, B.C. in my first summer in Canada. I think my back has never recovered from that.

Ideal weekend:
Backpacking overnight trip with a friend on a cloudless weekend in August.

Biggest pet peeve(s):
Income taxes: I want to pay my fair share, but I hate to take part in this game of searching for obscure tax breaks every year to minimize my taxable income, and where the rules of the game change from year to year ever so subtly (and sometimes quite drastically). I wonder if there is a country where the government has been so transparent in its financial management that the citizens pay all their taxes voluntarily and without complaining. I would like to go and live there (in my dreams - yeah).

Hobbies, interests outside of work:
It started with volunteering for my daughters’ school and extra-curricular activities. Next thing I know, I am hooked on community involvement. Recent examples: Past vice-chair (1999-2001) and board member (1995-2001) of the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver. Currently chairman of the Yee Fung Toy Society of Vancouver, a non-profit association of the Yee clan (now located in Vancouver Chinatown, but originally founded in Victoria, B.C. in 1904 to provide Yee clan members a home away from their homes in the Pearl River delta villages). We offer scholarships, monthly youth programs, and weekly martial arts and Chinese language classes to our young members (the older generation just wants to play Mah Jong).

Favorite music/movie/book/food:
I have always read books for guidance, though I cannot remember all the books that have influenced my development (an ongoing project). I came across the following books within the last 17 years and find I keep re-reading:

  • Scholar Warrior: An Introduction to the Tao in Everyday Life by Deng Ming-Dao;
  • Magical Child by Joseph Chilton Pearce;
  • A Guide for the Perplexed by E.F. Schumacher;
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.