Ian Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer

Q. What excites you about being at the helm of BlueShore Financial?

So many things. With BlueShore’s strong brand, and rich history of community engagement and investment, it’s exciting to be leading an organization that has been a pioneer in so many areas in the credit union system. Everyone at BlueShore has been so welcoming, and they are truly a talented group with an attitude focused on creating a positive environment for clients and colleagues.

Q. What is your main focus for BlueShore Financial in 2024?

I have a few areas of focus as we head into this new year – clarity, engagement and focus on the client experience.

Clarity. I have been focused on understanding BlueShore’s current state, allowing me to build an inventory of opportunities to leverage our strengths, invest in our future and strengthen our foundations. These observations are helping to develop a clear set of priorities and activities for 2024.

Engagement. I have met many of the great employees at BlueShore recently. This has given me a true sense of the high quality of talent across the organization. I think BlueShore is at its best when employees are equipped, energized and engaged, and this needs to remain a priority. I have also had the privilege to connect with a number of our clients, local businesses and community partners – what a vibrant community to be a part of!

Focus on the client experience. 2023 brought economic challenges to many households and businesses. Moving into 2024, it is a priority for me to ensure that BlueShore continues to provide clients with the expert advice and financial planning support they need. We want to know – how are you doing? How can we help? This level of service is what sets us apart, and I’m hearing from clients that it’s more important than ever. 

Q. How do you personally define successful leadership?

Creating an environment where people feel they have the freedom to create, innovate, learn from mistakes and feel good about telling others what they do and who they work for, knowing they are making a difference for our clients, colleagues and community.

Q. What advice do you have for navigating the current economic environment? 

BlueShore has a rich 80-year history of successfully supporting our clients through many economic cycles. Our Business Advisors help business owners access programs and funding options; our Financial Advisors have the years of experience and the financial expertise to help clients identify and reach their financial goals; our webinars offer valuable information about topics like retirement planning or investment strategies. So I guess my message is: we can help. The current economic environment might raise some questions for you about your financial situation. We can help you explore the answers. I encourage you to reach out to us as your financial partner with any questions or concerns you have.
Q. At BlueShore, we promote a culture of continuous learning. What are you currently learning about?

I love to learn, and throughout my career I have participated in formal and informal opportunities to expand my knowledge, my network and my points of view.

Most of my reading right now is about BlueShore; our history, our path to today, our plans for tomorrow. Outside of that I read a lot to keep me current on the news of today, technology trends and social issues. I try to read and listen to a variety of sources, perspectives and opinions to ensure I am not falling into hidden biases. I also participate on various Boards, committees and working groups across the credit union system allowing me to stay connected, active and current.

Quick Questions

  1. Hometown? Hudson Hope, BC
  2. First job? McDonalds. Making McChickens and Fillet ‘o’ fish
  3. Favourite book? Anything written by John Grisham
  4. Favourite season? Summer. I love the heat and sunshine
  5. Favourite BC location? Whistler (But Crescent Beach and Shuswap are close seconds)
BlueShore Financial, Financial Advisor, Gary Suen

Gary Suen

Financial Advisor

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The information contained in this article/video was written by BlueShore Financial or one of our expert financial writers and was obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, we cannot guarantee that it is accurate or complete. It is provided as a general source of information and should not be considered personal financial advice.