RACHEL LEWIS-Chief Operating Officer of Vancouver Whitecaps FC
A mother of two boys and the force behind Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Rachel Lewis is a woman of passion and determination. As we look forward to hear her story at our 3rd annual Success Luncheon, we got in touch with her to learn more about how her personal and professional attributes formed the path to her current role as a Chief Operating Officer of Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
1) Many women at DFS wear many hats. We are often amazed and entertained by children’s perspective on their parents’ job. How do you think your children would describe what their mom does?
When asked, my six year old son said, “Helping sell ticket for the Whitecaps”. My kids also think the suite at BC Place Stadium where we host clients is my office – they like the cookies and popcorn!
2) What are the things that inspire or motivate you in life?
My family – especially my children – are a big inspiration for me. Being a mom is a life changing experience, and one that I cherish. I learn more from them than I ever could have imagined.
Also, seeing the positive impact that sport has in building communities and creating healthy, active children that will lead us into the future.
3) If you could choose any adjective to describe yourself, what would it be?
4) Being the Chief Operating Officer of Vancouver Whitecaps FC must be a career milestone, can you tell us about your favourite moment of your journey to success?
Two moments stand out. The day we found out we won the bid to join Major League Soccer and our first ever MLS game at Empire Field in 2011. In both cases they were wonderful moments in time that signified the beginning of what we are still building today.
5) Is there a defining moment in your career that made you who you are today?
When I was completing my MBA at UBC, we had to do a summer internship. I wanted to work in event management but there were no postings in the field. Anxious to get a position, I applied for a role at a carpet manufacturing plant. I thought I nailed the interview, but the next day they called and told me I didn’t get the position. I was devastated – I didn’t even want the job but not getting it stung. In retrospect it was the best thing that ever happened. I refocused on what I was passionate about. A few days later, one of my colleagues in the program told me that her dad worked with the local PGA Tour Event. I arranged to meet with him. He told me that he wouldn’t be able to pay me, but he also assured me that it would be a valuable experience, so I took it and I have never looked back.