After 40 years of working to support people in need and boost business opportunities in Greater Victoria, Frank Bourree has been awarded the chamber of commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction.
The award recognizes a business person who has contributed to the community through their leadership and serves as a positive role model for others.
Bourree’s involvement in the business industry began when he was 14 and living on the street.
“I got a job in the restaurant business, basically so I could eat,” he said. It’s a starting point that has inspired much of the work he’s done.
Gradually, Bourree worked his way up until he became the B.C. regional manager for Controlled Foods International.
In Victoria, he is perhaps best known as the co-founder of GT Hiring Solutions and Chemistry Consulting Group, which work to provide employment services to people in need and track data to help the tourism industry. But Bourree’s involvement in the community has extended far past his business.
“Over the many years we’ve known each other, Frank has always been gracious with his time. He continues to volunteer on numerous boards and has spent countless hours patiently offering career guidance to anyone in need of advice,” chamber chair John Wilson said.
In particular, Bourree has spent much of his time volunteering at organizations like Our Place, the Coalition to End Homelessness, BC Youth Futures, and the United Way.
“The work was really good for the heart,” he said, emphasizing that no matter how much he has given, he feels he has received far more in return. Now retired, with seven children and five grandchildren, Bourree continues with his philosophy of giving back to the community by chairing the South Island Prosperity Project, which works to bolster the region’s economic and social prosperity.
He said he strongly urges everyone in the business community to jump in, volunteer and get involved.
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