2018 40 Under 40 Winners

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Robyn Jones-Murrell

BC Cancer Foundation
Vancouver, BC

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

  1. She reversed an 8-year revenue decline for the largest fundraising event in British Columbia – The Ride to Conquer Cancer. In her first year, Robyn was able to generate a $1.3 million increase in revenue over the previous year.
  2. She created a robust sponsorship program for the organization resulting in a 394% increase in sponsorship and cause marketing over 5 years.
  3. Robyn changed the Workout to Conquer Cancer from a one-day event to an online month-long challenge, resulting in an increase in the net return from a 35% net return in 2015 to a 95% net return in 2017.
  4. She created the inaugural Canada Day parade for downtown Vancouver, attracting over 200,000 people annually.

Q & A

  1. How did you get into health care philanthropy?

    I originally started as a co-op student for the Marketing and Communications department at BC Cancer Foundation in 2003, which really planted the seed as I grew my career in Public Relations and events to organically grow my skills in a way that would bring value in the philanthropic sector.

  2. Why did you choose to make health care philanthropy your career?

    In 2011 I was working as a director at a local public relations firm and I had just finished organizing a conference with former Presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush; the hours had been long and grueling, and while it was an honour to work on such an event, I decided it was time to go back to philanthropy. There was an opportunity to help lead the Special Events department at the BC Cancer Foundation and I thought it would be a great career move in addition to giving back in a more meaningful way.

  3. What has been the #1 factor in your career success so far?

    A former colleague used to tease me that I was, “unrelentingly persistent in the nicest way possible”. I think that my persistence combined with my natural positivity has allowed me to see and seize new opportunities and has significantly contributed to my success.

  4. What is your greatest passion and why?

    I am definitely passionate about fundraising for cancer research and care, but I think my greatest passion is for leadership. It is so incredibly rewarding to see members of your team succeed and accomplish their goals knowing you played a small role in their success.   

  5. What are your future aspirations?
  6. One day I’d like to take on the role of President and CEO of an organization and I’ve also often thought about local politics. Most importantly, I aspire to continue doing work that’s meaningful to me.
Robyn Jones Murrell

Fun Fact:

I used to be the Parade Director for several of Vancouver’s largest annual Parades, including the local Santa Claus Parade. Unfortunately I’ve since lost my “in” with Santa.