New Board chair open to input from Queen's community
Barbara Palk believes it will take a few months before she develops goals for her term as Board of Trustees chair.
“I have some ideas about what I would like to accomplish, but I want to hear from Queen’s community members and get their viewpoints on the issues,” says Ms Palk (BA’73), who officially takes over from Bill Young on June 1. “Queen’s faces big challenges, but all of the stakeholders are truly passionate and want the best outcome for the university.”
Ms Palk was elected to the Board in 2002 and has served as vice-chair since 2010. Her involvement began in the mid-1990s, though, when she joined the Board’s Investment Committee. She chaired that committee and also sat on the Finance and Human Resources committees.
Ms Palk brings considerable financial experience and knowledge to the Board. She recently retired as president of TD Asset Management and as senior vice-president from TD Bank Group. She is a fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute, the most senior credential in Canadian financial services, and a CFA Charterholder.
Board trustee is just one of Ms Palk’s volunteer activities. She has contributed to a variety of organizations including UNICEF Canada, the Shaw Festival and Greenwood College School. The Women’s Executive Network recognized Ms Palk in 2004 as one of “Canada's Most Powerful Women, Top 100” in the Trailblazer Category. In 2004, she also received the Ontario Volunteer Award.
“Giving back to the community is part of my psychology, and I have learned a lot from volunteering,” she says. “With the Board, in particular, I come into contact with so many great people: fellow Board members, students, alumni, faculty and staff. They are all really interesting and smart people who are exciting to be around.”
After attending the University of Western Ontario in her first year, Ms Palk transferred to Queen’s. She intended to study English but David Dodge, a professor at the time and now the chancellor of Queen’s, convinced her to pursue an economics degree.
Ms Palk will chair her first Board meeting on September 28.