This week the telegenic and articulate Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade was named Honorary Captain (Navy) affiliated with the office of the Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, in Esquimalt, B.C.
Anita who’s maiden name in Patel was born in Alberta but spent most of her life in beautiful Surrey. In an exclusive telephone interview with Can-India, Anita said she was looking forward to her role which serves as a bridge between military and civilian communities. “I really want to go out and talk to young people, especially those from immigrant backgrounds about the career opportunities available to them in the navy. As the population of immigrants grows, all armed forces will be looking at immigrants to fill positions and we need to build awareness of these opportunities,” she said.
Anita Huberman is well positioned to take on this new role. As CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade for the past eight years, she’s displayed remarkable leadership skills. She’s the first ever Canadian of South Asian descent to head a Canadian municipality’s board of trade and knows a thing or two about diversity.
In the next few weeks Anita will be on a huge learning curve as she gets guided tours on submarines and other naval vessels. She will interact with senior navy officials to gain a better understanding of the important role played by the navy which can then be conveyed to her audiences.
“I will be talking at numerous events over the next three years in this role. Introducing the audience to what the navy does and the important of commitment to service. People also need to know the navy’s role in patrolling our waters and even intercepting drugs that would end up on our streets,” she said.
Minister of National Defence Jason Kenney is convinced of Anita’s ability to be a great ambassador. “As a prominent member of the Vancouver business community, I am certain she will be an excellent ambassador for the Navy, our sailors, and continue to strengthen the vital relationship between the Royal Canadian Navy, industry, and communities for years to come,” she said in a statement.
South Asians students, especially those in fields like engineering and medicine would do well to consider positions in the navy.