Friday, May 04, 2007

Our Hero

This week I had the great pleasure of attending the retirement party for Charlie Coffey, formerly of RBC Financial Group. This wasn't an official party sponsored by the bank, but one where women, many of who were recipients of the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award, came together to celebrate and honour this special man.

Charlie is a strong advocate for women, and especially women entrepreneurs, so it was no surprise that women from across Canada had come to this event. A champion of youth, he also supported their efforts over the years and so the age-mix at this party was also noticeable.

I’ve been to several events hosted by Charlie and what has always struck me was his unfailing interest in people – and not just his guests, but the wait staff and anyone else who crossed his path. One time on the 40th floor at RBC, he had the waiter give the grace according to his culture, and he introduced him personally.

He would always joke that with five sisters and his mother, he had to get women’s issues or he was “toast” at home. At the Women Trading Globally conference in Vancouver a few years ago, Charlie was made an “honorary woman” much to the enjoyment of the women participating in this event.

Naturally we all wish Charlie well in his retirement, but oh we are going to miss him.

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