My family and I have been residents of Maple Ridge since 1995. I’ve been married to Dean for 38 years and together, we have three grown children.
Although I grew up in East Vancouver, I have memories of driving through Maple Ridge to go to Alouette Lake. when I was a child.
After marrying, Dean and I moved aboard our 42 foot sailboat, which we lived on for 14 years, while the kids were young. Moving to Maple Ridge was a simple transition from life on the boat, from the perspective of having easy access to the beautiful outdoors, which was the true benefit of living on a boat on the Westcoast.
I worked at Vancouver General Hospital as a Food Service Supervisor for 14 years, but left the profession to stay home with my kids while they were young.
My involvement in my children’s school’s Parent Advisory Committee drew me towards the role of a school trustee, so I ran for election in 1999 and was successful in three consecutive municipal elections spanning 1999-2008. I was honoured to be selected by my peers to be the vice chair of the Board of Education during my first term and then the chair of the board for the subsequent two terms.
I next ran successfully for two terms on Maple Ridge Council, but decided to leave local politics in 2014 to pursue a consulting business. I also worked as the Constituency Assistant to Liberal MLA, Doug Bing, for four years, after managing his campaign in the 2013 provincial election.
My main interest has always been the non-profit sector, as I have served on a number of non-profit boards and continue to do so, therefore it was an easy transition after 15 years in politics to form my own consulting company, Ashlie Board Consulting: The ABCs of Effective Board Governance.
My consulting services enabled me to connect with the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice, where I was invited to join their amazing administrative team as a project manager.
In my volunteer world, I am presently the president of Alouette River Management Society and feel extremely blessed to work with seasoned and new board members who volunteer countless hours to ensure the Alouette River watershed is protected and enhanced. However, the strength of the organization is the two dynamic staff members, Greta and Sophie and all of the volunteers that continue to support the work of ARMS.
I am also the secretary on the board of the Ridge Meadows Education Foundation, as I have never lost my love for public education and this board enables me to continue to support public education.
I love living in Maple Ridge, as I believe it is one of the most beautiful communities in the Lower Mainland. So much of the city is walkable and great attention has been paid to ensure the environment is protected within the developing neighbourhoods.
Maple Ridge’s proximity to amazing trails systems on the dykes and within the regional parks and provincial park system of Golden Ears is unsurpassed by any other community and I love taking advantage of the outdoor lifestyle that is so accessible.
I was offered the opportunity of writing an opinion column for the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News, which was a long held dream of mine, so needless to say I jumped at the chance and I am very grateful for the privilege of having a bi-weekly Friday column called McDuff’s Call, which I post to my blog page on a regular basis. You will also see that I have left a number of posts that I wrote during my time in local politics, as I find it interesting to reflect on the issues of the past and to see if they re-emerge.
I hope you enjoy my site. Thanks for reading.