Vancity director Theodora Lamb brought her son Sagan to his first board meeting when he was just 26 days old.
She was inspired by Italian politician Licia Ronzulli, who repeatedly took her baby Vittoria with her into the European Parliament.
After Vittoria became a toddler, photos of the girl raising her arm to vote alongside her mom went viral.
“It was a beautiful example of a woman in governance and leadership bringing her daughter into a space where you don’t expect to see children,” Lamb told the Straight by phone. “I remember seeing that and thinking, ‘Holy cow, that’s what I want, right there.’ So I was pretty excited to bring Sagan in, at 26 days, to sort of emulate the feeling that I received when I saw those photos years before.”
She acknowledged that she’s fortunate to have an “amazing husband and partner and father to my kid”, Kurt Heinrich, and extremely supportive parents.
Yet she conceded that it’s still a challenge having a four-month-old son while serving on the board of B.C.’s largest credit union.
It makes her wonder how others who aren’t as privileged as her are able to cope.
“I’m sleep-deprived and I’m self-care–deprived on every level imaginable,” she said with a laugh. “And I still have it so good.”
Lamb is cofounder of the Feeding Growth Food Series, which helps sustainable local food companies scale up in size by connecting them to resources. “It’s a community of entrepreneurs, and I’ve always worked for entrepreneurs,” she said. “I’ve never worked for a big company.”
Her love of food intensified while she was working for one such businesswoman, Barbara-jo McIntosh, at Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks. Another entrepreneur who inspired her was Spice Radio’s Shushma Datt, who employed her as news director.
A resident of the Commercial Drive area, Lamb is a producer of Hollyhock's Leadership Institute, where she works closely with entrepreneur Joel Solomon, who has funded many green initiatives across the province.
She said that she appreciates how Solomon practises “fervent leadership” while retaining a humble attitude and a sense of grace. But Lamb’s greatest source of inspiration just might be her mother.
“She did crappy jobs her whole life so that my brother and I could have jobs that we loved and also decide to raise children and still work and live in one of the most expensive cities in the world,” she said. “That is what makes her an amazing mom.”