Monique Tamminga/ Special to Black Press
Volunteering has been Jamey Paterson’s biggest reward in life, aside from his family.
The Langley businessman has played a major role in the success of so many local and regional events – including the 50th Langley Walk and the 2010 BC Summer Games that were held in his hometown.
Paterson said he liked being “behind the scenes” as vice chair of the 2010 Games in Langley.
But this time around, he is chairing the 2020 BC Winter and Summer Games.
“I just really like being involved. What I really enjoy is meeting the volunteers. There are over 3,000 volunteers at each Games who make them the success they are. I love seeing it all come together,” Paterson said.
The BC Winter Games takes place in Fort St. John, and Maple Ridge is hosting the BC Summer Games in 2020.
Since 1978, the BC Games have taken place in 38 communities and involved more than 350,000 participants and volunteers, and thousands more as spectators and supporters.
The BC Games bring together British Columbia’s best emerging high-performance athletes, trained coaches, and certified officials for four days of competition.
It’s often a launching pad for B.C. athletes who go onto compete in the Olympics.
“It’s so gratifying to be part of helping them launch their Olympic dreams,” he said.
Next year’s Winter Games has 2,100 athletes and the Summer Games is anticipating 3,200, Paterson elaborated.
Each host community has to submit a bid to win. Maple Ridge submitted in its bid that it will be building some top notch turf fields.
“They made some promises in their bid that will be a legacy for their town. I’m really looking forward to being so close in Maple Ridge,” he said.
Paterson has been serving on the Games board since 2017 and will continue on past the Games, until 2021.
He also added that the Games are well run with a top notch staff and Olympic medalists like Simon Whitfield and Pamela Rai among the many talents on the board of directors.
Paterson reaches for success in everything he does.
In 1979, Paterson started his own sales agency called Paterson Products Ltd.
Now 40 years later, he has 10 employees across Western Canada, representing 14 different manufacturers. His wife has worked alongside him running the office. The happy couple also do a lot of volunteering together including a school breakfast program.
“We’ve been two years in the high school, and we’ve really gotten to know the students. It’s just fun,” he said. “We feel we get just as blessed as those we serve. Volunteering is almost self serving in a way because we get so much out of it.”
His business’s success has allowed him and his family to live a comfortable life, and it also allows him time to volunteer.
“Why I like to volunteer is I believe my main role is to make others successful in whatever they’re doing – whether it be volunteers, athletes, and staff alike. Everybody wins,” said Paterson.
In 2000, Paterson was the assistant to the chairman for the BC Games for people living with a disability; in 2005, he chaired the Langley Township’s Communities in Bloom Committee; in 2012, he chaired the 50th anniversary of the Langley Walk committee; in 2010, he was the vice-chair of the 2010 BC Summer Games; and, in 2013 he was vice-chair for the 2013 BC Special Olympics.
His time with the Special Olympics is one that he cherishes.
“The kids I got to meet, the experiences we shared, I will never forget it,” he said.
To say Paterson is active in his community may be a bit of an understatement.
He has served on the Building Supply Industry Association for 10 years. He also served on the Sharon Village Seniors Housing Society for six years, and was vice-chair of the BC Challenge Drug and Alcohol Recovery Centres for men and women for eight years.
“At BC Challenge centres we have a high success rate of 85 per cent [who] were still clean after five years of leaving our program,” said Paterson. He attributes that success rate to how the centres are run.
“They have to be in the program for one year so that already changes them mentally and physically and in that time, their outside influences change and move on. Their suppliers move on or are hopefully arrested,” he said.
Now, his focus is back on the Games.
The BC Games Society is the leadership organization that sets policies and direction to ensure the continued success of the BC Summer and Winter Games.
“We are also committed to creating the best environment for Team BC to thrive at the Canada Games,” he explained.
The 14-member board is appointed by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and is responsible for setting policy and direction to ensure the objectives of the Society are met.
The BC Games Society recently announced the appointment of five new members to the board.
“I am very excited to lead this talented group of directors and to work together with staff to continue to build a strong organization supporting the development of participants, volunteers, and communities,” said Paterson.
Is there more to this story?