LI WOON CHURDBOONCHART
CEO and Founder, The Volunteer Switchboard
(In her 40's)
Her story (as shared by her nominator)
Li Woon started her first job with Citibank in 2000, where she became the Head of Philanthropy. Realising that she could make more impact as an individual, she decided to become a volunteer herself.
When she joined Barclays in 2005, she continued her philanthropic work, coordinating amongst Barclays employees across 14 Asia Pacific countries, to volunteer on projects, even where there was no formal CSR programme. Her work in Asia Pacific was recognised when she received the Barclay’s Bank Chairman Award in 2010.
Despite working 17-hours a day as the Regional Head of Client Data, Li Woon would still find time to devote herself to volunteering work. When it finally it took a toll on her health, she left Barclays in 2013.
She took a sabbatical to travel to reflect on life. With her passion for volunteering and her experience in corporate volunteer work, she set up The Volunteer Switchboard which creates specific programmes for volunteering opportunities for the public and corporations.
She finally left the corporate sector in 2019 for personal reasons and now runs The Volunteer Switchboard full-time, which has since evolved into a Social Enterprise.
Li Woon is kind, generous and has impacted many people’s lives. She lives with a lot of intention and purpose of wanting to do good, taking initiative to get things going. She has a very positive, can-do attitude. She is community driven and is a true inspiration to many.
In her own words:
My greatest achievement is gaining the ability to venture into the unknown without fear. I am proud of being able to do the right thing with the right intentions, when faced with challenges or situations that demand it. This quality has enabled me to pursue my dreams and passion, persevering through challenges to successfully transit from a prosperous banking career to establishing a reputable presence in the social service sector despite the COVID outbreak in 2020.
The same ability has also allowed me to expand my horizons to venture into the tourism and education industries and diversifying my skills as a trainer and author of children's storybooks.
Biggest challenge thus far
Making the organisation sustainable and creating meaningful employment.
what judges say
Change-maker and connector. Kudos to you for pushing ahead with your mission