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Theresa McCurry

Chief Executive Officer
Applied Science Technologists and Technicians BC
Theresa McCurry à l'extérieur
Theresa McCurry à l'extérieur
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

Theresa McCurry is the Chief Executive Officer of Applied Science Technologists and Technicians BC.

About me

I was born/grew up in: My parents immigrated and landed in Edmonton and we then moved to Penticton where I grew up.

I now live in: South Surrey, BC where I have lived for the past 19 years. Previously lived in Vancouver & Calgary.

I completed my training/education at: I attended the University of Calgary and completed a BSc in Psychology with a minor in Communication.  I have taken courses at Duke University and completed various online courses.

What I do at work

ASTTBC is the sole regulator of engineering technology professionals in BC and the Yukon. I provide leadership and work closely with the Board of Directors as well as the organizational team, to achieve our goals, priorities and strategic vision. At the end of the day, it means meeting the needs of a number of groups including employees, registrants, government, communities and the law.

To do my job, I need to see where trends and issues are heading while actively planning the impact.  I make human resource decisions and work to create a better workplace, including how people work. Sometimes I need to challenge peoples’ assumptions and perform what I call ‘myth busting’.  My science background allows me to read technical questions and understand the ideas presented. My background also helps me ask the right type of questions.  Daily I make use of my critical thinking skills. I also use my emotional intelligence to help form alliances and partnerships for the organization and my own network.

My career path is

If I listened to my career counsellor in high school, I would be delivering mail today.  I was given one test and because I love being outdoors, it ignored my love of science and gave me one suggestion.  The best lesson I learned was ignore what people say if it doesn’t feel right. This is especially so if they are not invested in you.  Truly find out what interests you and then that passion will help you develop a career. Be tenacious, not overbearing, about what you need. If you don’t know what you want to do for a career, take the time and keep learning (formal or informal) as a priority.

Growing up as a competitive swimmer, I often trained with the men on the team. They helped me push myself to better performances.  Going into a male dominated field (e.g., petroleum, biotech and engineering technology) seemed to be no different. Learn more about my career path at my LinkedIn profile.

I am motivated by

Working with people can be invigorating!  Being able to have the freedom to be curious is important to me. I love change. I enjoy looking at a problem and finding a better solution.  I have been fortunate to be a leader early in my career. This has allowed me to have some very satisfying experiences. I am the first woman in Canada to lead a biotechnology association. I received an award from BIOTECanada for creating Biotech Week in Canada, which now runs globally. I have been a guest lecturer in many countries, including a course offered at Oxford University, in England.  Overall, it always comes down to meeting and working with highly talented people on important topics.

How I affect peoples’ lives

Over my career, I have helped change peoples’ beliefs about themselves and helped them go beyond what they saw as limitations. I have had positive experiences with families, mentees and whole communities.  It is my belief that putting capable people together, with the right resources, builds networks and communities that are highly talented. These networks and communities have a common connection which goes beyond a building a tribe.

Outside of work I

I volunteered a lot before I had my own kids.  Now between aging parents and my kids I spend as much time with family doing sports, gardening or having fun outside as much as possible. When I can find the time, I do some volunteer work for projects.

My advice to others

Develop a number of skill sets.  If you have focused on science then make sure you take business courses.  Learn to become a good communicator – many assume they are but often are not unless they are good listeners.  A lateral career move can be more strategic than just climbing the ladder upwards.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Physical Education
  • Science
  • Leadership class in grade 12
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Played on a sports team
  • Was motivated by success
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Liked change and challenging myself even if I wasn’t great


Advancing Women in Engineering and Technology

Let's Talk Science would like to thank the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) for connecting us with the individual profiled above.

Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) is leading the Advancing Women in Engineering and Technology Project, a Sector Labour Market Partnership project, funded through the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement. The project’s goal is to increase the participation of women in the engineering, geoscience, technology and technician occupations through the implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies to recruit, retain and support career development of women to lead a system level cultural shift within these professions.

ASTTBC Technology ProfessionalsFunding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement

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