Make a Life by What We Give — Dinner with Cecilia Ho, President of Lee Hysan Foundation
Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their lives and career.
“Yesterday was gone, tomorrow hasn’t come yet, we only have today.”
This time, we have Cecilia to give us inspirations from her life experience in banking and social services. Being a keen supporter of charity initiatives, Cecilia holds the vision to benefit Hong Kong in a precise, identifiable and catalytic manner, in particular projects that fill service gaps in government welfare and services of mainstream non-profit organizations. Over dinner, we were inspired by her humbleness and generosity.
Who is Cecilia Ho?
Cecilia is the President of Lee Hysan Foundation, a local private family foundation established since 1973 which supports impactful charity initiatives in Hong Kong. She has over 30 years of experience in banking — Prior to joining Lee Hysan Foundation, Cecilia served as the Executive Director at Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. and the Managing Director of Citi Private Bank.
As an enthusiast in social service, Cecilia was invited to join the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund) Task Force to support innovative projects of development for alleviating poverty and social exclusion. She is also part of the Steering Committee of “FOOD-CO”, a platform that seeks to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall food support service in Hong Kong. As an advocator in using arts for social change, she is an Advisory Committee member for Arts Development under the Home Affairs Bureau, and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts’ School of Drama.
Habits to improve life
When asked about the habits that improve her life, Cecilia stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and making time to pursuit your own interests. She practices kickboxing and go to the gym on a weekly basis to destress, and also ensures to dedicate a few times each year for gourmet adventures overseas.
Behavior-wise, working in the philanthropic sector has taught Cecilia to listen patiently and learn from different stakeholders. She understands that organizations have different visions, and she strives to make room for diverse viewpoints in seeking to understand the whole landscape with a view to supporting meaningful initiatives for the betterment of Hong Kong.
Her life philosophy
Cecilia lives by the following motto —
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
While supporting oneself is undeniably important, Cecilia encouraged us to seek out ways in our daily lives to make a positive difference on society. Rather than focus on yesterday, ask what we can do and what we want to do today and tomorrow, then focus on taking steps in that direction.
Having good people around
Cecilia loves to befriend with people who have a positive outlook and attitude on life. She is extremely grateful for the support of her team of ‘willing’ and ‘able’ staff at Lee Hysan Foundation, who motivate her to do better every day. Cecilia aims to create a working environment where her team members are empowered to take ownership of their work, which in turn inspires them to strive for excellence.
Apart from managing a good team, Cecilia is thankful for the love of her parents and husband, who have provided endless support throughout different stages of her career.
Thank you, Cecilia, for raising 85 volunteer hours and all the volunteers who dedicated their hours for charities such as Lok Sin Tong, Kwun Tong Methodist Social Service and more! We would also like to thank photographer IX Cheng from KaChick!
To see our upcoming experiences, head over to the Time Auction website!
This article originally appeared on our blog on Medium: https://timeauction.medium.com/make-a-life-by-what-we-give-dinner-with-cecilia-ho-president-of-lee-hysan-foundation-bebc5612a239