“If you want someone who has creative ideas and would be a positive addition to City Council…put a Kork in it!” 😊
“Korky Neufeld is hard working, energetic and committed. A dedicated husband and father; Korky is a family values man.
He excels in team environments as evidenced by his current role as a Trustee with the Abbotsford Board of Education (over 11 years) and Director with the BC Trustees Association (two terms), and his various roles on local, provincial committees and advisory bodies.
He advocates for and promotes fiscal responsibility, ethical and moral decision making, and big picture vision. Korky’s combined life experience in blue-collar construction work and local government politics with a provincial edge is invaluable.”
My Family Background:
I was born into a family of 10 children, you can only imagine…
In this family environment I cut my teeth developing debating skills and survival skills 🙂
Our family immigrated to Canada from South America in 1964, my parents with 8 children had a dream of a better life for future generations!
The moment we could become Canadian citizens, we all did and are proud to be!
When we moved to the Fraser Valley, I immediately began my community involvement by volunteering with the Abbotsford Christian Leaders Network, community committees at Abbotsford City Hall, and non-profit organizations.
Our four children all attending public school, and Cynthia and I volunteered in the schools our children attended.
That is where my political journey began when parents encouraged me to get more involved on their behalf.
In 2005 I was approached by community members and several School Board Trustees to consider running for the Abbotsford Board of Education.
It was quite a learning curve serving as a trustee for the first time. But as I learned from incumbent trustees and took advantage of professional development, I began to understand the role of a publicly elected trustee.
I have served as an Abbotsford Board of Education Trustee for over 11 years.
Abbotsford has a very diverse district with 45 schools with varying needs, and I worked towards making informed decisions by gathering a wide variety of perspectives on issues.
I have served on a many Board Committees, where I have been able to develop my skill set as a leader, and my ability to see the big picture while not losing sight of the needs of the students in the classroom.
I was the Chair of the Policy Committee for several years, where I led fellow trustees through the process of developing good sound policies for the betterment of our system. I did that by receiving and reviewing broad stakeholder input and reflecting that work back in the policy.
I have also served several years as the Vice Chair of the Board of Education working closely with the Chair of the Board, the Superintendent (the lead educator) and the Secretary Treasurer (the operational leader) which helped me develop my abilities to view the school district from the education side as well as the operation side. This also gave me insight into what was best for the district as a whole – not just individual schools or family of schools, not just classrooms but also how the district functions behind the scenes.
From the local level, as a board member for the past 11 years, I have been able to grow as a leader of a large school district in a growing and diverse community.
It is one thing to be a leader in a community when everything is running smoothly but quite another when your difficult decisions impact people in variety of ways and then dealing with an array of responses from the very constituents that voted you into that leadership role.
The past term has been especially difficult on everyone; challenging decisions needed to be made and it comes with the leadership position!
One of my roles has been to represent Abbotsford as a Provincial Councillor at British Columbia Trustee Association. This provincial association is made up of 60 boards from all corners of the province with over 400 elected trustees as its members.
For two one year terms, I was elected by my peers to represent them as one of 7 Directors on this Provincial Board, this also was a big learning curve.
This leadership experience took me to another level of understanding the diverse regions and districts from across the province which I then folded into my decision making process as a provincial leader. I learned how to best represent unique and complex issues in those local areas at the provincial table on their behalf.
As a father I was involved with my children by coaching their community flag football teams, by volunteering with community agencies like Salvation Army, Gleaners and Addiction Recovery programs through out our City.
I was proud to be involved with the start up of Cyrus Centre, working with Community leaders to secure ongoing funding and support. Creating a safe place for youth who have no other alternative. Cyrus Centre has now expanded to Chilliwack, serving the youth in that City.
I was on the leadership team that organized Love Abbotsford, mobilizing the community to intentional acts of kindness city wide. Witnessing the residence of Abbotsford serving one another in creative ways, with no strings attached except showing love to their neighbour! This initiative also expanded to other communities in the Fraser Valley and across Canada.
I am presently privileged to serve on the Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association as a Board member, working alongside APD, Abbotsford School District and the Community to offer a restorative approach not a punitive approach to first time offenders. Allowing them to face the victim, to see and to feel the impact of their offenses, then to create a plan of restitution. Very few clients who work through this approach re offend!