It may seem like a natural career trajectory to study political science at the University of Victoria and end up working in the legislature.
Jeff Hanman’s plan, however, was to go to law school.
“I guess to a degree fate intervened,” said the vice-president of corporate affairs at Teck Resources Ltd.
It was 2001, and people Hanman knew were finding jobs within a newly elected provincial government. His first role was that of assistant legislative assistant.
“I was an assistant to an assistant. And at the time, one of my responsibilities was to clean all of the coffee cups and the dishes that were generated each day,” he explained. It was no small feat either: that year, the BC Liberal Party won an unprecedented 77 out of 79 seats. “I got very efficient at washing dishes.”
That three-month summer work term turned into almost 10 years, during which Hanman held roles within the Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat, the Premier’s Office and the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
The succession of jobs led him out of the public sector and into one of B.C.’s biggest public companies, where this year he became the youngest executive on Teck Resources’ senior management team.
“When I was 15 years old I didn’t have a plan to be the vice-president of corporate affairs at Teck, but right from when I was young I’ve been involved in team sports, and I’ve always liked the idea of working with other people and being part of something bigger than myself,” Hanman said.
His commitment to that idea goes beyond his work with Teck. This year, he became the youngest person elected to serve as chair of the 116-year-old Mining Association of BC. He also serves as chair of the industry charity group Mining for Miracles and has helped raise millions of dollars for the BC Children’s Hospital, even during a significant downturn in the sector.
“I’ve been lucky to work with people who are really energetic and excited about what they do,” he said. “When you work in that kind of environment, you don’t really think about age. It just makes it an exciting, vibrant and youthful place to work.”
Where you live now:
Highest level of education:
University of Victoria
Currently reading: Sapiens:
A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari
Currently listening to:
Johnny Cash, At San Quentin
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up:
A lawyer, like my dad
Profession you would most like to try:
Construction worker. I’ve always liked building stuff with my hands
Toughest business or professional decision:
Moving from the public service to the private sector
It’s all about relationships. You never know what relationships will be important in your life. As a result, they are all important
What’s left to do:
A lot. In the near term we are working hard to raise $3 million through Mining for Miracles in support of BC Children’s Hospital. Longer term, the mining industry has tremendous capacity to improve people’s quality of life, and I’m excited to play a role in helping liberate that potential
Join us to celebrate the 2017 Forty Under 40 Awards January 23, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info, visit: http://www.biv.com/events/40under40.