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Kevin Desmond, the chief executive officer of TransLink, the Metro Vancouver transportation agency.Albert Normandin

For this feature, Globe B.C. borrows from Vanity Fair (and other media that have popularized French author Marcel Proust’s questionnaire), as a way to get to know notable people around the province.

Here is Kevin Desmond, chief executive officer of TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority. He was named to the post in 2016.

1. Do you have a non-work-related passion or hobby? What is it?

I like to play my acoustic guitar (sadly, not very well) in the evening and weekends to unwind. My weekends are often otherwise filled with a range of outdoor activities, including cycling, hiking, kayaking and cross-country skiing.

2. What is your greatest fear?

I think a lot about the chances that the world inevitably is prone to going through cycles where the past evils of history are modernized and repeated.

3. If you have $1-million to give to a charity, what cause or group would you select and why?

I would support efforts to preserve and protect precious wild and open spaces, whether wilderness or passive parklands. These spaces are vital to protect the world’s ecological balance and the human spirit.

4. Which living person do you most admire?

Although he recently passed away, I admired the physicist Stephen Hawking for his brilliance and perseverance.

5. What do you most value in your friends?


6. What was your first paying job?

My first paying job was as a busboy at summer camp in the Catskill Mountains of New York. I made $120 for the summer and bought a little black-and-white TV for my bedroom.

7. What is the best present you have ever been given?

Tickets to see U2 in Dublin.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To be more accessible to the people I care most about.

9. What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Ice cream!

10. What trait do you most despise?


11. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Raising two wonderful children.

12. The best movie you have seen in the past year?

The documentary Icarus that started out about doping in professional cycling and ultimately uncovered the Russian Olympic doping scandal. Oscar-winning The Shape of Water was a lovely theatrical release.

13. The best book you have read in the past year?

Last summer I read The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed during a wonderful Haida Gwaii wilderness kayaking trip. As someone new to British Columbia, it was a fascinating, riveting story that provided great cultural and ecological context for our Haida Gwaii immersion.

14. Your favourite TV show?

A good sporting event.

15. What most inspires you?

Rising to a challenge. Both real and metaphorically, I like to chart out a course to scale another peak.

16. What talent would you most like to have?

Being able to master a musical instrument and become lost in a blues improvisation.

17. An object you still own from childhood?

My old lacrosse jersey (No. 37, midfielder).

18. What is the greatest issue facing Vancouver?

Housing affordability.

19. What life lesson have you learned this year?

Professionally: Perseverance pays off. Personally: Others appreciate flexibility.

20. What is your life motto?

Just Do It!

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