Mr. Milton Wong was an incredible visionary that sought out the impossible to make it possible. He had a deeply rooted sense of social values and team player attitude in everything he did. He recognized that these steadfast, all-encompassing attitudes transcended every aspect of his life and had been a catalyst in positioning him as one of British Columbia’s outstanding leaders in business, pioneers of social responsibility and generous philanthropists of the province: a legacy established through the eyes of his many supporters and followers.
Born the 8th of 9 children and growing up in Vancouver’s Chinatown, Mr. Wong embraced the opportunities life’s journey presented to him. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts and through the introduction to stocks by an older brother, led him into a career with National Trustco Inc. After working his way up through this organization, he later ventured out to establish M.K. Wong & Associates in 1980 and continued with them until they were absorbed and recreated into HSBC Global Asset Management in 1996.
Milton Wong was past Chair and CEO of the 4th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention in Vancouver in 1997 and later took on the role of chancellor of Simon Fraser University from 1999 until 2005. While there he created a lasting legacy and reinforced this through helping move the SFU School for Contemporary Arts to the redeveloped Woodward’s complex.
Mr. Wong’s list of accomplishments runs long and deep through the province. In order to promote cultural diversity through a variety of means, he co-founded both the Laurier Institution as well as the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society. He was instrumental in raising funds for and supporting organizations such as the BC Cancer Foundation, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Science World and the YWCA. Mr. Wong was also recognized as the co-founder of the Portfolio Management Program at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, where he became an inspirational mentor for a generation of young entrepreneurs.
As a result of Milton Wong’s relentless passion and involvement in the Arts, Social Responsibility, Business and overall Community engagement, he has a list of awards to match. He has received the City of Vancouver Civic Merit Award, Ernst & Young Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Freedom of the City Award, Public Policy Forum Testimonial Award, the Order of British Columbia, and the Order of Canada.
Mr. Wong served as director on the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, the Canada-U.S. Fullbright Program, Genome BC, the International Institute of Sustainable Development, the Pacific Salmon Endowment Society, and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Chairman of the Canadian Judicial Council. He also served on the Board of Seaspan Container Corp. and Alcan Inc. Mr. Wong’s other projects have included the Nurse Next Door home-care franchise company as well as Day 4 Energy involving leaders in the areas of climate change.
Although his schedule was timely and his accolades long, he managed to balance the role of family and was actively involved in the lives of his three daughters together with his wife Fei Wong.