Amy Fast didn't always intend to pursue the family business. The Squamish native, whose father has owned local business Cardinal Concrete since 1973, intended to work with her father for a year after university. Then, she was going to move back to Vancouver to pursue her career. Eleven years later, it’s safe to say she won’t be making the move back to the city. She says that growing up in a smaller town, “there was always that pull to leave and explore other places,” but adds that quickly, “I realized I really liked being back here, so I put down roots and got a mountain bike.”
Fast realized that she could find the sort of big-city challenges she sought right at home. Her father had purchased developable land in 2002 and needed someone to manage it with him. Her university education, as well as her deep roots within the community, made the younger Fast a perfect fit. Amy says, as a woman in the oft-male dominated world of land development, she felt a bit trepidatious when she first began working in the industry six years ago. She admits that she wondered if “there may be some hurdles to being a woman in this business. Now that I've gained confidence and knowledge, I don't feel that way anymore. As a smaller community, you're working with people you know. Even though I might be working with more men, it's about building ground up relationships, so you're dealing more with people on the basis of that.”
Fast adds that it has been promising to see more women in a variety of positions traditionally occupied by men. “On the light-industrial warehouse project we’re working on in Squamish, the construction project manager is a woman, and I'm starting to see more women involved in the construction field. It can only make it better – bringing in different perspectives, seeing things from a different angle, it can only make the industry stronger.”
Fast says that so far, her and her father’s new company has completed one light industrial project in Squamish, and is planning two more – one in Squamish and one in Pemberton. She says that as a long-time member of the community, she takes joy in her work, noting, “what I love most about what we do is that we're building things in our community. We're getting to add things to this place we've lived in so long. It's kind of neat to be a part of that development.”
If you'd like to know more about Amy Fast and Fast Property, check out their website at www.fastproperty.ca.