Olympian & Olympic Silver Medalist / President & Founder, NGU Consultants, Vancouver, BC. Born: Jamaica.
Five-time Olympian and Olympic Silver Medalist (1984, 4X400m relay), Charmaine Crooks represented Canada for close to 20 years in athletics. As the first Canadian woman to run 800 metres in under two minutes, she’s won Gold medals at the Pan American, Commonwealth, World Cup, and the World Student Games. In 1996, she had the honour of being Canada’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremonies of the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games, and from 1980-1997, was the 11-time National Champion in the 400m and 800m.
Currently, Charmaine is President/Founder of NGU Consultants (since 1994), a sports marketing, management and corporate consulting company, which provides strategic counsel and growth strategies to major corporations on a national and global basis. She is also a sought-after keynote speaker, appearing at national and international conferences, corporate meetings and retreats. She speaks on topics ranging from team building, leadership, inspiration and the Olympic Movement.
In 1996, she was elected to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes Commission and was elected as a full voting Member of the IOC from 2000-2004. She continues to serve on the IOC Athletes Commission, has been a Member of the IOC Press Commission since 2001, and was a founding member of the independent IOC Ethics Commission.
Charmaine has also been a freelance television personality and producer since 1993, and has worked with CBC, TSN, CTV, Fox Sportsnet and European TV as an analyst (Winter and Summer Games), host or commentator on a number of sports and variety programs. She hosted CBC and OTN’s Cycle, the first Canadian TV show on recreational cycling, and co-hosted the nationwide show, In the Company of Women. She currently hosts the annual internationally televised, award-winning World Athletics Gala from Monaco.
As a producer, she created the TV special, No Laughing Matter which raised awareness for Breast Cancer, and was the consulting producer on the award-winning Champion’s Zone sports documentary.
Charmaine is a tireless supporter of various local and global charities and humanitarian projects focusing on youth, women and health related matters. She created SportsCares which helps disadvantaged youth get involved in sports and healthy lifestyles, has been involved with Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland since 2000, and Right to Play, where she is a founding Board Member and current Chair of the Governance Committee.
Affiliations: Sits on several corporate and non-profit boards: Elected in 1996 and 2004 as a Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC); Board of Directors, VANOC 2010 from initial Bid phase through to the Games of the 2010 Winter Olympic Organizing Committee; Board member, Canadian Olympic Committee since 2000, on Executive Board (2005-2013); Founding Member, independent IOC Ethics Commission (1999-2001); current Member of the IOC Press Commission and IOC Athletes Commission; Vice President World Olympians Association (WOA) since 2007. Member, AIM Mutual Funds, serves on Corporate Advisory Board and Governance Committee Board (2001-2007); Right to Play International Board of Directors (2000-2009); Canadian Museum of Nature (2001-05); University of Northern BC (UNBC) Board of Governors (2006-08). Volunteers with athletic bodies: Current Chair, Pan American Athletes Commission; past board member Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport; Past Board Member Athletes CAN; Past Co-Chair of Federal Government Task Force on financing for amateur sports in Canada (2002). Involved with Peace and Sport as a new champion for peace.
Other: Avid supporter and strategist for Canadian sport event bids, such as the Toronto 2008 and Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, and other events staged in Canada. Currently writing a book on her personal Olympic experiences and lessons learned from the parallel worlds of sports and business; to be released during Black History Month 2011.
Honours: Include JCC/BC Sports Personality of the Year (2009); IOC Women in Sport Trophy (2006); inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada (1st & 2nd editions; 2002 & 2006); “Top 50 Women of Power” Canada (2004); inductee, BC Sports Hall of Fame (2003); Leadership Award, Black Historical and Cultural Society, BC (2003); inducted, Athletics Hall of Fame, University of Texas (2001); BC Business “Top 40 Under 40,” (1997); Bruce Kidd Award, for athletic leadership (1996); Governor General Award, for community service (1993); John F. Bassett Award for outstanding community work and sporting excellence (1991); BC Track & Field Athlete of the Year (1991 & 1990); Olympic Silver Medal ( 4x400m, 1984).
Reviewed in: National and international publications; WWIC; WWCW.
Education: BA, Psychology, University of Texas El Paso.
Favourite books? (Books being read) I love to read a few books at a time. My favourites are: Black Swan by Taleb; The Manuel of the Warrior of Light by Paulo Coelho; and Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Favourite quote? “Never give up.”
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Dedicate more time to charity work within 100 miles from home.
Who or what inspires you? I’m inspired by my late parents who immigrated to Canada and instilled in us a strong work ethic.
Why do you do what you do? I enjoy following my passions and giving back to the community.