Chi Furue, PCP
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative – Canmore, AB
Chi Furue is a payroll professional who was raised in Japan but feels Canada truly is her home and native land.
“When I first arrived in Canada, I didn’t have culture shock,” Chi says of her arrival here from Japan 25 years ago. “Everyone was so open-minded and friendly that I felt at home right away. It was when I went back to Tokyo that I experienced culture shock. The pace of work and the lifestyle were too different. I couldn’t blend in. So I came back to Canada.”
Chi is so deeply entwined in Canadian culture that she commits many hours each week to one of our country’s deepest loves: hockey. Although her family lives in Canmore, Alberta, her 12-year-old son plays in a league in Cochrane. “It’s a long drive,” says Chi of the two-hour round trip commute she makes several times a week. “It’s a big, very Canadian commitment.”
Canada’s landscape is part of Chi’s love for this country — she enjoys hiking and biking in Canmore. The environment is also the focus of her job as Accounting Coordinator for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), a non-profit organization that safeguards animals by protecting their habitats. She has been with Y2Y for four years now; prior to that she worked as a bookkeeper for Bow Valley Basics, an office supplies company.
While doing bookkeeping, Chi became interested in payroll. She earned her Payroll Compliance Practitioner designation when she started working for Y2Y, and loves the payroll aspects of her job. She manages a semi-monthly payroll, and tracks and manages employee data for sick days and vacation accruals. Because Y2Y has both American and Canadian staff, she needs to manage the different legislative and tax requirements of both countries.
Chi is also able to help Y2Y be flexible in employee matters; she knows when the organization is able to make payroll adjustments that are still compliant. For example, during the pandemic, it was important to Y2Y leadership that all employees be vaccinated. American employees were not allowed time off work to be vaccinated without taking sick leave; Chi worked with her organization’s leaders to adjust the payroll to provide her American colleagues with the same paid time offered to Canadians. “I can help employees while also helping Y2Y achieve leadership goals.”
Y2Y is growing, Chi says, due to the heightened awareness of threats to wildlife that are occurring with climate change and severe events such as wildfires. “More people are getting involved,” she says, adding that also increases the staff on payroll. She knows that her contribution is vital to Y2Y’s ability to protect habitat and the animals who live there.
“I love that my work in payroll helps Y2Y protect animals as small as shrew warbles and as big as bears.”