Trailblazer. Entrepreneur. Perseverant.
There are many ways to describe Alice Chung, President & CEO of Alive Health Centre, but to all those who meet her, it is her passion and enthusiasm for anything she sets her sights on that shines through the most. Nowhere is this more evident than in her success as a business woman, but also in her dedication to supporting health care in BC.
Born in Malaysia, Alice’s immigration journey started in her elementary school days when she hoped to one day move to England. When she graduated high school in 1966, she set off independently on her journey, landing in England, then briefly Ireland, before immigrating to Hamilton, Ontario.
Once in Canada, she studied psychology and social work at McMaster University, but had a difficult time finding work in the field. That was when she found a job as an administrative assistant for a health food company. After years of learning the business from all angles, she decided in 1983 to open her own health food store – Alive Health Centre – in Richmond, BC. In 1984, she opened her second store in Oakridge mall in Vancouver. With a reputation for having the best value and quality in all her products, and some of the best educated staff in the industry, it did not take long before Alice was getting approached by different malls who wanted her to open a store in their locations. This launched an incredible 40-year career as a natural health retailer, now overseeing health food stores across Canada under the umbrella of Alive Health Centre, Supplements Plus and Morning Sun in B.C., Alberta and Toronto.
For her achievements, Alice was honored in 2015 as one of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants and the Winner of the RBC Entrepreneur of the Year.
Leader. Humanitarian. Philanthropist.
As a leader in the Canadian natural health industry, Alice is a fervent advocate for advancing health care in BC. Thanks to her success, she and her husband, David, have been able to give back philanthropically to many organizations, most notably to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.
In addition to her philanthropic giving, Alice brought her visionary leadership to bear as a member of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation’s Board of Directors from 2017 to June 2023. She also offered the gift of her time to the Foundation’s Time to Shine gala, playing an active role as a committee member since its inception and acting as Chair and Co-Chair in 2016, 2017 and 2023. During her tenure on the committee, she was considered a compelling leader who inspired and motivated committee members to strive wholeheartedly towards their fundraising goals. Thanks to her strong leadership and hard work, the Time to Shine gala has raised over $22.6 million, most of which supported the Future of Surgery campaign to revolutionize patient care and significantly increase surgical capacity for BC patients at VGH and UBC Hospital.
Influencer. Team-builder. Catalyst.
It was a bittersweet moment for VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation when Alice Chung completed her tenure on the Board of Directors. And it is only fitting that such moment be capped off with one of the highest honours in philanthropy: in November 2023, Alice was conferred the Giving Hearts Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award at the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ National Philanthropy Day.
The Foundation is thrilled to be celebrating this incredible milestone with her, in the same year that Alice and David’s cumulative giving to the Foundation also reached an impressive $1M. We are incredibly grateful for her generosity, her dedication to the organization and her volunteering efforts on both the Board of Directors and the Time to Shine Gala.
To us, Alice is simply family. The precious gifts she shared with us will leave a lasting legacy for our hospitals, and for all patients, current and future, who felt the impact of her philanthropy, no matter where they are in BC. Together, we lead.