Life at VF
Jun 07, 2018

Serving with a Purpose: Q&A with Carmen Leung, Regional Marketing Director, Timberland®, Asia Pacific

This year, three of VF’s associates were featured on the company’s 2017 Annual Report, titled “Purpose-Driven.” This is one of three in-depth profiles on these associates.

Carmen Leung, Regional Marketing Director, Timberland, Asia Pacific, is purpose driven.

Carmen, who has been with Timberland since 2014, is passionate about the brand—and about giving back to the community.

In her role, she oversees marketing for the brand in the Asia Pacific region. 

She previously led Timberland’s tree-planting initiative in the Horqin Desert in Inner Mongolia, and the company’s initiative to support a nonprofit organization that offers education, support and services to some of Cambodia’s most impoverished families.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Hong Kong, and that is where I work today. I studied in the U.S. and worked in Singapore for several years, but most of my life I have been in Hong Kong. I joined Timberland in November 2014. I am currently a regional marketing director for Timberland in Asia Pacific.

How have you been involved with Timberland’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives?
Timberland is really a leader in corporate social responsibility. Because of that leadership, I have had opportunities to be involved in the work we are doing in the community. I have participated in our annual Earth Day and Serv-a-palooza events as part of the Timberland team in Hong Kong.

I also led the brand’s tree-planting initiative in Horqin, Inner Mongolia, a project Timberland has been involved in since 2001. We partnered with the NGO Green Network to improve poor air quality in Japan, which is impacted by sandstorms originating from the Horqin Desert in China. We bring our customers and consumers together to do this work with us, and we are dedicated to spreading awareness about caring for the environment.

What motivates you to volunteer?
My husband introduced me to volunteering, and it really changed my perspective. I love the outdoors and care deeply about children—both issues even more so since having my own children—so the work aligns with my own interests. I get to do the right thing, and be an ambassador for our brand. It’s a great feeling.

What is the most rewarding aspect of this work?
I think the most rewarding part is working with my teammates from Timberland and others toward shared goals that we collectively believe in. We’re doing it together, and it’s remarkable what we can achieve together. As a result of our efforts in the Horqin Desert we’ve planted millions of trees, which are helping to address environmental issues and protect our environment.

What advice do you have for others looking to pursue the issues they care most about?
My advice is to look for opportunities that align the best use of your skills with a brand that stands for something you believe in. This enables you to pursue the brand’s purpose and give back to the community. When you’re able to do that as part of your job, and you can mobilize others to work with you, you can make a big impact and connect with people who care about the same issues.  

How does VF support you to pursue your purpose?
We are given an allotment of paid hours per year to participate in CSR or community service activities of our choosing. VF and Timberland support a culture where people have a positive and supportive mindset. We close our offices on Earth Day and during our Serv-a-palooza event so our associates can participate. The company values these important causes and service opportunities.

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