Terry Murphy, 2009 Woman of Achievement
Terry is a partner at Design Showroom, which provides design services to commercial and residential projects. “I love my work,” she said. “My work is such a part of the fiber of my life…I love that every day is different for me and that I have the opportunity to make people’s worlds more visually pleasing.”
Giving back to Vancouver began soon after Terry arrived. “I am very committed to raising money for nonprofits that meet the needs of people who don’t have the ability to take care of themselves – be it adults or be it children,” explained Terry. She has volunteered with the YWCA for more than 20 years, the Hough Foundation for nearly 10 years, and Innovative Services NW (supporting disabled and disadvantaged children, adults and families) for five years. She currently holds a position on the board of Daybreak, an alcohol and drug abuse treatment program for teenagers.
“I’ve become involved because every single one of these organizations meets the criteria I have to help them,” she said. “For those of us who have been blessed with the ability to make a living…there are one or two others in serious, serious need. Not everyone can get out of their circumstances without the help of organizations like the YWCA and Innovative Services.”
As major gifts co-chair (together with her husband) of the Innovative Services NW capital campaign cabinet, Terry helped raise $7.3 million for the construction of their new facility. She provided planning and design time for the facility’s interior design as well. “Terry stated emphatically many times during our campaign that it was important that we build a facility and create an environment that shows that this community values all of its members,” explained a nominator. Terry also donated design services for the YWCA’s Helene Schoen Center; she is currently working on projects for both Daybreak and Share House.
“Terry is the type of woman who will step out when others are stepping back, who will give more of herself instead of less, and who will feel blessed in doing so,” a nominator said. Terry credits the women in her family for instilling those values. “My mother taught me about true acceptance, my Grandma Fitzpatrick taught me to love color and have fun, and my Grandma Bender taught me the value of self discipline,” she said.
“Terry Murphy is a wonderful woman who ‘walks the talk.’ Through her actions and words, she demonstrates daily how to give back to her community. One can’t help but be affected by her positive attitude and sense of giving,” wrote one of her nominators. That positive attitude goes to the core of how Terry lives each day: “It is easy for women to be gracious givers. It’s not always easy to be a gracious receiver. The one thing that I do every single day of my life is to encourage women of all ages to stand tall, to speak up for themselves, and to give back.”