Staff Achievement Award winner Sheila Pineau (right) poses with Justine Crawford (left) at the SFU Awards Dinner on March 5, 2020.

Faculty and Staff

A legacy of tables, chairs and kindness: Sheila Pineau wins Staff Achievement Award

June 29, 2020

By Halla Bertrand

Sheila Pineau, audience and events services coordinator in the SFU Woodward’s Cultural Unit, has won a well-deserved SFU Staff Achievement Award for work performance. An SFU staffer for 18 years, she has been an integral part of SFU Woodward’s success as a cultural and artistic hub for over 10 years, and previously worked for the Diamond Family Auditorium at SFU’s Burnaby campus, among other departments.

In her role at SFU Woodward’s, Pineau ensures all events run smoothly. From safety procedures to furniture selection, she is knowledgeable and effective, says one nominator. And while some might assume a career so closely tied to the arts would be glamorous, her nominator says Pineau is instead the behind-the-scenes mastermind. She has often said that “tables and chairs” will be her legacy.

But Pineau’s exceptional work ethic ensures her legacy will be far more.

“Sheila is the heart and soul of our operation and exemplifies the traits and values of the ideal SFU community member,” says a nominator. “Engaged, curious, knowledgeable, welcoming, patient, dedicated, hard-working, passionate, open-minded, thoughtful and kind, loyal, creative, flexible, reliable, respectful, cooperative, logical, analytical, positive and with a drop-dead sense of humor to boot.

“Sheila is the unsung hero who goes above and beyond her role to guarantee a student performance or screening is saved at the last minute when someone has forgotten to ask for something vital.”

While Pineau works in the cultural unit, the scope of her work also includes a community focus.

“Sheila also looks ahead and uses her institutional knowledge to foresee problems others miss,” says another nominator. “Community engagement programmers will check dates and resources with her for an event to make sure their interactions with the Downtown Eastside community are handled respectfully and professionally.”

Pineau’s commitment to supporting fellow colleagues speaks volumes. Nominators attested to her willingness to teach and support others. And that extends to her advice for folks just starting out in the arts.

“​Never be afraid to try something new and innovative,” says Pineau. “Be brave and confident, and most of all, be kind.”