My most interesting and rewarding job was managing the Canada Employment Centre in Nanaimo. This was in the days when the focus of the Federal Government’s employment policy was on results rather than bean counting and decision making was delegated to the local level. I was able to involve the community in the decision making process, build great relationships and make a difference. Management of a large unionized staff and significant budget was also a great learning experience.
One of my first bosses gave me great advice about avoiding unproductive conflict when he said “Never get in a peeing contest with a skunk – even if you win you end up smelling bad”. Over the years I have learned that relationships are everything! Take the time to build relationships – listen – be respectful – pay attention to what drives and matters to the folks you deal with. Once you have established a solid relationship with someone you can often achieve in 5 minutes what could otherwise take forever.
When asked for a favourite book my response is, ”One Book?? Come on – I’m a reader.” Lord of the Rings – Anything by Arturo Perez Reverte, Michael Chabon or Guy Gabriel Kay – the Maj Siojwal / Per Wahloo series of Martin Beck books – and on and on – not a fair question! An immediate short term goal for me is to get another boat and get back on the water – I was never happier than the 10 years we were sailing on the BC coast.
I’m a creative thinker who works well with others and my varied background gives me a broad understanding and balanced perspective. I believe that these things together with my management and organizational experience enable me to make a meaningful contribution to the Board.