Concerned and engaged about climate change and gender equality, volunteer, world traveler, nature and outdoor lover, and always working on balancing my full-time career with my wonderful life as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and community member!
Occupation: Manager, Sustainable Development Initiatives for Public Services and Procurement Canada
Journey to my career:
I was 12 years old when I first heard about the plight of the beluga whales in the Saint Lawrence River. The stories I heard about how human activities were threatening the whales had a profound effect on me. It made me think more about the impacts humans have on the environment and animals. Although I was more aware of environmental concerns, it took me a few more years to determine that I wanted work in the environmental field.
This led me to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Services at Carleton University and then a postgraduate degree in Environmental Management at Niagara College. I wasn’t sure what type of work I wanted to do, but knew that I wanted to help move the climate change agenda forward in a meaningful way, which is why I started to look at opportunities at the Federal Government.
It took me a year of applying but I finally made it into an entry level position as an Environmental Officer in the Real Property Branch at what was then called Public Works and Government Services Canada.
· I have been fortunate to work in the same department for the past 20 years working on a variety of environmental compliance and sustainability files, programs, policies and strategies related to real property.
· Currently I am the manager for the National Sustainable Buildings program and lead sustainability collaboration initiatives with departmental partners and external stakeholders. The current focus of my work is the development of national strategies, programs and tools that will serve Public Services and Procurement (new name of the department) Real Property as it transitions to an organization that actively pursues sustainability outcomes.
· My team is currently working on various sustainable building files including the development of sustainable development strategies and implementation plans, a real property plastics reduction action plan, a plan to green our leases and so forth.
· One of our main goals is to integrate sustainable targets and commitments in the department’s owned and leased buildings as it relates to carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste consumption, recycling, single use plastics, site impacts, ecosystem health, wellbeing of building occupants, integration of community etc.
Since I was in my late teens I’ve been a volunteer. Volunteering is an integral part of my life and I have had the privilege to volunteer with numerous organizations over the years. Some of my favorite and most rewarding volunteering has included working on the Rape Crisis phone line, working with kids in foster homes through the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, Parent Council Co-Chair at my daughter’s school and Board member at my synagogue.
I love being outside! My family knows, if you want to make me happy take me to a forest for a walk in the woods or downhill skiing or snowshoeing in the mountains.
As much as I love my career, volunteering and hobbies – nothing compares to the importance of my family. My happy place is with my daughter, husband and dog!