As an active ocean-loving community member of a small rural fishing village in South West Nova Scotia, I have worked as a community development practitioner for over 10 years. I'm an enthusiastic facilitator and motivator and love to work collaboratively with people and their communities to engage and co-learn to find practical answers and solutions to the challenges of rural living, using fun and innovative approaches. I bring a passion for social justice and rural community development, with experience in various fields including community health, public health, post-secondary education, employment services, and disability services.
Getting back to Nova Scotia was always part of my plan and, after a few years away, I came back to pursue graduate education in Communications and Public Relations where I honed my communications and organizational skills, and was awarded the Canadian Public Relations Society award for Strategic Communications Planning. My work over the years in community development, engagement and mobilization initiatives as a counsellor, health promoter, facilitator and community volunteer have focused on the social determinants of health and healthy communities including: rural sustainability, food security and local food, transportation, housing, early childhood development, and community participation. This work led me to pursue a Masters of Adult Education - Community Development at Saint Francis Xavier University and The Coady International Institute where I explored how sense of belonging, informal learning and social capital contribute to the sustainability of the rural coastal community. My in-depth community-based research won a NS Health Research Foundation research fellowship where I worked on engaging rural coastal communities throughout Nova Scotia.
As an active and keen volunteer, I lead various community initiatives and I can always be found in my kayak on the ocean whenever I have a free minute or two.
Born and raised in New Brunswick, my passion for bringing people together around a common goal was sparked at a young age when I got involved in student politics. I started my career on Parliament Hill in the mid-nineties where I worked for a Member of Parliament, a Cabinet Minister and in the Prime Minister’s Office, gaining valuable insights on the inner workings of government. After my stint on the Hill, I joined a Crown Corporation to become the general manager
of public affairs and was responsible for a series of Canada-wide public awareness campaigns.
My interest in government morphed into a deep curiosity about how people impact organizations and how organizations impact people. I decided to pursue my studies in organizational psychology, graduating with a Master's of Science from the University of London, Birkbeck College.
A leap of faith in 2005 led me to a small lake on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, where I quickly connected to the strong sense of community found in rural areas. Since then, I have taken on a variety of projects in the fields of organizational development, change management, employee communications and engagement, community engagement, leadership development and coaching and strategic and business planning and facilitation.
As a skilled organizational diagnostician, troubleshooter and strategic thinker, I have a keen understanding of systems and inter-dependencies. I strive to add value and create positive team dynamics to help bring out the best in individuals, groups and leaders. My family and I live in an old farmhouse in Wentzell Lake, Nova Scotia.