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Curriculum vitae

Areas of expertise

  • Extensive writing, editing and communication experience as a journalist and in the public sector;

  • Proficient in Canadian Press Style, MS Office (2010), iCreate (CMS), InDesign and Photoshop.

  • Converting complex concepts and projects into engaging copy for print and web-based media.

  • Media liaison; writing media releases, making pitches to local media.

  • Developing and executing detailed work plans, providing strategic advice and finding stories in unusual places.
     

Professional experience

Notable accomplishments

  • Wrote the People Plan (2013), the City of Kitchener’s guiding document aligning employees’ work to the city’s strategic and business plans. Used internal employee recognition program to draw out stories that reinforce the culture and values of the People Plan, as examples of the corporation’s commitment to its employees.

  • Transformed the city staff newsletter into a true storytelling tool, aligning it with the People Plan and celebrating the stories of city workers across the corporation as they interact with the community.

  • Developed and taught plain language and writing for the web courses as part of the corporation’s learning-and-development program.

  • Worked with external partners to create a series of traffic safety videos telling stories of workers in construction zones. This storytelling approach informed a province-wide campaign by the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association.
     

City of Kitchener, communications and marketing associate                              January 2007 to May 2018

  • Research, conduct interviews, write and lay out content for publications, Your Kitchener and City Talk, the newsletter for employees, using Canadian Press Style guidelines.

  • Converting complex information and concepts into relevant, engaging copy for external audiences.

  • Developing, writing, implementing and evaluating comprehensive tactical plans for clients, for internal and multi-partner external communications and engagement initiatives, including social media campaigns and managing the development of design, production and delivery of marketing materials.

  • Collaborating on all communications and marketing for infrastructure services, including engineering, transportation and operations, and finance and corporate services, including the city budget and all People Plan communications for human resources, as well as photography, writing and communications plans. Executing a comprehensive communications plan for the City of Kitchener’s 2016 employee culture survey.

  • Member of selected internal committees and groups, including diversity, learning council, employee culture survey (2016), Lean In (co-founder).
     

Metroland Publishing, reporter and editor                                                                   2001-2006      

  • Sourcing, researching, interviewing and writing/photographing stories for weekly community newspapers in the Eedy Group: Minto Express, Arthur Enterprise News, Fergus-Elora News Express and Elmira Independent (interim editor).

  • Mentoring high school students and younger reporters in skill development. As interim editor of the Independent, managed a staff of two reporters, one administrator, two designers and one salesperson.
     

Irish World, arts editor, London, UK                                                                             1998-2001

  • Filled a 12-page weekly entertainment section in national weekly newspaper with well-written content and photographs for the Irish community, including conducting interviews, reviews and photography and assigning stories to freelancers.
     

Volunteer experience

Latitudes Storytelling Festival, founder, chair of the board of directors                  June 2006 - 2017

  • Guiding part-time staff in roles pertaining to the festival's organization, artistic direction and volunteer management.

  • Connecting the community with storytelling, storygathering and placemaking initiatives. Developing strategic partnerships to carry out vision (e.g. Latitudes and Longitudes digital storytelling project, www.madeinkitchener.ca). Driving project timelines and working with artists, community members, paid staff, arts organizers, volunteers and a volunteer board.
     

Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV Waterloo), board member           January 2017 - present

  • Promoting and marketing the local chapter’s events and raising its profile within the community. CISV provides a range of unique, education group activities, including exchanges, which develop cross-cultural understanding in children, youth and adults from around the world.
     

Mental Health Without Borders (formerly Transforming Guyana’s Mental Health)        November 2014

Documenter/storyteller, mental health initiative, Guyana                         

  • Worked with a cross-disciplinary team of medical and mental health professionals and the Ministry of Health in Guyana to implement a national mental health strategy, including capturing stories of patients, family members and medical staff to use for fundraising and promotional purposes.


Refugee sponsorship, volunteer coordinator                                                                   August 2011-July 2012

  • Organized and recruited volunteers to help an Iraqi refugee family of 10 settle in Kitchener. Included arranging drivers for appointments, child care, English language education, etc. Currently financially supporting a Syrian family who arrived in Kitchener in October 2015.
     

Education and training

Conestoga College, Kitchener, ON, Diploma of Journalism (print)                               1997-1998

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Bachelor of Arts, history                                   1988-1992

University of Waterloo, Certificate of Community Engagement                                    2007

Indigenous Canada, University of Alberta (2018)

Effective Writing for the Web (University of Waterloo, 2018)

Critical Thinking (2018)                                                             

Reframing Justice, Crime and Prevention, Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council (2017)

Project Management for Non-Project Managers (2017)