Shelley Jones

Education and innovation have been key throughout Shelley Jones’s life. She began college at just 16, graduating from Durham College’s (DC) Law Clerk Advanced program in 1985 and later receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Laws in Common Law from the University of Ottawa. Her career since has been incredibly fulfilling: from interning at Yahoo! in California and becoming a lawyer and registered trademark agent with expertise in trademark law, to working for BlackBerry and then leading stakeholder relations for the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, of which she is a member and Fellow – she’s seemingly done it all.

When Shelley was recruited to establish the National Inventors Hall of Fame Canada (NIHF), a Canadian not-for-profit organization, she jumped at the opportunity. It would allow her to continue following her passion for intellectual property law and bring her back to education – this time by helping to inspire youth.

“I love working at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Canada. The stories of our Inductees, all world-changing inventors, are inspiring, and through our innovative STEM educational programs we introduce students to the invention process through hands-on, creative problem-solving activities and project-based learning, which really helps them understand their own potential,” says Shelley. “As an intellectual property professional, I am particularly proud of how these programs introduce entrepreneurship and IP concepts to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in a fun and engaging way.”

Throughout her career, Shelley has also continued to strengthen her connection with DC. Named to the Alumna of Distinction in 1995, she participated on the President’s Panel for the Building Something Amazing campaign in 2017, and delivered an address to graduates at that year’s spring convocation. More recently, she returned to her alma mater in a professional capacity by bringing Camp Invention to DC this past summer, along with a reception for NIHF Canada hosted by DC President Don Lovisa.

“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to host Camp Invention, our summer enrichment program at DC, and I’m excited to be back again this summer,” says Shelley. “With a focus on STEM and entrepreneurship, our program aligns perfectly with DC and its programs and resources.”

She is also a longstanding DC donor, helping to support the construction of both the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food and the Centre for Collaborative Education, where Camp Invention took place.

“Giving back is so important to the vitality of our institution, especially in terms of dollars required to provide the best student experience,” remarks Shelley. “It’s a great feeling to be associated with DC and know that I remain very connected to my alma mater.”

As a donor, Shelley’s support currently goes towards the Student Experience Fund, which is used to support the college’s top priorities. The fund is currently focused on increasing enrolment in the skilled trades through the expansion of the Skills Training Centre at the Whitby campus.

“Regular giving is so easy and seamless, and you can see the results that the donations make for students – those attending the college today, but also in the future,” says Shelley. “There are various ways to contribute and I’m truly happy to support the great work DC is doing in this way.”

Ellen Stitt

As a Walkerton, Ontario native, providing access to clean water has been Ellen Stitt’s calling since 2000. That year, more than 2,300 people in her hometown became sick and seven people lost their lives after a heavy rainfall event contaminated the drinking water supply with E.coli. It was this crisis event that influenced Ellen’s career path and saw her pursue a Water Quality Technician diploma at Durham College (DC).

“Durham College gave me the education, skills and support I needed to become a treatment plant operator and help prevent major events, like the Walkerton E.coli outbreak, from ever happening again,” says Ellen, who graduated from DC in 2013.

It’s been seven years since she earned her diploma and in that time Ellen has fostered an incredible career. Currently, she works as a senior operator and mechanic with the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) and is the marketing manager for the Ontario Association of Sewage Industry Services. In 2016, she was a recipient of the OCWAmarine Citizenship Award and was a finalist for the Water Environment Association of Ontario’s Outstanding Young Professional Award and the Water’s Next Young Professional Award in 2018.

Aside from her operational responsibilities as a senior operator and mechanic, Ellen facilitates the agency’s OneWater Education workshops, teaching grade eight students about water and wastewater treatment processes and how everyone has a role in protecting and conserving our water. She also promotes the I Don’t Flush campaign, which protects wastewater infrastructure and source waters from items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, like pharmaceuticals, personal care products, fats, oils and grease and household hazardous waste.

“I love my job and the fact that every day brings a new challenge – you can work in this industry for five years and still not know everything,” Ellen remarks.

Outside of work Ellen volunteers much of her time serving on the Walkerton Clean Water Centre’s Board of Directors and numerous other committees. This includes the Great Waters Challenge Youth Advisory Board with Waterlution, a non-profit organization that promotes water awareness and collaboration. Through her work on this committee, she also co-authored a children’s book entitled Canada’s Great Water Adventure.

Ellen has also had the opportunity to attend Waterlution’s H20 Global Leadership Training, and participated in their Water Innovation Labs in Australia and Canada, where she was chosen to receive seed funding for her project Rain It In, a competition that empowers college and university students to make a difference in their communities and positively impact the environment.

In March 2019, Rain It In became a reality when it was hosted for the first time at DC, with 10 teams from post-secondary institutions across Ontario pitching innovative solutions for mitigating the impacts of intense rainfall events to a panel of industry experts.

“Like with Rain It In, the work I do in the industry helps inspire future water warriors and opens the door for others to dive into a career in water,” says Ellen. “I hope to inspire change in perspectives and behaviours related to how we interact with water in our day-to-day routines.”

Since founding Rain It In, Ellen has graduated from the Water Environment Federation’s 2019 Water Leadership Institute, adding to her long list of accolades. As she looks toward the future, Ellen hopes to eventually transition into a career that is primarily focused on public education and engagement in the water industry.

Erminio Labriola

Erminio Labriola came to Durham College (DC) thirty years ago with a dream of pursuing a job that would allow him to create something from the ground up.

“I’ve always enjoyed building,” says Erminio, who graduated from DC’s Civil Engineering Technology program in 1992. “The courses at DC were creative and interactive, and the instructors were seasoned professionals. They offered real-world experiences and stories and that, along with the theory I was learning in class, really inspired my desire to pursue a career in construction. My project management, structural and design classes really gave me a better understanding of how all the pieces work together and those lessons have remained with me throughout my career.”

After college, Erminio worked for a few years at a geotechnical consulting firm, overseeing infrastructure for a housing development, and then moved into a role at a civil engineering company. It was during this time he became specifically interested in residential construction and took an entry-level position at Brookfield Residential to get his feet wet in the industry.

Since then, he’s worked his way up the corporate ladder, earning the title of vice president of Construction for the leading North American new home builder and land developer. Today, Erminio oversees ten ongoing residential projects that are enhancing communities across southern Ontario.

“The best part of my job is connecting with people and watching a newly constructed house become a home,” remarks Erminio. “Returning to finished communities is extremely rewarding as many team members have been involved – design, concept, trades, marketing, sales – and all work together to deliver an amazing finished product. It’s great seeing smiles, hearing laughter and witnessing the overall happiness of the residents who will now create the foundation of a community.”

As vice president, Erminio and his team have also won numerous awards for their design and construction and were named Builder of the Year by the Durham Region Homebuilders’ Association in 2010. They’ve also received nominations for their outstanding customer care, product design and community design in Toronto and the surrounding GTA.

“Industry awards are extremely important to us as they offer an opportunity for us to celebrate and acknowledge our hard work,” Erminio explains. “We strive to improve and build industry standards while providing the best customer experience.”

As Erminio looks towards the future of his own career, and the careers of those entering the industry, he is excited about the potential for innovation through new technology and the development of Smart Cities and has high hopes for the future generation of builders and designers.

“I am so pleased DC is expanding programs in the skilled trades sector. We are facing a demand for skilled workers who can fulfill the housing construction growth,” says Erminio. “The housing industry must continually evolve and stay ahead of demand so that it can adapt to the changing environment. Innovation in the housing industry will result in efficient living experiences at home. I really believe technology will make everyone’s life better at home and at work.”

Judy Pal

Judy Pal has had a long and winding career. It’s one that has seen her hold the title of community relations coordinator for the Edmonton Oilers, television anchor for Global Television, chief of staff for numerous police organizations, and director of operations for the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (LEEDA).

Before all that, though, Judy’s story started 36 years ago at Durham College (DC), where she graduated from the Sports and Entertainment Administration program (now known as Sports Administration).

“I was always interested in law enforcement, but because of height restrictions back then, I followed my second passion, professional hockey, before turning my attention back to policing after a stint in PR consulting and broadcast journalism,” recalls Judy, who today provides counsel to national and international public safety clients.

Although her career path has taken some interesting turns, it began like those of many other successful students: a professor took notice of her talent, hard work and potential and hired her. Beginning as a statistician for the Junior B Oshawa Legionnaires, Judy helped the players write their applications for university. This experience landed her a placement with the Oshawa Generals. As her classmates crossed the stage at convocation, she wasn’t able to make it because she was busy working the OHL draft.

That experience led to a full-time position right out of school with the Moncton Alpines, and was later ‘called up’ to the NHL two years later and to be part of the 1988 Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers.

After spending a few years in broadcast journalism and public relations, Judy took her communications experience and applied it to her first love, law enforcement, and accepted a job with Halifax Regional Police in Nova Scotia before moving to the US. After a short stint with the City of Irvine in California, she joined the Atlanta and then Savannah police departments in Georgia managing public communications. From there, she took on the chief of staff role in Milwaukee and Baltimore before eventually finding herself serving as director of operations for the FBI-LEEDA. In this role she developed and managed leadership course curriculum and became a sought-after lecturer and public speaker in the field of communications for public safety.

“If someone told me when I graduated that I would have the career I’ve had, I would have told them they were crazy,” Judy says. “Once I got to the New York Police Department , I used to sit and wonder when people would ‘find out’ that I’m just some woman with a sports administration diploma and PR degree from Canada!”

Yet it was that college diploma that started Judy on her unique journey and she credits two of the lessons she learned at DC to much of her success.

First: “Networking is key. No matter how much you know, it’s more about who you know – especially in the world of professional sports and law enforcement,” says Judy. “I’ve been extremely blessed to have established strong relationships in the field and police leaders often recommend me to others because of this.”

Second: “Never stop learning! I’ve worked with and learned from some of the smartest people in both hockey and law enforcement. I see myself more of a conduit of my former mentors’ knowledge than an expert myself,” she explains.

What she’s gained through networking and mentorship has led to her current work as a consultant spending most of her days on the road training public information officers and police leaders about how to better communicate. She’s also written a guide on crisis communications and was recently the keynote speaker for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Strategic Communications Conference.

“I’d like to think I’m providing law enforcement tools to help improve their abilities to better communicate on behalf of their department,” says Judy. “My guide on crisis communications is being used by some major city departments in the U.S. as required reading for promotional exams. Everywhere I have worked, I hope I have contributed to some small legacy project or best-practice.”

Christy Stone-Curry

A little over 18 years ago, Christy Stone-Curry faced a tough decision. She was a new Durham College (DC) grad from the Business – Human Resources program, working her first job out of college at a large tech company. While she benefitted from steady pay, job security and a ladder to climb, the organization she worked for was experiencing the tail-end of an economic downturn. Her days were spent letting go of employees and representing her company in court almost weekly. It wasn’t the career she had imagined for herself after college – she had dreams of inspiring and building people up, instead of bringing them down.

As luck would have it, a building in downtown Port Perry, Ont. that her father owned became vacant around that time. He offered her the opportunity to rent it before anyone else – for full price – and she took the chance, not yet knowing what it would become but confident that it was the right choice. It was then that the Piano Café was born.

“The first thing I did when I opened the café was go to the local Rotary Club and submit an application for membership. I was the only female, and the youngest member at the time, but it was one of the best things I ever did for my business. That, and throw a party for everyone in town to introduce them to the café,” says Christy, who is currently the Rotary Club’s vice-president.

At the time she was a one-woman show – cooking and managing the café by herself in the first year – but the networking and informal marketing she did in the early days set her on the path to creating a unique brand. A little over a year later she added an inn to her business, taking space that was vacant above her café and renaming it the Piano Inn and Café.

Today Christy employs more than 12 kitchen and serving staff, is one of the top-rated restaurants in the area and her inn has become a hot destination for tourists looking for an intimate and cozy hideaway in Port Perry’s quaint downtown.

“The success of this business all comes down to relationships,” Christy explains. “People love to see business owners in their business, and what started as just me is now a family affair – that’s what makes us different. When you walk in at lunchtime you’ll see me checking up on tables and chatting with return customers, my husband is making drinks at the bar or helping guests in the inn, and my dad is greeting people at the door.”

Christy has made her mark not only as proprietor of the Piano Inn and Café, but also as a community leader. She is a past president and current vice-president of the Port Perry BIA and Rotary Club, winner of a Women in Rural Economic Development award and recipient of a Community Service Medallion from the Honourable Erin O’Toole, Member of Parliament for the Region of Durham.

A few years ago, Christy felt she had finally finessed her café menu – a niche selection of indulgent sandwiches, hearty soups and healthy salads that appeal to the ladies who lunch and the men they bring with them. With less time taken up by menu development, she had the opportunity to focus on marketing and taking her brand a step further.

“When I was in college, I didn’t really understand marketing. I was always more interested in the making-people-happy part of business,” says Christy. “Recently, I started calling back on my marketing classes from college and as soon as I started applying those lessons to my business things just clicked. I realized that marketing is for the people – to bring those who would enjoy our food and atmosphere the most to our door.”

The Piano Inn and Café re-launched its brand in 2018, and has seen huge success since. Christy now sells branded salad dressings, sauces, frozen soups and take-home meals, and the clubs and contests she runs throughout the year draw in people from all over the region. Her quaint downtown business has also been the backdrop for a number of TV shows and several Hallmark Channel movies. Business has never been better – and Christy knows it’s because her brand, from the menu design to the décor, represents who she is and everything she loves about her customers.

“Opening the Piano Inn and Café was about doing what I liked. I didn’t want to get up each day and arrange terminations, I wanted to inspire them and make them feel appreciated,” Christy says. “As a restaurant owner you need to be good with people while balancing the business side. Really, you have to be a little bit of everything. I didn’t go to school for food, I went to school for business, but it makes me qualified to do what I do. I would not have made it this far if I didn’t start my path in a business program.”

Dustin Kellow

Launching a new business venture can be terrifying, which is why it’s lucky for Dustin Kellow that he’s never been afraid of taking risks. He’s earned job offers by picking up the phone and calling CEOs directly and even packed up his life to move to Melbourne, Australia for a few years. As a 2001 graduate of the Business Administration – Marketing program at Durham College (DC), Dustin has spent the better part of his career working in marketing. So when he decided to leave the marketing world in 2017 to launch Durham Recruiting, it was yet another leap of faith and change that he knew needed to happen.

“I used to leave work running to the GO Train, then rush across Oshawa and into Port Perry to get home in time to read our daughter a bedtime story,” says Dustin, recalling the long commute he used to take into Toronto for work. “It was during one of those evenings that I overheard [my wife] Diane, who was working at Randstad at the time, speaking to a candidate who was so grateful for Diane helping her get her dream job. That was our aha moment! So we moved our mortgage, got a small line of credit and went all in with no plan B and started Durham Recruiting together.”

The gamble of going all in has already paid off for Dustin and Diane. Maclean’s and Canadian Business magazines recently ranked Durham Recruiting as the 15th fastest growing company in Canada. The company also won ClearlyRated’s 2019 Best of Staffing Client and Talent awards. For Dustin, the risk of entrepreneurship is no match for its rewards including a shorter commute and the satisfaction of discovering his talent in professional matchmaking.

“I love everything about my job,” he says. “I work with an amazing team of dedicated individuals, and we have the opportunity to hear not only the stories of all the incredible businesses that exist here in Durham, but the stories of job seekers, too. There is nothing more gratifying than matching someone with a local company and knowing that both parties benefit.”

Dustin also places a high value on being a part of the community. Both he and his wife are active members with all five boards of trade and chambers of commerce throughout Durham as well as the Business Advisory Centre Durham, where they provide free workshops and sit on the human resources expert panel that provides advice to entrepreneurs. They also volunteer for community events like the Communities with Brooms clean-up initiative and the holiday family gift sponsorship for Their Opportunity, a nonprofit based in Oshawa. Durham Recruiting also recently received an Eco-Business designation from the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade for their sustainable business practices.

If you ask Dustin and Diane what comes next, expect exciting goals and, of course, a few more risks. They recently announced the fall launch of their new Human Resources division.

“We’ve helped our partners acquire top talent for their companies and now with our new HR division we can partner with them to help with retention strategies and other HR-related functions that are critical for the growth and success of companies,” explains Dustin.

Durham Recruiting is also working with DC’s Hub for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence for Business Solutions to develop a powerful tool that will use artificial intelligence to better match job seekers with businesses by going beyond the traditional resumé. Differing from other AI recruitment tools, the prototype will include key factors in its matchmaking process such as psycho-metric data, work environment, culture fit and more. The innovative business tool is expected to launch in mid-2020.

As Dustin reflects on the past busy, but fulfilling, few years, he is confident that his decision to take a chance on entrepreneurship was the right one.

“Starting Durham Recruiting has given me the best of both worlds. I still get to interview and hear people’s stories like I did when I was in marketing, but now I get to place them into a full-time job and I can take all my business and marketing knowledge and apply it to my own company. I’m very lucky!”

Jennifer Stein

Since graduating from Durham College’s (DC) Public Relations (PR) program in 1999, Jennifer Stein has been living what many PR professionals call “the agency life”. It’s incredibly exciting, fastpaced and rewarding and as a strategic storyteller for some of Canada’s biggest brands, she loves it.

“I knew after my first year at Durham College that I wanted to work in an agency. Since then, I always have – starting at Porter Novelli and working with high tech clients like Oracle and HP, then at a smaller agency called Temple Scott,” recalls Jennifer. “I then left there to work at APEX Public Relations where I’ve been for 11 years! I no longer really work in tech, but my passion is still there.”

As senior vice-president of Integrated Communications, Jennifer runs the consumer side of the business for APEX with clients like Walmart, New Balance and Levis. No day is the same, but that’s the way she likes it – and it gives her the opportunity to be creative and think of new, innovative ways to approach communications.

“At APEX I have the autonomy to do the things that inspire me. Right now I’m working on a YouTube comedy that I think everyone is going to love,” she explains. “It’s a step outside what PR is but I love learning and pivoting. It get me excited about going to work every day.”

It’s that kind of outside-of-the-box thinking that helped Jennifer and her team hit a home run with Walmart’s back-to-school campaign in 2015, producing a Snack Report based on consumer research and leveraging the content across multiple channels. The campaign did so well that they took home an Achieving Communications Excellence (ACE) Award from the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) for Best Creative PR Campaign.

Over the course of her career, Jennifer has won more than 25 awards from the CPRS and International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), including an Ovation award with IABC for her work on Upstairs Amy – a YouTube comedy APEX produced for Interac and Walmart.

“At APEX we are big on awards – it is a great way to reflect on work you have done and celebrate successes,” she says. “Our award for Upstairs Amy is my most cherished; it was a really innovative way to build brand awareness for both clients and ended up being very successful.”

Motivated by her past successes and with the goal of delivering the next big thing in PR for her clients, Jennifer admits that it’s all about being flexible and trying something new.

“PR and marketing has changed more over the last year than the last 12 years. You can’t ask me what I am going to do 10 years from now – I don’t even know what I am going to tomorrow – but I like that,” says Jennifer. “I’m excited to see where things move to next and looking forward to learning along the way!”

Benji Andringa

Illustration, design, skateboards, and the outdoors are just a few of Benji Andringa’s passions – and he’s been on a journey to infuse his love of these things into his career as an artist since he graduated from Durham College (DC)’s Graphic Design program in 2012. Known by his alias, Lowclass, Benji’s dream is to create and share his artwork anywhere and in any medium, from festivals and murals to logos, apparel or ads.

“Every project I work on, big or small, is an accomplishment in my book,” Benji notes. “My art is not about money, it’s about designing cool things for rad people.”

Benji experienced his first career achievement as a student when he won first place in a contest through Boler Mountain designing a logo for a snowboarding company – it was a dream come true. This experience lead to his next achievement, an internship through his program at Reactor Art + Design and later a job at specialty printing company Lunar Caustic Press, where he learned hands-on skills in the print side of the design industry.

Equipped with a well-rounded skill set developed during his time at DC and through his first few industry jobs, Benji had the confidence and ability to point his career in a new direction. After spending a year operating old presses, handmixing Pantones and working on design and branding projects; Benji left his life in Toronto for adventure in western Canada.

“I left the city to be a part of something more tangible. I didn’t want to be sitting in an office designing snowboard ads, I wanted to be on top of the mountain, strapping in,” recalls Benji. “I quit my job and drove my van out west with my portfolio in hand.”

From Ontario to Alberta and then to British Columbia, exciting years came for Benji. He displayed his artwork in the World Ski & Snowboard Festival’s art exhibition State of the Art, won contests, participated in live-art events, collaborated with west-coast artists and landed a gig designing a snowboard for Trapper Snowboards.

In 2015, he began working for Somewon Collective, a clothing lifestyle brand in Revelstoke, B.C. There he assisted in redesigning their logo, designed apparel and advertisements and looked after screen-printing and production for Somewon’s parent Company, Integrated Apparel.

Two years later, he left to begin freelancing fulltime, working with a variety of companies both locally and internationally, such as Free Spirit Sports from B.C., The Hemp Trading Company in the United Kingdom, and Plucky Girls in Sweden, among others.

Although he considers himself as an artist who mostly utilizes pen and ink to illustrate, he acknowledges the value of having completed a graphic design program as it has allowed him to broaden his skillset and his opportunities.

“Sometimes as artists, we become our own worst critic and this can keep us from completing a task from start to finish. Durham College taught me design techniques that allow me to turn the drawings in my sketchbook into content for digital and traditional platforms, and also how to manage and complete creative projects on a deadline.”

Benji is excited about what the future holds. He is currently working on a graphic novel, spending time travelling overseas to visit clients and always looking for more walls to paint.

“I get inspired every day by my own philosophy: work hard, break rules and have fun.”

Matthew Sauve

Matthew Sauvé, who graduated from the Marketing – Business program at Durham College (DC) in 2002, has landed the best role of his career: someone pursuing their dream job and bringing it to life. A multi-award-winning actor whose next project has him starring in a feature film alongside a Hollywood A-list star, Matthew’s story could have gone very differently if he hadn’t listened to the inner voice telling him to chase his dreams and leverage his skills.

“Originally I took a business marketing program because, at such a young age, I didn’t exactly know what field I wanted to venture into,” recalls Matthew. “I knew that I wanted a post-secondary education and felt that DC’s program would open doors to my future, but I wasn’t sure what those doors would be.”

After graduation, still unsure of what he wanted to do, Matthew decided to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and joined the police force. In 2012, he still felt that the path he was on was not what he was meant to do. It was then that he became determined to take a chance on a creative career and one that he had felt drawn to for a long time – show business.

That year, Matthew began acting in film and TV, and two years later, despite having forged a successful career in policing for more than 12 years, he quit his job to pursue his dreams of becoming a full-time actor. The rest, as they say, is history.

“Ironically, it’s now later in life that I have started utilizing more of what I learned at DC,” Matthew notes. “It was there that I learned the value of advertising and how powerful marketing can be. Little did I know at the time that the product I would eventually be selling to the world would be me!”

In a span of five years, his acting career has taken off. Matthew has appeared in more than 40 movies and TV shows and is well known for his work on projects like One Night Stand, a short film which won him a number of Best Lead Actor awards around the world.

Matthew is now exploring the production side of the show business, putting to use more of the creative and business skills he developed in school and expanding control of his own artistic career.

“I was drawn to writing and producing because these roles allow me to tell the stories I’m passionate about while taking more artistic control of the project,” he says.

While Matthew moves on to the next stage in his career, he also helps younger aspiring actors achieve their dreams, just as he did. “I regularly teach acting workshops for children. I think it’s important to give back to the arts community I love so much.”

Having an evolving artistic career and a solid set of marketing and business skills, Matthew has a bright future to come in show business.

“What I love most is that what I’m doing today is not a job, it’s my vocation in life.”

Carrie-Anne Atkins

Carrie-Anne Atkins started her career journey where many Durham College (DC) Public Relations students do – a third-year placement gaining real-world experience in a fast-paced agency. After graduating in 1998, she cut her teeth as an account
co-ordinator at Environics Communications, a PR agency in Toronto. There, she worked closely with big technology and consumer clients like Yahoo!

“Back when it was ‘King of the Internet,’” she quips.

“I loved agency life. The experience taught me how to think on my feet and to hustle, and the PR program at DC really provided me with the stepping stones for a successful career in communications,” shares Carrie-Anne. “There is a direct correlation between my third-year placement at a downtown PR agency and my first job at a PR agency. Without that line on my resume I may never have gotten my foot in the door.”

In 2000, Carrie-Anne joined Ontario Power Generation (OPG), exploring roles in employee communications as well as community relations and outreach. Today, she works closely with OPG’s neighbouring business community, strategic partners, local government and conservation authorities, as well as community organizations such as DC to maintain a free flow of information between stakeholders and the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station.

While Carrie-Anne is involved in all kinds of diverse projects through her role with OPG, her favourite part of her job is the support she provides to community-based educational programming, such as Bring Back the Salmon and the Atlantic Salmon Classroom Hatchery Program. This community-based bio-diversity initiative is run by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters in support of the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program, and OPG has educational hatcheries located at both the Darlington and Pickering Nuclear Information Centres.

“Working with local community and school groups provides me with the opportunity to not only talk about our business at OPG but to also learn and develop relationships with the community members,” says Carrie-Anne. “When we issued a call for Grade 5 classes located in the Cobourg area to help with Bring Back the Salmon, we were blown away with the response. Forget about cloud nine, we were on cloud 10! One classroom produced an entire video of why they wanted to get involved. Think about how that message is now organically cascading.”

As Carrie-Anne continues to work closely with the community through her work with OPG, she also volunteers her time outside of the office, serving as a member of the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee, and previously as a member of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Committee and Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade Communications and Marketing Committee. In addition, she currently serves as vice chair for the Durham Community Foundation Board of Trustees, and served from 2013 to 2016 as a board trustee for Victim Services of Durham Region.

“I love working closely with stakeholders to help our community thrive and do well,” says Carrie-Anne about her combined volunteer work and career. “In the end, the old saying is true: love what you do. Couple that with being a proud, hard-working DC alumna and good things will happen.”