Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

My job as Policy and Government Relations Manager is one of counsel and of advocacy. As a political expert, I advise the organization’s board, staff, and membership on policy and its impact on their operations. I also advocate for Chamber members and the business community at large to all levels of government. I am responsible for researching and generating advocacy plans and policy recommendations, and then presenting and advocating for them in the political space.


In broad strokes, my job is to help create a governance environment that is friendly and open to business. I see that as a part of a healthy and vibrant community – a prosperous business community means jobs, investment, community involvement, social engagement, infrastructure, health and wellness, and more.


My approach is one of collaboration and consensus-building. I work to find shared interests and common goals with other community stakeholders and to build teams and coalitions, and I firmly believe that you can find friends in the most unlikely places if you’re willing to look and collaborate. Working together, we not only have a better chance of success, but we get solutions that benefit everyone.



Niagara Workforce Planning Board

I performed research and analysis of local labour market issues for community stakeholders. In my years at NWPB, I brought $98,000 in external funding to the organization, and I directed the Niagara Community Data Consortium. I not only gathered and analyzed data, but I designed, managed, and wrote our many publications and reports. I delivered presentations and represented NWPB to the community, as well as facilitated seminars and workshops on labour market information. I developed and ran our blog and website, and I supervised a complete overhaul of our online footprint.

I tried to focus the organization on interactive online media for data presentation, rather than on static print documents, as I feel that it is best to present data to users in an intuitive format that lets them find what they need. I think a research organization’s role is to make the access and understanding of data easy for clients and stakeholders, and to help them make evidence-based decisions.




Brock University

I facilitated workshops and seminars for undergraduate students, as well as evaluating and grading both their written work and their presentations and group discussions. They seemed to like me; I received very positive student evaluations – and I didn’t consider myself an “easy” marker!



Daniel & Partners LLP

I performed legal research for municipal government clients. This was a for-credit internship run in partnership with the Department of Political Science at Brock University. I learned a lot about municipal law and working in a legal practice. I still think I would have enjoyed a legal career, but so far, I have found research and analysis to be a better fit for me.



Brock University

I performed qualitative and quantitative research including archival research, economic data analysis, and interviews. I also worked as an editor on academic papers and books. I mostly dealt with data manipulation in Excel, although I also spent quite a bit of time combing through old newspapers, performing literature reviews, and other qualitative work.



Transcom International

I developed and implemented training materials and courses for teleservice representatives. I liaised with clients in developing bespoke training programs for their campaigns, and traveled to Manila in the Philippines to set up new off-shore call center operations there. I enjoyed the work, but I felt I’d gone as high as I could without formal education, so in 2008, I enrolled at Brock University. I worked here part-time until 2010, however, and the firm was good enough to let me fit my schedule around my classes.



Management Training in Action

I developed and led training courses and seminars for business clients in computing basics, office software, e-mail and internet use. It was the end of the 1990s, when these skills were still far from ubiquitous; many people were having a hard time transitioning to a digital office. I focused on making training accessible and approachable for non-tech-savvy users.



PC World

My first “real” job, at the UK’s largest independent computer retailer, saw me perform hardware upgrades and repairs, as well as software support for Windows and Mac platforms. I brought my “computer geek” skills to the job, but I learned a lot about task management and working in teams. I was promoted to senior technician after a short time. I deputized for the customer service manager and helped to run a team of ten technicians and customer service agents, but I still did hardware and software repairs, upgrades, and maintenance. I left when I moved to Canada.