Communications Director for the City of Edmundston
Raised in Edmundston, I graduated with a Bachelors in Information-Communication from the Université de Moncton. I worked as a reporter for the local weekly, Le Madawaska; the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal and as a television reporter for Radio-Canada before joining the City of Edmundston's administrative team as Communications Director. I am the co-founder (with 2 friends, André Léger and André Morneault) of Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault, Northwestern New Brunswick's only craft brewery (a national gold medal winner at that!). I also helped launch the Café Lotus Bleu, a popular vegetarian café downtown Edmundston. I have one fantastic daughter, Gabrielle, who just graduated from university with a nursing degree. I love Edmundston. I'm passionate about seeing my city grow and transform itself, finally living up to its true potential. I consider myself lucky and honoured to be able to witness and take part in this city's renaissance.
What are you most proud of professionally? And who or why?
Being the first person to hold the position of Communications Director for the City of Edmundston and getting the opportunity to create this job from the ground up is something I'll always be proud of. I LOVE my city (caps are absolutely necessary). Edmundston is so full of potential and is now getting its groove on. The culture, the landscape, the lush green hills and meandering rivers make it a wonderful place to live in. But it's the people that truly make this place. (I know...everybody says that about their city, but Edmundston folks are a breed apart!) People here are determined, engaged, passionate and a whole lot of fun! I couldn't ask to be in a better place both professionally and personally.
What's your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?
Our biggest opportunity is our potential for growth in untapped markets. Small and medium sized businesses are a strength to be reckoned with if given the chance to prove their worth and to receive the support to get started. Craft breweries are the perfect example! Atlantic Canada brews fantastic beer. Just watch us!
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
If somebody asked me this question 30 years ago, I would've said that that period was my greatest stage of growth. Same answer 10 years later and 10 years after that. I love learning. I'm not a scholar by any stretch, but I'm always after new experiences and new challenges. This means I'm always learning and growing.
What's your favourite or most read book or podcast? Now or at each of your greatest stages of growth?
Richard Florida's Cities and the Creative Class was an important read for me when I first started working for the City. There have been many others since then. Right now, I'm really into what Canadian nephrologist Dr Jason Fung is doing to revolutionize treatment of Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Certainly not related to my work, but I've been very interested in this subject for the past few years after receiving my own T2 diagnosis (yes, I'm now a statistic). His work is amazing. After being diagnosed, I bawled my eyes out for a week, and then I decided there had to be something I could do (remember, I love a good challenge!). Through reading and more reading, I learned about Fung's work and started making changes to my diet. I'm now off all medication, my diabetes is totally controlled and I lost a bucket load of weight. Ask me if I miss bread. ;-)
What's your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?
The importance of balance. I've always been a workaholic (that's no secret), but there comes a time when you realize the importance of having balance in your life and how it's really ok to say "no" once in a while. For me, this happened when I turned 50. This is what I'm working on at the moment. It's an eye opener and to tell the truth, it's not as easy as it seems.
Who's inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?
My mother (of course), my first boss at the City of Edmundston, Réal Gervais, and the current mayor, Cyrille Simard. These are the three people who came to mind almost instantly, and I'm sure they'll be embarrassed if they read this! My mother is the strongest woman I know. Let's leave it at that. Réal Gervais was my first boss at the City of Edmundston. He was a passionate, demanding, challenging and incredibly supportive boss, just what I needed as I transitioned from being a reporter to "crossing to the other side" as a government employee. Cyrille Simard is probably one of the best mayors in Atlantic Canada. Energetic, incredibly positive, influential, smart and a true leader.
What would you have done differently?
Not. A. Single. Thing.
What were your priorities and how did they help you overcome some of the struggles you've faced?
There has always been only one priority - my daughter Gabrielle. She just graduated from the Université de Moncton with a nursing degree and I couldn't be more proud. My only wish for her is that she is as passionate about her work as I have always been about mine. Getting out of bed in the morning ready to #carpediem and loving what you do for a living is so rewarding. It's also a lot of fun!
Communications specialist, cheerleader, craft beer lover, coffee addict, social media geek, crazy cat lady