What does a typical Thursday look like for you?
This was my day last Thursday…
5:00 am – Wake up
5:30 am – Gym – the best way to start my day
7:00 am – Shower
8:00 am – Breakfast meeting at a café close to both my office and my home (I walk to work)
10:00 am – Bishop’s University Audit Committee Meeting (I sit on the Bishop’s University Board of Governors)
11:30 am – Magazine interview about the important role that outdoor physical activity plays in the cognitive, social and physical development of our children
12 noon – Lunch and teleconference re: Government Relations
1:00 pm – Business development meeting with a prospective ParticipACTION sponsor
2:30 pm – ParticipACTION Advisory Group meeting – our cross-sectoral partners in sport, recreation and health gathered to discuss how we can work together to face the inactivity crisis
5:00 pm – Teleconference re: another organization for which I am a Board Member
6:00 pm – Dinner
8:00 pm – Theatre
10:00 pm – Emails
11:00 pm – Bed
*I take phone calls and emails between meetings and appointments throughout the day! Being active is not the same as having an “exercise” routine – it’s about making small choices that add up to a healthier, more active lifestyle. I walk whenever I can, I take the stairs, I carry my own luggage and I enjoy getting outdoors in my personal time. Being active is part of who I am.
What was your first job out of school?
My first job after undergrad (B.A. Bishop’s University, 1985) was a job at W.C. Wood Co. (an appliance manufacturer) in Guelph, Ontario. I made $17,000 a year and worked as 1) a receptionist 2) a purchasing clerk and 3) an HR administrator.
I worked my tail off and was the best I could be at all three roles. The owner of the company, John Wood, noticed my diligence and ended up writing me a letter of reference which, ultimately, helped to get me accepted at the UWO Richard Ivey School of Business for an MBA. I was one of the youngest people admitted that year.
What are the three skills you require most to do your job well?
An extremely positive attitude – I always believe it is possible, and I believe in ParticipACTION’s vision for a society where Canadians are the most physically active on earth.
Unbelievable hard work – I always push for the best that it, or I, can be.
The ability to motivate and inspire others.
What do you love most about your career?
People and relationships. I love the people I get to work with and honour all of the relationships that I have made/engaged in for the last 25 years. As President and CEO of ParticipACTION, the national voice of physical activity and sport participation, I speak regularly with partners and people across the country. I’ve been to every province and territory several times, because I think it’s important to see people in their own environment and know the communities that we talk to. I feel rich because of these relationships.
Do you have any warnings?
Always be authentic.
If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?
I would love to be a General Manager/President for a professional sports team. I may just do it yet!