Community is the glue that holds everything together and the lifeblood of the city. I believe that when a community is engaged and included in decisions and projects, it truly adds vibrancy to the city and greatly improves our quality of life experiences. When we don’t embrace the community in empowering ways, it grows a disconnect between the city and those who live within it.
I have a strong passion for community and inclusion, and am a very actively engaged member of the community – I enjoy volunteering my time towards community focused initiatives.
Here are some examples of the kind of initiatives and the work I do towards helping contribute my part towards things that have impact on our community.
- Member of the City of Nanaimo Community Engagement Task Force where our primary focus has been to increase engagement between leadership and the community. We have put a lot of focus on developing effective and meaningful strategies to increase both the participation and quality of community engagement sessions.
- President and founder of the Friends of Heritage Society which is responsible for holding the annual Nanaimo Heritage Festival that has taken place here in different shapes and forms for over 153 years. The amount of work that goes into planning and holding this yearly community celebration is extensive and I’m honoured to work with such an excellent group of passionate community focused volunteers. I’m proud of what we have accomplished with this festival since we committed to it in 2017 to ensure that it would continue on successfully through a time involving some very difficult circumstances and challenges at the city and community level.
- Director of the Colliery Dam Preservation Society which is focused on park stewardship and supporting community initiatives which benefit the overall enjoyment of the park.
- Member of MLA Doug Routley’s Nanaimo/North Cowichan Executive Committee. We work together to discuss the challenges and successes at provincial and local levels through conversations that highlight focuses on community centered issues and business related topics which affect our area.
- Lead of a focus group I established to embark on research towards learning how to leverage the collaborative successes of the CRD (Capital Regional District) which recently secured $90 million through a regional, provincial, and federal partnership towards funding affordable housing initiatives.
- Helped organize and connect local volunteers towards the Dogwood Initiative “Get Out The Vote” campaign during the last federal election.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to get a sense of someone through their written works, you might be interested in some of my focused topic writings – you can review a few of them here:
Community Engagement Task Force
- An in depth analysis on what residents indicated they want in public engagement (warning – it’s long and was primarily intended for CETF consumption during session planning):
CETF July-August 2017 – Feedback Analysis.pdf
- An analysis based on the feedback provided from the CETF’s first session:
CETF Initial Event Feedback Analysis.pdf
- A recommendations document for Council derived from the collaborative efforts of the CETF:
Council Question Period Procedure
Advocating for continued open access to the community in response to the introduction of unjustified measures that increased systemic barriers:
Question Period Procedure.pdf
The GWND Lands
Things can go sideways when on-the-fly decision making happens. An area of the GNWD initiative to preserve this parkland was unexpectedly and unnecessarily put at risk:
GNWD Lands Reconsideration.pdf
Event Centre Project
Helping do my part towards informing others about the importance and reality of the critically flawed Nanaimo Event Centre Project – a poorly planned 100% tax payer funded project which was not viable and ignored community concerns:
Event Centre Project Opposition.pdf
I am a software developer specialized in developing business to consumer solutions, system integration and supply chain integration, and business automation, with my work being primarily focused on mid to large scale enterprises. Agile methodologies are ingrained in my practices. I work directly with businesses to better understand their needs and challenges and define requirements, after which iterative software development processes ensure that those needs are met.
Through the 21 years of my software development career, I have built a strong foundation towards effectively addressing varying business requirements by utilizing systems thinking towards solving complex problems through quantitative and qualitative research and analysis. Needless to say, I’m solution oriented and love overcoming challenges – and my career in software development leverages it well.
Within the software development companies I have been employed with for over the past 21 years, I have worked within a diverse range of industries and levels of business and government during this time ranging from mom-and-pop shops, mid-scale businesses, to large global corporations.
I have also owned my own small business. In the late 90s I established Netcom Software which was a .NET focused software development company. This company developed solutions which addressed the areas of business process refinement, business to consumer integration and multi-language interfaces.
An intriguing opportunity arrived to leverage my business analysis and technical skills towards software development in a larger way, and I decided to put Netcom Software on the backburner. Over the span of the next 12 years, I applied my skills towards software focused data mining and analysis, real estate and brokerage focused client management systems, and as well, a real estate data driven marketing research firm was established where we harnessed over 20 years of local real estate data towards predictive models and trend identification, and completed specialized community surveying and specific market analysis for project specific subdivisions.
It was during that time that I began to realize how important development policies are and how they can impact projects in positive and negative ways. There are two development projects in particular that often come to mind when I think about those years – they were quite memorable projects that expanded the envelope in many positive ways which were of benefit to everyone, and an excellent example of how development can proceed in meaningful ways that benefit the overall community and its developers. The Ridge – Nanaimo’s first “livable community” as it pertains to the definition of its term which featured many of the concepts including traffic calming streets and utilizing natural features, rather than broad clear-cut and large areas of pavement. Linley Point – a master planned community integrated with nature and the environment being at the forefront of its design.
These are the kind of projects that focus on highlighting the environment and existing features through well-planned, responsible development, and that benefits everyone.
In 2014, I set out to expand the reach of my technical skills through an increased focus on medium to large enterprises and began employment at a software development firm located in Victoria, where I develop software solutions to address complex B2B requirements and wide-spread B2C integrations which address complex problems and enhance processes for companies with large client bases.
My employment provides a flexible work schedule and opportunities to further develop my skills as well – it’s an innovative company that embraces and focuses on what counts most – its employees. This is most important because in the end it’s the company’s employees that are what meet our customers’ needs, and we do that very well as a solid team.
My software development and strengths in business analysis and refinement translate well towards the role of Councillor in the following ways:
- My line of work involves decision making that requires careful examination and consideration of all possible outcomes and side effects, and how they will ultimately affect all parties involved.
- The traits required to be successful within my specialized field are demanding and full of challenges – being detail oriented and solution driven is mandatory, and getting to the bottom of issues and resolving them involves significant patience, skill, and persistence.
- I am well versed in working within tight time frames and high pressure environments.
- The decisions made within my line of work directly influence and enhance the bottom line of businesses and their customers; quality of work is top priority.
- Much of my work involves thinking outside the box and developing new strategies and methods towards accomplishing the end goals.
- A significant aspect of my work involves working with multiple stakeholders to discuss and collaborate on plans forward that reflect their needs and individual interests.
- Meaningful communication and engagement plays a big part in my field of work; connecting business requirements with technical requirements and end user requirements is critical, and being able to speak the language of the technology required, the language of the businesses who depend on the technology and the language of those who will ultimately utilize the technology is key.
Now that you know a little about me I hope you will take the time to check out my platform which contains many of my ideas for moving our city forward in positive meaningful ways.
If you have any questions or just want to reach out to have a conversation, please feel welcome to reach out to me by phone, email, or on facebook.