Director, Strategy, Innovation and Engagement, Office of the City Manager, City of Richmond Hill
I came across public relations – almost by accident. It started when I was asked to be a spokesperson for the federal summer employment program I supervised. I found myself promoting summer employment through interviews with the Toronto Star, Breakfast Television and on CBC’s The National, among others. With a degree in Labour Management Relations – I thought I was poised to build my career in Human Resources – but then decided to pivot – move into a Communications Advisor role and returned to school to obtain a Certificate in Public Relations.
Nearly 20 years later and after various roles in leadership positions – in and out of Communications – I joined the City (then Town) of Richmond Hill in 2013 where I led the Communications team and later the city’s contact centre, Access Richmond Hill. Recently, my role changed again when two divisions joined to create the Strategy, Innovation and Engagement Division, which includes Communication Services, Access Richmond Hill, Service Innovation, Strategy and Government Relations, Economic Innovation and Partnerships and the Richmond Hill Centre Subway project.
On the communications front, I work with the communications manager and team on all internal and external communications activities. We operate as a full-service communications team that supports the organization with strategic communications planning, employee communications, crisis communications, graphic design and production, and digital communications. We have an IABC award winning website and our social media presence and voice is growing.
IABC enables me to stay informed of industry trends and learn from best practices. I volunteered as a mentor in recent years and our team looks for opportunities to submit projects for IABC awards. Most notably – we’re proud of the Gold Quill Award we received for the redeveloped RichmondHill.ca website.
Professional development is a journey that includes education, mentoring, work experience and connections with professional associations such as IABC.