Social Policy Communications – Strathcona County

Please consider me in your search for a Social Policy Communications Specialist. As my resume details, I have a wide range of experience creating communications and educational materials for many audiences and organizations.

After completing my Education degree at the U of A (with a major in art) and also serving as a writer/production editor for the Students’ Union Gateway, I joined The University of Calgary as a Communications Officer II. In this position, I worked with university administrators to develop and implement communication plans for students, staff, faculty and the public. I also served as co-editor of the bi-weekly Gazette. In this role, I was often called upon to create copy that made technical information accessible to a general audience. My article on digital mapping is an example. Profiling new staff members was also a responsibility, as my article on Beatrice Medicine illustrates. While at the U of C, I took advantage of free tuition and completed several courses including one on Communications Research Methods. I was also called upon to provide photography, illustration and design skills.

After almost five years with the U of C, I accepted a position as a Journalism Instructor at the then Grant MacEwan Community College. Preferring to “do rather than to teach,” I joined Canadian Forest Industries Magazine in Vancouver. As Western Editor, I provided copy on all aspects of the business including harvesting, safety and milling. I then settled with my family in Nanaimo where I worked as a weekly and daily reporter. Samples of my work include an article on a submersible camera for The Nanaimo Business Examiner and Sam Struhar’s fight for justice with WCB for The Nanaimo Daily Free Press. The latter article reveals the power of communications as my article led to a reevaluation of Struhar’s WCB claim. I also ran my own direct-mail advertising business, Val-Pak, for almost five years. This experience helped me learn how to statistically analyze the measurable success of this type of promotion.

In my duties as Marketing Manager for forest equipment manufacturer T-MAR Industries, I used my editorial skills to launch the company’s newsletter, The T-MAR Times and my graphic design skills and communications research methods knowledge to create and evaluate customer surveys. In consultation with company engineers and designers, I produced advertising copy and brochures for customers and industry publications that detailed, in simple terms, the technological superiority of T-MAR products. 

A downturn in the industry led to leave T-MAR and spend 10 years overseas teaching in Libya, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Norway, the UAE and Japan. Highlights of this period include developing curricula and educational materials for the Irish Leaving Certificate, International General Certificate for Secondary Education and International Baccalaureate programmes. I also co-authored mathematics workbooks for vocational students in the UAE and produced a student-illustrated video of my children’s story, The Apple of Albert’s Eye, which explored the search for life’s meaning, from an apple’s point of view,

Returning to Canada in 2012, I relocated to Prince George, BC. After completing training in a number of areas, including non-violent intervention, I worked in community care for the Prince George Association for Community Living and Thompson Community Services. Both agencies provide housing and support for people dealing with cognitive and physical challenges. After completing the BC Licensed Property Management Course at the Sauder School of Business at UBC, I worked as a Licensed Property Manager in Prince George and Courtenay. My work in that field centered on providing ethical property management services that honored the spirit and the letter of the BC Residential Tenancy Act. Prior to my recent return to Edmonton, the city of my birth, I volunteered with the Salvation Army’s food recovery program in Prince George.

My return to Canada also saw me launch my WordPress website to highlight my creative abilities in writing, art, photography, design, music and video production. I used it and my blog to showcase much of my work that was dedicated to social policy and spiritual growth. My Happy Face Series emphasizes my belief in the overarching positive nature of life, despite its seeming vicissitudes; while my quilt, Death from A to Z by Adam Lanza, Dec. 14, 2012, provides a visual starting point for the debate on gun control.

I believe my combination of communications, education and community service experience, in combination with my interest in social policy,  makes me a unique and ideal candidate for this position. Accordingly, let me suggest we meet to discuss the contribution I could make to your organization in the role of Social Policy Communications Specialist.