Vice President, Development, Heavy Rail (New Stations), Metrolinx
Sector: Public Sector
Magic Moment: I began my career as a planning consultant in Edmonton and one of my first projects was leading the development approvals for a mixed-use high rise development located near an LRT station. I returned several years later and visited this site, which was fully constructed and occupied at the time. This was the first moment I really understood the impact we can each have on the built environment and it inspired me to continue to do more to create livable vibrant communities.
Key Influence: Misty Sklar and Lorraine Huinink
Misty Sklar: Misty was one of my first mentors and was a great role model of positive leadership. She truly cared about her work and team, and sought to bring out the best in everyone.
Lorraine Huinink: Lorraine is an amazing leader, she always has a positive attitude and finds a way of helping others build on their strengths. She has been a wonderful source of support and guidance for me as my career has progressed.
Next Big Challenge As An Industry: Our challenges are and will continue to be the supply and affordable of housing and access to good transit for many years. I believe the best way of tackling these will be through incremental change, each new project and development should build upon the latest best practice and push the boundaries a bit more. These are incredibly complex issues without an easy fix, which requires a bespoke approach to each project to properly address the unique context. I think we need to be more open about what is working well and not working well in the industry, to learn what we can continue to improve upon.
On Championing Others… I have been very fortunate to have many champions throughout my life and career, and hope to do this for others. I actively seek opportunities to participate in formal and informal mentorship, and have learned that seemingly smaller things such as one-off conversations can have a significant impact. Making younger or newer members of the industry feel welcome and included is important to me, it can be very intimidating to join the development community. With my own team, I strive to provide them opportunities that will serve them later in their career and beyond their current role.
Secret Talent: I really like to draw, mostly buildings and landscapes. I took a drawing class when I lived in Scotland and found I really enjoyed it.
One word that captures you: Motivated. I truly enjoy the work I do and people I have the privilege of doing it with. The impact of our work and the responsibility we have to improve our communities motivates me to push projects forward and seek the best possible outcomes.