I was born/grew up in: I was born and raised in Carbonear NL
I now live in: I currently live in Milltown, NL
I completed my training/education at: I have a Bachelor of Science (Biology) from Memorial University of NL, Advanced Diploma in Aquaculture from the Marine Institute of MUN and Masters in Technology Management (Aquaculture) from the Marine Institute of Memorial University..
What I do at work
I am responsible for our capital budget, scheduling production equipment, and monitoring crop growth as well as our overall performance. As the Regional Manager, I also manage staff, work with the communities where we operate, as well as building professional relationships with suppliers and all levels of governments. While I am doing this, I am also promoting our company and the Newfoundland aquaculture industry.
Each day I try to connect with as many of our managers as possible. I make sure they have everything they need to keep our fish healthy and growing to their potential. I also work to help keep our staff motivated and engaged in their roles.
I make decisions in my job every day. Some decisions are with respect to fish nutrition and fish health. Other decisions relate to environmental stewardship, occupational health and safety, and economics. When we have healthy fish taken care of by our staff that enjoy their job and workplace, everything else falls in place.
If one of these key factors are not in place, decisions are made quickly to correct it. Since we are dealing with living organisms that do not take any time off time is important! Decisions are usually made based on science along with our teams’ input. When staff are a part of the decision-making process, we get ownership into the process. We also get an extra sense of determination to make everything succeed. It is very rewarding to see smiling faces in the offices, on the farms, and in the communities where we work.
At the end of a growth cycle, the fully-grown fish are harvested for sale worldwide. This is a very rewarding time. Each harvest is the result of the work done by our team of managers, site technicians, captains, deckhands, vets and others. Each harvest is a result of all our decision-making, knowledge and experience. My job is to make sure the workers all realize their potential and make sure they all have the resources they need to be the best they can be.
My career path is
My journey started with obtaining a Bachelor of Science (Biology) at Memorial University. This is where I became interested in Marine Biology. This interest got me to go on to do the Advanced Diploma in Aquaculture program at Marine Institute. When I completed this program, I went to New Brunswick for a 10-week work term and ended up working there for approximately 10 years. Eventually, I had the opportunity to return to Newfoundland and still work in the industry. I also took on a Production Manager role. It is now 13 years later and I have advanced to the Regional Manager.
My drive to work hard and advance my career is what helped me get where I am today along with the support of my family. I have met many pioneers in the aquaculture industry. Many of them have also influenced my career decisions. It is always good to talk to people with more experience and listen to them for advice. During my time as Production Manager, I completed the Masters in Technology Management (Aquaculture) at Marine Institute. The skills obtained in this program helped me advance into the role as Regional Manager.
I am motivated by
The yearly success of our operations and staff gets me excited about this career. When we stock a farm with a new crop of fish, people view it as a new start. It is a way to show what we have learned from the previous crop and make this crop of fish bigger and better. I enjoy dealing with the people in the industry. This includes the staff, suppliers and regulators at all levels. I enjoy meeting everyone; listening to their stories and learning how our jobs help them fulfill their dreams while helping us grow a great product. I get motivated by trying to always improve and be the best at what we do. I believe there is no reason why our operations in NL cannot be the best within our company, and the best in the world. Trying to prove this is what drives me to go to work every day. I am working with great people. I know that I am only as good as the people around me. When we push each other to do and be the best, success is inevitable!
Being a part of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association is also enjoyable. It is our work here that helps promote, develop and grow our industry. Our work also helps solve problems that are holding the industry back. Another exciting part of working in aquaculture is this industry is relatively small worldwide. I have had the pleasure of traveling many places in the world and making contacts and friends in many different countries.
How I affect people’s lives
My current role has two main effects on other people. I help people achieve a successful way of life and I help provide a sustainable means of food security. I help keep an industry thriving in coastal communities where people are able to stay at home and earn a living. I also help in the production of a healthy product that is consumed around the world. It is very fulfilling to hear how our workers families are enjoying living in our small towns. They do not have to move away from them to work. I feel a major thing I do is lead by example. I do what I want others to do. If workers see senior managers do any job, they often don’t mind doing the job themselves.
Outside of work I
Outside of work I like camping, woodworking and spending time with my family and traveling. Family time is usually spent walking or riding on trails, kayaking and enjoying an outside fire. I volunteer at our local Lions Club and on the NAIA Board of Directors.
My advice to others
For young people, or anyone interested in a similar career, I recommend giving it your all. When people start in a career, there is no better way to learn than by doing. Try to work in every position or level. When you advance to higher roles, you know and appreciate what every worker has to experience to get his or her job done. As well, get whatever education is available. You are never too old to learn and you never know when you have to rely on skills obtained in completing this education.