I was born/grew up in: Oshawa, Ontario
I now live in: Ontario
What I do at work
My job includes some administrative tasks and many aspects that are both exciting and challenging. I use the skills I learned in banking to analyze potential mergers and purchase opportunities. When my husband went back to college to learn the mechanical trade, I was able to jump into the field with him. I learned the language, the equipment, the parts, and the mechanics of how everything works. Now I prepare service quotes for customers and order parts. As the company has grown, we have collaborated with Durham College Capstone Projects. This helps our company prepare for more growth and help plan our strategic direction.
My career path is
I worked in the corporate world after university and college. I spent 15 years riding the train into the city for my job in financial marketing. I was also managing my husband's business in the evenings and weekends. Eventually, I had a breakdown. I couldn’t keep up the pace.
We made some financial decisions and a leap of faith with the company and our personal lives. We grew the business and created full-time work for both of us. Eventually we moved the business out of our dining room and into a shop with more office staff and mechanics.
The Head of Trades at the college my husband attended was a great mentor. They helped me navigate through a male dominated trade. I worked hard, along with my husband, to grow a business in a trade I was still learning. It started with him and a truck. Now we have ten mechanics on the road and millions of dollars in sales each year.
I am motivated by
Not only am I motivated to make positive change at our company, I am motivated to make a change in this still predominantly male trade. I am currently working with female business leaders across the country to promote women in HVACR. After working in the financial industry for 15 years, my leap into a trade was a big change. I enjoy the analytics behind the business and costing the jobs I have quoted to analyze profit.
How I affect people’s lives
I love to help our staff progress through the trade. I like to see how they move through each apprenticeship level to journeyman status, and how it has a positive impact on their personal lives. Because this is a small company, I am able to see how every decision I make affects the livelihood of our staff.
Outside of work I
Over the years, I have enjoyed playing ice and ball hockey, lacrosse and ultimate Frisbee. Now I’m playing roller derby in Oshawa. I am an advocate for mental health and I have participated in various boards of directors for non-profit organizations.
My advice to others
Choose a career that makes you feel happy and fulfilled. It took me years to realize that a high-salary, mainstream career was not making me happy. Sometimes I actually throw on a pair of roller skates and whip around the shop to brighten my day. I couldn’t have done that at my Bay Street office!