Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Lethbridge and have spent most of my life in town. In fact, I was one of the early residents in the developed west Lethbridge neighborhood of Varsity Village — a time when Lafayette Blvd. was the farthest northwest point and Whoop-Up Drive did not exist yet. I spent a lot of my early years in the mid to late 70’s riding my bike all around the west side and in and around the young ULethbridge campus. My favourite was riding down the outside tunnel which I fondly remember referring to as “the Snake” — more commonly referred to as “the Worm.” I was also enrolled in the Saturday gymnastics programs for years in the PE facilities, to which my favourite part was at the end where I could climb up onto the roof of the old PE building and slide down the flashing to the ground while waiting for my parents to pick me up.
Funny to think of that now given my role in risk — I always learn by doing, I say! Even more ironic is that early in my career as a Security Officer with the University, I chased kids off that same roof I once climbed on and stopped people from roller-blading down the tunnel.
How long have you been at ULethbridge and what do you do here?
I have been at the University for 32-plus years as an employee in various roles, but was officially recognized for 30 years of service this year.
I first started at ULethbridge with casual employment as a security officer with Security Services, which evolved when I had an opportunity to expand my skills in the role of parking coordinator with parking services. Eventually, I landed back in Security Services in a team-lead position and investigator’s role for some time before transitioning into Risk management and Insurance. In 2006, I was given a chance to build off my foundational skills and institutional knowledge and develop in my role as the University’s first Risk Analyst. In 2015, I was promoted to be the Manager of Insurance & Risk, where I remain to this day.
My role in Insurance & Risk is incredibly fulfilling, honestly, I cannot believe my network and how many different people I am able to interact with from students, staff, faculty and researchers to community members, external brokers, underwriters, claims adjusters, legal counsels and colleagues from all over Canada and the U.S. In my role I read a lot of contracts, listen to lots of podcasts and industry webinars to stay fresh on emerging topics and risk. I manage claims and advise on insurance coverage and I’m knee deep in matters that involve driving for university business, event risk management, travel risk and advising on the institutional policies of the university. My primary role, however, is managing the 17 different insurance programs including everything from property and liability to cyber and sport accident.
There is never a dull moment; my plate is certainly full and my days fly by.
What's the best part of your job?
I am a people person, so the people are the best to me, for sure. There are some amazing and collaborative people to work with at the university and the students too are enjoyable with all their fresh ideas — fun, innovative and sometimes a bit off the wall, which makes coming to work never really knowing what the day will bring sometimes.
I also have some of the best coworkers in the Campus Safety team. They make me laugh and, as the job and tasks can at times be heavy and stressful, a chuckle is often needed to lighten the mood as we delve through the reality of “you can’t make this stuff up.”
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
My number one favourite activity is travel — it is an education in itself, especially the realization that the world is so much bigger than we thought and so very interesting. My husband Bob and I have been fortunate to see and experience so much and yet so many places remain on our bucket list! We also love biking and hiking together, everywhere and anywhere, and spending quality time with friends, our furry grandbabies and two children who are both working professionals — one in Calgary and one in Kelowna.