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Spotlight
Jean Harper, RPR
LIFE IS MORE THAN JUST WORK, IT IS AN EXPERIENCE

Upon completion of a Secretarial Science program, Jean Harper began her working career in 1980. She worked with a mortgage firm for nearly five years and then accepted a job in the health industry, where she worked in the area of Psychology for the next four years. In 1989 Jean and her husband moved to Fort McMurray and worked in the Engineering Department at Syncrude Canada Limited. After relocating to Sherwood Park in 1993, Jean started employment with her current employer, Alberta Envirofuels Inc. (AEF). AEF has afforded Jean many opportunities in training and development, including the pursuit & completion of a Certificate in Human Resource Management. Jean is currently pursuing completion of her HR Diploma. She received her RPR designation in early 2005.

Jean Harper,
RPR
AEF is the first stand-alone facility for the production of Isooctane, a gasoline-blending component. AEF employs 100 employees, almost half of whom are shift workers who operate the plant 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. AEF is a flat organization with a team-based culture. With its commitment to the Team philosophy, a commitment to continuous learning and a strong focus on health, safety and the environment, AEF believes they will maintain their competitive advantage in the marketplace and continue to be one of the best places to work.

As a member of the Organizational Effectiveness and Health, Safety & Environmental Team, Jean is currently the Human Resources Generalist. Her primary responsibilities include recruitment, payroll, benefits administration and HR documentation. Jean also enjoys getting involved in what she considers the fun stuff, such as planning and organizing company celebrations and retreats. In April/May of this year, the company took all the employees and their spouses for a 2-day retreat at the Chateau Lake Louise. Although her core role is never boring, Jean is always looking for new challenges and opportunities. Last year for example, she led a cross-functional team in the creation and implemention of a Service Award Program.

Jean’s career at AEF began rather spontaneously. She admits that one day she had decided to drop in at their new plant and offer her administrative services on a casual, on-call basis. Within days Jean started work, doing everything from delivering mail and filing, to arranging interviews with potential new hires. One year later Jean was hired as an Administrative Technician. Discovering that she had a keen interest in HR, Jean began training in a backup capacity. After much internal training and 3 ˝ years of part-time schooling, Jean’s full-time role is now HR.

Jean expects to remain in the HR field for the foreseeable future. As she puts it, “seldom does a day go by without a challenge and learning”. As for specializing in one particular area, she’s quite happy dabbling in several different areas for now, although recruitment seems to take up much of her time. As a Registered Professional Recruiter, she plans to take whatever additional training, guidance and support is available to continue to hone and enhance her skills. She adds that this is a great time to be a recruiter.

When she’s not recruiting, Jean likes to experiment with other activities. Last year Jean took a pottery class; this year, perhaps she’ll do stained glass or learn how to paint. Jean just recently bought her first set of golf clubs but is quick to admit she won’t be ready for her tour card anytime soon. Jean enjoys outdoor activities as well, especially hiking and biking, and at the end of a long day, a few moments of yoga is much appreciated.


Marian Reid, RPR
MAKING HER WORK LIFE HER OWN

Marian Reid has spent her entire career working for her Alma Mater, Acadia University, located on a beautiful campus in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Acadia has long been recognized as one of Canada’s premier undergraduate institutions. With its nationally and internationally recognized research initiatives, small class sizes and technology-rich teaching and learning environment, Acadia offers students an experience that includes academic achievement combined with personal growth and development.

Marian Reid,
RPR
Marian graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Secretarial Science, and immediately went to work in the Personnel Office as an Administrative Secretary, a position she held for 13 years. To enhance her career as a Secretary, she became active in Professional Secretaries International (now the International Association of Administrative Professionals), holding the executive office of Treasurer and Annual Seminar Coordinator for several years. In 1992, she assisted in coordinating a training program for secretaries who wanted to prepare to write the Certified Professional Secretary exams, which she participated in as well. A year later, Marian received her Certified Professional Secretary accreditation.

Marian has continually accepted new challenges and responsibilities, and took advantage of the many training opportunities offered at Acadia and other universities in the Maritime provinces. She went on to receive her certification as a Registered Professional Recruiter through the Association of Professional Recruiters of Canada, and was promoted to Personnel Officer at Acadia. She presently holds the title of Human Resources Officer – Staffing & Policies.

In 2001, the Human Resources Association of Nova Scotia (HRANS) offered certification to individuals who met their standards for education and experience to become a Certified Human Resources Professional. Marian accepted the challenge and received her CHRP designation. She recertified in 2004 through the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations and HRANS. Upon graduating from Acadia, the dean had expressed her concern that Marian wasn’t planning to travel or relocate to a larger centre to begin her career. But, Marian has never regretted her decision for a moment. She enjoys her work and her colleagues and looks forward to every day at the office.

At home, Marian might be described as a traditional homemaker, spending much of her time baking, sewing, and pursuing other creative endeavors. Spending time with her husband, seven-year-old son, and her parents is most important. She can often be found on the sidelines of the soccer fields or in the bleachers at the hockey arena cheering on her son. Her family members are also loyal fans of the Acadia Axemen Hockey Team. Her newest challenge is trying to keep up with her son’s studies in the French immersion program in which he has already excelled beyond her own ability to speak and write the language. It looks like that might be her next course of study.


Shawn Nesseth, RPT
MAPPING THE ROAD TO SUCCESS

Shawn Nesseth is a Training Developer with 407 ETR Concession Company Ltd. and a Registered Professional Trainer. In 1996, he graduated from Laurentian University, earning an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree. Shawn started his professional career as a Reservations Supervisor with Choice Hotels. After Choice relocated their English Call Centre operations to the United States, Shawn set his sights on joining the Customer Service Leadership Team at 407 ETR. Shortly thereafter he became a member of the 407 ETR family.

Shawn Nesseth,
RPT
407 ETR (Express Toll Route) is the world’s first all electronic open access toll highway. It is a viable, safe, and easy to use transportation toll route across the Greater Toronto Area that serves over 360,000 motorists on a typical weekday. 407 ETR is like no other highway in the world. The technology used on the 407 ETR has become a leading edge model for all electronic toll highways of the future. On traditional highways, motorists wait at a tollbooth to pay a collector. 407 ETR’s all electronic toll system eliminates traffic line-ups and having to slow down to look for the right amount of change.

Shawn eagerly embraced the vision and values of 407 ETR. His role as a leader, coach, supervisor and subject matter expert made for a natural transition into 407 ETR’s Training and Development Team. As a Training Instructor, Shawn was called upon to facilitate internal corporate initiatives, advanced computer applications (e.g. PeopleSoft), and 407 ETR’s intensive 4-week Customer Service New Hire Training Course.

Shawn is presently working as a Training Developer. He is responsible for curriculum design and development, ensuring that both new and existing course offerings meet 407 ETR’s high standards. This position also allows Shawn to return periodically to a facilitation role where he gets to utilize his passion for teaching others and promoting learning. This kind of passion runs in his family as his father and brother are both accomplished educators. Shawn believes that a commitment to ongoing learning builds a foundation for success.

Shawn asserts that a great boss, a positive and dedicated team, and a company focused on success make the daily work experience extremely rewarding. He feels very fortunate to have found a company that provides such a nurturing environment and is seeking to advance his career within the Human Resources department at 407 ETR. At 31 years old, he feels he has many productive years ahead.

Outside the office, Shawn is a Level IV Referee and Hockey Canada Officiating Program Instructor. His cat Vader was rescued from an abusive home and adopted in 1996 and is now the ruler of the house. In May 2005, Shawn married his wonderful wife Ronelyn. This August, Shawn and Ronelyn became the proud parents of their first son, Grissom. The Nesseth house is now a home.



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