Member of the Year/Chapter of the Year
Heather Chase, RPR, CMP Impacting Provincial HR Development
Member’s Quarterly recently sat down with Heather Chase to talk about this remarkable achievement, all the more impressive because Heather is Regional Director and sole member of the board in Saint John. “It’s just me,” she says with a laugh, “a board of one.”
Still, she manages to accomplish what many chapters often struggle to do: she can fill a room for her workshops. Her fall workshop attracted a laudable 40 people. Heather gives much credit to Debbie Cusack, a consultant with KWA Partners in Saint John, for her invaluable assistance in planning and marketing events and assisting on site. The most recent event in Saint John was the spring workshop on Employment Law featuring Kelly VanBuskirk, LL.B., a partner with the law firm of Lawson & Creamer in Saint John. There was a great turnout for this event by a very enthusiastic audience.
Heather began her role with Saint John’s chapter three years ago. At that time, she was assisting the Regional Director. When she stepped down, Heather took on the role herself. Since then, Heather says, she has been trying to give the chapter some momentum. As there are no regular chapter meetings, she uses the half-day workshop format to build interest. “I’m looking to build the membership,” she says, “and hopefully to attract other volunteers.”
At one point, she tried to start a chapter in Moncton, but the interest wasn’t there. Since then, she has focused her energy on Saint John and the corporate offices located there in her quest to promote interest in IPM and what it can offer.
In addition to her duties as Regional Director, Heather works as a Project Manager, Labour Force Development with the Enterprise Network based in Fredericton, a community economic development agency with 15 branches serving all of New Brunswick. This position is a recent promotion from her position as Labour Force Development Officer with Enterprise Charlotte, which took her from St. Andrews to her new location in New Brunswick’s capital city.
As a Labour Force Development Officer, she had the opportunity to work throughout her region, visiting new companies who were just getting started or attempting to address human resources challenges. “I assisted them with looking at the skill sets they needed and then helped them to know whether those skills were available in the local workforce, and if not what training opportunities were available,” Heather explains. She also helped them to understand the positive impact of good human resources practices, as so many small companies do not have the benefit of an HR professional on staff. “It gave me a good avenue to promote IPM’s training programs as well,” she notes.
The region Heather was responsible for accounts for the entire spectrum of industry from corporate offices to primary industry such as fish processing plants. Where primary industries were concerned, she also worked with them on Occupational Health & Safety issues. Part of her mandate was to act as “front door” for the provincial department of training & development, making referrals to government initiatives for human resources and labour force development.
This range of experience was an excellent foundation for Heather in her new position as Project Manager. Where she had been working directly with various stakeholders in the labour market, she now has the opportunity to influence policy development at the provincial government level. She helps the government to develop appropriate policies based on the needs of small and medium sized businesses. “I feel particularly able to bring to bear my hands-on experience with the private sector and with rural businesses,” Heather says.
One issue that is central to Heather’s mandate is to increase the number of post-secondary graduates who stay in New Brunswick. Working through the Labour Force Development Committee, she is currently working to assist the province in developing a labour force development strategy, primarily focused on the demands from small and medium sized businesses. This involves working with the private sector, as well as with universities and colleges to look at current and future trends, what they mean for students looking for work and whether or not students are being training with the necessary skill sets they need to find work within the province.
Heather herself was born and raised in New Brunswick and has had a varied and interesting career there. She didn’t start out in HR – far from it. “It’s kind of a funny story,” she says with a laugh, “I was teaching preschool, but was looking for a chance to get back into the business world. It’s true that you never know where that opportunity will arise or who you will talk to that will make the difference.” She decided to attend a local career fair, thinking that although it was aimed more at high school students she would go and see who was hiring. She was standing beside a booth, listening to a presentation and happened to get into a conversation with a woman at that booth, who correctly guessed that Heather was not a high school student. Heather left her resume, little thinking of the response she would get. “I on my way home in the car when I got the call that Manpower, the agency I had been speaking with, wanted to interview me the next day,” she recalls. Thus began her journey in the field of HR.
She spent 4 years at Manpower before moving on to Enterprise Charlotte. Heather confesses to be someone who likes to change jobs frequently. “I like to think of it as following a lifelong career path as opposed to an occupation,” she says with a smile, “I’ve had the chance to take advantage of some wonderful opportunities as a result.” Even the most tempting of job offers cannot entice her to leave New Brunswick, however. She is very happy to stay close to her family, and plan her next vacation. One of Heather’s favourite hobbies is travel; she has toured in various European countries including a recent trip to Scotland and England with her brother.
When she’s not working, volunteering or traveling, Heather likes to spend her down time baking, and spending time with her family and her cat, Socrates.
Brian R. Taylor, RPR
Generous with his time and expertise
Brian Taylor is the Director of Transit Services for the Halifax Regional Municipality, responsible for Metro Transit’s conventional transit services, Access-A-Bus transit service for persons with disabilities, ferry services across Halifax Harbour, charters & tours and community transit service to outlying areas of the Municipality. Metro Transit has 380 employees and provides service to 14,500,000 passengers annually.
Brian began his career with Halifax Transit as a maintenance clerk, and later as the Accountant for the Corporation. In 1982, he was appointed to the position of Chief Accountant with the Metropolitan Transit Commission and later as Chief Accountant with the regional government body, Metropolitan Authority. In 1993, he was promoted to Superintendent of Operations for Metro Transit, then Manager of Metro Transit and eventually Director of Transit Services for the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Brian R. Taylor|
Brian is a graduate of Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He is also a Certified Payroll Administrator from the Canadian Payroll Association, a Registered Professional Recruiter with the Institute of Professional Management and a member of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.
Recently, Halifax Regional Municipality and Transit Services initiated a strategic transit study to identify future growth opportunities for public transit in the municipality. The strategy includes a five year plan for bus replacement, new passenger terminals and garage facilities, new fare collection technology and increased levels of service. Phase II of the study will look at future public transit options such as commuter rail and expanded ferry facilities and service.
Brian also serves on the Board of Directors of a number of organizations including the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA), the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (Nova Scotia & PEI Division), the Atlantic Urban Transit Association and the Nova Scotia Karate Association. He is on a number of Task Force groups with CUTA including the Finance Audit Committee, the V.I.P. Task Force, and the Payroll Task Force. He is also a member of the Capital District Task Force, the SAP/HR Steering Committee and the Long Term Capital Budget Committee.
His spare time is devoted to gardening, reading and travel.
Robert L. Turner RPR, CMP, RAS, RPT
Leadership and Guidance in HR Management
Robert is the Manager, Corporate Services, Central Region, for the Department of Human Resources and Employment, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, with his office located in the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor. Robert has held this position since 1999, but has been employed with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for almost 20 years in various positions. He also worked for ten years in the private sector, owning and managing several different business operations.
Robert holds a Bachelor of Science degree, and diplomas in Civil and Municipal Engineering Technology, Electrical Power Distribution Technology, Business Management, and Human Resource Management. He is also certified by Achieve-Global Inc. to facilitate various training programs. In addition, Robert is a Canadian Management Professional, Registered Assessment Specialist and a Registered Professional Recruiter. With such a diversified background, Robert has developed a keen sense of leadership and organization, as well as expertise in recruitment and selection. In 2001, Robert was recognized by his peers with a nomination for the Public Service Award of Excellence for Leadership.
Robert L. Turner|
Most recently, Robert has provided some leadership and guidance to the "Joining Forces" Project, which is a study and research into the recruitment and retention of health and educational professionals in the Central Newfoundland area.
The mission of the Department of Human Resources and Employment is to be progressive, professional and flexible in working collaboratively with social, community and economic development partners to provide people with employment and income supports that respond to client needs and that are linked to the social, community and economic development objectives of the province. With this mandate, Robert is responsible for the functional areas of human resources, finance and general operations, information technology and internal audit within a network of 17 offices in his Region. In this role, Robert provides guidance and leadership to a regional management team in human resources, including selection and recruitment, labour relations and training; prepares and monitors various program and operational budgets making suggestions and adjustments as required; ensures the information technology systems are functional and maintained in proper fashion; and performs various investigations as required.
Robert has been active in the various communities in which he has lived and has held various executive positions at the national, provincial and local levels for several sport and community organizations. For recreation, he enjoys the occasional game of curling and golf, as well as traveling with his spouse, Debbie, a Mathematics Program Specialist with the Lewisporte Gander School District.
Anita Sampson Binder, M.A., B.A., RPR
Providing Proactive and Strategic Recruitment
Anita Sampson Binder started her career in H.R./Recruitment in 1986 when she served as Student Placement Officer for HRDC in her hometown of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. After completing her B.A. (Psychology), she took a Master’s Degree in English in the U.S. before resuming her career with a group of professional recruitment firms in Metro Halifax. She then worked with the provincial/federal governments as an Employment Counsellor/Program Coordinator, and subsequently coordinated the Nova Scotia Chapter of the Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program for ‘Youth at Risk.’
In 1998, she became Regional Recruiter, Atlantic Provinces for Adecco's National Royal Bank account, a position she held until 2000 when she moved her career to Toronto to become Recruitment Manager at the Royal Bank Employment Resource Centre (Adecco). As a manager, she was able to improve service and create efficient, effective processes, pushing the envelope of sourcing and recruitment in the financial services industry. When the bank 'insourced' recruitment and created its own Recruitment Services Centre, Anita was insourced with the operation. She participated in the start-up, ensuring that the quality of service that the ERC had established was maintained by bringing along key staff members. In the new Recruitment Centre, Anita handled concerns from hiring managers and candidates, creating service quality measures for her group and utilizing their new e-cruitment tool for web-based recruitment, as the centre strove to achieve 'world class' status.
In November 2004, Anita joined Redknee Inc. as Manager, Human Capital Management. Redknee, Winner of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies Program in 2002 and 2003, is a provider of software and applications for the global wireless market, with a commercially deployed suite of service applications including Messaging, Mobility, Payment, Charging, Convergent Billing, and Data/Call Control solutions. Redknee solutions integrate seamlessly with existing mobile networks, and accelerate the development and adoption of revenue-generating mobile network services through open application and web based service architectures. Redknee has offices in Mississauga, Florida, San Jose, Dublin, Hong Kong, Munich, the UK, Holland, and Madrid.
Like Redknee, Anita believes in being proactive. She feels that too often, recruitment professionals respond reactively to the needs of management, and that the industry needs to step up to the plate to start anticipating those needs through forging active workforce and H.R. planning. H.R. strategy is a passion with her, and seeing things at a strategic level of vision simply enhances the delivery of human resources services on the 'front line.'
In 2004, she will focus on supporting Human Capital Management globally, creating and revising HCM policies & procedures, employment practices, employee performance management, and infusing many other global HCM priorities with dynamic and effective ‘best practices.’
Anita has worked in the field of Employment Equity both in and out of the workplace, serving on a number of RBC Financial Group committees and as Board Member of Access Awareness Nova Scotia (supporting people with disabilities) and African Heritage Month Committee (Halifax). She has also been active with supporting Aboriginal Friendship Centres through employment outreach, where she was honoured as an ‘Employer of Choice.’ Her outreach work has played a significant role in creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce. Only a few months after coming to Toronto, she was involved in RBC's enterprise-wide Employment Equity Audit. In Halifax, she served as a leader in diversity efforts both at RBC and at Nova Scotia Community Services, consulting in different areas for her expertise in creating inclusive communication and environments.
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