Design and Development Specialist
I began my career focused on technical performance apparel while assisting in the broader needs of the companies I’ve worked for. I enjoyed the challenges of problem solving and engineering products to benefit the user. Over the 20+ years I developed a broad set of skills and interests and so it was a natural transition into becoming a design and development specialist, helping companies strategize and plan in-house information and product lifecycle systems related to apparel manufacturing.
After a 20+ year career as a design specialist in various fields, I’m still truly an intrapreneur who loves creative problem solving and creating with purpose from inside out, for and with companies with similar values.
My process, in short, is that of a Design Thinker, which I also teach and coach professionals to cultivate their Design Thinking mindset. It involves gathering multifaceted input, analyzing the information, exploration, collaborating to strategize a plan, then facilitating the production of a product or service that fully satisfies the original goals all while engaging the end user by providing them with a personally relevant experience.
A well-designed product or service should address the product and service’s past, present and future. What worked or didn’t work, what is it’s current state of usefulness, and what are our objectives and the end-user’s needs? This is a core part of my design philosophy. To that end, I take pleasure in working with people and organizations in tandem to create alignment through Service Design. In my experience, a close-knit collaboration can innovate and co-create better solutions for all involved, and that means a better-designed end-product or service.
These days I work remotely from Metro Vancouver area, working with clients and vendors globally more efficiently and with flexibility for all. I’ve developed processes and skills using digital tools to help collaborations and communications in order to work virtually from anywhere.
Farmer’s Daughter + Food Lover
It is always lovely to gather friends and colleagues to share good food and drink, to unwind, and to make more intimate connections. This is one of my great pleasures in life. Another is photography. I combine the two to document the beauty of life on my personal food blog, Dash of Food. My family grew our own produce and raised our own poultry in rural Ontario when I was a child, and then again in my teens, in the Greater Vancouver area’s farmlands.
Today, living in urban Vancouver, I have a deep passion for eating locally and creating in the kitchen with market-fresh ingredients.
Dash of Food is where I share all things food-related such as personal culinary creations, found recipes, farmers’ market locations, and other tasty inspiration in hopes of inspiring readers to add more variety to their daily gastronomic lives. My dream is for each of us to get more personal with our food, to eat locally and to eat well, which I believe, will in turn build our communities and enrich all our lives.
It has been a long time since my father ran a farm… He has since passed on. Between the years of 2010 – 2013 I was his primary guardian — he had early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s. I was there for him as much as I could, offering a constant watchful eye and ear and advocating for better care for him.
From Designing to Coaching
The experience has taught me a great deal about being human, about what feeds each of us on a deep, essential level, and about what validates us in our everyday lives. Whatever our exterior expressions, our innate values always come through, though not easy to hear or see when one has Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s a matter of learning to be a better listener, being able reframe perspectives, and being more vigilant in observations, in order to see to their emotional needs in order to help give them a better quality of life.
As a result of this part of my life, I have become a better active listener and am able to facilitate people and cultivate their abilities to see situations from more proactive perspectives. I feel that this ongoing learning experience has and will continually make me a better person, a better colleague, a better designer and coach for organizations.
I look forward to meeting you one day, and share our life passions and stories. Here’s to us all cultivating more meaningful life and work experiences!
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.Albert Einstein