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ORFA Member Profile

Facility Operations Coordinator, City of Barrie


In 2013 we had a visit from Her Royal Highness Princess Anne at the Southshore Community Centre in Barrie. As this was under my family of facilities I was involved in the coordination for the day event. Working with the different levels of government, police and military along with the behind the scenes preparation in the facility for a royal visit was a great event to be a part of. The Royal visit was a great team effort that went smoothly, the harder part was learning the etiquette of meeting royalty. (lol) 

It's always fun to wave back to the kids while you’re driving the Zamboni and seeing the expressions on their faces when you honk the horn or flash the lights at them. Everybody is in awe of the Zamboni driver. For me one of my best days was when my wife brought my two boys around to the facility for the first time to drop me off a tea. I was on the ice doing a flood as they were standing against the boards watching the Zamboni. It wasn't until I drove past on my second lap and I waved at them that they realized it was me sitting up there. The look on their faces was priceless and I don't think my three year old stopped waving even after the doors closed.

What Would You DESCRIBE AS SOME OF The MOST Significant Workplace And/OR Industry Challenges You Have FACED Over The PAST Five Years?

Some of the challenges I find are with the health inspectors when they come to inspect our pool. Some have personal opinions for what the FAC levels in a pool are and they ask that we comply with their lower levels. By no means do we keep our FAC levels high and as there is nothing in the regulations about high FAC levels we are now regulated by personal preference.

Another challenge I think we all face is the growing number of people retiring or about to retire. We don't have enough bodies to replace them and the knowledge that is leaving with them isn't being passed on. You can take all the courses you want, but you need that job specific training and experience as you move up to really understand what we do and what is expected in our business. Succession planning is one of our best tools that we don't take out of the box enough.

How Has Your Involvement With The ORFA AFFECTED Your CAREER?

My involvement with the ORFA has been a very positive experience. During the annual professional development and regional courses that I have attended over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of people of various and common backgrounds which has been great for networking. I have been able to combine what I have learned through the ORFA and my many years of experience in my career to reach my goals to move up to the position that I am in today.

LIST Any BEST PRACTICES OR TIPS Learned AT An ORFA Professional Development Opportunity.

To be honest Legal Awareness I and II were really an eye opener of what we are responsible for in our business. One tip would be to keep reviewing so it’s fresh in your mind, but not too much so you can still sleep at night!

What Advice Would You Provide TO Colleagues Considering Teaching OR Mentoring Within The  Industry?

If you are thinking of teaching or mentoring within the industry remember the following: 1. There are no stupid questions. Something that you have done or known for years might be something new to someone else. 2. Everyone learns differently and at different rates so if the other person doesn’t understanding something perhaps there is a different way to explain or show the process. 3. Keep it light or fun because most people learn and retain more in a relaxed setting.

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