Putting my experience
to work for you
I am an urban planner, strategist, project manager, and collaborator. I have been an engaged community member, citizen, and resident of District 11 for more than 20 years. District 11 is where I planted my roots and built my life. It's where my children were born and are being raised. It's where my community lives.
My career as a community planner and strategist has been shaped by a deep belief in the power of community. I have worked from Digby County to Cape Breton, have a proven track record as a community leader, and I understand how government works. In Halifax, I have been highly engaged in municipal government initiatives for over two decades, including work on transit,
public safety, housing, economic development, protected areas, community investment and urban planning. I am an attentive listener and energetic advocate who also knows how to navigate provincial and federal bureaucracies to advance community initiatives.
After graduating from Dalhousie University with an English degree, I earned a Master of Urban and Rural Planning degree from the Technical University of Nova Scotia. I was a research associate with Dalhousie’s Cities and Environment Unit and, from 2010 to 2016, taught at Dal’s School of Planning as an Adjunct Professor.
As a consultant and community facilitator, I led projects for the Halifax Regional Police, Capital Health - Public Health, Cape Breton District Health Authority , the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and the Mental Health Commission of Canada. I also worked as a community planner with Membertou First Nation, Wagmatcook First Nation, and Abegweit First Nations. Some of the projects I worked on have received national and international recognition including the prestigious Dubai International Best Practices Award to Improve the Living Environment, and planning awards from the Canadian Institute of Planners and the International Environmental Design Research Association. I have given a number of public presentations on a variety of community development issues, including presenting as a keynote and panellist at events and conferences throughout Canada and as far as Australia.
I have been involved on many boards and committees, and currently am a board member with the Halifax Hurricanes Lacrosse Association and Downtowns Atlantic Canada. I'm also a member of the Halifax Community YMCA’s Advisory Committee, and the Regulatory Modernization Joint Project Business Advisory Panel for the Office of NS Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness. I served on the John W. McLeod-Flemming Tower School Advisory Committee (2013-2015) and was a board member for the North End Business Association (2011-2014), Citizens for Halifax (2008-2010), and the Williams Lake Conservation Company (2004-2007).
I know that good community planning relies on the wisdom of those who live in and know their communities best. It is something I practiced in my role as Executive Director of the North End Business Association over the past six years. Previously I co-founded Burst Transformational Solutions, where I developed strategic plans and change management solutions for health care, community and justice related organizations.
I love being out on the water, exploring local trails and coves, puttering in my garden, and playing a good game of cards. I would say my work ethic comes from my father, who owned a specialty printing company and taught me to never ask someone to do something I wasn't willing to do myself. I draw inspiration from visionary thinkers, including renowned urbanist Jane Jacob who wrote “Cities have the capability of providing something for everyone, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
Just before going live on CBC Maritime Connection to discuss transit issues in Halifax.
Purcell's Cove Backlands are my usual stomping grounds.
Crystal Crescent Beach is such an amazing place, right in our backyards.
Cross country skiing in Terence Bay, for the adventurous.
Proud to be part of the amazing team that organized the five-day Celebrate Viola event.
My cousin Cam Russell and I shared a passion for community development.