Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in a small town outside of Newmarket, Ontario and I’m the oldest of four. I graduated from McMaster University in 2018 and moved to Oakville with my now husband, Andrew. I am a mom of three, with one on the way! So needless to say my hands are always full and our house is always busy (and loud!). In my spare time, which is very rare lately, I enjoy trying new recipes, reading a good book or enjoying a warm cup of coffee (in silence!)
Can you tell us a bit about your role with Smilezone Foundation and how did you got involved?
I have been with Smilezone, since 2013 and took on the role of Executive Director in 2018. When Scott first told me about the charity he was starting with Adam, I knew immediately it was something I wanted to be a part of. My brother spent a lot of time at Sick Kids and Holland Bloorview when he was younger. I know my brother, parents, my sisters and I would have benefited immensely from a Smilezone installation to enjoy during his visits.
What is your favourite part and/or memory about working for Smilezone Foundation?
My favourite part of working at Smilezone are the grand openings. Being in the office, I don’t often get the experience the impact of our installations first hand because I’m not on site. Attending a grand opening gives me the opportunity to see the results of our team’s very hard work and I can hear first hand experiences from the children and families that use the zones. It is always a very heartwarming and emotional experience.
What kind of reactions do you get when telling people about Smilezone and the work that we do?
I think Smilezone’s mission appeals to everyone - who doesn’t love a charity that’s goal is to put a smile on all kids’ faces? The reaction, when talking about Smilezone, is always positive and people are genuinely excited to hear about all the interesting sensory tools we add to our zones. I think people love hearing how we will customize each zone to the needs of that location which allows every zone to truly reflect and benefit the community it serves.
What does the future of Smilezone Foundation look like to you?
Obviously, there is a lot of uncertainty right now with COVID-19, but I am confident Smilezone will be able to adapt to the changing environment and grow with the needs of the communities we serve. I think Smilezone has the amazing potential to make a lasting impact in hospitals and children treatment centres throughout Canada and I am so excited to see what the next few years have in store for us!