Looking back on my work anniversary!

Today marks 8 years since I joined the SWR team. It has been such an incredible time, and I am continuously humbled by the privilege that I have to be able to do this work and support this community. 

Over this time, some things have changed and some that have stayed very much the same. 

We have seen incredible progress in the environment and sustainability movement in Waterloo region. These include things like: 

  • A community-wide commitment to reduce our GHG footprint by 80% by 2050
  • The development of new programs that support the adoption of electric vehicle infrastructure in the region, creating cultures of sustainability in organizations, and planting our first microforests in the region. 
  • Integration of justice and equity into so many places where we work, including the ClimateActionWR program, launching a diversity podcast, and through the UN Sustainable Development Goals with our member partners. 
  • And of course, the Cora Group’s evolv1 building, Canada’s first net-positive energy, net-zero emissions, multi-tenant office building, done in partnership with EY Canada and the David Johnson R+T Park

Each of these accomplishments and milestones for SWR have meant another step in our journey to transform this community to one that is more resilient, more equitable, more prosperous and of course, more sustainable. 

Yet, there remain things that have not changed at all:

  • The team that works together at SWR is as committed, dynamic, passionate, and giving as they have ever been. While the faces change and I watch them come and go, they all bring such incredible gifts to this work. 
  • Waterloo region has an enduring passion for innovation and for impacting the community and beyond our borders in positive ways. This has driven so much of what we have been able to do. 
  • The challenge before us to address climate change is still monumental and complex, and the urgency keeps growing. There is no one silver bullet, meaning we are pulled to do more and more, faster and faster.
  • Hope continues to prevail. The commitment to being better and doing what we need to do is still there. And it continues to drive us forward every day. 

As I take a moment to reflect on my time with SWR, it takes my breath away at what has happened over these 8 years. There have been moments of soaring joy as well as tears. One such moment that I remember vividly is arriving at the evolv1 building for the first time, and seeing this vision of ours become a reality brought me to tears. It filled me with hope for the future and for the ability to be able to do what we need to do to protect people now and for the future. 

In the past year alone, we have also seen changes. More and more organizations are coming to us, asking for help and looking for ways to be part of the future clean economy. As a result, 2022 has already seen three new members to our network … in 26 days! Change is here, and we are thrilled to be able to help. 

For those that work with me regularly, you know how much this work matters to me and how much I love this region. I love this team, our board, members, partners, and our shared commitment to future generations. I feel so honoured to be able to continue to lead SWR and am so excited for some of the exciting things we are working on now to continue to transform this community. 

Thank you all for 8 amazing years, and I am looking forward to what is to come. 

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