Hello Happy Citizens!
In preparation for our Annual General Meeting tomorrow,
(6 PM at Key Assets, 120 LeMarchant Road) here's a
rundown on who is running! We have a total of 11 seats on our
board. To keep continuity, our board terms are two years long and
elections are staggered so that we elect half the board at any one
time. That's the theory, at least J In reality, we do lose
people when they move away from time to time, which can throw our
nice neat schedule off.
That said, this year, we're pretty close! Of the board
members elected to 2-year terms last year, a total of 4 people are
staying around. That leaves us with one 1-year term and 6
2-year terms available.
We like to leave things open for motions from the floor of the
meeting, but we do also offer potential board members a chance to
send a quick bio in advance. Here are the ones we have for you:
Candidates Running for Election or
Elizabeth is a longtime community volunteer who is active with
the Georgestown Neighbourhood Association and has over the past
year served as Secretary on the Happy City Board, where she has
taken particular interest in and leadership of efforts to engage
and foster neighbourhood-level engagement.
Kathleen Parewick (BFA, MUP, PhD) is a community development
worker with twenty-plus years of St. John's-based volunteering
under her belt. She has supported a wide array of professional,
civic, environmental, arts and cultural organizations here,
including as a founding member of the Friends of Victoria Park and
their much-loved annual Lantern Festival. By day, she is a
researcher and project manager based at Memorial University. Her
climate change and community adaptation-related work is currently
focused on Northern Canada. Kathleen is a longtime member of the
Happy City Board of Directors and is excited to return.
Hello, my name is Tim Peckford and I am looking to run for an
at-large position on the Happy City St. John's Board of
I was born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, and have
been a happy resident of St. John's for about six years now. I have
completed two degrees at MUN, I've built a career and a life here
in the city and, although I do enjoy everything it has to offer, I
recognize that there are things that could use improvement. I know
some of the board members outside of Happy City, and through
following the activities of the organization and speaking with
members I have realized that this is an organization that I would
like to plant roots with.
I know that I have not been a long-active member of the
organization, but trust me when I say that does not take away from
the passion I have for this city, its people, or its character. I
love this city, I love this province, and would jump at any
opportunity to work with Happy City to grow the organization and
help make St. John's an even better place to live.
My name is Norman Turner. I work with a local property developer
as a day job and I am passionate about quality urban design,
affordable housing and smart development.
In addition to my experience and perspective I am also
interested in Happy City because I believe that there needs to be
more communication between the public and the development community
on a positive basis and hope that I can help build these links and
as a result improve the quality of development in the city.
My professional qualification is in real estate management and
appraisal and my career has included property development both in
Canada and Europe and I have also been involved in social and
affordable housing. Most recently I served on the board of one of
the country's largest privately owned non-profit organizations.
I also have significant experience in the non-profit sector
including the TD Friends of the environment foundation, 3
non-profit housing boards and I currently serve on the board of the
Shipwreck Preservation Society.
My work experience also includes working with the Small Craft
Harbour Branch of DFO proving support to non-profit harbour
authorities and managing marine infrastructure, running my own real
estate consultancy and as VP Asset Management with Canada's Largest
private pooled real estate fund provider.
Returning Board Members
Hedi is a nursing student at MUN, is very energetic and
enthusiastic, and is exceptionally well-organized. She served as
Vice-Chair of the 2013-14 Board of Directors at Happy City. Hedi
has lead multiple grassroots initiatives in the past and knows how
to get things done. She would like to contribute to St. John's, her
chosen home, and over the past year has seen that Happy City is an
organization whose vision aligns with her own.
Hedi really believes in Happy City's mission to bring people
closer to the municipal decision-making process. She worked for a
couple of years with a group in Saskatchewan called Smart Cities
Healthy Kids, a research project assessing the health of children
in urban environments. So she understands the impact our built
environment can have on our health, and believes that when people
are both the source and focus of our decision making, we will have
a better city for all.
Dana's background is in sports and athletics, dance, marketing
and development, and she has never moved away. She's worked for
MUN, City of St. Johns, and Bennett Group, and is now on air at
Coast FM. Dana is a volunteer who lives downtown and has goats and
ducks next door but can walk to upscale shops and corporate
highrises. We can have it all.
I was drawn to Happy City's board of directors out of a desire
to influence the direction the city develops. I recently finished
writing my Master's thesis in Political Science at Memorial
University about democracy and the electoral system.
I am from St. John's but have lived in and spent time in many
other cities. Because of this, I would bring interesting
perspectives and ideas to Happy City. One observation I have made
from my travels is how European cities tend to have less traffic
than Canadian cities, despite having higher populations. The reason
is simple: European cities are densely populated, walkable and have
excellent public transit. Suburban sprawl coupled with poor public
transit in the St. John's area has created car-dependence and there
appears to be no end in site to this trend. Considering the rate at
which the St. John's area is expanding, I believe we should
encourage development that would reduce traffic and car dependence,
such as building denser, walkable, mixed-use developments, along
with improved public transit.
As Chair of the 2013-14 Board, I have had the chance to
help build Happy City St. John's as a force in the community - and
I'm so proud of all the amazing people who've come on board with
us. This next year will be a big one, and I look forward to the
chance to help guide the steps this city is taking towards becoming
a more engaged place - and to help Happy City grow into an even
more prominent and diverse organization.
Outside of Happy City, I work part-time for the Community Sector
Council NL, a local nonprofit, as well as administering a local
music program and working on a Master's Degree (doing a Happy City
project, as it happens). I'm also chair of the board at the
St. John's Farmer's Market Cooperative, and I'm a volunteer with
the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Support
Centre. I'm passionate about the little things that we, as
citizens, can do to take ownership of our community.