Judy Joannou offers wisdom to home economists interested in a career in fashion. Her father, an executive in the fashion industry introduced her to sewing and fashion design which suited her creative spirit. She graduated from Cornell University, in Apparel Design and studied abroad at the London College of Fashion. This led to her dream: becoming a fashion designer in New York City. At 23 she was travelling the world.
Several years later she met and married a Canadian, settled in Ashton and established her home-based business on a dime. Judy created one-of-a kind vests made from discarded upholstery samples and vintage buttons purchased at a garage sale, before re-purposing was a trend! Home sewers assembled them for her. Then she travelled throughout Ontario and sold them to boutiques and through the craft show circuit. As the business grew so did her collection, noted for mix and match high end fashions which she had produced in Toronto. After 26 years of being on the road she opened her first retail store in Almonte and introduced other brands to her offerings. In the Spring of 2020, nudged by the pandemic's forced store closure she upgraded her website to a full online store and brought the shop to her customers with video fashion shows. She continues to run both her retail store and website https://www.judyjoannoudesigns.ca
Betty Crocker Kitchens
Test Kitchens may be a thing of the past, but friendships made among Home Economists who worked in them have lasted for decades. Home Economists now are more informed and look to sustainability, farming, vulnerabilities and opportunities galore. The Home Economists like me, who worked in the Best Foods test kitchen, were about product promotion. That is not a bad thing and I can still make anything with a jar of Hellman's mayonnaise.
My first test kitchen friend, Jane Carman, worked for Standard Brands in Montreal, and now Margaret Macdonald, whom I met just three years ago, worked for Manitoba Hydro. Strong women, women of science. We understand the losses we are facing in Home Economics. Let me plug in for our new Professional Practice Course soon to be launched. You ought to follow it; Sue McGregor, who wrote about the Home Ec ring, also read it — who knew? And the link here to Betty Crocker — my friend Ellie Topp told me she had a job offer there.
Born in Hamilton ON, I left after grade 7 to live in St. Catharines where I finished high school and then went off to Macdonald College of McGill University in St. Anne de Bellevue PQ. Upon completion of my undergraduate degree, I returned to Ontario and did my Dietetic Interneship at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
I started my professional career at the Hospital for Sick Children where I was involved in a massive hospital-wide changeover to tray service for patients, and where I wrote my first article for publication. After a couple of years, I joined the Ontario Department of Agriculture and Food (which has had various names and transformations over the years) and travelled extensively for the Home Economics Branch providing courses, developing recipes, and writing food and nutrition manuals for programs directed to members of the Women’s Institutes, and girls enrolled in the 4H food programs. With this job, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I really enjoyed working with other staff and especially the director, Helen McKercher. I learned so much from that woman about how life worked in government. She gave me much food for thought and many opportunities for growth.
Being a Professional Home Economist (P.H.Ec.) has had a positive impact on my life, personally and professionally. My memberships in local, provincial, and international home economics associations gave me opportunities to meet new friends, research colleagues, and Home Economists from a variety of disciplines. These individuals are passionate about the ability of our profession to improve the lives of individuals and families, locally and globally. I also take whatever chance I get to explain what P.H.Ec. means, particularly to people who are unaware that Home Economists still exist!
By: Cathy Enright, P.H.Ec.
Happy 40ieth Anniversary Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA)
Passing the torch onto new and future Home Economists defines who I am as a Professional Home Economist (P.H.Ec.).
It has been a privilege to live up to the ring pledge.
The most important life changing skill I mastered at my first job when working for a large food company, was how to relate to our customers through relationship building and complaint handling. First, as a Home Economist and then Director of Consumer Services, I also developed technical skills in recipes, food styling, publishing and media relations.
I graduated from Brescia in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics. I worked for Quaker Oats off and on for about 28 years in total. At Quaker I was in Consumer Services for nine months, then moved to research and development for the remaining time. I also freelanced for a few years under the name Cranberry Kitchens. I retired from Quaker in 2011 and started as Administrator/Registrar with the Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA) in 2013.
Brief Background about Marnie Webb
I graduated from the Univeristy of Guelph's Applied Human Nutrition program and have worked for Ontario Pork, the Food Biotechnology Communications Network, the University of Guelph's Food Safety Network, and now at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Guelph.
A life of Home Economics, professionally and personally, along with agriculture.
Diane O’Shea is a Professional Home Economist, and retired (June, 2017) Family Studies Teacher and Department Head in Family Studies and Social Sciences and Humanities at Medway High School (Thames Valley District School Board).
She freelanced as a professional Home Economist for many years and then completed a teaching degree at Western University. She began teaching Family Studies at the high school level in 1997 and retired in 2017. Began teaching Family Studies education at the Faculty of Education, Western in 2007 and continue to do so. Completed a Masters of Education in Home Economics Education (UBC, 2014) – yes learning really has to be lifelong!
She also farmed with her husband, Mike for over 40 years – beef feedlot, field crops of wheat, corn and white beans, but mainly in those years fresh market produce and agri-tourism. They owned O’Shea’s Farm Fresh Vegetables and Berries with on-farm and farmers markets venues.
She is a mom to four and now grammie to four.
Not a day goes by that I do not use my Home Economics training, skills or experience. As a wife, mother, Nana, former teacher, public relations and food literacy coordinator, community and church leader, and member of the Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA) board - Home Economics is my life!
Graduating with a Diploma in Home Economics from Kemptville College was my good fortune when tuition for university was out-of-reach for my farm family.
Want to meet some of the amazing Professional Home Economists featured in the Through the Years Series?
Make sure to register for OHEA annual conference. This year the conference is being held at Brescia University College on March 23, 2019. For more information, visit the OHEA Conference website.
Brief Background on Amy Whitson
I graduated from Brescia University College with a Bachelor of Science Honours Human Ecology in Food and Nutrition in 1999. I worked freelance in various roles and started my own personal chef company.
In 2001, I started working with Dana McCauley & Associates. In 2010, I purchased the company from Dana and became President and owner of The Test Kitchen Incorporated, a recipe development and consulting company.
The Ontario Home Economics Association, a self-regulating body of professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life.