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 took this bucket of skills to Metric Commission Canada where I lived deeply in the Home Economics world of measures, recipe conversion, public policy and the lives of a powerful group of Toronto Home Economists. I worked along side Wendy Sandford, Kay Spicer and Jane Carman to name a few. I hope they will communication with OHEA during this fortieth anniversary.
Consumer and Corporate Affairs and Industry Canada taught me all things communications. Strategic communications planning became my mantra and I encourage every student to take a course or two to understand this world. Getting the message out in a professional and organized way is paramount. I wish I had embraced communications much earlier in my career. I worked for consumers and the consumer movement, a contribution long before begun by Home Economists in the fifties and sixties.
I retired as an executive from the Government of Canada, a 35-year career which allowed me to serve my country and take advantage of family friendly policies to raise three children. Thank you Canada.
I now serve on the Board of Directors of OHEA and I am privileged to steer the profession to the next phase. We are connectors now and for the future 10 years. We will connect, distill, digest and refine information from all sources to the people of Ontario. We are a credible, discerning source.
After that, the torch will remain lit but in another dimension. I see us being part of other groups, not registered, but affiliated with like-minded people dealing in issues such as dietetics, consumers, seniors, housing, finance and education...one at a time of course.
I encourage you to read and live the ring pledge.
Wanting to learn more information about OHEA's history? Join us on March 23 for our annual conference which will be held in London, Ontario at Brescia University College. Visit oheaconference.ca or ohea.on.ca for more information about the agenda, speakers and to register. We look forward to seeing you there!