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.
How long have you been involved with OHEA and what roles did you hold?
I have been a member since 1980. Monda Rosenberg who was OHEA president at the time, invited me to serve on the OHEA executive in 1980 and I was in charge of fund raising for two or three years. We sold wallets and other items to raise money. I also organized a fundraiser called “An Evening with Kay Spicer”.
Why did you keep your OHEA membership?
I felt that it was important that I belong to a professional association. I have always enjoyed the networking at conferences. It was exciting to come into the association close to the beginning and I have valued the friendships and relationships I have made with members over the years.
How has the profession changed over the years?
Not as many companies hire Home Economists as they did in the past. We have also seen a decrease in the number of universities offering a degree in home economics. As Professional Home Economists, we've been required to adapt and be creative to show our value as a profession.
Where do you see the profession going over the next five to 10 years?
I think Home Economists will need to reinvent themselves in order to keep going. We need to look at our membership and how we can continue to grow as an association. We also need to look at how we market ourselves as a profession to adapt to this changing society. Home economics is as important now, if not more, as it was 40 years ago.
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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.