My name is Michele McAdoo and I am a Professional Home Economist (P.H.Ec.). I graduated from Ryerson University with a degree in Food, Nutrition and Home Economics. After graduating from Ryerson, I started my career at Kraft Canada in the Kraft Kitchens. I worked in the Kraft Kitchens as a culinary expert for 21 years. During this time, I worked on many of the Kraft brands and honed my skills as a home economist.
A few years ago, I joined Canada Beef as Executive Director of Brand and Communications. I manage the digital platforms for the organization and work with teams to promote Canadian beef domestically and internationally. I represent the 60,000 beef producers across Canada. This role has allowed me to reconnect with my agricultural roots as I grew up on a beef farm near Ottawa and was an active 4-H member.
How long have you been involved with OHEA and what roles did you hold?
I joined OHEA in 1993 and became actively involved on the executive team as the Vice President of Communications. This was a totally new opportunity for me and I really enjoyed learning how meetings were managed as well as having the chance to meet so many members with interesting and varying backgrounds.
Since that time I have held many positions on the executive and board. I was Vice President of Finance for four years. I then offered to step into the role of in-coming president to work alongside Joan Ttooulias. For the next five years, I was actively involved as incoming President, President and Chair of the Board. I finished my time on the Board in spring of 2018.
Why maintain your OHEA membership?
I’ve maintain my OHEA membership as I believe that it’s important to join a community of like-minded individuals. This community offers support, ideas and guidance to fellow members. By working together we can strengthen the profession of home economics and thereby assisting Canadians.
What led you to join OHEA?
A member of the OHEA Executive had called me about joining the association. They knew I was a member of another association called Ontario Home Economists in Business. I appreciated that this member had called me to encourage me to join and to have the opportunity to meet many other members across the province.
How has the profession changed over the years?
This profession has certainly gone through many changes. When I first joined, members worked in many different facets such as teaching, corporate kitchens, government, and industry. As careers have changed in the business world, members have had to learn how to diversify and create new opportunities for themselves. Today, there is more of an emphasis on nutrition and food. Social media has also created opportunities and challenges as individuals outside of the profession have established niche markets.
Where do you see the profession going over the next five to 10 years?
I think the profession will make a comeback however, it probably will need to be rebranded to meet the needs of today’s generation. As we learn and understand more about the generations coming through the school system, the skills taught in home economics will be extremely important and vital. It will remain important for the profession to support Canadian families and individuals in maintaining a happy and desirable quality of life.
If you could change something about your career, would you and what would it be?
I would say that I have really enjoyed my career. I have been afforded some amazing learning opportunities and challenging jobs which have helped me to build and hone my skills. I have also met and worked with an amazing group of people who have shaped my career and passions.
If there was one thing I would do different? Working for a large corporation can provide some very unique opportunities such as job transfers. If I was starting again, perhaps take a job transfer to another city.
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!