Where are they now?

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POC National Board 2005: Where are they now?

Back row: Alex Fayle, Jane Veldhoven, Krista Clive-Smith, Janet Barclay.
Center row: Karen Shinn, Elaine Shannon.
Front row: Jane Woolsey, Laurene Livesey Park, Morva Bowman, Joel-Marc Golberg.

One of my most rewarding professional experiences was serving as Director of Membership on the National Board of Professional Organizers of Canada.

When I realized that it’s been ten years since the above photo was taken, I decided to try and catch up with the wonderful men and women I had the privilege to work and learn with during that time.

Several of them are still active POC members, and have agreed to let me share their updates with you.

Laurene Livesey Park

Laurene Livesey Park

I am still organizing, still a POC member, still volunteering with POC! I am currently chair of the Durham chapter and a class facilitator in the TPO program. My most recent national volunteer experience was on the Ethics Committee – that was interesting!

After volunteering on the National Board of POC, I spent six years volunteering on the NSGCD/ICD Board, and am currently involved with ICD as Certification Program Director. I do love working with professional organizers!

I recently moved to Port Hope, Ontario, and am in the position of having to start my business in a new area. Besides teaching, I do some writing and speaking, but mainly hands-on organizing and consulting. I’ve earned my CPO-CD and Master Trainer designations, and am very proud that I frequently have clients referred to me by other organizers.

A highlight of my organizing career was speaking at the conference of the Japan Association of Life Organizers in 2012 and 2013. I’m not very adept at social media – it’s an ongoing challenge! In the meantime, my website is still www.OrganizeMe101.com.

Karen Shinn

Karen ShinnThese days, I’m working with my fabulous Business Partner, Gail Shields. On April 1, 2009, we launched Downsizing Diva and have 14 Diva Franchises across Canada helping seniors downsize, organize and move with care, compassion and comedy.

Over the years, we figured we knew so much about moving we could write a book… and so we did! We called that book, “GO! The Essential Guide to Organizing and Moving.”

Working with seniors has given us a better understanding of the challenges our clients face and the special attention they require. So, we developed an age-sensitivity training workshop to share with others who are interested in working with seniors. “Walk in their shoes” has been presented to enthusiastic audiences at POC and ICD Conferences.

The Divas are also NASMM Presenters (Branding + Community Outreach) with a Social Media workshop scheduled for the 2015 Conference in San Antonio. Downsizing Diva is a NASMM Circle of Service Member and has attained NASMM A+ Accreditation – the highest professional achievement awarded to a Senior Move Management Company for best practices, client service and business management.

As advocates for our senior clients, we partnered with Metroland Media in 2014 to create and produce Toronto’s Caregiver Show – an annual event bringing community resources and family caregivers together to connect, share and learn.

Gail and I are thrilled we have figured out what we were put on the planet to do! We may have “Freedom 105”, but we love what we are doing and the people we are doing it with.

Here’s to the adventure continuing….

Jane Veldhoven

Jane VeldhovenIn the last 10 years my business, Get Organized! Professional Services (soon to become Get Organized! By Design), has grown dramatically and my focus has almost completely shifted away from corporate and small business consulting toward the residential market where I specialize in space planning, design and decorating including managing small renovation projects and moves for my busy professional clients.

I received my CPO® designation in 2008 and remain one of only a handful of Canadian organizers to be certified by the BCPO.

For the past six years I have been writing a weekly column called “Streamline Your Stuff” for the Herald Homes section of The Chronicle Herald which is Nova Scotia’s only provincial newspaper available both in print and online.  I have two people working with me as subcontractors on a regular basis, one who has been doing my admin work for over four years and the other who handles most of the hands-on decluttering work with our clients and works on larger projects with me.  There are a legion of other tradespeople with whom I collaborate on our renovation and design projects.

After 13 years I can honestly say I still absolutely love this industry and plan to be here for another 10 years, at least!

What’s next?

It’s exciting to see Laurene, Karen and Jane doing so well in their chosen profession – and still loving what they do.

Next week, we’ll hear from three more people I worked with on the Board whose lives have taken a different direction.

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Avatar Alison Lush on December 14, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Janet: What a fabulous idea for a blog post!
    Laurene, Karen and Jane are highly respected and active members of the organizing community, and I’m delighted to see them appearing in the spotlight.
    I look forward to your updates on the other members of the 2005 POC Board.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on December 14, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Alison. It was especially fun for me to catch up with Karen, because we met at the 2002 Annual Conference shortly after we had both become POC members. Glad to see that she – as well as Jane and Laurene – are still going strong!

  2. Avatar Alison Lush on December 14, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Janet, I want to add that I also really appreciate this blog because you are underlining the volunteering that goes on in the background of our industry.
    We are Solopreneurs or small business owners, and by being connected through our national association Professional Organizers of Canada, we are ALL stronger.
    POC was created, and is maintained, through the generous committment of dedicated volunteers. It is good for all of us to be reminded of what we owe them!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on December 15, 2015 at 6:15 am

      Let’s hear it for the volunteers – past, present and future!

  3. Avatar Seana Turner on December 19, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Congratulations to all 3! Sounds like they have been able to combine their skills and interests in wonderful ways. Fun to follow up and reconnect with previous associates:)

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on December 19, 2015 at 9:20 am

      One of the things that was so exciting about attending the POC Conference this fall – my first since 2011 – was reconnecting with Jane, Karen and Laurene, and many others I’ve known since 2002.

  4. Avatar Kathy McEwan on December 19, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Wow, this blog is inspiring. These women have accomplished a great deal in their organizing careers. It makes me now more then ever want to put a plan in action for 2016. I did start my plan but I am now going to reach for even better results. Thank you!

  5. Avatar Sarah Soboleski on December 19, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    This was such a neat post to read! All three women are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing their updates with us, Janet.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on December 19, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      I’m happy I got to introduce you to them!

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