Where are they now?
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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
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.
These 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….
In 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!
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.