Resume

Communications with intention, reach and results. Big picture visionary, with attention to detail. Online, in print, and in person.

Chamber Chatter, March 3, 2022. Britt Santowski (centre, Executive Director, Sooke Chamber) in conversation with Bruce Williams (left, CEO, Victoria Chamber) and Julie Lawlor (right, Executive Director, WestShore Chamber). URL https://youtu.be/V19HGI5m7Yg


View my RRU Introductory PowerPoint Presentation here.


Proven Excellence: Three key highlights

  1. Extraordinary startup success in the world of community news
    • Sooke PocketNews (est 2014) is Sooke’s only eco (paperless) news daily (Sooke pop:13,000)
    • 1.4 million article reads in the past year alone
    • Over 8 million visits since inception
    • Deeply understand relationship between effort and income
  2. Extraordinary community engagement and marketing
    • As Exec Dir at Sooke Region Chamber, responding to COVID-19
      • established BetterBuySooke.ca, the local online shopping mall that started over 60 e-shops
      • led Laptop refurbishing program, connecting surplus laptops with students in need
    • Connected to businesses and municipalities
    • Provide marketing consultation and seminars
    • Marketing and engagement proven through readership engagement on SPN; sponsors include Telus, Canadian Blood Services, District of Sooke, Premier of BC and more
  3. Superior writing skills

Experience, by Timeline

  • Executive Director, Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce, 2020
  • Publisher, Sooke PocketNews, Sooke BC, Sept 2014 – present
    • Standard founder duties (project and strategic planning, marketing, researching, launching and progressing, hiring, contracting and firing, future development) (10%)
    • Standard publisher duties (brand management, networking, relationship building, securing advertising, staffing, content oversight, newsworthy directions) (25%)
    • Standard journalism duties (editorial, investigative, political portfolio, covering community events, writing, editing, layout, content presentation) (40%)
    • Standard web designer, ad development, server maintenance and admin duties (25%)
  • Contractor
    • Instructor: Royal Roads University, July 2018 to present, Co-teach TRMN 503. Transforming Destinations
    • Researcher: Royal Roads University, Sept 2019 to present: (statistics, reports)
    • Transformative Learning Foundation, Communications Manager: 2019 (6 months). Blog, website, newsletter, promotional materials
  • Editorial Cartoonist and Journalist, News Mirror, Sooke BC, Nov 2011 – Aug 2014
    • Standard journalism duties (investigative research, writing, photography, image manipulation, videography, and layout)
  • Freelancer, Sooke and Victoria BC, May 2004 – Nov 2011
    • Writing, web design and maintenance, taking and editing video, facilitating events, delivering courses, developing curricula, marketing and promotion, networking
  • Chief Instructor at Vancouver Island Safety Council, Victoria, BC
    • Taught students aged 16 to 86 how to ride (killed no one)
    • Oversaw train the trainers (intake, training and final provincial certification)
    • Worked with provincial regulators (ICBC) and board.
  • Communications Coordinator & Information Architect, BC Gov, Victoria, BC
    • Internal communications, newsletter, promoting internal intranet standards and divisional coaching, strategic planning facilitation.
  • Trainer/Head Writer at Morgan Media Inc/Big Picture Technologies
    • Technical writing manuals and online help, training end users

Accomplishments

Executive Director

  • Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce previously served as a/President (2019) and Secretary (2018, 2019).

Publisher (7 years)

  • Founded online community daily news, Sooke PocketNews (SPN) est 2014, launched 2015; strong marketing, networking skills contributed to current high volume success
  • Published The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman, achieving Amazon top seller status
  • Familiar with all types of publishing software, InDesign, Photoshop, CreateSpace publishing tools, and various online marketing tool (incl. Amazon)

Educator and Presenter (10+ years)

  • Co-teaching Master’s Course on Tourism Management to students, overseeing term projects involving the Districts of Sooke, Langford, Metchosin and Colwood, and the Capital Regional District (CRD) (Royal Roads University)
  • Delivered marketing strategies seminars to small business owners (Sooke PocketNews, SPN)
  • Chief instructor with Vancouver Island Safety Council, overseeing instructor training for about 30 instructors, and an annual recruiting count of about eight to 12
  • Delivered keynote presentation at the in-person book launch (The Three Strategies), and event that sold out and raised $1,800 for a women’s entrepreneur organization
  • Created and delivered workshops for women, based on the book, (The Three Strategies)
  • Contracted by debt management organizations to give Financial Options seminars
  • Wrote documentation for software trainers, and delivered training courses

Self-starter and community leader (10+ years)

  • Sought-out speaker, presented at Imagining Possibilities Conference (scheduled for Nov, 2018)
  • Committee member, Affordable Housing Committee, District of Sooke
  • Founded and chaired mastermind groups (a collaboration of entrepreneurs) for 10 years
  • Executive member of the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce

Website Developer (10+ years)

  • Designed, developed, launched Sooke PocketNewsTheThreeStrategies.com, and AMatterOfLifeAndDebt.com
  • Created multi-user site (Pocketnews.ca) with numerous subdomains
  • Developed, managed, maintained Vancouver Island Safety Council corporate website
  • Managed and maintained Intranet sites for BC Government
  • Expert computer skills including PCs, Mac, Commodore 64s, CMS, troubleshooting server attacks, database management, site migration

Journalist and Writer (10+ years)

  • Journalist covering municipal politics and community events
  • Freelance columnist: received accolades from Arthur Black (CBC) for Throttle Therapy
  • Author: The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman, exploring confidence built on the attributes of accountability, initiative, and collaboration; Amazon.ca top-seller
  • Wrote over 50 book reviews with the Canadian Book Review Annual
  • Expert software skills: InDesign, PhotoShop, Fireworks, Dreamweaver and other WYSIWYG processors, MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), WordPress, and more

Education

  • Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John’s: MA, English
  • University of Waterloo: BA, English
  • Various MOOC courses, primarily on Marketing and Entrepreneurship
  • Certified Insolvency Counsellor
  • Adult Education Principles
  • Counselor Training

Volunteer Work

  • EMCS Society, board member (current, since 2018), Vice President (since 2019)
  • Founded and facilitated a number of Mastermind Groups, Sooke (ongoing)
  • Member, Affordable Housing Committee, District of Sooke
  • Chamber of Commerce, Executive (Secretary, Acting President)
  • Citizen’s Counseling Centre, Victoria
  • Sexual Assault Centre, Victoria
  • Literary Arts Festival, Victoria
  • Centre 507 Drop-In Center, Ottawa

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