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  • Writer's picturePat Browne

Meet Sandy Slater

Friend • Connector • Dog Lover

Sandy moved into this neighbourhood in 2015 and has never looked back. “I’ve never seen a neighbourhood as welcoming as ours. I had no idea what a special place this is when I moved in,” says Sandy. “I came here because I loved my condo and the view over the trees and ravine.”

“It was my first day here that I started to understand how special this place was going to be. I had just finished unpacking and was taking my dog Spike for his first walk in his new home. We had barely got out the door when this fellow I had never seen before came up and introduced himself and his dog and welcomed me to the neighbourhood.”

<I’m so proud – that fellow was my husband Joe, and the dog was Molly.>

“I can’t imagine how I would have survived the pandemic without this neighbourhood. I love cooking and entertaining, dinner parties and socializing. Covid has shut all of that down. It’s our 3:30 puppy walks every day that has kept me sane. Throughout the lockdowns we’ve continued to meet in the park to go for a socially distanced meander through the neighbourhood. On any given day it could be 1, 2 or even 5 dogs marching through the English Lane environs.”

“Living alone during this time could have been devastating. Fortunately the dog walks, friends I’ve made in the neighbourhood, being active on our condo board and the committee lead for the refurbishment of our condo’s common areas, as well as the occasional Zoom dinner with my family in Winnipeg has given me human contact that I know many others are missing.”

“Career wise, I started my undergrad degree in criminology from the University of Manitoba. After a contract with Manitoba Probation Services I moved with my then-boyfriend to Bishop’s University in the Eastern Townships in Quebec. We later moved to Montreal where I went on to achieve an MBA at McGill. As with many people, my career choice was more a case of serendipity than planning.”

“I’ve always been curious about how people think and what motivates them. This led to a career in market research where it was my job to find out what makes people do what they do. Over the years I’ve been a VP at Angus Reid and then VP at Westmount Research focusing primarily on the pharmaceutical industry where I helped to launch numerous new medications. I was able to use a variety of tools and techniques that allowed me to provide value to my clients’ management decisions.”

Sandy’s love of personal connections and development, especially in business, led her to the Adler Graduate Professional School where she studied to become a Professional Life Coach. This training came in handy with individual clients as well as in her next role in the accounting business.

“I accepted a position at an independent accounting firm where I provided monthly accounting support to over seventy Canadian Tire franchisees across Canada. When BDO, a multinational company, acquired my firm I was part of the transition as a senior accounting technician where I continued to work with Canadian Tire clients as well as train new employees on the proprietary software acquired in the takeover.”

“It was because of BDO that I wound up in this neighbourhood. I had been living at Yonge and Eglinton for years, but found the commute to Markham too difficult,” said Sandy. “I was also not fond of all the construction that was happening at Yonge and Eglinton. I sold my condo there and looked throughout the area for a new home.”

“My goal has been to deliver solid business and personal results - making a difference in people's lives,” says Sandy. “This led to my most recent position as Business Operations Manager at JVS, a not-for-profit, where I had the opportunity to manage the business of delivering services in Career, Education and Psychology to adults and youth.”

“JVS put all my background skills to work. My role as the Business Operations Manager meant I was managing the Career, Education and Psychology division of the organization, providing services to Ontario Works’ clients, school boards, universities and individuals. My team included 12 psychologists, 4 vocational counsellors, as well as administration staff. Unfortunately anyone who knows anything about the not-for-profit sector knows that jobs, especially in management, can be precarious.”

“I’m at the stage in life where I still want to give back. Unfortunately, Covid has changed many things for many people including me and I’m looking for a new adventure. For many years I’ve been involved with children’s programs including Brownies, Big Brothers and Sisters, as well as Pathways to Education, Daily Bread Food Bank and an active member of apartment associations and condominium boards. My goal now is to find a role that uses my strengths for the benefit of adults, children or businesses who can best utilize them.”

“One thing I know for sure is I’ve never known such a welcoming, inclusive environment as this neighbourhood,” says Sandy. “I’ve created friendships that will last a lifetime.”

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