OUR TALENTED STAFF

Brigitte Boutet

Emergency Preparedness Officer
Security

3 years of service


“My job has and will continue to make me a more confident and efficient leader in my field.”

What are some of your responsibilities at the university?

I am responsible for the emergency management program – from preparedness, to mitigation, to response and recovery. I help the University put plans and procedures into action so that when an emergency occurs, we know what to do and how to respond.

What has been your biggest challenge during your time here?

The biggest challenge is bringing and keeping emergency preparedness at the forefront of colleagues' agendas because collaboration and cooperation is a capital component of our emergency management program. We have had to work hard to create and maintain the systems that help us work together. And we will always continue to rely on the help and the feedback of our colleagues to ensure resilience in emergency situations and to continue to grow the program.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Being able to help members of the community in their efforts to prepare, plan and respond to emergency situations. It is extremely rewarding to be able to empower members of the community to be able to take life-safety decisions when an emergency occurs.

Has your job changed you in any way?

It has and will continue to make me a more confident and efficient leader in my field. I have had the opportunity to work with experienced colleagues from which I have learnt how to be a persuasive yet diplomatic communicator as well as a positive leader.

What was one of your favourite Concordia moments from the past year or so?

It has been very uplifting to see our department adapt so positively to leadership changes that have allowed us to cooperate and come together as a team.

Natalie Camirand

Manager, Organizational Development
Human Resources

5 years of service


“I learn every day in my job, that is what I love.”

What are some of your responsibilities at the university?

As Organizational Development Manager within HR, I oversee two main types of activities: training and professional development offerings to managers and employees and organizational development, for which my team and I provide consulting services to managers looking for innovative approaches and strategies to better serve students and the Concordia community.

For example, we accompany managers with their visioning and strategic reflection, analyzing their organizational design and internal process. We work with them to increase their team effectiveness, provide support for change management, build workshops, etc. Throughout the pandemic we have also developed initiatives, in collaboration with colleagues across Concordia, to support managers and staff to ensure responsiveness to changing work environment, demands and circumstances.

What has been your biggest challenge during your time here?

For some time, the area of training and professional development has been operating without a Learning Management System (LMS). But thanks to project Unity, we will soon have all the required tools to manage training and professional development in a modern fashion and eventually develop online modules, which I am thrilled about!

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

It’s collaboration with a wonderful team and wonderful partners across Concordia.

I also feel privileged to work on a variety of stimulating mandates with internal partners across the community. I learn every day in my job, that is what I love.

Has your job changed you in any way?

Higher education was a new world for me. I have learned so much during my five years at Concordia and I am very grateful to have joined such a dynamic and enriching community.

What was one of your favourite Concordia moments from the past year or so?

I have always loved the Shuffle and how the community comes together walking to support Concordia’s students. It is a festive event with such a positive purpose.

Tahlia Elman

Manager, Capital, Rental, & Operating Budget
Facilities Management

15 years of service


“It is truly amazing to see how much both Loyola and SGW have grown over the years.”

What are some of your responsibilities at the university?

As a manager in administrative services, I work with a great team of colleagues to provide support and advice to Facilities Management members, particularly with regards to accounting and budgeting activities. I have the opportunity to interact with people on a wide range of projects and property management initiatives that play a role in shaping the future of Concordia.

What has been your biggest challenge during your time here?

I think my answer would be different if I were asked a year ago. The biggest recent challenge has definitely been acting as an advocate for change on Project Unity. When you’re involved in a project with such a broad scope, you quickly realize how many different processes and work flows we have around Finance and HR. It touches every aspect of what we do on a daily basis. My involvement, and the involvement of so many others will have an impact on the way we work for years to come.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I have the opportunity to be involved in the financial aspects of all major projects at the university and to collaborate with so many individuals within Facilities Management. It is truly amazing to see how much both Loyola and SGW have grown over the years. Touring a new building such as the Applied Science Hub provides perspective: we aren’t just working on balance sheets, we’re part of improving real spaces and getting tangible results.

Has your job changed you in any way?

One of the most important parts of my job is attention to detail, something that I continue to work on and carry with me in my day-to-day life. My job requires a lot of analysis and problem solving and these are things that have changed me in a positive way.

There has been so much change in the last few years in my work environment and I have really learnt to step out of my comfort zone, accept and even embrace these changes.

What was one of your favourite Concordia moments from the past year or so?

I really appreciate the way my team adapted to the uncertainty of the last year. It has made our team stronger and we have come to rely on each other in ways that we didn’t necessarily do pre-pandemic. Everyone has gone above and beyond and we have stayed positive and solution oriented. I really could not ask to be a part of a better team.

Lauren Farley

Director, Residence Life
Residence Life 

7 years of service


“It was amazing to see Concordia adjust to a different model of working; I know my team greatly benefited by lending their skills to other units.”

What are some of your responsibilities at the university?

I oversee the Residence Life department which includes student housing and summer accommodation (hotel). The two operations have different needs but at the basic level we are ensuring that our students/guests have a positive experience while staying here. I work with many other units such as facilities management, security services, our food service provider, hospitality, student services and IITS to make sure our students and summer guests have a positive experience and that our facilities are in good standing. There is a lot of planning, but there is also a lot of responding to immediate needs. Everyone on my team, including myself, can go from dealing with a leak that impacts an area of our building to supporting a student who is in crisis. I also sit on several committees to help advise and make decisions on student experience at the University. I work on business development, as we are a revenue generating department so we are self-sufficient.

What has been your biggest challenge during your time here?

Working with our internal partners to understand the unique nature of our operation. Having people living on campus or staying in our hotel has a very different need than offices or classrooms.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Working with my incredible team. We are 9-10 regular staff and 30-40 student staff running a 24-hour operation, 11 months of the year. They are so dedicated to the student and guest experience, it makes me very proud to come to work every day.

Has your job changed you in any way?

The pandemic transformed our operation in many ways. We were closed for a full academic year and two summers, but we still had to maintain our buildings with limited budget. We also had to plan how to safely re-open residence to our students and find solutions to many logistical issues to ensure their safety in very uncertain times. We are used to adjusting and no two days are the same in residence, but at the same time we have certain ways of operating and connecting with our community that we have had to completely re-work.

What was one of your favourite Concordia moments from the past year or so? 

Since we were closed from June 2020 to August 2021, my team and so many others volunteered to step outside of their regular jobs to help other departments. That included other units helping us when we had to close, which was the most difficult time in my career. It was amazing to see Concordia support a different model of working in order to adjust to the changes, and I know my team benefited so much by lending their skills to other units. I had the opportunity to help the Ombuds office, which was a wonderful learning experience. Some of my staff helped Health Services, Dean of Students office and the student advocacy office.

Lina Filacchione

Manager, Occupational Health and Hygiene
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

21 years of service


“There is no greater reward than someone sending me an email or stopping me in the hallway to thank me for having helped them.”

What are some of your responsibilities at the university?

I am responsible for all programs related to occupational health and industrial hygiene, such as injury management and workers compensation, indoor air quality, ergonomics, hearing conservation, respiratory protection, etc. I manage a small team of outstanding employees who help me fulfill our mission within EHS.

What has been your biggest challenge during your time here?

When I first started working at the university, 21 years ago, health and safety was not necessarily on the radar of most employees and supervisors. Having to convince people to work differently and do things in a safer manner was a challenge for someone just out of school!

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

There is no greater reward than someone sending me an email or stopping me in the hallway to thank me for having helped them. Especially these past few months, given all the work involved in getting departments and students back to campus in a pandemic, it’s been extremely gratifying to have employees and administrator recognize and thank EHS for all our efforts.

Has your job changed you in any way?

It has taught me to better handle setbacks and be more resilient when dealing with difficult situations.

What was one of your favourite Concordia moments from the past year or so?

Despite all the challenges that COVID brought, I’ve really enjoyed working with departments that don’t typically need EHS help, such as those in the John Molson School of Business. Getting to work with different colleagues and students, outside of a lab or office setting, has been interesting and refreshing. I now have a richer view of all that goes on within the university.

Darren Finney

Manager, Facilities Planning and Development
Recreation and Athletics

4 years of service


“Seeing the benefits of sports and activities on students’ health and physical well-being from inside the organization has encouraged me to improve the facilities and contribute to the experience of being an Athlete at Concordia.”

What are some of your responsibilities at the university?

I manage the facilities, equipment, and grounds for Recreation and Athletics on both the Sir George Williams and Loyola campuses. I provide a leadership role in ensuring standards are met for scheduling, rentals, service center, maintenance, security, improvements, repairs, and major renovations for all Recreation and Athletics facilities. Some additional responsibilities include purchasing equipment and materials for facility operations, deciding on budget expenditures, and revenue generation strategies.

What has been your biggest challenge during your time here?

Given Concordia’s position as a Next-Generation University, I set my sights on innovating our student and sports fan experience with the Recreation and Athletics department. I challenged myself to find compatible management software for each area of Recreation and Athletics’ operations and ensure their integration with Concordia’s pre-existing systems. This included software to manage Le Gym, Campus Recreation, rentals, Athletic Camps and Academies. The results lead to an overall increase in participation rates across activities and events, an improved and simplified experience for users of Recreation and Athletics’ services and additional funding for Concordia.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job has been finding solutions to overcome the unique technical challenges faced by managing diverse structures such as the Stinger dome, Hockey arena, Le Gym and Outdoor fields. I now receive inquiries and have become a resource for other Universities and sports organisations such as McGill, U.de M. and University of Toronto inquiring about my innovative solutions to dome operations, events and even repurposing of shipping containers.

Has your job changed you in any way?

Seeing the benefits of sports and activities on students’ health and physical well-being from inside the organization has encouraged me to improve the facilities and contribute to the experience of being an Athlete at Concordia.  Receiving the support and encouragement of my colleagues and the freedom allowed by my director to innovate has motivated me to make improvements to the lives of students during one of the most important phases of their athletic careers.

What was one of your favourite Concordia moments from the past year or so?

One of my favorite moments this year was finding a solution for the removal of the stands and press box at Loyola field. By building replacement structures and navigating the changing Covid rules, I was able to ensure Concordia Athletes could continue to participate in sports hosted on their home field. I enjoy finding low-cost sustainable solutions to increase spectator and athlete experience. There are many ideas that have come out of the current year which Recreation and Athletics will continue to use once the pandemic is over.

Jimmy Kalavritinos

Manager, Infrastructure and Cloud Administration
IITS

22 years of service

“I've really come to appreciate the positive impact a work environment like Concordia can have on your overall quality of life.”

What are some of your responsibilities at the university?

In IITS, my team and myself are responsible for the University's server infrastructure. The infrastructure supports the University's core IT applications maintained by IITS and the Services and Sustainability sector, as well as those used by faculties and research.

We also support services such as Office 365, email, authentication and cloud based services or infrastructure.

What has been your biggest challenge during your time here?

The biggest challenge has been to balance the need of providing services 24/7, while ensuring our infrastructure is up to date and continuously meets the University's changing evolving needs.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The process of learning about new technologies or services, incorporating them into our infrastructure and then witnessing the positive results those technologies have on our users' ability to work more effectively.

Has your job changed you in any way?

I've really come to appreciate the positive impact a work environment like Concordia can have on your overall quality of life. Knowing that the organization will support you makes you more appreciative of your work and your colleagues.

What was one of your favourite Concordia moments from the past year or so?

Witnessing how new technologies have become the norm, and how everyone was able to effectively work remotely and adapt to a hybrid model in the last several months.

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