EMPLOYEE NEWSLETTER Waterloo Region Walks
Ultimate recycling: Staff member volunteers in Haiti
Working to reduce poverty
The 99 Regina Employee Centre Committee held the 6th Annual Stair Climb Challenge on February 10, 2012. Top photo: Public Health and Social Services Stair Climb Challenge teams Above photo: Waterloo Region walks Oval inset: ITS staff were stair monitors for the Stair Climb Challenge Left: The Stair Climb Challenge winning team from Public Health Far left photo: Kim Kidd Kitagawa (Waste Management) volunteering in Haiti
Alternative Approaches to Justice with The Honourable Mr. Justice Kofi N. Barnes St. George Banquet Hall, Waterloo Tickets $50 RSVP by April 20, 2012 519-883-2304 or www.preventingcrime.ca
Would you like to spend a day outdoors talking to children on the importance of caring for our water? The Waterloo Wellington Children’s Groundwater Festival is looking for volunteers to help at this year’s event. The Festival takes place at the Waterloo Region Museum on Monday May 28 to Friday June 1. For more W N information and to TO d r ATER G s N I LOO W ELL register as a volunteer, en Fe ʻs G r visit www.wwcgf.com. ro u n d w ate
34th Annual Justice Dinner Thursday, April 26 ~ 5:30 p.m.
Volunteers needed for Children’s Groundwater Festival
Mark Your Calendars
The award goes to . . . The Region of Waterloo won the public sector award from the United Way of Cambridge and North Dumfries. Ken Seiling accepted the award on our behalf in late December 2011.
Saturday June 9, 2012 Sunnyside Foundation Walk & Roll – Saturday, June 9, 2012 Walk & Roll is a fundraiser in support of Sunnyside Seniors’ Services. Stroll 1.5 km or walk three km. Participants receive a t-shirt and free lunch, enjoy live entertainment, raffles, games and prizes for children, aerobic warm up, vehicle displays and lots and lots of door prizes. For more information, go to www.socialservices.regionofwaterloo.ca then click on Seniors’ Services, Sunnyside Foundation and Fundraising Events.
Sunnyside Foundation Golf Tournament – Monday, September 10, 2012 This popular golf tournament will be held at Conestoga Golf & Country Club. $135 per person. Includes green fees, golf cart, BBQ lunch, dinner, golfer gift, hole in one, team prizes for female, male, mixed and most honest team, silent and live auction and a $35 donation receipt.
The Public Sector Award is presented each year to companies/workplaces that show exceptional spirit and participation in many aspects of United Way. The criteria qualifying the Region for the award was our continued efforts to engage Regional staff on all fronts, our enthusiasm as a group for the United Way, the amount of dollars raised consistently each year, our participation in the Loaned Rep. program, and our attention to the leadership portion of the campaign. All of our efforts are very valued by the United Way of Cambridge and North Dumfries, and they hope our participation through the yearly campaign makes us a role model for other workplaces! Thanks again to all who participated and donated to United Way – change starts here!
What do you consider the biggest challenge in your job?
I have to get companies interested in, and committing to, water saving projects. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When large water saving projects are actually implemented; the projects are as interesting as they are varied.
What personal skills are essential to the work you do?
Wayne is a Water Efficiency
Technologist and has worked at the Region for 14 years.
He lives in Kitchener with his wife and their four-year-old son,
seven-year-old daughter and
two teenage step-daughters.
He also has a 25-year-old son.
Technical skills in understanding infrastructure and negotiating skills in dealing with individuals within the companies/institutions from the maintenance staff to the owners and managers. Good multi-tasking skills are also important as the projects are varied and each project must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. What do you do to relax after a long day?
A beer and walking the dog is a good escape from the hectic lifestyle of raising young children. An evening of snowboarding is ideal but not realistic,
and not allowed every night of the week.
What is your favourite meal?
All Asian cuisine is so tasty but my favorite is definitely Indian food and their desserts are the greatest . . . and a beer. What is your favourite holiday and why?
A favorite holiday over the last few years was a drive out to Colorado and Utah camping in our tent trailer. Moab in Utah is so interesting and has so many outdoor activities to offer. However, sandy wind storms at midnight every night in a tent trailer was not looked on favourably by my wife. If you could travel to one place, where would you go? Having travelled the world a fair bit as a young man, I have seen a lot of the world, so at this point I would have to say skiing in the European Alps with my young ones when they are big enough or a family trip exploring Spain and Portugal.
Doon Heritage Village opening day at Waterloo Region Museum
The season opening of Doon Heritage Village takes place Tuesday, May 1. Doon Heritage Village is a picturesque living history village that shows visitors what life was like in the year 1914. The village comes to life with knowledgeable interpreters dressed in authentic 1914 clothing and features historic buildings, farm animals and fun activities the whole family will enjoy. Doon Heritage Village hours: May 1 to September 3 Monday through Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 4 to October 8 Monday through Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
October 9 to December 23 Monday through Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: Closed except for special events. Doon Heritage Village is located at Waterloo Region Museum. The address is 10 Huron Road (just off Homer Watson Boulevard) in Kitchener. For more information regarding Waterloo Region Museum and Doon Heritage Village, visit www.waterlooregionmuseum.com or call 519-748-1914.
What do you consider the biggest challenge in your job?
The biggest challenge is finding a balance between what will work best for operations versus what will work best to meet customer needs. The most rewarding part of my job is when I have been able to help a customer or fellow co-worker find the solution to the concern that they had.
What personal skills are essential to the work you do?
Cheryl is the Coordinator, On-Street Passenger Amenities for GRT. This role oversees all activity related to on-street passenger amenities including signage, bus shelters and schedule information. Cheryl has worked for the Region for almost 10 years.
Being organized (especially around construction season), cooperative as you need to work with others on various projects, and attentive when looking into different situations in case you spot something that another
person may not have saw or thought of.
What do you do to relax after a long day?
I play lots of soccer.
What is your favourite meal?
Steak and Caesar salad is my favourite meal.
What is your favourite holiday and why?
Christmas because I get to spend lots of time with family and friends. If you could travel to one place, where would you go? There are so many choices! I would have to say Ireland, I have always wanted to go there.
Do you know someone who would like to be spotlighted? Do you have suggestions for new Spotlight questions? Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
Service First Call Centre update
The Region is creating a consolidated call centre that will publicly launch in 2014. It’s a big project and can’t be done without people from across the organization coming together. Staff are participating on various teams to ensure we meet our project goals. Each team is committed to providing regular updates regarding their part of the project. Following is the latest in a series of updates on what’s happening with our project teams: Business Process Redesign From April to December this year, each Region area will participate in redesigning their business process for answering calls. Space Working Group In the next few weeks we will be finalizing our location. Communications/Change Management Employees involved in the call centre project can expect
to attend presentations, meetings, receive e-mails and more updates on call centre activities in March and April.
Call Centre Operations This group is currently in the early stages of developing operating procedures for the call centre along with a training program for call centre staff. We’re also investigating the benefits of using on-demand language services that will allow us to assist callers who speak limited English. Technology This project team will be choosing a customer relationship management (CRM) software supplier this month. This software is critical as it will allow us to document answers to all inquiries and identify how to manage inquiries that need to be passed back to operating departments.
Region of Waterloo Public Health launched Waterloo Region Walks on January 25, 2012. Community walk leaders, walking enthusiasts and advocates gathered to hear speakers talk about the importance of walking and the role it plays in building a healthy community.
Waterloo Region Walks
Among the speakers was 95-year young Irv Manske, who gave a heartwarming address on the importance of walking in his life. Manske spent 37 years working at BFGoodrich, and often walked to and from work – more than six kilometers each way. When retired, Manske and his late wife went hiking in New Zealand and Australia. During the 2009 Get Fit for Space challenge, Irv walked the equivalent of the distance to the International Space Station and back…a distance in excess of 800 km! Today, Manske regularly walks up and down the hallway, then out and around his Kitchener retirement community home.
The Stair Climb Challenge winning team – Public Health, consisting of (from left) David Siladi, Jackie Heimpel, Jocelyn Tostik and Peter Ellis.
Other speakers included: Sue and Dave Lewis, Walk On Strong – Walking for Mental Health Annette Collins, RN, Region of Waterloo Public Health – Creating a Walking Workplace John Hill, Transportation Demand Management – Trails and Technology Susan Brown, Research Institute of Aging – Walking for Health in Your Later Years Participants developed ideas of how they could work together to promote walking and raise the profile of walking opportunities in Waterloo Region. Some potential ideas included:
• offer networking opportunities for community walk leaders • create a web site with information and links to all that is Irv Manske available in the Region related to walking • develop a pedometer lending program through the local libraries • create walking prescription pads for doctor’s offices
There was commitment from many to move forward in working together and an initial meeting of the Waterloo Region Walks committee will occur in late February. For more information contact Muriel Vandepol, RN email@example.com or Jillian Welk, PHP firstname.lastname@example.org
Another stair-climbing success!
The 99 Regina Employee Centre Committee held the 6th Annual Stair Climb Challenge on February 10, 2012. The goal of this event was to raise spirits, promote fitness and raise funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The Public Health team managed to land first in a close race against a very able Social Services team. All appeared to have a fun time and the pizza sold out. Between donations and pizza sales, we raised $816.50.
The Committee wishes to extend their sincere appreciation for everyone who helped out with the event:
• Strong and brave Social Services climbers: Amanda Fischer, Sarah Tieleman, Eric Brown, and Trevor Zeidler • Strong and brave Public Health climbers: Jocelyn Tostik, Jackie Heimpel, Peter Ellis, and David Siladi • IT Staff for doing a great job as stair monitors • Bob Theisz for his terrific MC-ing • Kathleen Gardiner for her inspiring words • Kathy Gauci from Heart and Stroke for her support and prize donations
Ultimate recycling: Staff member volunteers in Haiti The January 2010 earthquake in Haiti was devastating to an already struggling country. An estimated 500,000 people are still without homes. Recently, Kim Kidd Kitagawa, a Waste Management Coordinator, her 15 year old son, Matthew, and 14 others through the Glen Acres Baptist Church, went to Haiti to recycle rubble into a new home. In February 2012, the team loaded five dump trucks of rubble using five gallon pails; made, installed and filled walls for a new home, screened sand for cement, and planned and dug the foundation for another home. The weather was hot and the work was hard, but their efforts were worth it. Gabriel, a senior who will have his new home soon, has lived under a tarp for the last two years! The team stayed in Grand Goave, the epicentre of the earthquake. Rubble is everywhere. Some homes are being repaired and a school has been
rebuilt, but many homes and Churches still lay in ruin. Yet people were very welcoming. “Children greeted us with smiles and big hugs. Some were happy to fill buckets with rubble too” said Kim. As for waste management, there is limited infrastructure. Generally, garbage is dumped in riverbeds, burned, or littered. “Free-range” animals graze on the organics. “I’m having a difficult time reconciling how much we have in Canada with the needs I saw in Haiti,” said Kim. “Our communities should be helping their waste management systems to create jobs and reduce environmental impact – including the oceans that we all share.” For more information, contact Kim at email@example.com.
25 prints/day, 500 prints/month, 6,000 prints/year – What is your average print usage?
Top: Filling a rubble wall Bottom: Finished rubble homes
A Regional internal fleet copier review is currently underway to evaluate how we print, what we print, when we print and why we print. This review is necessary to establish a benchmark and quantify our existing print behaviours. Determining this benchmark will allow the Region to develop cost effective and efficient print processes that takes into consideration both the environmental impact and the financial impact of inefficient printing/purchasing. Your support in becoming a responsible print organization, one that considers the environment in all its decisions, is important. Being responsible in our print behaviours also provides value to our taxpayers. More information on this review including the CLT approved project charter can be found by accessing Docs #1025867. Ongoing communication to staff will continue during the duration of this review/strategy.
Piecing It Together – The Region’s Comprehensive Approach to Poverty Reduction
The Region of Waterloo is working collaboratively to reduce poverty through the development of a corporate-wide Comprehensive Approach to Poverty Reduction that will lead to improved outcomes for people living in poverty in Waterloo Region. The development of this corporatewide approach includes the following components: Visioning: Develop a common vision, principles, language, priorities and outcomes. Understanding: Understand promising practices for engaging and responding to the needs of populations where poverty is more prevalent. Improving: Highlight opportunities to improve programs and services within the Region’s sphere of influence. Aligning: Identify opportunities for how Regional strategic initiatives and programs that address poverty,
community based poverty reduction initiatives and Ontario’s poverty reduction strategy can better complement each other. Prioritizing: Identify a number of focus areas and corporate-wide actions. Poverty Reduction Steering Committee established A 16-member Regional Poverty Reduction Steering Committee has been set up to provide leadership, direction and advice into the development of the corporate-wide Comprehensive Approach to Poverty Reduction. Their work will be informed through a consultation process with a number of existing community groups.
The Region of Waterloo is piloting the Diversity! in the Workplace calendar this year to help create awareness and celebrate the many aspects of different cultures and traditions.
access. To access the online calendar, go to the employee portal – “Diversity and Inclusion” button and click on
Have your say at a Brown Bag Lunch Staff Consultation near you! Regional staff from all departments are invited to provide input at one of eight lunch hour consultations planned throughout April and May 2012. There is also an option to provide written input. For more information please contact Cheryl Grove at 519-575-4757 Ext. 5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The results of these sessions will be shared with the Regional Poverty Reduction Steering Committee. We look forward to your input!
Have you seen the Diversity! in the Workplace calendar?
The 2012 Diversity! in the Workplace calendar is a comprehensive calendar reflecting the Canadian workplace, listing hundreds of multi-faith, multicultural and diversity-related holidays, festivals and observances. Each day and each month has a brief explanation of its significance. The calendar is available in electronic format and print versions have been distributed to areas without computer
There will be many upcoming events and activities over the next several years to improve accessibility of Regional programs and services to support our diverse community as outlined in the 2011-2014 Strategic Plan. If you have any questions or feedback about the calendar or the future activities please contact: Lorie Fioze - 519-575-4758, email@example.com Bev Aikenhead - 519-575-4437, firstname.lastname@example.org Charlotte Gravlev - 519-575-4400 ext. 3721, email@example.com
Protecting and enhancing the environment is a key priority for the Region of Waterloo because a healthy environment is very important to our citizens and essential to our quality of life. The Region continues to demonstrate its commitment to the environment by making forward-thinking decisions that help protect and conserve our land, water, air and energy resources for current and future generations. The Community Environmental Fund was established in 2011 to provide financial support for community-based environmental initiatives. It assists community members and organizations who wish to carry out stewardship and sustainability projects that protect, promote, and enhance our natural environment. Grant awards for the 2012 Community Environmental Fund were recently announced. Grant recipients will be undertaking initiatives such as funding the local Carshare organization to put an electric car on our streets and installing a solar hot water heater on a local building as a demonstration project. Other projects will include the planting of trees in rural and urban areas of Waterloo Region and the naturalization of the Laurel Creek Corridor. Here’s a brief look at some of the Region’s other environmental priorities: • Integrate the environment into all our decisions A green purchasing initiative will
help the Region buy products that are better for the environment (e.g. recycled paper, low VOC paint, hybrid vehicles, etc.); The Community Environmental Fund will give financial support to communitybased environmental initiatives. Improve our air quality The Region will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using solar panels and setting energy management targets; the amount of energy used at wastewater treatment plants will be reduced through extensive upgrades; new technology will help reduce idling in Regional vehicles. Reduce waste The amount of waste entering our landfill will be reduced by considering new disposal technologies, expanding the recycling program and enhancing the green bin (organics) program. The Waste Management Master Plan is also being updated. Protect our drinking water The quality and quantity of our drinking water sources will be protected by upgrading our wastewater treatment plants and continuing to promote: rainwater harvesting, naturescaping, the water conservation by-law, business water conservation programs, spills prevention, the smart about salt program and the rural water quality program. Restore and preserve green space The Region will protect our forests and environmentally sensitive lands, work with partners to add trees and shade to our communities, prevent urban sprawl and redevelop existing infrastructure in our core areas.
Do you have a question for Mike? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ontario Parks Association presents Region with “Protecting Tomorrow Today®” Award
Protecting Tomorrow Today Award
The Region of Waterloo January 9th, 2012 in recognition of your significant contribution to the betterment of parks and the environment through your leadership in protecting sustainable underground water systems and water courses in the region.
Paul Ronan OPA Executive Director
Bill Harding OPA Board President
The Ontario Parks Association (OPA) presented the “Protecting Tomorrow Today®” award to the Region of Waterloo for its work to reduce salt used for winter de-icing of parking lots, roads and walkways. Salt can have long term effects on our environment, vegetation, and our waterways. The OPA motto “Protecting Tomorrow Today” is a commitment to civic beautification and the advancement, protection and conservation of parks, open spaces and the environment in the Province of Ontario. “It is an honour to be recognized by the Ontario Parks Association,” said Eric Hodgins, the Region’s Manager, Hydrogeology and Source Water. “It is important for everyone to understand the effects salt can have on our environment and work towards being less reliant on it.”