Lands to Great Lakes

Lands to Great Lakes

Friday, 26 October 2018

Mentorship Matters: Building Skills through the Latornell Professional Development Program

The working world is tough. From landing your first job to the ongoing hunt for your ‘dream’ job, we often feel like it’s not easy to compete in today’s working world. This is just as true for the environmental field as for any other sector. Thinking back to the start of your own career journey, wouldn’t it have been great if someone was there to give you a helping hand? A sounding board to guide you and share advice or resources? Or perhaps having someone put in a good word for you would have been more helpful. Even those who are more senior in their roles can often benefit from a refreshing new perspective. Regardless of the specifics, we could all use a little company on the journey down our career path at some point. True to the heart of this, the Latornell Conservation Symposium continues to offer opportunities for environmental and conservation professionals to meet, network and share stories, career insights and passions. Not only do we offer events as part of the conference program, but for almost three years we have hosted events year-round in an effort to bring together environmental professionals with an interest in mentorship and professional development.

Five years ago the Latornell Symposium celebrated its 20th year, and in recognition of this important milestone we launched the Latornell Mentorship Program. Now in its fifth year, this initiative has been rebranded as the Professional Development Program. Our new name underscores our goal of being more inclusive of a diverse environmental sector which includes both new and internationally-trained professionals. However, our vision of connecting professionals within the environmental sector has not changed, and mentorship continues to be a common thread running throughout all the conference. Since the first Latornell Symposium was held in 1993 hundreds of personal and professional connections have been forged amongst dedicated conservationists working within the sector through events like our grant recipient wine and cheese receptions and dedicated professional development sessions. Building on this solid foundation, this year we are excited to announce that we will be joined by Cher Jones – a Social Media Trainer and Personal Branding Coach who will be leading our Thursday morning breakfast session to teach us how to build a professional and polished social media presence. We encourage everyone – especially those who are established in their careers – to join us and develop empowering new skills that help keep us relevant within the modern workforce.

The Professional Development Program is also feverishly working on the details of a winter 2019 snowshoeing and networking outing to be held in the Kingston area. This is the final event planned in a series this year which aims to connect conservation professionals in different parts of the province. Earlier this year, we partnered with BlueDrinks TO and the Toronto Green Community to participate in a Lost Rivers walk through the Toronto Port lands, and hosted a Careers in Conservation Lunch n’ Learn near London with representatives from St. Clair Region Conservation Authority and Credit Valley Conservation. Look out for the details of the winter snowshoeing event on our Linked In group and on the Latornell website, under “General Info/Professional Development Program”.

We hope that you will find a way to contribute to the Latornell Professional Development community, as it provides each of us with a chance to ignite a spark; a chance to grow; and to learn and inspire others. We look forward to seeing you on the 13th of November, on our Linked In group and at future events.

Yours in Conservation,

Jamie Joudrey & Bill Trenouth


Jamie Joudrey is a Natural Heritage Coordinator with Ontario Heritage Trust and Bill Trenouth is a Integrated Water Management Program Manager with Credit Valley Conservation