On March 28, 2011, guest speaker Cam Kowalski came in to Cyri Jones’ Project Management class. Cam is a lead airspace designer, as well as a security planner who worked as a project manager for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games and the G8/G20 summits in Huntsville and Toronto Ontario.
As the project manager for these events, Cam was responsible for aspects such as deadlines, human resource management and other day-to-day operations. Some of the key points he emphasized were to understand the task at hand and to understand your working partner’s roles and responsibilities. He said that no matter what it was important to Be the Boss! Sometimes this was not easy as altogether there was about 250 persons who looked to him for guidance and assurance.
Some of the things he and his team worked on was to carefully lay our their plans utilizing pictoral depictions, so that everyone knew their goal, knew where the team was headed as a whole, and were able to follow up on areas that fell through. Many times people would want to point fingers at others but by keeping everything organized and by seperating duties in a concise manner, this was never considered an option.
One thing that I will always remember about Cam’s speech, he noted “Plan for the worst, hope for the best”.
One of the wonderful things of working for a large corporation such as the Royal Bank of Canada is that I get to work with so many diverse people that wear many “hats”. One person is the Senior Account Manager of Commercial Banking at the RBC Sechelt, who in his spare time is also the President of the Chamber of Commerce. Because of our close working relationship I often get to attend Chamber of Commerce meetings. It was at one of these meetings that I had the pleasure of meeting Silken Laumann, a Canadian Olympist who has won numerous medals in rowing, specifically skulling.
Silken Laumann discussed all of the medals that she has won over her years of skulling for Team Canada but her most well-deserved and most memorable medal of all was at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Her boat was involved in a collision with the boat of a German pair. Her leg was mutilated in the crash and she didn’t know if she would be able to compete in the upcoming race. During the next three weeks she underwent multiple operations and extensive physiotherapy and was back out on the water training in late June. She went from a shoe-in for the gold to a solid bronze and was subsequently named Canadian of the Year in recognition and was asked to carry the Canadian flag at the closing ceremonies.
Just being in the same room as one of Canada’s most treasured celebrities was one of my favorite moments. As a fellow lover of water sport activities it was inspiring to meet her and discuss the details of her rise to success in Canadian history.