Working for Canadians: Meet Laurence Dionne-Wilson, CFIA analyst
2018 was a busy year for Laurence Dionne-Wilson. In addition to taking on the role of Youth Ambassador for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign in Ottawa, Dionne-Wilson received a coveted President's National Award — the Young Professionals Award.
This award category recognizes individuals and groups meeting the Government of Canada's definition of "youth" who are innovative, demonstrate leadership abilities, and significantly contribute to Canada's future through their work at the CFIA.
Dionne-Wilson received her President's National Award for analytical work on the CFIA's Enhanced Offshore Food Safety Program, coordinating missions to foreign trade partners. As an analyst, she identified target countries by synthesizing existing CFIA data through her participation on the Offshore Food Safety Program Technical Working Group.
Dionne-Wilson called upon a number of skill sets, including thinking strategically; analyzing information to identify target countries and high-risk non-compliance issues; using strong organizational skills on logistics for the visits and to prepare a team of technical experts for their travel offshore; and above all, being creative. Dionne-Wilson played a pivotal role as the Agency's contact point for negotiations with Global Affairs Canada on the CFIA's component of a joint food safety project in Vietnam, and a biotechnology project in Senegal.
Dionne-Wilson has since taken on new challenges as an analyst supporting the CFIA's work in animal health. She continues to work cooperatively with colleagues from across the Agency. Her leadership skills are promoting a culture of integrity, transparency, and respect at the CFIA — all attributes that bode well for a successful career in the public service.
"I recognized how fortunate I was to have finished my schooling and have a job I really love. It got me thinking about what I could to do give back."
But wait, there's more.
Dionne-Wilson's leadership goes beyond her already fulfilling day-to-day work. In 2018, she became the CFIA's first-ever Youth Ambassador for the Government of Canada's Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC).
The GCWCC is an annual fundraising event for federal public servants. The Campaign takes place in federal workplaces across the country each fall and raises much-needed money for local community social services.
"I recognized how fortunate I was to have finished my schooling and have a job I really love. It got me thinking about what I could to do give back," Dionne-Wilson says. "That's when I started getting involved with the GCWCC. I realized how easy it was to support a cause that was important to me (environmental conservation) through the GCWCC."
In 2018, the CFIA achieved its GCWCC target of raising $170,000 in the National Capital Region alone.
Dionne-Wilson recognizes it was a team effort, and has already committed to working on the Campaign for 2019. "You can really help those in need. You choose where your money goes. And you can make a real impact in your community," she says.
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