Meet Director of Finance and Administration Susanne Smith

I have been with the Ontario Literacy Coalition since November 2005. Currently, I am the Director of Finance and Administration and am responsible for managing the financial and administrative operations as well as some aspects of human resources. I manage one part-time assistant who works closely with me.

I have worked in finance and human resources in both the private and not-for-profit sectors for over 35 years and bring all of that experience to the OLC. I look forward to the continuing challenges of my position for years to come.

I am a learner for life and an amateur photographer.

OLC Interviews “Good Reads” Author Maureen Jennings

OLC Manager of Communications and Marketing, Jody Lundrigan, had the pleasure of interviewing Canadian author Maureen Jennings at this year’s Word on the Street Festival in Toronto on September 26.  Maureen is the author of many well-known books, including the series featuring detective William Murdoch set in 1890′s Toronto.


Jody Lundrigan, OLC Manager of Communications and Marketing at Word on the Street

What brought Maureen to Word on the Street, however, is the launch of ABC Life Literacy Canada’s new initiative Good Reads.  Good Reads addresses the shortage of engaging books for adult literacy learners by publishing books with adult characters, perspectives, themes and subjects that encourage reading practice, develop literacy skills, and increase reading confidence.

To help launch the initiative, Maureen Jennings read an excerpt from her Good Reads book entitled “Shipwreck“, about a tiny town in Nova Scotia who helps rescue the crew and passengers of a ship that wrecks off the coast. Only one of the passengers has a terrible secret…

Maureen Jennings at Word on the Street

Maureen Jennings at Word on the Street

Everyone had such a great time, even Toronto Mayor David Miller stopped by!

Maureen Jennings with Mayor David Miller

Meet John MacLaughlin, Manager of Program, Business and Partnership Development

John MacLaughlin has a long and distinguished career in the literacy field.  He was the founding Executive Director of the Preparatory Training Program, one of the largest community-based literacy programs in Ontario.  He helped develop, initiate and manage Metro Toronto Movement for Literacy’s information and referral service for literacy and ESL.  He is also a founding board member of the Ontario Literacy Coalition (OLC).

Until this past year, John was engaged in community-development work in South East Asia, working in a variety of communities to help improve schools and training initiatives.  Last year, John became Manager of Program, Business and Partnership Development at the OLC with a mandate to work with the Business and Labour communities to address Ontario’s skills gap in the areas of literacy and language.   Currently, he is managing the OLC’s projects in the areas of the new Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum, Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills, and Family Literacy.

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Spotlight On…Special Events

Spotlight on Learning: Becoming Agents of Change is pleased to give attendees the opportunity to attend and participate in special events during the conference. These events will allow participants to network and give feedback on conference proceedings.

Events include…

Speakers’ Corner

Our Speaker’s Corner will comprise of an area within the conference facility set up with video and audio equipment to capture stories and ideas emerging from the conference. Don’t be shy – say what’s on your mind!

Graffiti Wall

The Spotlight On Learning Graffiti Wall is your opportunity to share your thoughts with other participants. Write a workshop review. Comment on the keynote speaker address. Tell an anecdote. All it takes is grabbing a pen and a piece of paper and putting the writing on the wall!

Tweet Your Feedback

OLC encourages participants to ‘Tweet their Feedback’ while at the conference to spread what you’ve learned and generate discussion within the online literacy community. Don’t forget to use the #spotlight2010 hashtag!

Make sure you get involved in the events at the Spotlight on Learning conference to ensure your experience is as fulfilling and enriching as possible!

Meet OLC Executive Director Lesley Brown

I have had the pleasure of being the Executive Director at the Ontario Literacy Coalition (OLC) since 2007.  I report to and am responsible for the implementation of policies set by the Board of Directors.  In this role I am responsible for organizational leadership, setting of annual goals and objectives, and managing the financial, human resources and administration of the organization.

The joy of this job is working with an exceptional Board of Directors and alongside a charismatic and devoted staff team at the OLC.  Our community is also comprised of our members, partners and committed funders both through the federal government – Human Resources Skills  Development Canada, and provincially through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

I have worked in the adult literacy field since graduating 23 years ago.  I started my career in Corrections, working with incarcerated youth, before volunteering with the Aboriginal community, in community-based programs as a volunteer coordinator and instructor,  in school board programs, as well as college OBS programs.  I have been fortunate to have both on the ground experience teaching, managing a staff development department responsible for training instructors, as well as managing projects and policy work.  This has given me the depth of understanding to see the many sides of this intricate and necessary literacy system.

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