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Shawna Lawson - B. Comm, MSc (Planning), EcD

Shawna Lawson    B.Comm, EcD

When I was working on my Masters, I asked my favourite prof what he thought my strengths were and he replied “Your ability to see the big picture and the possibilities within it”.  I guess that strength has served me well in my career and life.  Economic resiliency for me is the very basis of any community’s development – whether that is a village of 800 or a nation of several million – it is dependent upon the health of businesses, social networks, good governance and its environment. 

One of our clients remarked to me last week that I was sort of like an economic sleuth – digging down until I find the gems that will make their community shine.  I liked that because it rings true.  I believe there are gems all around us if we just pay attention and don’t get dragged down by all the reasons we can’t do something. 

I have been fortunate.  Born in a northern Manitoba mining town, raised in Red Deer and the first woman in our family to go to university, I have had the opportunity to work and live across the globe.  And whether it has been a Borough in London, a village in the Mekong Delta, a bustling city in India or a small town in rural Alberta, all want the same – a promising future for their children and loved ones.  I like to think that with each project I have worked on, I have contributed to making that happen in some small way. 

My favourite quotation of all time is Anais Nin’s “How can I accept a limited definable self when I feel, in me, all possibilities?”  I feel this applies not only to myself, but to the communities we work with.