Happy International Women’s Day!
At Ontario Parks, we simply couldn’t do without our women’s team members. They work as biologists, instructors, wardens, superintendents, planners, managers and more.
Here’s the scoop on our staff:
Murphys Point and Rideau River Provincial Parks Staff
Josie, Courtney, Kristina and Nancy have provided leadership and guidance in the field of management, operations and customer service for over 57 years combined!
Pillars of our work centers, they provide strength, guidance and sound decision-making in an accelerated and constantly changing work environment.
Josie Grenier, Nancy Cooper, Courtney Lafleur, Kristina Brown
Hear their first-hand experiences:
Josie Grenier, assistant park superintendent
“There are many facets of my career at Ontario Parks that I truly enjoy, but one is particularly special. As a field manager of two operating parks, I have the opportunity to discover and foster the next leaders who will follow me in our organization. “It is very rewarding to watch their growth and advancement as they achieve their professional goals over the years.”
Nancy Cooper, Retail Sales Clerk
“I can make a difference with young people by being able to mentor them to get jobs, learn life skills, and show them that adults do care. “Ontario Parks allows me to do what I love when it comes to working with summer students, while also being in touch with the beauty of both people and nature.”
Courtney Lafleur, senior park secretary
“I love the diversity of my work with Ontario Parks. As a senior park employee, I can go from finance to customer service to helping the park biologist all in one day.
At a certain age, girls are often encouraged to stop playing outside and getting dirty, but nature is for everyone and Ontario Parks offers that, and I am so proud to be a part of it.”
Kristina Brown, senior park secretary
“Ontario Parks stole my heart in 2002 and I have been incredibly fortunate to have inspiring supervisors, coworkers and mentors throughout my career. I strive to be one of those inspiring women. There is no end to the growth and knowledge you can gain with Ontario Parks. I look forward to coming to work every day as it is a new adventure and extremely rewarding!
Isabelle Moy, senior park interpreter, Killbear Provincial Park
Isabelle has worked as an interpreter at Killbear Provincial Park for four years, designing and delivering programs that engage children and campers with the nature and stories of the park.
“What I like most about working at Killbear is that I can connect people with nature, make them see it as something they care about and want to protect for the future. Every day there is something new and it is so much fun!
Kathleen Houlahan Chayer, lead park interpreter, Pinery Provincial Park
This is Kathleen’s tenth year working on the Discovery Program with Ontario Parks.
He spent the early part of his career in MacGregor Point Provincial Park, where he learned to appreciate wetland ecosystems and all the amazing beings found in them. While at MacGregor Point, she led a team of Discovery students on projects such as BioBlitzes, snake monitoring, and trash cleanups.
She considers working with students to be one of the best parts of her job and believes it is a great honor to see student staff find inspiration and joy in the natural world.
Recently, Kathleen took a position at Pinery Provincial Park leading their Discovery school program. This position allows her to focus on her favorite part of being a Discovery performer: helping people fall in love with provincial parks!
Kathryn Harrison, Senior Park Interpreter, Pinery Provincial Park
Kathryn has been working with Ontario Parks since 2016. She moved near Pinery Provincial Park at that time and was so excited by the beauty of the park’s sand dunes and oak savannahs that she took the first available opportunity to work there as a cleaner. .
She has experience working in biology and ecosystem restoration that prepared her for her current role as interim senior parks interpreter in the Discovery Program.
“I’m excited to learn new things and grow my career at Ontario Parks while sharing my appreciation for Pinery with others.”
Lise Sorenson, Entry Station Ranger, Quetico Provincial Park
Lise is the face and voice of Quetico Provincial Park for many park visitors. She is one of the most experienced backcountry canoeists on the park staff and is the go-to trip planner for Quetico paddlers seeking help. Lise also supports the operation of Quetico’s more remote entry stations.
Throughout her career at Quetico, Lise has used her skills and experience as a park ranger to develop mapping products for the park, design and construct new summer and winter trails, and continues to play an integral role in the development and maintenance of the section. from Quetico to the Trans Canada Trail and sections outside the park.
“It is a great privilege to spend my work day helping people connect with the land…especially when that land is the resonant and enduring nature of Quetico Provincial Park.”
Andrea Maranduik, main secretary of the park, Awenda Provincial Park
Andrea has worked in Quetico (Junior Ranger), Awenda, Bass Lake, Springwater and Killbear Provincial Parks in positions including maintenance, visitor services, compliance, operations, management and park administration.
Andrea also worked for the Ontario Parks Revenue Management Office alongside the MNRF in the Midhurst and Parry Sound districts as a resource secretary and as the first female fisheries and wildlife technician in the Midhurst district.
Andrea is currently preparing for the 2021 camping season at Awenda Provincial Park!
“Like a snake, I have had the opportunity to have and shed many skins as a woman in the parks over the past 20 years; I continually become a better, more capable and committed resource manager!
Simone Mantel, assistant park superintendent, Darlington Provincial Park
“Working for Ontario Parks is the most challenging but also the most satisfying job. I get to enjoy and protect Ontario’s natural beauty while helping others do the same. One of my favorite parts of the job is being able to provide leadership and work with so many passionate and like-minded people!
Sarah Morden, Provincial Instructor
Sarah is part of an incredible team of men and women who train park rangers, the law enforcement officers in Ontario Park. In addition to coordinating and delivering training to new and returning officers, Sarah supports Ontario Parks’ enforcement program in the field and at the provincial level.
“I feel very privileged to follow in the footsteps of the incredibly strong and empathetic women of Ontario Parks who came before me. These trailblazing women have been my superintendents, managers, colleagues, mentors and friends and have inspired and empowered me throughout my career.”
Shawn Telford, Public Health Coordinator
Shawn has worked as a certified public health inspector for over 20 years and has been an employee of Ontario Parks for the past seven years. If Shawn were to sum up his position in one sentence, it would be that he works with all Ontario parks to ensure compliance with public health legislation.
“Last year, 2020, was an especially challenging year with the onset of COVID-19, and much of my time was spent developing directives to keep both staff and visitors safe while allowing them to enjoy our wonderful park system.
My favorite part of my job is connecting with Ontario Parks staff across the province and working with health inspectors in over 30 different health units, coming together to ensure a safe parks system for everyone.”
Morgan Hawkins, Wildlife Management Policy Project Leader
Morgan develops an operational policy that focuses on the safety of our visitors, our staff and our wildlife.
Morgan’s most recent accomplishments include gun safe policies and black bear encounter training. She also worked for Ontario Parks as a park ranger/steward and intern biologist.
“As a woman working in remote environments, enforcing provincial legislation or writing policies on controversial topics like firearms can be overwhelming. My best advice is to do what you love and do it with integrity.”