Byron Peters Director of Planning and Development at Mackenzie County
I relocated to La Crete, Alberta from Calgary last summer. In 2015, I graduated with First Class Honours in Planning, Environment and Development also as a Prize Fund winner for the most successful interdisciplinary real-life project. Northern Alberta has certainly given me a new perspective on life and is providing me the opportunity to work on a wide-ranging diverse set of complex land-use issues. Curiosity and challenges are what drive me; my current position is certainly keeping my appetite for more. I am a very approachable individual , who is trustworthy and punctual. Self-motivation, determination and a positive attitude are some of my key strengths to working individually and I can be a great asset to any team.
This position enables me to delve deep into a number of my planning interests and exercise a myriad of my creative and innovative thinking skills. I'm very much enjoying unlocking the complexities of northern rural Alberta land management. The challenge driven by the cumulative effects of multiple policies and environmental initiatives upon rural community development and sustainability; fuels my passion to discover local solutions to global issues.
My planning interests very much centre around: community-led planning, local and national policy improvement, planning based qualitative and quantitative research and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), helping to create self-reliant sustainable communities and preserving natural and historic environments. This position has enabled me to become involved in a combination of planning matters including: planning and public policy, rural municipal and provincial legislation, residential development and agricultural capability.
Whilst practising painting and decorating I developed a number of different skills of applying decorative materials, communicating with clients and managing my employees and business' expenses. As a result I have the ability to work under pressure, whilst meeting all deadlines and without compromising on my attention to detail. I am an organised and trusted manager who gets the best out of my workforce with a high recommendation rate from my clients including local schools.
I produced a 130-page research report, analysing the ideas and processes which South Africa should take note of from apt international examples. I was entrusted by the company to produce this research report in 4 weeks whilst I was in Calgary. I met their proposed deadline and my research report assisted City Think Space to produce their final report for the South African Government; which documented recommended amendments to be made to the national spatial planning legislation in South Africa.
The 4 weeks that I spent at RLF broadened my skills and increased my confidence; I found myself liaising with a number of important clients and developers (on the phone and face-to-face) about potential new and refurbishment schemes - ranging from new housing developments to the preservation of Grade statutory listed buildings. I was also tasked with independently driving around and "ear-marking" sites for development potential, and producing site and viability/feasibility appraisals to present to land owners and developers.
The course was a combination of working individually, with other planning students and interdisciplinary with other built environment disciplines - combining economic, social and environmental perspectives to address national and international planning challenges and opportunities in a more joined-up manner.
This course offered a platform for young art students to explore new or alternative methods of producing and displaying their work - through Visual Communications, Photography, Fine Art, 3D Workshop and Fashion.
Having not completed a Science GCSE at school I successfully completed a biology course to earn mandatory points required for entry to university.
The courses offered a combination of classroom based theory and shared cubicle learning and on-site experience. The NVQ Level 2 consisted of 2 days a week completing theory practising manual methods, and 3 days a week voluntarily painting community halls and churches in the local area.